ERIC Number: ED377484
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Autobiography and the Ascent of Multiculturalism: A Negotiation.
Surfus, Bonnie Lenore
Autobiography is now debated as ultimately problematic, a charge that may impede the growth of a growing cultural pedagogy. As a tool in the classroom, it is under siege for many reasons: because it does not teach "real-world" skills; because in asking students to deal with painful memories, it may impede intellectual and emotional growth; and because the personal essay is archaic, given modern notions about the self. However, would it be such a bad thing for students to acknowledge timely, painful issues that demand their attention? Even a newly conceived self that is not necessarily autonomous, but socially constructed, can hurt and suffer. Furthermore, student autobiographical writing can become valuable to teachers seriously concerned with advancing multicultural literacy. Students previously unaware of authors like Toni Morrison and Gabriel Garcia Marquez may become initiated into a world of literacy that is not exclusively Eurocentric. Let them work with writing that has cultural relevance for them, each of them, as they learn to negotiate the distances between cultures. (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication (45th, Nashville, TN, March 16-19, 1994).