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Cover of Abducting Writing Studies co-edited by Kyle Jensen
November 2016
Southern Illinois University Press

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Abducting Writing Studies

Edited by: 
Sidney I Dobrin
Kyle Jensen

This collection is organized around the concept of abduction, a logical operation introduced by Charles Sanders Peirce that explains how new ideas are formed in response to an uncertain future. Responding to this uncertain future with rigor and insight, each essay imagines new methods, concepts and perspectives that extend writing studies research into startling new terrain. To appeal to a wide range of audiences, the essays work within foundational areas in rhetoric and composition research such as space, time, archive, networks, inscription and life. Some of the essays take familiar concepts such as historiography, the writing subject, and tone and use abduction to chart new paths forward. Others use abduction to identify areas within writing studies such as futural writing, the calling of place and risk that require more sustained attention. Taken together, these essays expose the manifold pathways that writing studies research may pursue.

Each of the 12 essays that comprise this collection sparks new insights about the phenomenon of writing. A must-read for rhetoric and composition scholars and students, "Abducting Writing Studies" is sure to foster vibrant discussions about what is possible in writing research and instruction.


Editor Kyle Jensen is professor of English in writing, rhetorics and literacies at ASU, where he directs Writing Programs.

Praise for this book

“'Abducting Writing Studies' will prove to be a highly significant work because of the originality and timeliness of issues, controversies and themes addressed by the contributors."

Frank Farmer, author, "After the Public Turn: Composition, Counterpublics, and the Citizen Bricoleur"

“This book is a rich provocation to rethink issues such as ‘time,’ ‘space,’ and ‘inscription’ in order to envision and to instantiate a new future for writing studies.”

Michelle Ballif, editor, "Theorizing Histories of Rhetoric"