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ERIC Number: EJ1150879
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1555-9734
Assembling for Agency: Prisoners and College Students in a Life Writing Workshop
Coogan, David
Community Literacy Journal, v8 n2 p17-31 Spr 2014
Rhetorical theorists have argued that agency is a communal experience, but material conditions in jail "and" society often prevent prisoners and college students from experiencing it in meaningful ways that embrace difference. Challenging those conditions by bringing both groups together in a writing workshop enables everyone to resist discourses that would name them and to inquire, collaboratively, about pressing social problems like gun violence. This essay shows how a prisoner and a college student sustained that inquiry in writing, moving from "metanoia" or regret into "kairos"--the seizing of their day and the experience of agency. The ultimate value of that experience transcends the here and now of the workshop to become the building block of a better public sphere.
Community Literacy Journal. Department of Writing, Rhetoric, & Discourse, DePaul University, 802 West Belden Avenue, Chicago, IL 60614. Tel: 906-370-0206; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A