Month: September 2012

Improvisation and Composition #1

In an afterword to his extensively researched history, A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music, George Lewis expresses his disappointment with the limited rhetorical form of the scholarly book, especially as it pertains to his subject, the Chicago-based musical collective, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). Although this […]

What is Parrhesy?

I’ve become interested in the concept of parrhesia or “parrhesy” and its implications for the way we teach writing to undergraduates.  My thoughts are definitely still inchoate here, but I wanted to start thinking more publicly about the direction I’m heading and offer a few of the bits and pieces I’ve found and recorded in my commonplace book (which is […]

The Anti-Thesis Thesis; or, Why I Don’t Use the Word “Thesis” [Very Often] in Class

I may well be setting myself up for some charges of “composition” heresy: I try to avoid using the word “thesis” when I’m teaching Freshman English.   Although I’ve practiced this erasure for a while, I recently made a public statement about it at our August Orientation and was interested in reactions from several who heard […]

Son of “Panopticism”

I’ve been using Michel Foucault in first-year writing courses since I began teaching, and I’m not alone. There have been portions of Discipline and Punish in Bartholomae and Petrosky’s Ways of Reading for as long as I can remember. I may be misremembering, but I recall Foucault’s first section, “The Body of the Condemned,” in […]