The Writing History and Theory (WHiT) doctoral concentration addresses writing in all of its aspects, including its material bases—its diverse technologies, sites, and economies; its conventions, forms, and pedagogies; and its practices and uses, both contemporary and historical. WHiT thus seeks to bridge the divide between “Literature” and “Rhetoric and Composition” that has traditionally marked advanced study in English. Through coursework and advanced scholarship, students who pursue this concentration investigate a variety of writing practices, historicizing them in sophisticated ways and relating them to dominant strands in literary, cultural, and rhetorical theory. WHiT courses emphasize the relationships among texts and the larger social, economic, and political contexts in which they are produced and circulate, exploring, for instance, the legal infrastructure of creative production; the origins, uses, and revisions of generic forms; the remediation of texts; and the material practices of invention, dissemination, and display.
For further details about the WHiT Concentration, contact Kurt Koenigsberger, Director of Graduate Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org .
For doctoral students, the WHiT concentration offers preparation not only for an academic job market that is increasingly calling on them to teach in a number of areas (composition, literature, rhetoric, visual studies, and creative and professional writing), but also for professional positions outside the academy.
Graduate students pursuing the Ph.D. who are interested in the Writing History and Theory concentration should consult the WHiT Advisor in the English Department, usually in the first year of study beyond the MA. (Students from Departments other than English should begin by consulting advisors and chairs in their home departments about taking WHiT courses under the Fellowship Tuition option or about pursuing an Individual Multidisciplinary Degree. See pp. 14-15 of the Graduate Student Handbook.)
In addition to general doctoral program requirements (in English, see http://www.case.edu/artsci/
ENGL 501: Writing History and Theory
Introduces general research methods and theories specific to the study of writing.
Choose 4 courses, at least 1 in each focus area
Area 1: Theories of language, rhetoric, and discourse
Courses in this area emphasize the in-depth treatment of one or more essential theoretical approaches to writing.
Area 2: Histories of writing and material culture
Courses in this area examine writing and reading as material, historically situated practices. For example:
Area 3: Writing praxis
Courses in this area explore the production of texts in their contemporary cultural, historical, and technological contexts and have a special focus on the intersections of theory and practice, including the teaching of writing.