Ecocomposition: Theoretical and Pedagogical Approaches

SUNY Press
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Ecocomposition examines current trends in universities toward more environmentally sound work, explores the intersections between composition research—that is, discourse studies—and ecostudies, and offers possible pedagogies for the composition classroom. Never before have the intersections between ecotheory and composition studies in theory and pedagogy been addressed in this much depth or detail. As universities become increasingly concerned with issues of the environment within academic disciplines across the spectrum, this book brings together a diverse group of prominent voices to discuss the development of ecocomposition and its possibilities, and to argue for a greening of composition studies through which to engage the world in which we live.
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About the author

Christian R. Weisser is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Hawaii (Hilo).

Sidney I. Dobrin is Associate Professor of English and the Director of Writing Programs at the University of Florida. He is the author of Constructing Knowledges: The Politics of Theory-Building and Pedagogy in Composition, and the coeditor (with Lynn Worsham and Gary A. Olson) of The Kinneavy Papers: Theory and the Study of Discourse, and (with Gary A. Olson) Composition Theory for the Postmodern Classroom, all from SUNY Press.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Feb 1, 2012
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Pages
300
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ISBN
9780791490846
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Composition & Creative Writing
Literary Criticism / Women Authors
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Twenty-first-century technological innovations have revolutionized the way we experience space, causing an increased sense of fragmentation, danger, and placelessness. In Geographies of Writing: Inhabiting Places and Encountering Difference, Nedra Reynolds addresses these problems in the context of higher education, arguing that theories of writing and rhetoric must engage the metaphorical implications of place without ignoring materiality.

This text marks a summit of work initiated in Reynolds's well-received article, ?Composition's Imagined Geographies: The Politics in the Frontier, City, and Cyberspace.” In continuing this earlier work, Geographies of Writing multiplies its range of application and proposes a geographical rhetoric. Reynolds uses cultural geography, feminist theory, qualitative research, and service learning to link writing and spatial practices and to unpack the layers of the social production of space. Drawing largely from participant-observation research in a cultural geography class at Leeds University in England, she investigates questions of difference and identity and offers an alternative to the process paradigm.

Geographies of Writing makes three closely related contributions: one theoretical, to re-imagine composing as spatial, material, and visual; one political, to understand the sociospatial construction of difference; and one pedagogical, to teach writing as a set of spatial practices. Aided by seven maps and illustrations that reinforce the book's visual rhetoric, Geographies of Writing shows how composing tasks and electronic space function as conduits for navigating reality.

Leading a burgeoning self-critical moment in composition studies and writing program administration, Postcomposition is a fundamental reconsideration of the field that attempts to shift the focus away from pedagogy and writing subjects and toward writing itself. In this forceful and reasoned critique of many of the primary tenets and widely accepted institutional structures of composition studies, Sidney I. Dobrin delivers a series of shocks to the system meant to disrupt the pedagogical imperative and move beyond the existing limits of the discipline.

Dobrin evaluates the current state of composition studies, underscoring the difference between composition and writing and arguing that the field's focus on the administration of writing students and its historically imposed prohibition on theory greatly limit what can be understood about writing. Instead he envisions a more significant approach to writing, one that questions the field's conservative allegiance to subject and administration and reconsiders writing as spatial and ecological. Using concepts from ecocomposition, spatial theory, network theory, complexity theory, and systems theory, Postcomposition lays the groundwork for a networked theory of writing, and advocates the abandonment of administration as a useful part of the field. He also challenges the usefulness of rhetoric in writing studies, showing how writing exceeds rhetoric.

Postcomposition is a detailed consideration of how posthumanism affects the field's understanding of subjectivity. It also tears at the seams of the "contingent labor problem." As he articulates his own frustrations with the conservatism of composition studies and builds on previous critiques of the discipline, Dobrin stages a courageous-and inevitably polemical-intellectual challenge to the entrenched ideas and assumptions that have defined composition studies.

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