The argument of this collection is that the cultural and
intellectual legacies of postmodernism impinge, significantly and
daily, on the practice of the Writing Program Administrator. WPAs
work in spaces where they must assume responsibility for a
multifaceted program, a diverse curriculum, instructors with
varying pedagogies and technological expertise-and where they must
position their program in relation to a university with its own
conflicted mission, and a state with its unpredictable views of
accountability and assessment.
The collection further argues that postmodernism offers a useful
lens through which to understand the work of WPAs and to examine
the discordant cultural and institutional issues that shape their
work. Each chapter tackles a problem local to its author's writing
program or experience as a WPA, and each responds to existing
discord in creative ways that move toward rebuilding and
It is a given that accepting the role of WPA will land you
squarely in the bind between modernism and postmodernism: while
composition studies as a field arguably still reflects a modernist
ethos, the WPA must grapple daily with postmodern habits of thought
and ways of being. The effort to live in this role may or may not
mean that a WPA will adopt a postmodern stance; it does mean,
however, that being a WPA requires dealing with the postmodern.
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