Intertexts: Reading Pedagogy in College Writing Classrooms

Intertexts: Reading Pedagogy in College Writing Classrooms

Intertexts: Reading Pedagogy in College Writing Classrooms

Intertexts: Reading Pedagogy in College Writing Classrooms

Synopsis

Intertexts: Reading Pedagogy in College Writing Classrooms theoretically and practically situates the teaching of reading as a common pedagogical practice in the college writing classroom. As a whole, the book argues for rethinking the separation of reading and writing within the first-year writing classroom-for an expanded notion of reading that is based on finding and creating meaning from a variety of symbolic forms, not just print-based texts but also other forms, such as Web sites and visual images. The chapter authors represent a range of cultural, personal, and rhetorical perspectives, including cultural studies, classical rhetoric, visual rhetoric, electronic literacy, reader response theory, creative writing, and critical theories of literature and literary criticism. This volume, an important contribution to composition studies, is essential reading for researchers, instructors, writing program administrators, and students involved in college writing instruction and literature.

Excerpt

In the new century, the problem of the teaching of reading promises to develop as an issue that engages the entire curriculum of the university. Teachers of all subject areas will lament that students cannot read as new demands are placed on students, as degree requirements shift and change, as writing itself alters its style and focus, as hypertextual and visual communication dominate the classroom and everyday life. Yet, as is argued here in Intertexts, reading is not a simple process of absorbing the qualities of the best that has been said from the Great Books that appear on the syllabi in departments of English, but a complex, ever-changing process of situational interaction and self-reflection with words, images, and other readers. in this collection, we hope to establish a series of theoretical and pedagogical questions that will inform discussions about how to teach reading to undergraduates in various curricular settings.

When educators complain that their students “can't read, ” they are not implying that their students are unable to decode a page of markings; rather, they are looking for something beyond the surface level of reading for meaning. “Attentive” re-readings or “in-depth” readings are terms applied to reading practices that are ideal: valuing rereading, acknowledging that rereadings may hold different interpretations depending on time and place, coming to a knowledge that responses may differ between readings. Reading actively counters the tendencies toward passive consumption and appreciation, argues feminist critic Estella Lauter. An ac-

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