300 words summary

timer Asked: Sep 6th, 2017

Question Description

There are 3 examples in the file

Please give a brief summary of what you believe each author is saying (remember the back of the stamp exercise).

As a guide, your posting should be roughly 300 words.

Read the pieces by Lanham, Elbow, and Halasek.

Lanham’s Domain of Style discusses what role style plays during the writing process. His thesis serves as the major theme of our entire study on writing this semester. When you understand what Lanham is saying about style, you’ll grasp, then, how we’re going to walk through each of the units this semester by focusing on particular tools. Elbow lays out his suggestions and thesis with an emphasis on the writing process, and what steps should be taken to produce optimal work. Finally, Halasek discusses the principle that, unless we’re writing for ourselves, we need to be thinking of our audience in several ways in order to be successful, and ultimately, persuasive.

After you’ve read the pieces, I’d like you to begin to “unpack” these authors together. The point is not that I think you need to have all the answers, but instead, that it’s going to take the entire class to figure out what these seminal authors are saying.

begin a thread wherein you add: (1) what you think each of the three authors is saying (use your lessons from the “back of the stamp” assignment to keep your summary simple, but complete; (2) then proceed to share with one another how the authors are similar and also different from one another.

300 words summary
300 words summary
300 words summary
The Dangerous Method: Trying To Write It Right the First Time There are obvious attractions to a writing process where you avoid the complications of the last two chapters and try to get your piece right the first time. You don't have to make such a mess with raw writing, you don't have to write in the dark without knowing where you are going, you don't have to engage in extensive revising—just a little tidying up, perhaps, at the end. No wonder most people instinctively try to write this way. Why keep on writing when you know something is wrong and will have to be changed? It feels obvious that you should stop and cross it out now and not go on to the next bit till you get this bit right. If you want to use this one-step writing process, the main thing you must learn to do is what writers have traditionally been advised to do: get your meaning clear in your head before you start writing. (In effect you are stuck with two steps again: figure out your meaning, then write.) There are lots of methods people use for figuring out their meaning before they write. Making an outline is probably the most common and versatile method. An outline, by its nature, almost forces you to figure out what you really mean. And because of its compressed visual form, it permits you to see your whole train of thought or narrative in one glance and thereby detect problems you miss when you go through your writing more slowly. (Remember that you are always moving more slowly through your writing than your reader will move: if you aren't actually writing you are constantly pausing to change or fix things.) Outlining is most effective when you already know many of the 39 40 Some Essentials ideas or incidents or images you want to use in your writing and you are trying to clarify and organize them. If you don't yet know much of what you want to say you may find outlining of no use at all. Who hasn't had the dismal experience (as you to follow the teacher's orders ansd start with an outline) of sitting there trying to transform one uninteresting thought into an architecture of Roman numerals, capital letters, arabic numerals, and small letters. The most exotic way of working things out in your head is exemplified by A. E. Housman's practice. He would (according to his account, anyway) put in mind his general idea or ingrethents for a poem, then have a heavy ale for lunch, and then take a long sleepy walk. By the end of the walk his highly polished poem would be completely worked out in his head. Evidently he didn't have to think actively or manipulate his ingrethents, he could just let the poem steam itself done in his warm beery consciousness. I have heard of a number of mathematicians and designers who employ a similar method: they put in mind all the elements they are struggling with and then take a nap, and when they wake up they often have the answer or the approach they need. The point is that a deeper level of thinking can go on when you relinquish your conscious grip on your material. A kind of letting go is necessary for this deep cooking. Having a beer, taking a walk or a bus ride, taking a nap or a shower—these all serve some people as ways of letting go. A more common form of getting your meaning clear before writing is simply to put off writing till you have had a chance to mull and ponder and chew on your topic for at least a few days—longer if possible. Many competent experienced writers never actually start writing about anything without first giving themselves plenty of time for this early simmering process. Another way to get your meaning clear before you write is to have a conversation or discussion about the topic—better yet, perhaps, an argument. This permits you to try out various ideas, approaches, formulations. Thoughts mature, crucial distinctions emerge, precise terms come clear. Yet another way to figure out what you mean before you write is to think as hard and as clearly as you can about the authence (if any) for whom this piece is intended and the effect you want your words to have on it. Bring your readers into your presence by The Dangerous Method 41 seeing them clearly in your mind. And as for purpose, don't settle for "I want my words to work." Visualize specifically what you want the words to do: Make the readers see something? Make them feel certain emotions? Perform certain actions? Change their minds? This clear grasp of your authence and purpose may focus your thinking in such a way that you immediately realize just what you need to say and how you need to say it. You can also focus your thinking quickly by simply increasing the pressure on yourself. Pressure cookers permit higher temperatures, quicker cooking. That is, one of the things that keeps us from figuring out what we really mean is having too many interesting choices of things we could mean. We can't make up our mind. Blocked writers suffer from too many ideas more often than from too few. But if you are standing up on a stage and have already been introduced and the authence is sitting there waiting for you to speak, you simply have to decide on something to say. It may not be the right decision, but it's a decision and you are off. It turns out that you can easily produce this same pressure on yourself in writing, too. Just put off all work till 9 o'clock the night before the piece is required. After an hour of pondering, the pressure will be great enough that you finally have to decide what you are going to say and start. "Oh, hell, it's ten o'clock, I guess I'll choose this conclusion to build my report on. I don't like it. I'm not sure I even believe it. But I've got to write something." (When you start writing something way before the deadline, sometimes the lack of pressure allows the consequences of making the wrong decisions to feel worse than the consequences of not writing at all and so you don't write at all.) You can also give yourself this pressure by not letting yourself revise at all. Just as you cannot revise when you are standing up giving a talk to an authence—this is it!—so, too, you cannot revise if you type onto the official application form or paint right onto expensive stretched canvas without any sketching. I think of my late colleague Willi Unsoeld. Where the rest of us wrote our official evaluations of students in draft form so we could make changes or corrections before giving them to secretaries to be typed (for these are photographed as part of the student's permanent transcript), Willi would roll the official form into his typewriter and type without error his one- or two-page evaluation of each student. He was a 42 Some Essentials mountain climber and believed in the importance of risk and performance under duress. He used the pressure of the authence and the moment to force his meaning clear and to transform an onerous task into a performance. • • • With this hymn to writing things right the first time, can I really go on to write a book which celebrates the opposite process? The fact is, I'm not going on to write the rest of the book. I've already written most of it now as I figure out this chapter. Having done so is what gives me the security to feel the virtues in what is nevertheless a dangerous method. When the method works magically—-that is, when you tap your deepest powers and cook everything completely before you write anything down—sometimes there is a finer integration and connectedness than you can achieve by revising. And even when it works only adequately—that is, when you merely settle on something that happens to be on the surface of your mind and then write it out—you may be able to write your piece more quickly and with less uncertainty than if you used two steps. But it is a dangerous method because it puts more pressure on you and depends for its success on everything's running smoothly. If you are out of practice or insecure or just a bit off your form, you can take longer trying to get something right the first time than you would have needed for writing roughly and then revising. Indeed, the method often fails outright. That is, you can sit there and think and stare into space, try to make an outline, perhaps try beer and naps and walks, and still not figure out what you want to say—or even anything good to say. That need to get it right prevents the ingrethents in your head from cooking, developing, progressing. You are at G, you are looking for Z, but your eagerness for Z prevents P, Q, and R from occurring to you since they are so different from Z. By this time you have wasted most of the time you had available for writing this thing, you feel there is something the matter with you ("Everyone else can figure out what to say by making an outline!"), and so you either settle on something obvious and uninteresting or you fumble your way through the whole piece of writing without ever really deciding what you mean. The Dangerous Method 43 Even when you do manage to decide on your meaning before you start writing and you feel satisfied with it ("Yes, that's what I want to say"), sticking with that meaning as you write stops all creativity and the generation of new ideas. You have settled for what you already know and understand. You have locked yourself into duller thinking than you are capable of; indeed, you have virtually ruled out your best thinking. When you see a piece of really vacuous writing, you can be almost certain that it was the result of someone's feeling she had to figure out her thesis before starting to write and then stick to it at all costs. It's only sensible to try to write things right the first time if you know you already have terrific insights. There's one more danger. Trying to write things right usually means writing very slowly and carefully. Long pauses between sentences and paragraphs to make sure of your bearings. This often leads to overwriting and overintricacy. You have too much time to work up clever turns of phrase and cunning complexities. Writing slowly and carefully, you also invest too much love and effort into that draft—after all, those intricacies are clever—so it becomes too hard to throw those cute gems into the garbage. Thus, odd as it may sound, trying to write it right the first time not only increases the danger of dull writing, it also increases the danger of writing that is cloyingly precious. But if you let yourself write things wrong the first time— perhaps even the second or third time too—something wonderful happens: when you feel a story or an idea in mind but can't quite get a hold of it, you discover that by just starting to write and forcing yourself to keep on, you eventually find what you are looking for. And you didn't even know what you were looking for. You discover you can write almost anything you want to write. You get braver. Trying to get it right the first time, on the other hand, often makes people timid—less willing even to try writing things— because it often leads them to the experience of struggling and getting stuck and finally giving up with nothing to show for their efforts. The need to get things right the first time, I suspect, is often the culprit in the case of people who want to write but don't do so or stop doing so. I certainly wouldn't have gone through two years of total inability to write if I hadn't been trapped by the dangerous method. 44 Some Essentials Advice • At some point before you finish revising any piece of writing, you should figure out and state clearly for yourself exactly what you are trying to say. In one sentence. (In the case of poetry or fiction it may not be your meaning or message that you must make clear to yourself—perhaps your piece does not have a meaning or message—but rather your plan or what your piece is about or what effect you are trying to have.) If you want to make your writing as good as possible—to tap your full range of insights and perceptions—it's usually better not to start with this exact conception of your meaning or goal but instead to let it emerge as you are writing or force it to emerge as you revise. If, however, your main goal is to save time and simplify the writing process, it may help to crystalize your meaning before you start writing. What's important to remember is that getting your meaning clear in advance is a simplification that only simplifies when you can do it quickly and well. Otherwise it complicates your efforts. • Therefore it is probably worthwhile practicing methods for getting your meaning clear in advance. Outlining, thinking about your authence, and putting yourself under pressure are good methods when you already have a lot of ingrethents in mind. If you are still pretty blank, a nap, mulling it over, or a discussion is probably more effective. • One good way of learning to work out your meaning in advance is just go give it a quick try whenever you have to write anything. But don't insist on success or use up too much time on the effort. • But when you are writing small pieces that aren't too important (as in the case of some memos, letters, reports, and abstracts) try forcing yourself to get your meaning clear before you start. These are just the kinds of writing where speed and ease of writing are more important than achieving the highest quality. You will be grateful if you can learn to write memos and reports and letters by just closing your eyes for a moment or jotting down a quick outline and then whipping them off pretty much as they belong. You have no choice but to master the dangerous method if you have to write essay exams or write letters by dictation. • The best way to make an outline for nonfiction writing has two stages. First write down all the ideas you can think of in whatever The Dangerous Method 45 sequence they occur to you. (If your piece calls for careful or complex thinking, force yourself to write each idea in the form of a full sentence with a verb. A mere word or phrase—"outlines" or "importance of outlines"—doesn't clarify your thinking as much as a sentence: "Outlines are important." You can clarify your thinking even more by insisting on an action verb: "Outlines organize your thinking.") Second, look through all these sentences and figure out your main idea—what you really want to say. Then arrange the sentences so they form a clear sequence—so they "tell a story." You may have to add a couple of points to make your sequence complete; and throw a couple away to get rid of some kinks in your sequence. Now you know just what you are saying and your order for saying it. • When you try to write something right the first time, don't try to get it absolutely right. You can get the job done quicker and also avoid preciousness and overwriting if you give yourself some leeway about how to begin and about wording and phrasing throughout. That is, don't try to write your opening sentence or paragraph unless it comes to you immediately just right. You can waste an enormous amount of time trying to find a good opening, and it will probably need to be changed by the time you are done. Just skip some space at the beginning and start right in with the main body of what you are writing so you can come back later and write your opening when it will be much easier. And as you write, allow yourself to fumble a bit in your wording, try one phrase and then another, and don't insist that it's right before you put it down. You'll write more quickly and naturally if you are not always struggling for the exact word or phrase. When you finish you will be able to polish your piece very quickly by just going back through it once and crossing out the wrong words and occasionally writing in a new one. Your final language will be more lively and direct and you will have saved time. • You can probably sense if you are one of those people who have a knack—or a potential knack—for the more magical kinds of cooking in their heads. If you are such a person you should work to develop and exploit your gift so you can use it even on creative and important pieces of writing. • You might think that figuring out your meaning before you write would be especially helpful for inexperienced or unskilled writers since it gives so much security and confidence to have that 46 Some Essentials outline in hand as you start to write. But really, only experienced pros can use this approach reliably. Only pros can count on getting life and creativity into those outlines or naps or sleepy walks. When you see a pro sitting there at the desk staring into space not writing a word, you can probably trust that she is engaged in creative, productive and efficient work. But if you see any of the rest of us sitting there like that, you'd be doing us a favor if you tapped us on the shoulder and said, "Get your pencil moving, Mac."
Page 74 themselves, then, in terms of their audiences, in terms of the academy. When this occurs, the role of the audience shifts as well. Copyright © 1999. Southern Illinois University Press, All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law. Audience in the Classroom: Laying Bare the Play of Power The problems surrounding audience—what it is, which audience is most appropriate for student writers to consider as they write, how to present audience(s) in the writing classroom—are not easily resolved. Nor, perhaps, should we attempt to resolve them, for if audience is as diverse and dynamic a construct as Bakhtin would have us believe, we may do well not to overly systematize or quantify it. Whether immanent, addressed, invoked, or fictional, audience is vexing and elusive. A few things remain clear, however. Audience cannot successfully be determined by a simple listing of such static characteristics as age, gender, class, or race, as Ede and Lunsford imply and as both Park and Bakhtin explicitly argue. Nor can audience be successfully or usefully analyzed apart from its relationship to the writer, the subject, and the immediate and broader social situations in which an utterance takes place. Audience extends beyond the individual psyche and into a sociocultural context. To restrict that context to the immediate situation in a writing class as do both Elbow and Bruffee is to minimize the dynamics of the larger social context and its influence on students as they come together to discuss their ideas. Such a restriction makes synchronous a phenomenon that is inherently diachronic and utterly intertextual. The writer stands at the threshold between past and future discourses. To imply—as I do here by discussing intertextuality as a function of audience— that Bakhtin necessitates a redefinition of audience is to argue that the writer, as he writes, is both author and audience. Moreover, previous discourses determine a discourse and may be said to "coauthor" a text. Such a diachronic understanding of audience emphasizes the intertextual nature of discourse as well as the answerability and responsibility of the author as he enters the conversation of a given social group. Even a teacher who, as an audience, acts as a guide to students seeking admission to more specialized language spheres must realize and articulate the intertextual nature of all utterances, as well as a particular discipline's discursive conventions and constraints, if he is to usher his charges successfully into the academy. Selzer's question bears repeating here: "Where does all of this leave the teacher in search of the meanings of audience?" Selzer suggests that "it might be best to end by smoothing over the distinctions a bit" (172). With regard to the debates underway regarding distinctions between invoked, addressed, and fictional audiences, and so on, I'm inclined to agree with Selzer. The terms are so obtuse and indistinct that students would surely become confused. Selzer makes this statement with pedagogy clearly in mind. What would students gain, he might also have asked, by becoming informed about these vari­ EBSO Publishing NetLibrary; printed on 6/9/2010 3:43:49 PM via San Jose State University eISBN:9780809322268; Halasek, Kay. : A Pedagogy of Possibility Account: -228328708 Copyright © 1999. Southern Illinois University Press, All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law. Page 75 ous conceptions of audience? My answer to that question is, very simply, not much. Selzer's own three constructs—intended reader, "reader in the text," and "real" reader—are relatively discrete entities that define readership quite productively. But they still do not get to that central issue of the teacher as audience­behind­the­audience in the classroom, which remains for me the central issue with regard to audience in composition studies. In every case, when a student writes a classroom essay, teachers, peers, or academic communities remain as possible audiences. The question of finding an audience for an expository college essay proves problematic for students' writing. Ideally, in defining audience, instructors intend to clarify to whom their students are writing, but the complexities of the academic and classroom contexts make that definition especially difficult, and the current scholarship on audience does not take us very far in addressing this issue. Neither does it address the intertextual nature of audience nor the effects of previous readers on students' discourses. By way of responding concretely to Selzer's question about where all of the theorizing on audience leaves us, let me articulate a somewhat defined plan for instructing students about the various uses of audience available to them as they compose. I refer to these constructs as uses of audience because I imagine that each of the constructs functions as a heuristic for students as they compose. I do not intend these as categories describing kinds of audiences so much as I intend them as a means by which students might articulate various readerships and engage those audiences as they write. I have defined for my own instruction the following six audiences—projected, previous, immediate, textual, public, and evaluative—which I describe to students in much the way I outline them here. 18 Projected Audience Although all of the audiences serve heuristic ends, the first two—projected and previous—serve students best when considered as a means of initiating and sustaining the composing process. The first of these uses, the projected audience, functions initially, like Selzer's intended reader, as a heuristic, a means of defining how to go about devising a text. A student writing an essay can benefit from making more explicit to himself a projected audience, one that assists him as he develops a text. As composing progresses, the student might use the projected audience as a way of testing the efficacy of particular lines of argument or methods of organization.19 Such a projected audience then conditions the developing text. As I wrote A Pedagogy of Possibility, I worked with a variety of projected audiences, each with its own demands and expectations for a theoretical text on composition studies, and some were more successful in assisting me as I wrote. When I imagined postmodern theorists of composition as an audience, for example, I struggled to construct a text I believed would be persuasive, so I reconfigured my projected audience and redefined who I held in my mind as EBSO Publishing NetLibrary; printed on 6/9/2010 3:43:49 PM via San Jose State University eISBN:9780809322268; Halasek, Kay. : A Pedagogy of Possibility Account: -228328708 I reconfigured my projected audience and redefined who I held in my mind as Copyright © 1999. Southern Illinois University Press, All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law. Page 76 readers. As I refined my goals and my understanding of my projected audience, I found a more comfortable audience in classroom teachers—those readers who are interested in composition theory but only insofar as it has direct bearing on their pedagogy. By projecting this audience for myself, I was able to foreground one of my central concerns in the book: bringing theory to bear on the classroom and, perhaps more importantly, making theory answerable to pedagogy. By projecting classroom teachers as my audience, I simultaneously reinserted myself into the text as author and audience. I am not a postmodern theorist, and when writing with this group as a projected audience, I found little room to define my own authority, as there is very little I feel I can say to postmodern theorists about theory. Shifting the projected audience to classroom teachers put me on more comfortable ground, in part because I define myself professionally as a teacher as opposed to a theorist. By instructing students to project an audience for their writing, composition teachers arrange for students a strategy for imagining an audience that is at once forgiving and demanding—an audience that enables them to write a successful draft. Previous Audience Analogous to the previous voices that have spoken on a given topic, the previous audience is always already a coauthor of the text. A text is addressed not only to projected, immediate, public, and evaluative audiences, it is also addressed to those voices who are a part of a conversational history. A Pedagogy of Possibility is a response to Bakhtin, Bartholomae, Berlin, Bruffee, Ede and Lunsford, Elbow, Selzer, Volosinov, et al. In many ways, I write to this previous audience as much as I write to my projected or public audience (and, in fact, some members of this previous audience will very likely become part of my public audience). The previous audience , like the projected audience, serves a heuristic function. These scholars provide me ways of thinking about and actively engaging their ideas, and their work informs my own utterances about writing instruction. By urging students to imagine and articulate previous audiences for their writing, a composition teacher offers his students the opportunity to become part of a larger collective of thinkers and writers concerned about a particular topic. Previous audiences are also powerful reminders of the complexity of subjects and, as such, serve as useful heuristics for determining the variety of sources for and stances on a given subject. Patricia Bizzell and Bruce Herzberg's Negotiating Difference: Cultural Case Studies for Composition enacts this intertextuality of previous voice and establishes in its very approach to history, historiography, and composition the intertextual nature of all writing. 20 The text includes what Bizzell and Herzberg (after Mary Louise Pratt) refer to as case studies of "contact zones," those volatile points in American history that set citizens against one another in political, moral, and racial clashes. In each of the case studies (e.g., the women's sphere of the nineteenth­century, the Japanese internment, Vietnam), Bizzell and EBSO Publishing NetLibrary; printed on 6/9/2010 3:43:49 PM via San Jose State University eISBN:9780809322268; Halasek, Kay. : A Pedagogy of Possibility Account: -228328708 women's sphere of the nineteenth­century, the Japanese internment, Vietnam), Bizzell and Copyright © 1999. Southern Illinois University Press, All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law. Page 77 Herzberg present contemporary primary sources that speak to the issues at hand. The case study on the Japanese internment, for example, includes Franklin Roosevelt's 1942 executive order that "provide[d] the legal basis for internment," a 1942 public notice of evacuation, a 1943 Department of War report on the immanent threat of Japanese living on the West Coast, a 1940s legal challenge to the internment, selections from over half a dozen testimonials from interned citizens ranging in date of publication from 1953 to 1987, and a 1982 report from the U.S. Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians that "concludes that the internment was both unnecessary and unjust" (xxii–xxiv). As students work from these readings into assignment sequences on "What is 'assimilation'?" "What is 'race'?'' and "How could this happen in the United States?" they have already encountered previous voices on the subject that become previous audiences for them as they write about assimilation, race, and American domestic policy. In addition to the published voices of the primary documents, Bizzell and Herzberg encourage students to seek out other previous voices and audiences through the JACL, internment museums, and historical societies as they initiate research projects that examine such suggested subjects as white racism, the Sansei, the treatment of German Americans during the Second World War, and the relationships between the internment and government policy toward American Indians. Immediate Audience Because students might choose to write about a subject about which they have already formed an opinion or, conversely, about which they are relatively uninformed, the immediate audience of a student's essay is particularly important to a student who is attempting to construct previous audiences and compose a draft that both responds to those voices and accounts for the responsive understanding of the projected audience. For students writing in a classroom that utilizes collaborative peer groups, the immediate audience might best be described as that group of living readers in classrooms who work with one another on composing, revising, and editing their texts. 21 The immediate audience serves three general functions, the first of which is generative: assisting the author in exploring and engaging previous audiences. The second function of the immediate audience is more evaluative: it serves (insofar as it can) as a mock public and/or evaluative audience. In this second function, the immediate audience responds to a text as if it were the public or evaluative audience in an effort to determine whether the text will be successful when brought before the public and/or evaluative audiences. The immediate audience as I imagine it is not a microcosm of a discourse community, nor does it constitute a community in its own right as Bruffee and others suggest. What is more, this immediate audience—like any projected, public, or evaluative audience—can only be defined productively in terms of EBSO Publishing NetLibrary; printed on 6/9/2010 3:43:49 PM via San Jose State University eISBN:9780809322268; Halasek, Kay. : A Pedagogy of Possibility Account: -228328708 Copyright © 1999. Southern Illinois University Press, All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law. Page 78 its relationship to the author and the subject of the discourse. An immediate audience, in all its various responses to a given essay, reminds the author that demographics alone tell him very little about audience response. That is, even as readers in an immediate audience work with an author to construct an essay that will be effective when brought before a public or evaluative audience, their responses, too, are informed by their social purviews and their ideological assumptions and biases. The student must recognize, then, that the nexus of power relations among his classmates affect the readings that they offer. He must respond to those readings with an understanding of each one as informed by a particular way of seeing him and interpreting the subject of his discourse. Because members of the immediate audience might also be part of the projected audience or even the public audience, their responses are important, even telling. Textual Audience The third function of the immediate audience is analytical. In addition to working with the author to determine the conversational history of his subject as a mock public or evaluative audience, the immediate audience also serves to analyze the features of the discourse, to determine the textual audience of the piece. In contrast to the intended reader, Selzer describes the "reader in the text" (what I here am using as a basis for textual audience) as an amalgam of "inscribed" or "ideal'' readers, those readers who, through their influence on a text via conventions, determine the shape of a text, its generic, rhetorical, and stylistic forms. That is, the form an essay takes, while determined and informed in part by the projected and previous audiences, is also determined and informed by the conventions and demands of the textual audience. By articulating a textual audience, students, with the assistance of an immediate audience, begin to unearth the ways that the social collective, the textual audience, impinges upon the discourse through the conventions it follows—its generic, stylistic, and rhetorical features. In these three roles, the immediate audience takes on a particular significance, for it functions in generative, evaluative, and analytical roles that are pivotal for the author as he strives to construct a successful discourse. Because of these roles, I use peer response groups in the composition classroom. The success of the groups, moreover, is determined largely by the clarity and effectiveness with which I articulate their functions. That is, when a peer group understands that its goal during a peer response session is to function in a generative, evaluative, or analytical capacity, that group is more likely to give productive feedback. The teacher, when responding to an early draft of an essay (or any piece of writing that he does not grade), may also serve as an immediate audience. To define himself as an immediate audience as he responds to drafts of essays is, in fact, a useful way of demonstrating the difference be­ EBSO Publishing NetLibrary; printed on 6/9/2010 3:43:49 PM via San Jose State University eISBN:9780809322268; Halasek, Kay. : A Pedagogy of Possibility Account: -228328708 Page 79 tween that role and his second role as an evaluative audience, but it does not dissolve the problematic evaluative relationship altogether. The teacher as immediate audience is fraught with complications. Any teacher who uses peer response knows that students very often consider a teacher's comments on a draft more closely than the responses of peers. Students are clearly aware of the possible implications of not heeding the advice of an instructor who responds as an immediate audience. Selectively heeding the advice of peers carries with it comparatively minor consequences for a student. Copyright © 1999. Southern Illinois University Press, All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law. Public Audience More and more frequently compositionists, such as Douglas Park and Irene Ward, are calling for students to write for audiences outside the classroom, for public audiences to whom students will forward completed copies of their work. These compositionists base their argument on a reasonable rhetorical principle: Students who compose discourses that have a real and defined purpose compose more meaningful, productive discourses. Classroom discourses, they argue, which do not reach a public audience, which do not move toward Freirean action are, by contrast, mere exercises in proficiency. Even some of the most accomplished compositionists do not escape Ward's critique on this account. Ira Shor's work, she argues, in fact "reveals how Freirean theory can be misused and how a true dialogic approach can be undermined even in the name of dialogic pedagogy" (104). Ward's complaints about Shor's Freireanism revolve around the "Monday Morning: Critical Literacy and the Theme of 'Work'" chapter in Shor's Critical Teaching and Everyday Life. Ward argues that Shor's "dialogic'' pedagogy (a term that Ward, not Shor, uses) as it is represented in "Monday Morning" fails to construct teacher and students as equals or direct students' writing toward Freirean action. Instead, Ward writes, "Shor has moved away from his students' 'everyday lives' and on to his own academic interests" (109) and in doing so has not allowed them the opportunity to define for themselves the public audiences for their writing. Ward presents a public audience success story in her review of an essay by Kyle Fiore and Nan Elsasser that recounts one of Elsasser's college writing classes at the College of the Bahamas. In this class, Elsasser constructed a classroom informed by many of the dialogic principles Ward demands, among which is articulating a "clear rhetorical purpose" (124) as the "students intervene in their social environment by writing an open letter to the men of the Bahamas that was eventually carried in both daily newspapers" (126). Elsasser encouraged the students to compose a discourse intended for a public audience, one that had a productive effect. In considering a public audience as she writes, a student must take into account and explicitly explore the relationship between the public audience and author and between the public audience and the subject of the discourse. EBSO Publishing NetLibrary; printed on 6/9/2010 3:43:49 PM via San Jose State University eISBN:9780809322268; Halasek, Kay. : A Pedagogy of Possibility Account: -228328708 Page 80 Copyright © 1999. Southern Illinois University Press, All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law. Evaluative Audience The evaluative audience, what I have referred to until now as the audience­ be­hind­the­audience, is a function of the writing classroom but not unique to it. Professional writers, researchers, business people, and others who compose documents that must pass the approval of colleagues or supervisors before reaching their public audiences face an evaluative audience. The stakes, although not the same for all of these writers, are similarly problematic. A student who writes an essay judged to be inferior, like an employee who composes a inferior report, might be said to have failed at his task and faces negative consequences. The relationship between teacher and student might be productively compared to the therapist/client relationship articulated by Volosinov, for in both relationships the power dynamic is determined by the subordination of one party (student/client) to another (teacher/therapist) in which the superordinate has a sanctioned and unquestioned right to authority over the subordinate. Just as a doctor affects his client's discourse, so does an instructor affect his student's. The differences that Volosinov notes exist between doctor and client (age, gender, class, and profession) also exist between teacher and student. The power relations between client and doctor determine the discourse created, Volosinov argues, and from this, one may conclude that the utterances of the client are scenarios . . . first and foremost of the immediate, small social event in which they were engendered—the psychoanalytical session . Therein that complex struggle between doctor and patient . . . finds expression. What is reflected in these utterances is not the dynamics of the individual psyche but the social dynamics of the interrelations between doctor and patient. (Freudianism 79; emphases in original) The translation to the classroom context is almost eerie: "scenarios . . . of the immediate, small social event in which they were engendered"—the writing classroom. "Therein that complex struggle between" teacher and student . . . "finds expression. What is reflected in these utterances is not the dynamics of the individual psyche but the social dynamics of the interrelations between'' teacher and student. The writings completed by students in our composition classes are most certainly scenarios constructed within the confines of the social situation of the writing class and a result of the dynamics of the teacher/student relationship, not the individual student's "self." This superordinate/subordinate relationship exists even in the most nonauthoritarian relationships between teachers and students, as well as therapists and clients, for in each case the work of the subordinate party is informed by the superordinate. The teacher as evaluator possesses—simply by virtue of his position as the representative of the institution—an inherently superior position relative to the student. (The same may be said of the therapist relative to the client.) As much as composition teachers try to divest themselves of power, the evaluative nature EBSO Publishing NetLibrary; printed on 6/9/2010 3:43:49 PM via San Jose State University eISBN:9780809322268; Halasek, Kay. : A Pedagogy of Possibility Account: -228328708 Page 81 of their role remains. Like the therapist, the teacher has an authorial role in students' discourses. Copyright © 1999. Southern Illinois University Press, All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law. In A Community of Writers, Elbow and Belanoff write about the "'doubleaudience' situation" that teachers face, which is a result of their dual pedagogical goals of encouraging and evaluating. What is most interesting about this section of their textbook is not so much their comments on the "trick role" of the teacher as audience but an inset "Process Box" that includes the following excerpt from Eunsook Koo (presumably a student or former student): I used to have a teacher in elementary school who asked his students to keep a diary and who read his students' diaries in order to check whether they were keeping enough entries. Since I knew that he was going to read my diary, I used to make up events and people to fill up the pages instead of writing honestly about my everyday life. I was outraged by the fact that the teacher had the authority to read all of his students' diaries. . . . Whenever I had to write a diary at the end of the day just before going to bed, the face of my teacher used to appear in the back of my mind and hover over me as I wrote. (423) Koo's comments demonstrate rather graphically Volosinov's comment that "what is reflected in these utterances is not the dynamics of the individual psyche but the social dynamics of the interrelations between" superordinate and subordinate parties. Koo's commentary on her elementary school teacher's surveillance suggests the degree to which the dynamics of the classroom— informed as they are by the relative positions of teachers and students in the institution—affect (and serve to coauthor) students' writing, yet Elbow and Belanoff decline to comment on the political nature of the relationship as suggested in Koo's reflection. 22 Students write under the influences of many social constraints and demands, but by far the most immediate is that of the teacher­student relationship. Our students sense these constraints intuitively. When they ask, "What do you want?" or "What are you looking for?" they are searching for clues that will assist them in defining parts of this social relationship in terms of expectations about the texts. They are attempting to establish commonalities between their (mis)perceptions about the form and content of their texts and the instructor's expectations for those texts. In striving to find a common extraverbal context, students are, in effect, attempting to establish a common perspective, a "common . . . understanding of the situation." More importantly, they are attempting to establish a ''common . . . evaluation" of it (Bakhtin, "Discourse in Life" 99). These commonalities are, of course, the sorts of assumptions that members of a language community take for granted. For example, a composition instructor internalizes certain structures and conventions for writing an essay that describes and evaluates the methods of characterization used in a novel by Jane Austen. A student searching for "what the teacher wants" is asking for an articulation of those assumptions. (I realize, of course, that EBSO Publishing NetLibrary; printed on 6/9/2010 3:43:49 PM via San Jose State University eISBN:9780809322268; Halasek, Kay. : A Pedagogy of Possibility Account: -228328708 Page 82 Copyright © 1999. Southern Illinois University Press, All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law. some students are asking for much more than this; they themselves have hidden agendas, the most pressing of which is making the grade.) After he achieves a common understanding of the "extraverbal context" of a writing situation, a student may then actively construct a discourse that attempts to meet the requirements of a particular language sphere. That is, once he attains an element of mutual knowledge and realizes the assumed premises of the social enthymeme of the classroom context, he may engage in discourse as a co­ participant with the instructor. Until that time, he remains "ignorant of the immediate pragmatic context [and] will not understand" the utterances and conventions of the community (Volosinov, "Discourse in Life'' 101). The unnamed difficulties in all of this are, of course, the student's ability to find the assumed premises and the instructor's ability (or willingness) to articulate those premises. This is made even more problematic when, as Volosinov notes, a value judgment—a tacit value or an assumption—within a community or language sphere "becomes a matter of dogmatic belief, something taken for granted and not subject to discussion" ("Discourse in Life" 101). Such a situation exists in academia. Instructors who insist that students find the passwords, search for the keys, or embark on the journey without directions are instructors who refuse to discuss the assumptions behind their beliefs and knowledge. Others are themselves simply unaware of their discipline's assumptions. In either case, educators must unveil and disclose as well as they are able the dictates and assumptions of their disciplines. Education is no secret society—or at least it shouldn't be. As Bakhtin notes, only by opening up our assumptions to discussion and to scrutiny—to dia­ logue—will those assumptions remain powerful yet flexible. Laying bare the play of power, as a Bakhtinian approach to the role of audience in the classroom suggests, is not an easy or comfortable task, for it entails questioning the assumptions that have guided composition teaching for decades. In "Literacies and Deficits Revisited," Jerrie Cobb Scott recognizes the inherently seductive power of control that teachers have as evaluators of students' writing. Not until they critically examine their own assumptions about the nature of discourse, pedagogy, and power, Scott argues, will teachers truly begin to understand the interestedness of their own positions in the academy at the expense of their students' subordination. As a teacher of first­year writing, Scott, together with Volosinov, encourages me to acknowledge (rather than to deny through vague and empty references to decentering authority and student­ centered or dialogic pedagogies), question, and lay bare the play of power inherent in my role as an evaluative audience. By defining myself both as an immediate audience whose role is to respond generatively, evaluatively, and analytically to students' writing and as an evaluative audience—one who evaluates a text on a defined set of terms that emanates from this complex set of audiences—I acknowledge that, because of my position between students and the institution, my roles in the classroom as audience are complex, even contrary to one another. EBSO Publishing NetLibrary; printed on 6/9/2010 3:43:49 PM via San Jose State University eISBN:9780809322268; Halasek, Kay. : A Pedagogy of Possibility Account: -228328708 Page 83 Copyright © 1999. Southern Illinois University Press, All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher, except fair uses permitted under U.S. or applicable copyright law. Three The Subject as "Hero," Genre, and Authority in Written Discourse As a discipline, composition studies has over the past twenty years increasingly embraced the notion of rhetoric as epistemic and writing as a transactional, meaning­making activity. The wave of epistemic rhetoric in the 1970s, Jim Berlin suggests, is best described by Michael Leff, who distinguishes epistemic rhetoric from the communicative orientation of earlier rhetorics. An epistemic rhetoric, Leff argues, conceives of knowledge as a rhetorical, historical, social, and linguistic construct. Epistemic rhetoric is also characterized by its understanding of language as heteroglossic and meaning as a set of interrelationships among various conceptions of the external world, all of which "simultaneously act on each other during the process of communicating" (Berlin, Rhetoric and Reality 167). Despite the increasingly important role of epistemic rhetoric in composition pedagogy, and despite the extended, heteroglossic nature of an active, interactive subject of discourse that emanates from that material world in its relationship to author and audience, the Bakhtinian "hero" has not yet had a significant effect on composition pedagogy. Helen Ewald notes the scarcity of commentary on the "hero," the Bakhtinian term that appears in several texts to define the "topic (the who or what) of speech'' (Volosinov, "Discourse in Life" 105), the "anthropomorphized 'subject'" of an utterance (Ewald 339). 1 Although the notion of subject as hero might be timely in composition studies, the lack of commentary on the hero in the discipline is understandable for at least two reasons. First, the term appears most frequently and in the greatest detail in Bakhtin's texts on literature—Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, The Dialogic Imagination, and Art and Answerability, which includes the lengthy essay, "Author and Hero in Aesthetic Activity." In these texts, as opposed to "The Problem of Speech Genres" and "Discourse in Life and Discourse in Art", the hero is defined solely in terms of artistic genres, most notably the EBSO Publishing NetLibrary; printed on 6/9/2010 3:43:49 PM via San Jose State University eISBN:9780809322268; Halasek, Kay. : A Pedagogy of Possibility Account: -228328708

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