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The Learning Conference 2003

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Presentation Details


Engaging with the Personal: Theories of Writing Meet Theories of the Body

Bronwyn James, David McInnes.

Writing pedagogies in Australian universities over the past decade have been increasingly informed by the work of critical discourse analysis and post structuralism. Only recently, however, have writing pedagogies begun to call upon critical understandings of subjectivity and embodiment alongside those of text, language and discourse (Kamler, 2001). Through an analytical engagement with tertiary writing pedagogies and policies, this presentation will consider what this range of theories has to offer in reconsidering writing practice in universities. The key questions motivating our analysis will be:
- Is there a space (a socially produced, theoretical and pedagogical space) which allows for writing both as an embodied and psychic process of becoming (Grosz, 1999; Butler, 1997) and a socially ordered and organised process (Halliday and Martin, 2000; Fairclough, 1992)?
- Is there a way of thinking and writing about this space that resists the threat/promise of resolution and the foregrounding of epistemology over ontology (Usher, 1997)?
- Is there a way of working with this view of writing and ‘becoming’ within the institutional context of the university?

While the context of our paper is Australian universities, we think that our exploration has relevance, pedagogical and political, for anyone interested in rethinking writing pedagogy and relationships between institutions, learners and those that teach them.


Bronwyn James

David McInnes

  • Writing Pedagogies
  • Theories of The Body

(30 min Conference Paper, English)