Revolution Lullabye

May 18, 2009

Bawarshi, Genres as Forms of In(ter)vention

Bawarshi, Anis. “Genres as Forms of In(ter)vention.” In Originality, Imitation, and Plagiarism. Eds. Eisner and Vicinus. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2008. 79-89.

Blanket accusations of plagiarism don’t account for the complexities of genre, culture, and discipline: the knowledge of how much is appropriate to imitate, recontextualize, and cite is local and contextual. This knowledge is something Bawarshi describes as “uptake” –  the space, actions, and relationship between invention and imitation. Bawarshi advocates teaching students about source use by addressing it locally: discipline by discipline, genre by genre. He gives two examples – the uptake of writing prompts to student essays and the uptake of the testimonio I, Rigoberta Menchu – as situations when there was a misread of the uptake and the understanding of the space between imitation and invention.

Quotable Quotes

“Imitation and invention exist on a genre-defined continuum and thereby have a variable relationship that we must acknowledge if we want to understand imitation’s inventive power – that genre-differentiated point of transformation where imitation becomes invention” (80).

“ideological interstices that configure, normalize, and activate relations and meanings within and between systems of genre.”

Notable Notes

takes uptake from speech-act theory: how an illocutionary act is taken up as a perlocutionary effect

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