From the Eyes of a Student: Performing Subjectivity in the Composition Classroom.Report as inadecuate

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Being "unfailingly conscious" of one's subject position (and performing it in a formal writing assignment) are the tenets of "initiation pedagogy," the intertextual analysis behind D. Bartholomae and A. Petrosky's "Facts, Artifacts, and Counterfacts," and their subsequent composition textbook "Ways of Reading," which the author of this paper was teaching for the first time when Nick and Billy dropped by--Nick was a student in the class and Billy was a character invented by Nick for one of his papers. Nick was asked to write a critical analysis of Paulo Freire's and Mary Louise Pratt's contact zone pedagogies, and he turned it into a narrative of Billy's first day of high school. This paper deals with Nick's rewrite of his paper and his machinations in the restructuring/rewriting of that paper. It explains that, when the author read Nick's second draft, with its attempt to objectify subjective experience in ways that her other students were in the process of mastering, she decided to literalize these performances, of genre, of self, and see if she could bring all of her students into a literal conversation with their texts, a move that would publicly reveal their own "reads"; she assigned dramatic dialogues, an interaction with the authors under consideration, hoping that the absurdity of the assignment would demystify some of the "cache" that the works possessed. According to the paper, teaching students a feel for the game requires first that capital is configured as a vision of choices, a combined recognition of the options in view as well as the reasons for them, the hunch about which one to choose, and the instinct behind it. (Contains 13 references.) (NKA)

Descriptors: Academic Discourse, Higher Education, Revision (Written Composition), Writing Assignments, Writing Instruction

Author: Bartlett, J. L.



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