Emergence of Writing as a Key Player

Writing programs have waited a long time to be considered as important as Literature studies.  Many faculty who have taught writing have been nontenurable track employees because writing is considered the low man on the totem pole.  Writing is thought of as being a small item that needs to be fixed in the freshman or sophomore year so that students can concentrate on the higher ordered level of thinking Literature requires.  Now because of the internet writing has become the desirable field since technology seems to be the direction professional writing is going towards.  Literature may finally fall from its lofty perch. ““Long-term decline in the cultural capital of literature” was spectacularly in evidence, as part of a larger decline in the role of the humanities” (Hobbs, 3).  Humanities needs to have a vast shift from focusing on one major goal-literature-to many goals that focus on writing tools and skills in the professional world and out of it.  To change such a beast that the literature department is cannot be easy.  Many want to ignore the web revolution and soldier on with the goal as literature being number one, but too many people are leaving the field, so it must change or it will be outsourced till it dies a sad death. . “Political science gained 2.5 percent new lines; philosophy and religion packed on 43 percent. English, however, lost over 3,000 tenure-track lines, an average annual loss of 300 positions” (Hobbs, 5).  English must change with the times or the department will lose its sense of importance if it will not embrace writing as the dominate field.  Writing has become dominate through emails, blogs, texting and other new emerging technology through the web.

1 comment for “Emergence of Writing as a Key Player

  1. Alex Janney
    October 1, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I really agree with your idea that English must change in order to keep up with the times. I wonder what it is that is holding departments back from changing. Fear? Lack of knowledge? Lack of initiative? Unwillingness to change? Maybe because I fall into the category of a “digital native” I see the transition as one that has the potential to be fairly smooth and obviously beneficial to English. It’s a dying field because it isn’t matching student interest, the only way to alleviate this problem is change.

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