The stereotype, whether we want to dismantle it or acknowledge it, holds that those who teach college English begin a quest in graduate school to be rid of teaching writing. As early as the mid-twentieth century Richard M. Weaver told the same story, and Weaver was among the first to take that stereotype not as an acknowledgment of rerum naturem but as the story of a fall, a decline from a day when the professor of rhetoric stood at the pinnacle of undergraduate education to a moment when those who still teach it in mid-career must have fumbled somehow. Mercifully, in the last decades of the 20th century and the first decades of the 21st, a sort of rhetorical renaissance has blossomed in English departments, and Dr. Heather Hoover’s book Composition as Conversation: Seven Virtues for Effective Writing has taken a seat at that grand banquet of teachers who celebrate writing rather than fleeing the same. Christian Humanist Profiles is glad to welcome Dr. Hoover to talk with us about the book.

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