Getting Restless: Rethinking Revision in Writing Instruction
- Journal of Advanced Composition
In Getting Restless, Nancy Welch calls for a reconception of what we mean by "revision," urging compositionists to rethink long-held beliefs about teacher-student relations and writing practices. Drawing primarily on feminist and psychoanalytic theories, she considers how revision can be redefined not as a process of increasing orientations toward a particular thesis or discourse community, but instead as a process of disorientation: an act of getting restless with received meanings, familiar relationships, and disciplinary or generic boundaries--a practice of intervening in the meanings and identifications of one's text and one's life.
Using ethnographic, case-study, and autobiographical research methods, Welch maintains two consistent aims throughout the study:
In achieving these ends Welch examines three academic sites: a campus writing center, undergraduate writing classrooms, and a summer workshop for K-12 teachers.
This book will appeal to a wide audience, including classroom and writing center teachers, historians and theorists in composition and rhetoric, feminist theorists, and those engaged in literacy studies, teacher education, and connections/tensions among teaching, writing, and psychoanalysis.
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For instance, at the end of his first day at the computer, Lee reports with great
agitation that Captain Doe now has a name: Captain Ethan MacDonald. "It just
popped into my head," Lee says. "He's in the bushes looking at the terrorist, and I
But Ethan MacDonald, the man, who had parents who taught him that killing is
wrong, will always wonder. Lee, about his story's revised conclusion In the first
version of Lee's story, Captain Doe faces the test of killing another, and he
death, reminding Ethan of his position as "Captain" and the Other's position as "
enemy, nothing more." But traces of the woman/Other — here, the body and later,
her blood — subvert closure, refuse that category of "enemy, nothing more," and
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Rethinking Revision in Writing Instruction
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