Teaching in the 21st Century: Adapting Writing Pedagogies to the College Curriculum

By Alice Robertson; Barbara Smith | Go to book overview

Where to go with writing in the twenty-first century is a question thus immanent to politics and power. Our recognition of this fact provides a basis from which we might objectify the historical constraints of eighteenth-century writing, and not just endlessly perform the same old tasks from within them. The hard work of founding such a premise, of both denying and enabling certain thoughts about writing, rules, and subjects, was at last our general objective in this course.


PROCESSING THE PROCESS: WRITING, TEACHING, THIS PAPER

It had not occurred to me until writing this chapter how essential my graduate training in Composition has been to the kind of scholarship and teaching that I have tended, perhaps wrongly, to locate elsewhere over subsequent years. There are versions of my arguments pertaining to writing, rules, and identities that have gone on in domains other than Composition to be sure. Some of them I have mentioned, others I have not. But I see now that this sometimes confusing parallel vision, with each discipline enabled by the blindness of the other, would not have to exist if the permeability of disciplines were as immediate as I continue to hope. If that hope, like the work that holds it forth, is in error, it is an error that for now I will have to retain.


NOTES
1
Mina P. Shaughnessy, Errors and Expectations: A Guide for the Teacher of Basic Writing (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977), 5, 13.
2
Ibid., 293.
3
On the constitutive force of (mis)reading, see Ross Chambers, “Reading and Being Read; Irony and Critical Practice in Cultural Studies, ” The Minnesota Review 43/44 (1995): 113–30. See also my short piece, “Being Red and Misread, ” College Literature 21.3 (October 1994): 41–46.
4
C.H. Knoblauch and Lil Brannon, Rhetorical Traditions and the Teaching of Writing (Montclair, N.J.: Boynton/Cook, 1984), 53–63.
5
Ibid., 62.
6
James Moffet, Teaching the Universe of Discourse (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1968), 212.
7
Jacques Derrida, “The Principle of Reason: The University in the Eyes of its Pupils, ” in ed. Robert Con Davis and Ronald Schleifer Contemporary Literary Criticism, Literary and Cultural Studies (New York: Longman, 1994), 321.

-275-

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