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Casie Moreland PhD Defense: "White Resistance, White Complacency: The Absent-Presence of Race in the Development of Dual Enrollment Programs"

Committee: Keith D. Miller (Chair), Shirley K. Rose, and Christine R. Farris.  ::  ABSTRACT: This dissertation investigates the origins of dual enrollment (DE) writing courses that give students the opportunity to receive college credit for writing in high school. While no previous research dates DE programs to before the 1970s, this dissertation analyzes the development of the self-proclaimed "longest-running" DE program that began at the University of Connecticut in 1955. In this work, I contend that the University of Connecticut's DE program began as a complacent act that further advanced already privileged (white affluent) students and further marginalized students of color, which extends marginalizing aspects of the origins of the first-year writing requirement.

I first establish the historical, social, and political context for the development of DE programs at the University of Connecticut with an overview Brown v. Board of Education, whites' resistance to integration, and the white complacency of citizens in Connecticut in the 1950s. Using whiteness theory and feminist research methods, archival research conducted at the University of Connecticut focused on the development of DE programs shows an institutional absent presence, that is, there is an absence of reference to Brown, integration, or race of students where it concerns the construction, inception, and operation of the first DE writing courses. And finally, an attempt at a disparate impact analysis of current assessment practices that determine enrollment in DE writing courses highlights access and assessment as a connection between the history and the present state of DE programs and DE composition courses. With the inclusion of DE composition, my dissertation project fills at least some of the identified gap in historical research in Rhetoric and Composition Studies during the 1950s and extends arguments of how white complacency has and continues to influence the field and first-year writing.

Sheila Luna
Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Ross-Blakley Hall (RBHL)
Tempe campus