Revolution Lullabye

May 20, 2009

Bloom, Insider Writing

Bloom, Lynn Z. “Insider Writing: Plagiarism-Proof Assignments.” In Originality, Imitation, and Plagiarism: Teaching Writing in the Digital Age. Eds. Eisner and Vicinus. Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 2008. 208-218.

Teachers need to use “plagiarism-proof” insider writing assignments not because they prevent plagiarism but because they inspire both student creativity and student learning of a discipline’s norms, customs, and values. Bloom gives several examples of insider writing assignments that she uses in her autobiography class, including designing homes for the people whose autobiographies the students read (Franklin, Douglass, etc.) and writing their own autobiography to learn the genre.

Quotable Quotes

“As outsiders suppressing their own judgments, student writers serving as ventriloquists of published scholars are not positioned to own the primary material or to trust their opinions of it. With so little of themselves in their writing, they have little incentive to care very much about their work” (210).

Notable Notes

service learning as an example of insider writing

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

February 23, 2009

Phelps, Composing Administration as a Writer

Phelps, Louise Wetherbee. “Composing Administration as a Writer.” CCCC 1996.

The theories and practices of writing, the expertise of a composition and rhetoric scholar, can be the source for a WPA’s administrative strategies in four distinctive ways: the WPA can use her own writing to complete the intellectual and bureuacratic tasks of administration; the WPA can foster a writing community in the program; the WPA can make writing a root metaphor the work that happens in the program, transforming the program jargon and thinking; and the WPA can write scholarship about administrative practice and reflection. A WPA who uses writing in these ways is using writing in its many functions simulataneously. Those functions of writing include institutional invention, performative, framing, contact, and identity formation. Being delberate about using writing to administrate bridges the gap between author and agency, showing that administrative structures do have human faces and are, like all humans, adaptive creatures able to change.

Quotable Quotes

.”Most people mean by administration “whatever the administrator does,” but my analysis demonstrates that the functions and genres of administration are simultaneously something an individual “composes” and also a widespread, diverse set of cultural activities and structures mediated by texts and socially produced genres. Unfortunately, the ambiguity of agency and action in administration does not show up in our usage of the word. When we look at writing as a surrogate for “administration,” though, we discover that what administrators do best is to orchestrate and respond to this complex activity. Administration is all the work that gets done. Administration is the organizational structures and processes and roles—and the genres—in terms of what happens.  It is not simply what the administrator does, or autonomously composes” (12-13)

“I’m suggesting that the administrator who employs writing as a preferred tool for problem-solving and conducting daily business is likely to find herself on a slippery slope, the relationship between writing and administration sliding constantly from the instrumental use of writing as a practical tool toward the metaphoric identification of administration with writing and rhetoric. This prospect is enhanced when the administrator’s strategies and metaphoric resources for practicing administration derive not only from personal experience as an academic, technical, or creative writer and a literate person, but also from the scholarly investigation of written language.” (2)

Notable Notes

framing is managing meaning by putting one metaphor, one way to view reality, over other through metaphors, stories, spin, etc.

genres and administrative writing are multifunctional. The same document can have many purposes.

February 8, 2009

Julier, Community Service Pedagogy

Julier, Laura. “Community Service Pedagogy.” 132-148.

Community service pedagogy (or service learning) became a cross-disciplinary higher education reform movement in the 1980s and was embraced by some compositionists because it answered many of the needs instructors found in their first-year composition classrooms: it gave students a real audience to write for; it increased students’ motivation; it allowed students to work with a variety of discourses, genres, and rhetorics; it encouraged context-driven writing; it had close connections with critical pedagogy and cultural studies; and it brought writing back to its civil, public rhetorical roots. Service learning in composition can take several forms: writing about the community, writing for the community, and writing with the community. Writing courses that incorporate service learning should have students think, discuss, and write critically about the power dynamics inherent in service projects.

Quotable Quotes

A problem with service learning: “The rhetoric of sending stduents ‘out’ into ‘the’ community may, in some settings and course designs, confirm for students an insider-outsider understanding of academic purposes, and replicate condescending models of charity and missionary work that do more to undermine than to advance the goals of multicultural education and social transformation” (142).

Notable Notes

service learning is not located in any one discipline; it is seen as a reform movement in higher ed that seeks to transform the cultures and mission of higher education.

service learning in composition has just recently been more theorized; much of the earlier scholarship told narratives of other peoples’ success stories with it.

service learning has a legitimacy problem. Scholars who devote time to service projects sometimes get docked on tenure and promotion; often it is not seen as an area of research because it is so multidisciplinary and cross-cultural in its appraoach.

Zlotkowski; Adler-Kassner; Crooks; Watters; Stotsky, Connecting Civic Education and Language Education; Jacoby et al; Waterman; de Acosta; Greco; Anson; Cooper; Rosemary Area; Linda Flower (Carnegie Mellon)

negotiate the educational project of service learning with the needs and wishes of the community organization.

importance of having students reflect on their service experience.

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