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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI writing professor published in groundbreaking book

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KINGSTON, R.I. – February 23, 2009 – University of Rhode Island writing and rhetoric professor Nedra Reynolds was recently honored at a luncheon for her inclusion in The Norton Book of Composition Studies. The luncheon was hosted by the book’s publisher, W.W. Norton and Company, which decided to kick off the book’s tour at URI to honor Reynolds. The URI professor is an authority on composition studies, which is the professional field of writing research and instruction, focused mainly at the college level.

Deans, faculty members, undergraduate students, graduate students, and representatives from the book’s publisher attended the luncheon. Winifred E. Brownell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, noted the importance of the inclusion of Reynold’s article. She said she was also pleased to see URI Director of Writing and Rhetoric Libby Miles’s review of the book included on the back cover. “URI certainly takes a well deserved leadership place nationally in composition studies.”

Reynolds article, “Interrupting Our Way to Agency: Feminist Cultural Studies and Composition,” was selected by editor Susan Miller, one of the field’s most distinguished scholars. Reynolds wrote the article in 1998 as a commentary on the conjunction of composition, cultural studies and feminism.

The Norton Book of Composition Studies is a collection of 101 articles written throughout the past 50 years in the field of composition studies. “The book explores written discourse from a rhetorical point of view,” said Reynolds.

The book is considered “the most definitive and comprehensive collection of primary scholarly articles that have shaped composition studies as a field,” according to its publisher, W.W. Norton and Co.

“The book is a sign of where we are as a field. Unlike other fields that have been long established, composition studies is still developing, and this book provides an important overview of where we are and where we need to go,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds, who holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Emporia State University in Kansas and a doctorate from Miami University in Ohio, told the luncheon crowd that until she held the book and looked at her chapter, she didn’t realize how big a deal it was.

W.W. Norton is the world’s largest independent publishing house. Founded in 1923, the company publishes a wide array of reading materials, from fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, to college textbooks, cookbooks, art books, and professional books.



URI Department of Communications & Marketing photo by Michael Salerno Photography.