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ERIC Number: EJ825173
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 13
ISSN: ISSN-0010-0994
RECONSIDERATIONS: Writers Wanted--A Reconsideration of Wendy Bishop
Bizzaro, Patrick
College English, v71 n3 p256-270 Jan 2009
One of the most important contributions of writer-teacher Wendy Bishop was to argue for the interconnectedness of creative writing and composition studies. By doing so, Bishop insisted on the importance of studying what writers do when they write. Because her pedagogy was driven by reports of individuals from a culture that had seldom been heard in composition studies, she inevitably became an advocate of ethnographic inquiry, a research method designed to give voice to writing practitioners. This endeavor was not always well received by the profession; the theories underlying it were eventually reduced, in Bishop's opinion, to a label--"expressivism"--that she objected to. Many in the profession continue to believe that Bishop's position on writers and the teaching of writing needs to be reconsidered and perhaps redeveloped. In this essay, the author revisits Bishop's work in an effort to open further conversation about the place of writers' experiences in composition pedagogy and the role, more generally, of writers in English studies. The author also offers a reminder, through a reconsideration of Bishop's work, that one outstanding writer-teacher believed it possible for other writer-teachers to take their places in English studies and to do so in a meaningful and credible way. Reconsideration of Bishop's view of the profession may very well serve as a call for the development of new research methods in English studies, methods that find a way to study the writer at work, in developing pedagogies of writing without giving rise to objections based on class, race, or gender. The author suggests that reconsideration of her work should involve taking seriously her proposal that composition studies turn to the self-reports of writers, including creative writers. (Contains 4 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A