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ERIC Number: EJ944305
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-1534-9322
Everyday Curators: Collecting as Literate Activity
Rohan, Liz
Composition Studies, v38 n1 p53-68 Spr 2010
In Mary Louise Pratt's oft-cited essay, "Arts of the Contact Zone," she argues that her son Sam's extracurricular hobby as a baseball card collector taught him about economics, racism, and American history, constituting literate activity that enabled him to hold his own in conversations with adults. Sam was also playing baseball at the time in Little League. While recognizing baseball's particularly "masculine ethos," Pratt celebrates her son's interest. School, Pratt adds, taught him "nothing remotely as meaningful to do." Composition scholars have similarly noted that current college students are more engaged with self-sponsored activity such as Sam's baseball-card collecting than reading and writing for school. More emphasis on collecting as literate activity can teach students to improve their thinking about primary sources and how selves, texts, and artifacts are constructed by culture. Collecting, annotating, and reflecting on collections can finally link the school activity Pratt chastises with the self-sponsored collecting activity she celebrates. To further these assertions, the author analyzes a variety of collections, including her own and those of her students. By sharing her own story of collecting along with her students' stories of collecting, the author models how their similar enterprises and corresponding texts become yet another collection, a collection that undercuts assumed binaries and boundaries, such as those between teachers and students as well as between the personal and the scholarly. Throughout the article, the author therefore "curates" a new collection that reflects a certain place and time. Although these stories of collections may seem disparate, each of them situates human beings as students and products of culture, a culture that invariably conflates public and private lives. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A