Inion Literacy Reflective Essay

Inion Literacy Reflective Essay-59
One by one the student-protesters stood, loudly declared a statement that challenged Israel’s occupation of Palestine and Oren’s involvement in Israeli military actions, and walked out.Jarratt and Alexander interviewed five of the protesters and discovered that this strategy was implemented because of the Muslim Student Union’s continued exclusion from public forums in the campus community.

One by one the student-protesters stood, loudly declared a statement that challenged Israel’s occupation of Palestine and Oren’s involvement in Israeli military actions, and walked out.

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If, as Rhodes and Alexander describe it, composition studies is taking yet another turn, the books reviewed here allow us to see around the bend In their own ways, these texts respond to our anxieties about the decline of public life in a neoliberal era and, like Welch, ask us to consider and adjust our pedagogies to implement rhetoric from below and renew the efficacy of our public engagement.

Frank Farmer’s argues for the importance of public sphere theory in our public writing pedagogies.

To think in terms of publics and counterpublics requires us to include the study of oppositional discourses and alternative discursive spaces in our pedagogies and challenges the sometimes limited forms writing takes in narrowly conceived public writing assignments.

For instructors who, like Alexander and Jarratt, question the efficacy of our instruction or want to supplement our models for going public, Farmer’s study of counterpublics and what he dubs the “citizen bricoleur” offers new possibilities for public engagement.

The metaphor of a series of turns or shifts in a much larger turn allows us to view the developments in our pedagogies as both part of a trajectory that comes from situating writing and writers in socio-political and economic contexts and, necessarily, the subjective relationships writers have to these contexts in their current moment.

The latest turn toward community engagement and embodied activism, what Elenore Long and Paula Mathieu, among others, call the public turn, has moved writing outside of academic contexts and situated it locally and at the intersections of economics, race, gender, and class. In the introductory essay to the issue, Rhodes and Alexander describe the social turn as a series of turns over the last three or four decades.They explain the impetus for this collection is their feeling that the “assumptions and theoretical bases upon which the ‘social turn’ in composition studies emerged have shifted—again” (481).Farmer’s interest is not zines’ subculture status but the way in which their material production and reflexive circulation also crafts counterpublics through creating oppositional discursive space.In the second chapter of this section, Farmer makes a case for including zines and cultivating citizen bricoleurs in our classrooms.These critiques give the reader a sense that counterpublics are pluralistic and, importantly, there are multiple kinds of counterpublics that are always oppositional to dominant publics.For Farmer’s purposes, Warner’s conception that publics and counterpublics are formed through the production and reflexive circulation of texts provides the most generative theory.Rhodes and Alexander write that one of the many challenges facing our field is to reimagine how to teach writing “, in this particularly vexed sociopolitical and economic context” (emphasis in original, 485).That is, shifting economies and new material realities have once again changed the contexts in which writing takes place.The essays in this issue attempt to understand these shifting contexts and where the next turn is taking us while providing ways to remain committed to ethical action and social responsibility.To my mind, one of the more interesting essays to take this up is Jonathan Alexander and Susan Jarratt’s “Rhetorical Education and Student Activism.” In this essay Alexander and Jarratt use an instance of student activism at their campus to discover how protesters understood the relationship between rhetorical principles and the tactics they employed and, more to the point, whether their protest was influenced by their rhetorical education in writing courses.


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