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Apologies for cross-posting: Composing disciplinary affects and conflicts on the WPA Listserv

Zachary Charles Beare, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Drawing on theories of counterpublics, online communication, and affect, this dissertation argues that the Writing Program Administrators Listserv (WPA-L) functions as an important site of disciplinary knowledge-making and theory-building for the field of Composition and Rhetoric. The dissertation examines the WPA-L as a discursive space in which members of the discipline build community, debate pressing issues, and strategize how best to advocate for their individual and collective interests. At the same time that these qualities reveal how the listserv functions as counterpublic space for the discipline at large, the dissertation argues that sub-disciplinary counterpublics made up of individuals marginalized within the field (graduate students, part-time and contingent faculty, two-year college specialists) can make use of the democratic nature of this digital platform to speak back to more powerful segments of the field. Thus, I argue that the WPA-L, gives voice to individuals not often afforded access to speak in more traditionally-authorized platforms of knowledge-making like peer-reviewed journals and monographs. In crafting this argument, I investigate the rhetorical moves employed by listserv participants in the three most active WPA-L threads of 2015 (examining a total of 180 listserv email messages). The dissertation concludes by reflecting on how the WPA-L embodies many qualities valued in the pedagogical theories of the field of Composition and Rhetoric.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Beare, Zachary Charles, "Apologies for cross-posting: Composing disciplinary affects and conflicts on the WPA Listserv" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10264476.