Geographies of Writing: Inhabiting Places and Encountering Difference

Synopsis

Twenty-first-century technological innovations have revolutionized the way we experience space, causing an increased sense of fragmentation, danger, and placelessness. In "Geographies of Writing: Inhabiting Places and Encountering Difference, Nedra Reynolds addresses these problems in the context of higher education, arguing that theories of writing and rhetoric must engage the metaphorical implications of place without ignoring materiality. This text marks a summit of work initiated in Reynolds's well-received article, "Composition's Imagined Geographies: The Politics in the Frontier, City, and Cyberspace." In continuing this earlier work, "Geographies of Writing multiplies its range of application and proposes a geographical rhetoric. Reynolds uses cultural geography, feminist theory, qualitative research, and service learning to link writing and spatial practices and to unpack the layers of the social production of space. Drawing largely from participant-observation research in a cultural geography class,at Leeds University in England, she investigates questions of difference and identity and offers an alternative to the process paradigm. "Geographies of Writing makes three closely related contributions: one theoretical, to reimagine composing as spatial, material, and visual; one political, to understand the sociospatial construction of difference; and one pedagogical, to teach writing as a set of spatial practices. Aided by seven maps and illustrations that reinforce the book's focus on visual rhetoric, "Geographies of Writing shows how composing tasks and electronic space function as conduits for navigating reality.

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