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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"One is never happy making way for a new truth," Lacan (1977a) writes, "for it
always means making our way into it: the ... unsettling Otherness of language —
marks a fundamental difference between Lacanian psychoanalysis and
As for Lacan, though his theories may appear grim and deterministic, he does tell
me why my students and I are sometimes so unsettled when we look back on our
early drafts, those drafts distorting what we wished to see, declining to mirror ...
But this real-tight bond, Copjec writes, is also the result of a misreading of Lacan
and, in particular, the familiar Lacanian aphorism, "Desire is the desire of the
Other" (Copjec 1989, p. 238). In this misreading — one exemplified not only in
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Rethinking Revision in Writing Instruction
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