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Abducting Writing Studies

Abducting Writing Studies

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Edited by Sidney I. Dobrin and Kyle Jensen


E-book (Other formats: Paperback)



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About the Book

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 twelve 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.


Sidney I. Dobrin is a professor and the chair of the Department of English at the University of Florida, where he is also the director of the Trace Innovation Initiative. He is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of numerous books, including Postcomposition, winner of the 2011 W. Ross Winterowd Award for best book published in composition theory.

Kyle Jensen is an associate professor of English at the University of North Texas. He is the author of Reimagining Process: Online Writing Archives and the Future of Writing Studies and has published essays in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, JAC, and Rhetoric Review.


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