In higher education, faculty, administrators, and students often use the term “work” casually: we go to work, we do our work, and we always have work left to finish. Thus, we appreciate the journal’s editors asking us to slow down and fully consider our work as instructors and scholars in the field of composition studies. Here we explore what it means to approach work through the lens of service. While service is an essential component of academic work, we seldom explore how the two concepts inform one another. As a WPA and an Army veteran, we decided to join our unique notions of service to reconceptualize the term to highlight how service shapes our teaching and research. When we began collaborating, we found common ground in how we conceived of the “ethic of service” that shapes our work. Moreover, Dan’s military background influenced our thinking about where and how service fits into the work we do as compositionists. Much of our work is supported by a commitment to service, a term we understand to mean more than academic titles or the committees we sit on and goes beyond personal military aspirations. By refocusing service as central to knowledge production, we can newly theorize how ideas are generated, disseminated, and consumed in our field.


English Language and Literature



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/engl_fac/109