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ERIC Number: ED371394
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar-18
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
(Un)Common Readers and Writers: Reading Virginia Woolf To Construct Feminist Composition Pedagogies.
Ratcliffe, Kris
Drawing on the work of Virginia Woolf, feminist instructors of college composition can help their students to develop their own voices by encouraging innovation and revision of mainstream discourses and ways of expression. If Woolf believed that women cannot escape the language of men, which not only constitutes the symbolic realm of phallocentric culture but also names the very same language within which women's subject positions are constructed, she also believed that new forms emerge from the old. Woolf argues that women can refashion the language of men to reflect women's material conditions, i.e., their bodies, their experiences, their symbolic positions, and their cultural spaces. While both men and women may use an elastic sentence, therefore, the two sexes may never occupy the same cultural, textual and/or psychological spaces. Moreover, within women's relation to language, particular women may occupy different spaces, in part because they have agency; they can shape themselves. Woolf's feminist theory of rhetoric can provide feminist composition teachers with a set of assumptions about reading/writing possibilities. Teachers should challenge themselves and their students: (1) to question whether they feel trapped in patriarchal languages; (2) to contemplate the idea of a "woman's sentence"; (3) to conceptualize their own Angel in the House and consider its impact on their writing; (4) to use four great teachers of women--poverty, chastity, derision, and freedom from unreal loyalties. (TB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A