Inion Literacy Reflective Essay

The essays in this issue attempt to understand these shifting contexts and where the next turn is taking us while providing ways to remain committed to ethical action and social responsibility.

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The students reported that although they were exposed to critical theory that allowed them to think and question the world, none of this work created the possibility for action.

The students’ sophisticated understanding of activism and the available means for intervention came from extracurricular, self-sponsored activities.

The first, “Cultural Publics,” introduces the reader to one of Farmer’s most important concepts, the “citizen bricoleur.” , a term at its most basic meaning to cobble something new from old materials, takes on new significance for Farmer when the citizen bricoleur cobbles a new cultural artifact from everyday materials.

This act is at once culture-forming and public making.

Rhodes and Alexander write that one of the many challenges facing our field is to reimagine how to teach writing “, in this particularly vexed sociopolitical and economic context” (emphasis in original, 485).

Inion Literacy Reflective Essay Good Graduate School Essays

That is, shifting economies and new material realities have once again changed the contexts in which writing takes place.Because counterpublics can form outside institutional spaces and introduce oppositional discourses, Farmer cannot overstate the important implications public sphere theory has on composition’s public turn.After introducing his readers to the foundations of public sphere theory, Farmer divides his book into two parts.Farmer’s interest is not zines’ subculture status but the way in which their material production and reflexive circulation also crafts counterpublics through creating oppositional discursive space.In the second chapter of this section, Farmer makes a case for including zines and cultivating citizen bricoleurs in our classrooms.The metaphor of a series of turns or shifts in a much larger turn allows us to view the developments in our pedagogies as both part of a trajectory that comes from situating writing and writers in socio-political and economic contexts and, necessarily, the subjective relationships writers have to these contexts in their current moment.The latest turn toward community engagement and embodied activism, what Elenore Long and Paula Mathieu, among others, call the public turn, has moved writing outside of academic contexts and situated it locally and at the intersections of economics, race, gender, and class.The act is also subversive in that instead of participating in cultural consumption, the citizen bricoleur, “situated at the intersection of (certain) cultures and (certain) publics,” participates in alternative world making by “mak[ing] texts, and the worlds within which they circulate” (68).To illustrate the citizen bricoleur, Farmer turns to a study of anarchist and punk “zines” and the rudimentary ways in which they were crafted and circulated.The notion that institutional discursive spaces are closed to many, particularly women and minorities, is not new to composition.Increasingly, though, our field’s legitimate anxieties about the privatization of public life, corporate protections from public oversight, and limited forums for discussing public matters—so eloquently articulated in Nancy Welch’s —have generated a felt need for what Welch calls rhetoric from below: teaching alternative forms of public writing and activism that assert rhetorical space in a privatized and individualized society.


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