Kenepeum (welcome) to ENGL 390: Theories of Writing! In this upper-level class we will be doing substantial reading and writing about writing studies and thinking through how these scholars and theories have influenced the field. Significant work is expected of you. English Studies divides itself into literary studies and writing studies (sometimes called composition/rhetoric); sometimes creative writing is also a category. While there is some overlap in theoretical positions for literature and writing, these theories are often applied differently. There is also tension as to how these areas fit into English Departments, and in some universities, there are indeed separate departments. While writing has often been proclaimed as originating from Greece in the 5th century b.c.e., other traditions see themselves as distinct from this narrow view. We see courses developing at Harvard which evolved into what we know at first-year writing in college. During the 18th and 19th centuries, theorists like Adams Sherman Hill, Fred Newton Scott and Gertrude Buck, and others developed a significant body of work about what it means to teach students to write. Contemporary composition theory really gets going about 1963. There are numerous debates and noticeable divisions particularly in thinking about diversity and inclusion. In this course, we will look at writing historically and how theories are evolving as 21st century writing. We will look at a variety of ways in which writing has been viewed, discussed, contested, and taught, and consider what that means for you as students, potential teachers of English, and writers of your own projects.