Genre and Writing: Issues, Arguments, Alternatives / Edition 1

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The theory and criticism of genres of writing was once a stable, staid area of English studies, based largely on a fixed taxonomy of genres and on the tenets of formalism. But with the rise of different postmodern theories, work in sociolinguistics, and the influence of contemporary research, these notions are now under dispute. Wendy Bishop and Hans Ostrom's new book takes a broad look at the new concepts and applications of "genre," presenting several theoretical, critical, and pedagogical perspectives.

This collection includes many essays that explicitly concern and/or take into account student writing, including essays exploring links between "process" pedagogy and genre, and between social epistemic pedagogy and genre. Other essays explore the acquisition of genre familiarity; still others, the several possible social functions of genre. By design, these pieces often echo one another, or argue dialectically, in effect collaborating to pursue arguments and lines of inquiry about textual forms and functions.

An additional team of contributors wrote brief responses to some of the essays as a way of building conversation and dialogue into the structure of the collection, as a way of inviting readers to imagine their own responses.

To showcase these different perspectives, the editors have divided this volume into four sections, comprised of one to six essays each (some with responses), and three intersections where two essayists were paired because their texts either talked to, complicated, or illustrated one another.

Bishop and Ostrom state, "Our purpose in stretching and teasing academic writing is not to be clever just for the sake of cleverness; instead we believe that a collection on genre should sweep around its own back door, so to speak; also we know the stretching and teasing and conversing will multiply useful connections, the ones most of us are trying to make these days between our lived lives, our teaching, our scholarship, and our research."

Anyone trying to make connections of their own will find this book essential reading.

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Editorial Reviews

Collects 22 essays which draw on multiple traditions and modes of genre inquiry: rhetorical criticism, critical pedagogy, feminist and psychoanalytical criticism, linguistic analysis, curricular debate, case studies, cultural criticism, autobiography, and personal reflection. Explicit concerns include student writing, the acquisition of genre familiarity, and the several possible social functions of genre. By design, the pieces often echo one another, or argue dialectically in order to pursue lines of inquiry about textual forms and functions. No index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780867094213
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 10/30/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 311
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendy Bishop, former Kellogg Hunt Professor of English at Florida State University, is the author or editor of a number of books, essays, and articles on composition and creative writing pedagogy and writing research, including Acts of Revision; The Subject Is Writing, Third Edition; The Subject Is Story; The Subject Is Research; and The Subject Is Reading, as well as Ethnographic Writing Research, Elements of Alternate Style, and In Praise of Pedagogy, all published by Boynton/Cook.

Ostrom is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Puget Sound, where he teaches composition, creative writing, rhetoric, and literature. He has written, edited, and coedited a number of books, including Metro: Journeys in Creative Writing, A Langston Hughes Encyclopedia, and Colors of a Different Horse: Creative Writing Theory and Pedagogy. He is also the author of a book of poetry, Subjects Apprehended, and a novel, Three to Get Ready.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Setting the Scene: Genre and Composition 1
1 Preaching What We Practice as Professionals in Writing 3
Pt. II Understanding and (Re)Defining Genre 17
2 The Life of Genre, the Life in the Classroom 19
3 The Subject of Genre 27
4 The Yin and Yang of Genres 37
5 Genre as Language Standard 45
6 Boundary Rhetoric and Disciplinary Genres: Redrawing the Maps in Interdisciplinary Writing 56
Response to Bazerman, Helscher, Peckham, Devitt, and Journet 66
Pt. III The Intersection of Politics and Genre: Race and Class Inside and Outside of Classrooms 71
7 White Purposes 73
8 Deep-Rooted Cane: Consanguinity, Writing, and Genre 81
Pt. IV Telling Genres: Narratives of Literary History, Rhetoric, and Research 91
9 Countee Cullen: How Teaching Rewrites the Genre of "Writer" 93
10 The (Re)making of Genres: The Heian Example 105
11 Resisting Consolation: Early American Women Poets and the Elegiac Tradition 115
12 Genre as Relation: On Writing and Reading as Ethical Interaction 125
13 Narratives of the Novice: Genres of Naturalistic Research as "Storied Inquiry" 135
Response to Jane Detweiler 144
Pt. V The Intersection of Politics Within a Genre: Autobiography, Feminism, and Teaching 149
14 American Autobiography and the Politics of Genre 151
15 Autobiography and Feminist Writing Pedagogy 160
Response to Wendy Hesford 172
Pt. VI Genre on Academic Sites: Students, Teachers, and Technologies 177
16 Situating "Genre" and Situated Genres: Understanding Student Writing from a Genre Perspective 179
17 The Territorial Demands of Form and Process: The Case for Student Writing as a Genre 190
18 Genre, Antigenre, and Reinventing the Forms of Conceptualization 199
19 Genre in Writing Workshops: Identity Negotiation and Student-Centered Writing 215
20 Postings on a Genre of Email 229
Pt. VII The Intersection of Politics and Genre: Shares and Futures for Graduate Education 249
21 The Role of Writing in English Graduate Education and the "Nexus of Discourses" 251
22 Alternative Genres for Graduate Student Writing 265
Works Cited 276
Contributors 306
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