By Sarah Allen
Views ON WRITING | sequence Editor, SUSAN H. MCLEOD | past ARGUMENT: ESSAYING AS a tradition OF (EX)CHANGE bargains an in-depth exam of the way present methods of considering the writer-page relation in own essays might be reconceived in line with practices within the "care of the self" - an ethic in which writers equivalent to Seneca, Montaigne, and Nietzsche lived. This technique supplies to revitalize the shape and tackle a few of the matters expressed by means of essay students and writers concerning the loss of rigorous exploration we see in our scholars' own essays - and infrequently, even, in our personal. In pursuing this strategy, Sarah Allen offers a model of subjectivity that permits effective debate within the essay, between essays, and past. | SARAH ALLEN is affiliate Professor within the English division on the collage of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO, the place she serves as a Rhetoric and Composition pupil and instructor. Her paintings has been released in Rhetoric evaluate and in academic Philosophy and idea; she additionally has ebook chapters in Writing areas: Readings on Writing (Parlor Press) and in learn Writing Revisited: A Sourcebook for academics (Heinemann). Her scholarship quite often explores the ethics of the private essay, and this paintings informs her educating, as she works to find the main priceless and potent methods of supporting scholars in attractive with tricky, dense fabric and in producing complicated, rigorous writings in their personal.
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Extra resources for Beyond Argument: Essaying as a Practice of (Ex)Change
We look for determinism in Foucault’s work, even when his later works deliberately shift away from it; we look for brutality in Nietzsche’s, even when his later works clearly revise his prior arguments. ” Is it arrogance on our part to expect unity in the scholar? D. programs, we should have simultaneously “arrived” at a truth, a vision, or a way of being in the world that we can spend the rest of our careers arguing from and for? I think, rather, that we suffer from the same burdens that politicians, students, or any person participating in an exchange suffers: the expectation that we “stay true” to who we are, that we stay true to our platforms, our beliefs, our values, and our subject positions.
In the creative nonfiction courses that I’ve taught for more than a decade, I find that writing students, in turn, are consistently enthused about writing essays for precisely this possibility. In particular, they appreciate having the opportunity to practice using the conventions of the genre that are supposed to enable the possibility of meeting themselves in writing: the use of the first-person singular in such a way that the “I” refers specifically to them (not to a fictive or constructed narrator); and the use of their own experiences to explore a topic that is personally meaningful to and chosen by them.
We have yet to be able to come to any compromise in identifying the cause of the problems we’re seeing; as such, we’ve yet to be able to revise our work, as a department, to address that cause. I believe that our differences stem from the generational divide: each group became specialists in composition pedagogy in different eras in the field, when what it meant to be a writing teacher and specialist was decidedly different. Whenever I find myself avoiding such departmental conversations or when I leave them feeling frustrated and depleted, I wonder: why does it feel like such “differences” function more like fundamentalism in their polarization, in the isolation and the silencing that occurs on and from both sides?
Beyond Argument: Essaying as a Practice of (Ex)Change by Sarah Allen