In Basic Writing as a Political Act: Public Conversations About Writing and Literacies, authors Linda Adler-Kassner and Susanmarie Harrington discuss how educational ideologies and literacy are not value-neutral in the classroom setting, and argue that examining ideology is key to recasting basic writing as social and actually inherently political. This notion of political must be divested from American cultural semiotics of election, candidate, party, etc.; instead, the authors embrace the “political” as Merriam-Webster introduces the term: “the total complex of relations between people living in society.” Adler-Kassner and Harrington do not explicitly engage in policy discussions, nor do they explicitly address governmental issues that affect Basic Writing; rather, they explicate the complexities of identity and ideology that occur at the intersections of private and public, individual and institutional. The authors focus on practical approaches to basic writing instruction, avoiding popular notions of mastery that rely on quantifiable data and skill-and-drill exercises. The authors repeatedly emphasize the importance of instructors both valuing student contributions and creating a classroom culture of equity-focused inclusivity.
Continue reading “Disjuncture”: Composing Multiple Literacies in the Basic Writing Classroom: A Book Review
My writing habits are usually fueled by caffeine, quiet music, an excess of 2+ hours free back-to-back. If pressed, I would say that’s my biggest change this term: the only 2+ hours I’ve had free in one space between 10am and 10pm is commuting to and from my doctors’ offices, jobs, and the social life I’ve got hanging by a string.
Continue reading Side Effects Include…: ODD, FIQWS, and BW – Final Reflection
Facing the issues of racial erasure, white privilege, and the implicit (or explicit) institutionalization of kyriarchy in basic writing is an uphill battle. Coleman et al.’s article “The Risky Business of Engaging Racial Equity in Writing Instruction: A Tragedy in Five Acts” unpacks many of these tensions in case studies and confessional writing from inside Minneapolis Community and Technical College. The article provides first-person perspectives from several authors in “Five Acts,” allowing for the creation of an internal discourse, while engaging with research from writing studies at large.
Continue reading Informal Blog #3
“Rituals & Gestures”: Identity and Discovery in the Writing Classroom
Composition scholar David Bartholomae’s influential article “Inventing the University” explicates his perspectives on how basic writers “write their way into the university,” and how they don’t (12). Bartholomae begins by incorporating text from an introductory student essay that he intends to strike readers as challenging to read, or even upsetting. He counters this expectation by articulating the student’s clever use of what Kathleen Yancey terms “metacognition,” or the ability to recognize the “rituals and gestures” necessary for writing in this particular academic genre, considering audience, etc. (6).
Continue reading Bartholomae – Draft
It’s fun and a bit bizarre to look at Barbara’s scholarship close-up. Her concerns in the longer article are still relevant today at CCNY. Accessibility of resources and even just the notion that writing studies in any form is an actual discipline is a bizarrely uphill battle, leaving writing programs stripped of funding and reliant on contingent labor.
Continue reading (Re)Birth of the Author: Informal Blog Post #2