Textual Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Students and the Making of Discourse Communities

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Overview

Textual Orientations examines two emerging, mutually illuminating fields: rhetoric/composition and lesbian/gay studies. It is a thorough, fascinating study of the complex rhetorical features in operation for lesbian and gay students in college writing classes.

The research from which the book evolves centers on an unusual situation: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual together in a class for which lesbian and gay experience is the theme. What happens in such a circumstance? What kind of discourse community is formed? What kinds of new work does it enable? The book illustrates that in an academic environment that is "queercentric," the complexities of lesbian and gay subjectivity can be drawn upon to frame the very acts of composing from which they are usually erased.

Using social construction theory, liberatory pedagogy, feminism, ethnography, and queer theory as frameworks for analysis, the author proposes a pedagogy that uses the vantage point of the social margin -- a place that produces not only abject outsiderhood but also acute ways of self-defining, knowing, and acting.

Textual Orientations is essential reading for college composition instructors, those engaged in gay and lesbian studies, and gender specialists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Malinowitz's bittersweet blend of theory and practice challenges us as teachers of writing to reflect critically on our understandings of the possibilities and the inevitable constraints of the discourse communities we create in our classrooms.”–Harvard Educational Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780867093537
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 2/20/1995
  • Series: CrossCurrents Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 294
  • Age range: 18 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Harriet Malinowitz is Assistant Professor of English at Long Island University in Brooklyn. She is on the Board of Directors of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in New York and is also the writer of lesbian/feminist stand-up comedy performed by her partner, Sara Cytron.
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Table of Contents

Introduction

Queer Texts, Queer Contexts

Ways of Teaching

"Truth" or Consequences: The Lesbian or Gay Student in the Mainstream Writing Class

Lesbian and Gay Studies: Landscape of an (Inter)Discipline

Community Knowledge and Social Construction Theory in Composition: Discourse Communities

The Politics of Outsiderhood Go to School: Liberatory Pedagogy

The Lesbian-and Gay-Themed Writing Class

Construing and Constructing Knowledge as a Lesbian or Gay Student Writer: Reflections on an Identity-Based Course

Portraits of Four Student Writers

The Course of Study/Study of the Course

Adrian O'Connor: "It's a Social World"

Isabel Serrano: "Setting the Record Straight"

John Lee: Writing Fractured Identity

Mary Donoghue: "Let's Assume These Things Are True"

Conclusion

Queering the Brew

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