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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There's the drama of Phaedrus as I play Socrates to Jim's Lysias, competing for
Sydney's allegiance and love. There's the drama of Abelard and Heloise,
especially apparent to me during a class discussion in which Sydney keeps quiet
paraphrase, though, Jaswant imagines another way to understand this character,
recognizing that there's more to her than ... Looking up from this writing, Jaswant
says, "There's a reason why there are three generations of women in this story.
In these writings there's a refusal to leave the intersection with a quick and
uneasy compromise; there's the work of revision as seeking other options and
attachments, as expanding one's focus, and as learning to write to excess. That's
true too ...
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Rethinking Revision in Writing Instruction
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