Mark V. Redmond
The following comments are intended to align your expectations as a reader with those of mine as the writer by primarily explaining what is not included in this book. If you have elected to read this book of your own accord (versus an assigned reading for a class), you might be expecting a thorough, detailed discussion of empathy and perspective-taking, but you will not find that. Many years ago, after considerable time reviewing the literature on empathy, perspective-taking, and role-taking, I wrote a convention paper where I detailed the confusion surrounding the meaning and measurement of those concepts. As a solution, I decided to erase the board and start with a blank slate and a new term. Since that time, others have also languished over the confusion of the meaning of the terms empathy and perspective-taking, often merging them together in attempts to more clearly identify boundaries and meaning resulting in such terms as empathic perspective- taking, affective perspective-taking, and cognitive empathy. Other scholars have also discussed these issues of conceptual confusion, so there is no need to rehash those issues here.
Amid apocalyptic invasions and time travel, one common machine continually appears in H. G. Wells’s works: the bicycle. From his scientific romances and social comedies, to utopias, futurological speculations, and letters, Wells’s texts abound with bicycles. In The War of the Wheels, Withers examines this mode of transportation as both something that played a significant role in Wells’s personal life and as a literary device for creating elaborate characters and complex themes.
Withers traces Wells’s ambivalent relationship with the bicycle throughout his writing. While he celebrated it as a singular and astonishing piece of technology, and continued to do so long after his contemporaries abandoned their enthusiasm for the bicycle, he was not an unwavering promoter of this machine. Wells acknowledged the complex nature of cycling, its contribution to a growing dependence on and fetishization of technology, and its role in humanity’s increasing sense of superiority. Moving into the twenty-first century, Withers reflects on how the works of H. G. Wells can serve as a valuable locus for thinking through many of our current issues and problems related to transportation, mobility, and sustainability.
Jeremy Withers and Daniel P. Shea
Bicycles have more cultural identities than many realize, functioning not only as literal vehicles in a text but also as “vehicles” for that text’s themes, ideas, and critiques. In the late nineteenth century the bicycle was seen as a way for the wealthy urban elite to reconnect with nature and for women to gain a measure of personal freedom, while during World War II it became a utilitarian tool of the French Resistance and in 1970s China stood for wealth and modernization. Lately it has functioned variously as the favored ideological steed of environmentalists, a means of community bonding and aesthetic self-expression in hip hop, and the ride of choice for bike messenger–idolizing urban hipsters. Culture on Two Wheels analyzes the shifting cultural significance of the bicycle by examining its appearances in literary, musical, and cinematic works spanning three continents and more than 125 years of history. Bringing together essays by a variety of cyclists and scholars with myriad angles of approach, this collection highlights the bicycle’s flexibility as a signifier and analyzes the appearance of bicycles in canonical and well-known texts such as Samuel Beckett’s modernist novel Molloy, the Oscar-winning film Breaking Away, and various Stephen King novels and stories, as well as in lesser-known but equally significant texts, such as the celebrated Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Sacrifice and Elizabeth Robins Pennell’s nineteenth-century travelogue A Canterbury Pilgrimage, the latter of which traces the route of Chaucer’s pilgrims via bicycle.
The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics is a reference work encompassing the range of research on language-related problems that arise in the real-world contexts where languages are learned and used. Because of the wide range of issues that applied linguists work on, a precise definition of the field is difficult to articulate. In his 2007 Introduction to Applied Linguistics, Davies points out that one might be tempted to conclude that "because language is everywhere, applied linguistics is the science of everything," but such a conclusion would be neither correct nor useful (Davies, 2007, p. 2). If applied linguistics is not the science of everything, how is it defined?
The LL & LT monograph series publishes monographs as well as edited volumes on applied and methodological issues in the field of language pedagogy. The focus of the series is on subjects such as classroom discourse and interaction; language diversity in educational settings; bilingual education; language testing and language assessment; teaching methods and teaching performance; learning trajectories in second language acquisition; and written language learning in educational settings.
David Foster and David R. Russel
Despite the increasingly global implications of conversations about writing and learning, U.S. composition studies has devoted little attention to cross-national perspectives on student writing and its roles in wider cultural contexts. Caught up in our own concerns about how U.S. students make the transition as writers from secondary school to postsecondary education, we often overlook the fact that students around the world are undergoing the same evolution. How do the students in China, England, France, Germany, Kenya, or South Africa--the educational systems represented in this collection--write their way into the communities of their chosen disciplines? How, for instance, do students whose mother tongue is not the language of instruction cope with the demands of academic and discipline-specific writing? And in what ways is U.S. students' development as academic writers similar to or different from that of students in other countries?
With this collection, editors David Foster and David R. Russell broaden the discussion about the role of writing in various educational systems and cultures. Students' development as academic writers raises issues of student authorship and agency, as well as larger issues of educational access, institutional power relations, system goals, and students' roles in society. The contributors to this collection discuss selected writing purposes and forms characteristic of a specific national education system, describe students' agency as writers, and identify contextual factors--social, economic, linguistic, cultural--that shape institutional responses to writing development.
In discussions that bookend these studies of different educational structures, the editors compare U.S. postsecondary writing practices and pedagogies with those in other national systems, and suggest new perspectives for cross-national study of learning/writing issues important to all educational systems. Given the worldwide increase in students entering higher education and the endless need for effective writing across disciplines and nations, the insights offered here and the call for further studies are especially welcome and timely.
David R. Russell
“ To understand the ways students learn to write, we must go beyond the small and all too often marginalized component of the curriculum that treats writing explicitly and look at the broader, though largely tacit traditions students encounter in the whole curriculum,” explains David R. Russell, in the introduction to this singular study. The updated edition provides a comprehensive history of writing instruction outside general composition courses in American secondary and higher education, from the founding public secondary schools and research universities in the 1870s, through the spread of the writing-across-the-curriculum movement in the 1980s, through the WAC efforts in contemporary curriculums.
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