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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I don't want to suggest, either, with that moment of reading in the school cafeteria,
that revision marks a neat turning point — "And so I looked at the world anew and
changed my life (for the better, of course)" — the kind of epiphany that's too ...
ter teacher suggests that she start by free writing, she's skeptical. ... want to
suggest that Jaswant, Leslie, Max, and Donna's work in the writing center can be
read as simple and enduring successes, as easy recipes for academic authority.
All suggest, as Adrienne Rich (1979) writes, that for scrutiny of self and society to
take place, for resistance and revision to be fostered ... a certain freedom of the
mind is needed — freedom to press on, to enter the currents of your thought like a
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Rethinking Revision in Writing Instruction
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