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At our workshop at the inaugural Conference on Community Writing on the rhetoric of the corporate university, participants noted that the values espoused by community literacy “in the community” are being eroded at the university. Furthermore, they noted the underlying rhetorics of missionary zeal, whiteness, and privatization in community literacy and service learning work. The authors build on these critiques by examining two successive administrations at Syracuse University. The first presented a model of “engaged infrastructure” with progressive rhetoric but oppressive outcomes; the second shed the façade of community partnership for an explicitly corporate and militaristic vision of higher education. Through this comparison, the authors interrogate foundations that community literacy has been built on with the hope of opening new possibilities.



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