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Stephen North, in The Making of Knowledge in Composition (1987), makes the old old point that practitioners and their knowledge are often excluded and ignored by researchers, scholars, and theorists in composition. Practitioners don't try to avoid sharing knowledge and don't exclude knowledge (which he claims researchers do), and they practice "inclusion." He "describes the knowledge of practitioners as lore, a knowledge characterized by contradiction because it is driven by the pragmatic logic of 'what works.' Because there is no accountability for why something works in a classroom, nothing is ever discarded from lore. North describes current assumptions about teaching writing with the metaphor of a 'House of Lore,' a sprawling collection of rooms built from a variety of materials without a blueprint or regard for the coherence of the overall structure" (Faigley, 1992). - Contributed by Jill Morris
Welcome to the World of Composition. Every year since its formation in 1949, the sects of the Ivory Tower send their best to represent them in what some call the "Pugna of Rhetoricus" - or the “Battle of Rhetoric." Rarely held in the same place twice, the Conference of College Composition and Communication affords both the Tower apprentices and arch-professors the opportunity to pit their mastery of ethos, pathos and logos against one another. Despite the seemingly rancorous nature of this event, the sentiment amongst these scholars is a positive one—each battle won or lost is a learning experience, one that can be used to help educate others. Each encounter tests different aspects of the hero's mastery. Those hailing from the school of forward thought, for instance, will face such battles as how to implement technology in the classroom. And those vying for the rank of top administrator will choose battles that test their ability to run a department efficiently and drive world-class curriculum development. Heroes must also remember that they will not only be judged on their merits amongst their competitors, but also their performance. They should be ready to rise to any and all spectators’ challenges. The esteemed Chair Malea Powell will lead this year's Conference, which will take place in Atlanta. Spectators and heroes alike should not miss important festivities, such as an address by Chris Teuton, who will discuss the exotic narratological practices of the Cherokee, or an oratorical piece by Dean Rehberger, who will educate us on literacy in the 21st century. Attendees should also note that this year's events will center on, as Powell puts it, "All Our Relations: Contested Space, Contested Knowledge," and therefore should expect a degree [...]