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Louise Wetherbee Phelps Papers

An inventory of her papers at the Syracuse University Archives


Creator: Phelps, Louise Wetherbee, 1940-
Title: Louise Wetherbee Phelps Papers
Dates: 1986-2008
Size: 3 boxes (1.25 linear feet)
Abstract: The Louise Wetherbee Phelps Papers contain writings, speeches and other materials related to her time as a Syracuse University professor.
Language: English
Repository: University Archives,
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Ave., Suite 600
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010


Portrait of Louise Wetherbee Phelps

Louise Wetherbee Phelps (1940- ) was a Syracuse University professor in writing and rhetoric. She received her Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Rhetoric and Composition/Writing Studies and started teaching at the University of Southern California as an assistant professor in 1979. Phelps taught there until she moved to Syracuse University in 1986, becoming a professor of Writing and Rhetoric. While at Syracuse, she became the founding director of the Writing Program and was the co-founder of the graduate consortium of Doctoral Programs in Composition and Rhetoric. In addition, Phelps served on the Academic Affairs Committee of the Syracuse University Senate from 2002 until 2007. During her career at the University, she gained increased attention toward the Writing Program. In 2009, Phelps retired from Syracuse University and joined Old Dominion University as an adjunct professor of Rhetoric and Writing.

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Scope and Content Note

The Louise Wetherbee Phelps Papers contain materials related to her work in writing and rhetoric at Syracuse University. This collection is divided into five series: Correspondence, Coursework, Speeches, The Writing Program and Writings.

The Correspondence series contains letters mostly from other faculty and administrators from Syracuse University about her work at the University and the Writing Program.

The Coursework series includes materials relating to the classes and programs in which Phelps taught.

The Speeches series includes keynotes and lectures Phelps gave at conferences and other events.

The Writing Program series contains materials relating to Phelps' work with the program. Included are small publications in which Phelps contributed as well as her reports and agendas from her time as director.

The Writings series includes the written works, mostly articles in her field, authored by Phelps during her time as a Syracuse University professor.

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Access Restrictions

Please note that the collection is housed off-site, and advance notice is required to allow time to have the materials brought to the Reading Room on campus.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from the Syracuse University Archives and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Records of the Writing Program were separated from this collection and transferred to the Writing Program Records. Phelps' personal materials relating to the Writing Program remain in her papers.

The Archives holds portrait and clipping files on Louise Wetherbee Phelps as well as the Writing Program Records.

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Selected Search Terms


Phelps, Louise Wetherbee, 1940-
Syracuse University -- History.
Syracuse University.


College teachers.
Higher education.

Types of material

Speeches (documents)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Louise Wetherbee Phelps Papers,
University Archives,
Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Louise Wetherbee Phelps donated her papers to the Archives in 2011.

Processing Information

Materials were rehoused in archival folders and boxes.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: Anna Smallwood
Date: 2016
Revision history:

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Materials are arranged in alphabetical order.

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Box 1 Discussions of TAs and Portfolios 1987
Box 1 Odyssey Project 1992
Box 1 Proposal for a 50% Administrative Assignment 1994
Box 1 Proposal for Improving Conditions for Writing Instructors 1989
Box 1 Proposal for Linking Communication and Curriculum 1987
Box 1 Teacher Evaluation 1989
Box 1 The Writing Program 1992
Box 1 Xerox Corporation 1989
Course Work
Box 1 Assignments Volume Contributions undated
Box 1 Class Catalogue Descriptions 1987
Box 1 Diagram of Span of Professional Career 1994
Box 1 ENG 613: Reflective Practicum in Teaching Composition Syllabus 1988
Box 1 Five-Week Invitational Syllabus: Studio II, Writing 205 undated
Box 1 Mini Studios Syllabus 1992
Box 1 Mini Studios Syllabus 1994
Box 1 Objectives and Missions of the Major 2008
Box 1 Proposal for a Doctorate in Philosophy in Composition and Cultural Rhetoric 1996 (2 folders)
Box 1 Board of Visitors Talk 1986
Box 1 "Changers of Change: Preparing Graduate Students for Faculty Life in Tomorrow's Institutions" 1994
Box 2 "Composition and the Reform Agenda for Higher Education" 1995
Box 2 "A Different Ideal and Its Practical Results" 1991
Box 2 "The Discourse of Controversy in Composition Studies" 1990
Box 2 "Everyone Publishes: A Writing Program that Writes" 1989
Box 2 Fall Teaching Conference Keynote 1989
Box 2 "Fresh Eyes: Composing a New Signature for the Writing Program 2000" 1999
Box 2 "If I Were President: Incorporating Top-Down Perspectives in Reform Proposals" 1997
Box 2 "In the Face of the Storm: Toward a New Alliance between 'Faculty' and 'Administration'" 1994
Box 2 Library Talk 1990
Box 2 "Near the Edge of Chaos: Staying Inventive in the Second Decade" 1997
Box 2 "No Strings: Composing Composition/Rhetoric in a Freestanding Ph.D. Program" 1999
Box 2 "The Problems in the Conversation: English and Writing" 1990
Box 2 Project Advance Talk 1987
Box 2 "The Question of Advanced Writing: Toward a Working Definition for Pedagogy and Curriculum" 1998
Box 2 "Telling a Writing Program Its Own Story: A Tenth Anniversary Speech" 1998
Box 2 "Tradition, Innovation and Inquiry Revisited" 1991
Box 2 The Writing Program 1986-1988
Box 2 "The Writing Program Administrator in the Program" 1998
Box 2 The Writing Program Keynote Speech 1991
The Writing Program
Box 2 Agendas 1986-1995
Box 2 Annual Report 1990-1991
Box 2 Annual Report 1991-1992
Box 2 Director's Journal 1989-2000
Box 2 "Exploiting Synergies: Repositioning the Writing Program for the Nineties" 1991
Box 2 Highlights of the Writing Program 1999-2000
Box 2 My Goals for the Writing Program 1986
Box 2 Organizing Principles in the Writing Program 1991
Box 2 Studio I: Working Papers from the Curriculum Group 1987
Box 3 "Windows on the Writing Program: The Syracuse Self-Study Portfolio 1992
Box 3 "The Writing Program: A Design Perspective, A Strategic Plan for Program Development" 1988
Box 3 Writing Program Goals 1988-1992
Box 3 "The Writing Program at Syracuse: A Brief Overview" 1989
Box 3 The Writing Studios 1995
Box 3 The Writing Studios: What the Freshman Can Expect 1987
Box 3 "Difficult Conversations: Developing the Rhetoric of Community Among Writing Teachers" with Charles Howell 1992
Box 3 "Making Faculty Work visible: Reinterpreting Professional Service, Teaching and Research in the Fields of Language and Literature" 1996
Box 3 "Making Writing Visible at Syracuse" 1987
Box 3 "The Social Architecture of the Writing Program" with Faith Plvan 1992

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