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ERIC Number: EJ818657
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-1534-9322
Composing through the Performative Screen: Translating Performative Studies into Writing Pedagogy
Love, Meredith
Composition Studies, v35 n2 p11-30 Fall 2007
In this essay, the author suggests that performance studies--a large and varied body of work that takes the fluidity of self and the relationship between word and action as its central concepts--offers theories and methodologies for writing teachers to use to help students construct discoursal identities. Although the performative screen offers several different perspectives that could enhance teaching of writing, this essay focuses on three figures who have the potential to influence the way one approaches issues of identity in the writing classroom. These three thinkers deal directly with performance as an act: Erving Goffman looks at social interaction in terms of theatre, Bertolt Brecht insists on using theatre to shed light on social performances, and Anna Deavere Smith reminds people of their capacity to learn about themselves and others through performing multiple roles. These three figures from performance studies offer teachers new lenses focusing on social performance, social action, and the critical consideration of the distance between the character and actor that are immediately useful to their work teaching writing. In order to perform her conviction that theoretical discussions of performance must be accompanied by performative practice, the author has interspersed writing assignments throughout this essay in text boxes, signifying the reciprocal relationship between the theory she discusses and its enactment in the classroom. These assignments are written to a student audience and are meant to be flexible and transferable across writing courses. (Contains 6 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A