Constructing Knowledges: The Politics of Theory-Building and Pedagogy in Composition

SUNY Press
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In this thought-provoking and gracefully written new book, Sidney Dobrin examines current debates over the relative value of theoretical and practical knowledges, both in the academy in general and in the discipline of rhetoric and composition. He explores arguments about whether theorizing is an appropriate mode of scholarly inquiry for a field that is primarily informed by practical knowledge, whether theory-building in general speaks to local concerns, and whether the production of theory in composition leads to scholarship that is more obfuscating than illuminating. Ultimately, Dobrin argues that theoretical investigation should be an indispensable form of knowledge-making in composition and that theory and practice must necessarily inform one another.
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About the author

Sidney I. Dobrin is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. With Gary A. Olson, he co-edited Composition Theory for the Postmodern Classroom, published by SUNY Press, and is co-editor of JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory.

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Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
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Published on
Jan 1, 1997
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Pages
181
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ISBN
9781438401294
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Rhetoric
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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With the title serving as an umbrella term to distinguish simulated places from real places, Digital Environments signifies a shift in how we think about interactions with places and spaces, both real and simulated. The very idea of digital environments, though, complicates such distinctions, asking simultaneously (and perhaps reductively) as to how agents engage networks, and if there can be such distinctions between virtual and real place, between agents and networks.

For ecocritics, the term brings together two concepts that are frequently cast as oppositional: digital standing in for technology/technological and environments often used to represent nature/wilderness. Thus, reading digital environments as technological nature asks us to consider not only the relationships between technologies and natures, but the very idea that there can be such distinctions, or that there might be technological natures and natural technologies. In this way, then, the play of digital/environment exposes complexities in how we theorize both technology and nature, complexities that often result in the inevitable exclusivity and polarity between the two ideas. The real and the simulated, the technological and the natural, all unfold in flagrant and complex ways that make evident the need for framing technological theories within the gaze of ecocriticism and the need for framing ecocritical theories within technological gazes.

This collection considers the possibilities of bringing ecocritical approaches into conversation with digital environments. The intent is to initiate a dialogue between two areas of research often understood as disparate. This book was originally published as a special issue of Green Letters: Studies in Ecocriticism.

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