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University of Oregon

History of the UO Composition Program

Clarify Your Vision, Then Write: Reflections on the History of the University of Oregon Composition Program tells the story of how writing has been taught to UO undergraduates since the founding of the University in 1876.  Written by Professor John Gage, this booklet traces the continuity of the program’s focus on progressive rhetorical pedagogy and argumentative writing, and the changes that have made the program what it is today.  It examines the contributions of some legendary English faculty in the past who have influenced the program, including Luella Clay Carson, Randall Mills, John Sherwood, Roland Bartel, Albert Kitzhaber, Nathaniel Teich, Glen Love, and Kathleen Dubs, and those who continue to contribute to the program: John Gage, James Crosswhite, Anne Laskaya, and Carolyn Bergquist.   It’s a thought-provoking story of a nationally prominent program that now teaches over 6,000 UO undergraduates a year.  For a free copy of the booklet, write to: jgage@uoregon.edu.