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Title:Sponsoring Educational Opportunity: Race, Racism, and Writing Instruction at the University of Illinois
Author(s):Lamos, Steven Joseph
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Prendergast, Catherine J.
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Higher
Abstract:Within the field of composition history, much is presently known about the ways in which elite groups have employed literacy instruction to preserve economic and/or political power and privilege. However, as a number of recent scholars suggest, much less is presently known about the means by which elites have employed literacy instruction to preserve and promote the power and privilege of white racism, particularly at the institutional level. Accordingly, this dissertation explores the ways in which one predominantly-white university, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, sought to conceive, implement, and maintain "Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Rhetoric," a writing instruction program for "high risk" minority students. It analyzes a variety of archival EOP Rhetoric documents---program descriptions, meeting minutes, administrative correspondence, syllabi---to understand how literacy was "sponsored" by the university (in Deborah Brandt's sense of the term) to support white power and privilege over time, as well as to understand how such sponsorship was resisted by reform-minded administrators at certain points during the history of the program. The dissertation contends that understanding such interplay between racist sponsorship arrangements and anti-racist administrative resistance can help us to recognize how white racism has profoundly shaped past composition program formation. It contends, too, that such work can help us to reconceptualize future composition reform efforts, shifting thinking away from overly-simplistic "color-blind" assessments of reform toward assessments that both can account for and work against the multiple and complex effects of racism.
Issue Date:2004
Description:286 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3153357
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2004

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