Relocating the Personal: A Critical Writing Pedagogy

SUNY Press
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Addressing the current and growing interest in the personal, the self, and the autobiographical not only in the teaching of writing, but also across many disciplinary and subject fields, Relocating the Personal describes a rich array of practical approaches to teaching the personal in settings where it has been excluded.

The author argues for the teaching of writing as a political project in schools and communities, and for a notion of the personal which is not simply equated with voice. The construct of narrative is preferred, because it allows teachers to examine all personal writing as a representation and not the same thing as the writer’s life. Strategies are developed for examining how experience is portrayed and how it might be written differently, with material effects on both the personal text and the writer’s person.

The book incorporates the latest theories of critical and genre literacy as it develops four teaching cases in different education contexts (secondary, undergraduate, graduate, and adult/community).
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About the author

Barbara Kamler is Associate Professor of Education at Deakin University in Burwood, Australia. She is the editor of Constructing Gender and Difference: Critical Research Perspectives on Early Childhood.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Pages
222
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ISBN
9780791491355
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Composition & Creative Writing
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Barbara Kamler
 This collection recounts the story of leaving America, where the author was born, and of arriving in Australia, where she did not plan to stay.  It is a tale of unsettling and resettling, of leaving as an ongoing process.  Each micro-scene is a snapshot of time and place – spanning decades and moments, continents and conversations, wars, dreams and kitchen tables – to capture the psychological and spatial tensions between ‘here’ and ‘there’.  Leaving New Jersey is a lyrical re-experiencing of putting down roots and tearing them up, an extraordinary poetic account of an ordinary woman's quest for home.

Barbara Kamler’s Leaving New Jersey is a captivating collection of prose poems. These lyrical, deeply moving poems work like sepia-tone postcards where family scenes are honed back to overheard talk, glimpsed expressions, streets and living rooms. The poems invite us, quietly, into the wistfulness and uncertainty that shadows moving from one country to another. Most importantly, the poems reveal a hard-won emotional depth and focus that is at the heart of these indelible, minimalist narratives.  
– Anthony Lawrence

This story is full of pain and beauty.  Readers with experiences of loss, separation, and the awful dilemmas of parenting will treasure it for its
precise honesty. These are the sorts of stories it is difficult to write about,
and it is even more difficult to bring to such stories the  shaping sensibility
of a poet.  Barbara Kamler’s book  is a triumph of honesty and artfulness.
– Kevin Brophy 

Pat Thomson
It’s not easy getting published, but everyone has to do it. Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals presents an insider’s perspective on the secret business of academic publishing, making explicit many of the dilemmas and struggles faced by all writers, but rarely discussed. Its unique approach is theorised and practical. It offers a set of moves for writing a journal article that is structured and doable but also attends to the identity issues that manifest on the page and in the politics of academic life.

The book comprehensively assists anyone concerned about getting published; whether they are early in their career or moving from a practice base into higher education, or more experienced but still feeling in need of further information. Avoiding a ‘tips and tricks’ approach, which tends to oversimplify what is at stake in getting published, the authors emphasise the production, nurture and sustainability of scholarship through writing – a focus on both the scholar and the text or what they call text work/identity work. The chapters are ordered to develop a systematic approach to the process, including such topics as:

The writer

The reader

What’s the contribution?

Beginning work

Refining the argument

Engaging with reviewers and editors

Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals

uses a wide range of multi-disciplinary examples from the writing workshops the authors have run in universities around the world: including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the United States. This international approach coupled with theoretically grounded strategies to guide the authoring process ensure that people at all stages of their career are addressed.

This lively book uses a combination of personal stories, student texts, published journal abstracts and excerpts from interviews with journal editors and publishers. Written in an accessible style, one which does not use the patronising ‘you’ of advice books, it offers a collegial approach to a task which is difficult for most scholars, regardless of their years of experience.

Barbara Kamler
Helping Doctoral Students Write offers a proven approach to effective doctoral writing. By treating research as writing and writing as research, the authors offer pedagogical strategies for doctoral supervisors that will assist the production of well-argued and lively dissertations.

It is clear that many doctoral candidates find research writing complicated and difficult, but the advice they receive often glosses over the complexities of writing and/or locates the problem in the writer. Kamler and Thomson provide a highly effective framework for scholarly work that is located in personal, institutional and cultural contexts.

The pedagogical approach developed in the book is based on the notion of writing as a social practice. This approach allows supervisors to think of doctoral writers as novices who need to learn new ways with words as they enter the discursive practices of scholarly communities. This involves learning sophisticated writing practices with specific sets of conventions and textual characteristics. The authors offer supervisors practical advice on helping with commonly encountered writing tasks such as the proposal, the journal abstract, the literature review and constructing the dissertation argument.

The first edition of this book has helped many academics and thousands of research students produce better written material. Now fully updated the second edition includes:

Examples from a broader range of academic disciplines

A new chapter on writing from the thesis for peer reviewed journals

More advice on reading and note taking, performance and conferences,

Further information on developing a personal academic writing style, and

Advice on the use of social media (blogs, tweets and wikis) to create trans-disciplinary and trans-national networks and conversations.

Their discussion of the complexities of forming a scholarly identity is illustrated throughout by stories and writings of actual doctoral students.

In conclusion, they present a persuasive and proven argument that universities must move away from simply auditing supervision to supporting the development of scholarly research communities. Any supervisor keen to help their students develop as academics will find the ideas and practical solutions presented in this book fascinating and insightful reading.

Pat Thomson
There are a number of books which aim to help doctoral researchers write the PhD. This book offers something different - the scholarly detox. This is not a faddish alternative, it’s not extreme. It’s a moderate approach intended to gently interrupt old ways of doing things and establish new habits and orientations to writing the PhD.

The book addresses the problems that most doctoral researchers experience at some time during their candidature – being unclear about their contribution, feeling lost in the literature, feeling like an imposter, not knowing how to write with authority, wanting to edit rather than revise. Each chapter addresses a problem, suggests an alternative framing, and then offers strategies designed to address the real issue.

Detox Your Writing

is intended to be a companionable work book – something doctoral researchers can use throughout their doctorate to ask questions about taken-for-granted ways of writing and reading, and to develop new and effective approaches.

The authors’ distinctive approach to doctoral writing mobilises the rich traditions of linguistic scholarship, as well as the literatures on scholarly identity formation. Building on years of expertise they place their emphasis both on tools and techniques as well as the discursive practices of becoming a scholar.

The authors provide a wide repertoire of strategies that doctoral researchers can select from, rather than a linear lock step progression through a set of exercises. The book is a toolkit but a far from prescriptive one. It shows that there are many routes to developing a personal academic voice and identity and a well-crafted text. With points for reflection alongside examples from a broad range of disciplines, the book offers thinking tools, writing tools, linguistic tools, and reading tools which are relevant to all stages of doctoral research.

This practical text can be used in all university doctoral training and composition and writing courses. However, it is not a dry how-to-do–it manual that ignores debates or focuses solely on the mechanical at the expense of the lived experience of doctoral research. It provides a practical, theorised, real-world, guide to postgraduate writing.

Barbara Kamler
 This collection recounts the story of leaving America, where the author was born, and of arriving in Australia, where she did not plan to stay.  It is a tale of unsettling and resettling, of leaving as an ongoing process.  Each micro-scene is a snapshot of time and place – spanning decades and moments, continents and conversations, wars, dreams and kitchen tables – to capture the psychological and spatial tensions between ‘here’ and ‘there’.  Leaving New Jersey is a lyrical re-experiencing of putting down roots and tearing them up, an extraordinary poetic account of an ordinary woman's quest for home.

Barbara Kamler’s Leaving New Jersey is a captivating collection of prose poems. These lyrical, deeply moving poems work like sepia-tone postcards where family scenes are honed back to overheard talk, glimpsed expressions, streets and living rooms. The poems invite us, quietly, into the wistfulness and uncertainty that shadows moving from one country to another. Most importantly, the poems reveal a hard-won emotional depth and focus that is at the heart of these indelible, minimalist narratives.  
– Anthony Lawrence

This story is full of pain and beauty.  Readers with experiences of loss, separation, and the awful dilemmas of parenting will treasure it for its
precise honesty. These are the sorts of stories it is difficult to write about,
and it is even more difficult to bring to such stories the  shaping sensibility
of a poet.  Barbara Kamler’s book  is a triumph of honesty and artfulness.
– Kevin Brophy 

Pat Thomson
It’s not easy getting published, but everyone has to do it. Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals presents an insider’s perspective on the secret business of academic publishing, making explicit many of the dilemmas and struggles faced by all writers, but rarely discussed. Its unique approach is theorised and practical. It offers a set of moves for writing a journal article that is structured and doable but also attends to the identity issues that manifest on the page and in the politics of academic life.

The book comprehensively assists anyone concerned about getting published; whether they are early in their career or moving from a practice base into higher education, or more experienced but still feeling in need of further information. Avoiding a ‘tips and tricks’ approach, which tends to oversimplify what is at stake in getting published, the authors emphasise the production, nurture and sustainability of scholarship through writing – a focus on both the scholar and the text or what they call text work/identity work. The chapters are ordered to develop a systematic approach to the process, including such topics as:

The writer

The reader

What’s the contribution?

Beginning work

Refining the argument

Engaging with reviewers and editors

Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals

uses a wide range of multi-disciplinary examples from the writing workshops the authors have run in universities around the world: including the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and the United States. This international approach coupled with theoretically grounded strategies to guide the authoring process ensure that people at all stages of their career are addressed.

This lively book uses a combination of personal stories, student texts, published journal abstracts and excerpts from interviews with journal editors and publishers. Written in an accessible style, one which does not use the patronising ‘you’ of advice books, it offers a collegial approach to a task which is difficult for most scholars, regardless of their years of experience.

Pat Thomson
There are a number of books which aim to help doctoral researchers write the PhD. This book offers something different - the scholarly detox. This is not a faddish alternative, it’s not extreme. It’s a moderate approach intended to gently interrupt old ways of doing things and establish new habits and orientations to writing the PhD.

The book addresses the problems that most doctoral researchers experience at some time during their candidature – being unclear about their contribution, feeling lost in the literature, feeling like an imposter, not knowing how to write with authority, wanting to edit rather than revise. Each chapter addresses a problem, suggests an alternative framing, and then offers strategies designed to address the real issue.

Detox Your Writing

is intended to be a companionable work book – something doctoral researchers can use throughout their doctorate to ask questions about taken-for-granted ways of writing and reading, and to develop new and effective approaches.

The authors’ distinctive approach to doctoral writing mobilises the rich traditions of linguistic scholarship, as well as the literatures on scholarly identity formation. Building on years of expertise they place their emphasis both on tools and techniques as well as the discursive practices of becoming a scholar.

The authors provide a wide repertoire of strategies that doctoral researchers can select from, rather than a linear lock step progression through a set of exercises. The book is a toolkit but a far from prescriptive one. It shows that there are many routes to developing a personal academic voice and identity and a well-crafted text. With points for reflection alongside examples from a broad range of disciplines, the book offers thinking tools, writing tools, linguistic tools, and reading tools which are relevant to all stages of doctoral research.

This practical text can be used in all university doctoral training and composition and writing courses. However, it is not a dry how-to-do–it manual that ignores debates or focuses solely on the mechanical at the expense of the lived experience of doctoral research. It provides a practical, theorised, real-world, guide to postgraduate writing.

Claire Aitchison
Within a context of rapid growth and diversification in higher degree research programs, there is increasing pressure for the results of doctoral research to be made public. Doctoral students are now being encouraged to publish not only after completion of the doctorate, but also during, and even as part of their research program. For many this is a new and challenging feature of their experience of doctoral education.

Publishing Pedagogies for the Doctorate and Beyond is a timely and informative collection of practical and theorised examples of innovative pedagogies that encourage doctoral student publishing. The authors give detailed accounts of their own pedagogical practices so that others may build on their experiences, including: a program of doctoral degree by publication; mentoring strategies to support student publishing; innovations within existing programs, including embedded publication pedagogies; co-editing a special issue of a scholarly journal with students; ‘publication brokering’, and writing groups and writing retreats.

With contributions from global leading experts, this vital new book:

explores broader issues pertaining to journal publication and the impacts on scholarly research and writing practices for students, supervisors and the academic publishing community takes up particular pedagogical problems and strategies, including curriculum and supervisory responses arising from the ‘push to publish’ documents explicit experiences and practical strategies that foster writing-for-publication during doctoral candidature.

Publishing Pedagogies for the Doctorate and Beyond explores the challenges and rewards of supporting doctoral publishing and provides new ways to increase research publication outputs in a pedagogically sound way. It will be a valued resource for supervisors and their doctoral students, as well as for program coordinators and managers, academic developers, learning advisors, and others involved in doctoral education.

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