Friday, July 21, 2006

Subject matter - personal? public? First year composition personal writing?

Here are some interesting ideas I just found posted by Holly at the Community College English blog

# Most writing, save those scribbled grocery lists and journal entries, is meant to be communication and thus a public performance of sorts, but does that mean the writer must choose subject matter of civic importance?
# Suppose the writer’s interests are more inner-directed, her curiosity piqued more by psychological or philosophical questions rather than political or sociological issues. To what extent is this emphasis on “large-scale” events (the way so much history focuses on battle campaigns rather than the details of everyday life) a “masculine” sort of bias?

~~ I'm thinking that Holly has a good point here. Isn't this the old Public/private - Male/female dichotomy? And maybe using blogs in the composition classroom will be a helpful way to show students how the Newsy filter blogs (predominantly male?) are rated (by them) as more valued than personal journal type blogs (predominantly female?) --

See this great collection of essays Into the Blogosphere at this link
(I promise to find out how to create hot links.


Blogger Michael Faris said...

The problem with this dichotomy is that it's false — The feminist movement has taught us that the personal is political, that the personal does matter. This is not in a solipsistic, individualistic way, but rather that the dominant discourse tries to homogenize (make the public the White Heterosexual Middle Class Male) discourse, which ignores the personal and the traits cast as Other (emotional, bodied, female, queer, non-white, etc.).

I think having a personal blog is a political act, though it does call into question the whole audience thing (so what if no one reads it!), and also does it still reinforce romantic individualism, especially if there is no reflection upon the culture outside (e.g., a personal journal that wallows in self-despair over body weight instead of looking out a little and seeing the way culture has forced conceptions of body onto us).

I don't know...

1:03 PM  

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