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ERIC Number: ED371367
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Problematizing the Personal: A Feminist Reassessment of Expressionist Rhetoric.
Henning, Teresa
Peter Elbow's expressionist approach to rhetoric lacks the critical position that feminism requires. Expressionist rhetoric's focus on the personal does not make it a feminist rhetoric because its conception of the personal as well as its conception of itself as a rhetoric is uncritical and ignores the social context that subject positions, discourses, and rhetorics arise from. Expressionists like Elbow, Joan Bolker, and E. B. White view the writer as an individual pitted against the needs or expectations of his or her audience. For James Berlin, their rhetoric posits "an uncritical acceptance of the unified, coherent and originary self." Working from a different set of assumptions on the subject, Sally McConnell-Ginet points out that women writers may be "silent" because they cannot identify with the presence created for them by sexist language. Education includes showing students that the subject positions they hold are socially constituted and that the discourses they write are shaped by discourse conventions. This anti-foundational notion of subject and discourse allows students and teachers alike to see all knowledge as constructed. If professors expect their students to be able to negotiate these discourses and change them, they also need to offer them a critical and social perspective of discourse. Offering them a revised expressionist rhetoric--one that is postmodern and feminist--is one way to empower them to work with, in, and through academic discourse convention. (Contains 11 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A