ERIC Number: ED331070
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Criticism and the Other Reader.
Everyone sees through advertisements, yet no one is immune from their appeal. In a writing class the students were able to look at ads without being injured or seduced by them, but doubted that others could do the same. It is important to encourage students to discuss what they actually think about writings rather than what they are supposed to think about them, and to teach them to articulate a response before celebrating or criticizing it. Assignments for a basic writing class include asking students to: (1) look at the uses they make of popular texts in forming their own self-images or identities; (2) write about how a certain kind of music, movies or fashion entered into and affected their lives; (3) define the sort of viewer or reader that a certain text seems to address; (4) consider David Marc's argument for the value of watching television "actively"; (5) take the approach of the marxist critic John Berger in reading a current advertisement, drawing on what is already know about how ads work in order to talk back to Berger; and (6) follow the lead of Roland Barthes in looking for the meanings of various objects or "texts" that might often be thought to mean little or nothing at all. If students learn how to use what they know about the media and pop culture to gain a hearing as writers at the university, taking on the languages and methods of the university to say new things about that culture, they will no longer be the sort of "other reader" whose responses critics worry about and speak for, but critics themselves. (PRA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Advertisements; Advertising Effectiveness; Basic Writers
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (42nd, Boston, MA, March 21-23, 1991).