English, Department of



A DISSERTATION Presented to the faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: English, Under the Supervision of Professors Amy Goodburn and Shari Stenberg. Lincoln, Nebraska: August, 2010
Copyright 2010 Sandra Tarabochia


In this dissertation, I use qualitative research methods to study relationships between compositionists and faculty in other disciplines in the context of cross-curricular literacy (CCL) work. Drawing on a two-year CCL project in the biology department, for which I was a participant observer, I argue that compositionists need to attend more carefully to issues that influence day-to-day interactions with disciplinary faculty in order to develop more meaningful CCL relationships. Toward that end, I offer a revisionary approach to cross-curricular literacy work that cultivates complex relationships by delaying consensus and embracing disconnection and disorientation. More specifically, I employ revisionary stance as a discursive strategy to complicate three key concepts in CCL literature and scholarship—expertise, change, and outcomes. I re-vision three texts produced during my time in the biology department in order to illuminate the complexities of negotiating expertise, recognizing change, and pursuing outcomes in CCL contexts. Given the reciprocal relationship between discursive and material change (Lee), I maintain that revision of CCL discourse can inspire revision on a pedagogical level, shaping how compositionists and disciplinary faculty participate in CCL interactions. Thus, a revisionary approach leads me to conceptualize revisionary pedagogy for cross-curricular literacy work.

I theorize revisionary pedagogy as a means of fostering pedagogical relationships in CCL contexts, complicating how relationships are framed in traditional Writing Across the Curriculum/Writing in the Disciplines scholarship. The literature advances three main conceptual models of CCL, each of which embraces expertise, change, and outcomes in ways that sponsor potentially problematic relationships between compositionists and disciplinary faculty. I draw on Composition scholars’ rich conceptualization of revision (Jung; Lee; Welch) and pedagogy (Kameen; Qualley; Stenberg) to challenge the litany of next-best models and imagine alternative possibilities for relationships in CCL contexts. Revisionary pedagogy is a means of approaching material circumstances that reconstitutes how compositionists and disciplinary faculty conceive of and participate in CCL relationships.