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ERIC Number: EJ1082239
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1522-7502
Kairos and Stasis Revisited: Heuristics for the Critically Informed Composition Classroom
Foster, Helen
Composition Forum, v14 n2 Fall 2005
In this article, the author notes that it is not an uncommon scenario for a student assigned an argumentative paper in the composition classroom to appropriate a "hot" topic from the currency of public discourse, one for which they often already have a pre-formed opinion that becomes codified simultaneously with the need to formulate a thesis. The author argues that disrupting this "canned" process/response cycle can accomplish favorable changes. One method of invention to achieve this disruption can be found by revisiting the classical concepts of "Kairos" and "Stasis." Simply put, "kairos" involves the right word at the opportune moment, while "stasis," on the other hand, is a strategy to accurately identify the tension or dissonance at which discourse ought to begin. In this article, the author revisits the classical concepts of "kairos" and "stasis" and contends that reconsidering them in light of cultural studies, critical, and postmodern theory provides an ethical framework for the composition course and an effective heuristic to guide students' dialogic engagements. The author maintains that "kairos" and "stasis" can alter the epistemology and subject-positions of students, enlarge the educators own pedagogical conceptions, and contribute to a different sort of composition course, one that enacts the same critical ethic it would ideally have students adopt as their own.
Association of Teachers of Advanced Composition. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A