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Table of Contents
                            Personal Effects: The Social Character of Scholarly Writing
	Recommended Citation
CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION Recognizing the Human in the Humanities
PART ONE Ideals and Cautions
	1 SCHOLARLY MEMOIR An Un-“Professional” Practice
	2 IN THE NAME OF THE SUBJECT Some Recent Versions of the Personal
PART TWO Self-Inclusion in Literary Scholarship
	3 RADICAL INTROSPECTION IN SCHOLARSHIP AND TEACHING
	4 LOSS, MEMORY, AND THE WORK OF LEARNING Lessons from the Teaching Life of Anne Sexton
PART THREE Teaching and Scholarship Face to Face
	5 “KNOWLEDGE HAS A FACE” The Jewish, the Personal, and the Pedagogical
	6 “WHO WAS THAT MASKED AUTHOR?” The Faces of Academic Editing
PART FOUR Teaching and Scholarship Public and Private
	7 AUTOBIOGRAPHY The Mixed Genre of Private and Public
	8 THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF “EXPRESSIVIST ” PEDAGOGY
	9 LIFE WORK THROUGH TEACHING AND SCHOLARSHIP
	10 PERSONAL EXPERIENCE PAPER
	11 “THE WORLD NEVER ENDS” Professional Judgments at Home, Abroad
PART FIVE The Social Character of Personal Narrative
	12 LEARNING TO TAKE IT PERSONALLY
	13 CUENTOS DE MI HISTORIA An Art of Memory
	14 PERSONAL LANDMARKS ON PEDAGOGICAL LANDSCAPES
	15 THE ANXIETY AND NOSTALGIA OF LITERACY A Narrative about Race, Language, and a Teaching Life
	16 WHERE I’M COMING FROM Memory, Location, And The (Un)making of National Subjectivity
	17 THE PERSONAL AS HISTORY
REFERENCES
CONTRIBUTORS
INDEX
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Utah State University Utah State University

[email protected] [email protected]

All USU Press Publications USU Press

2001

Personal Effects: The Social Character of Scholarly Writing Personal Effects: The Social Character of Scholarly Writing

Deborah H. Holdstein

David Bleich

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Page 196

My Dad yells and says for me to look after David [his girlfriend’s son]; they’ll be

back late. Tears come to my eyes. Dad has lost his sobriety, his family, and his God. I

wonder how long it will be before his foundation is washed away, and his castle is

level with the sand.

I love my mom and my dad both. My dad has many friends and many good

times, but he is too miserable to enjoy them. My mom is a loner. She has quiet times

and peace of mind. As I look at my own life, I search for a castle—up high, away

from the shoreline—far away from the destruction of the tide. (emphasis mine,

Coles and Vopat, 160)

I feel the narrator’s pain here but I do not feel her reaching out for pity

from the audience. There is maturity and an ethos evident as she stands apart

from her parents wanting none of the “destruction of the tide” in her life. She

writes that her father has “lost his sobriety.” Faigley and other readers may be

unaware that she is using what ethnographers call “insider language” from

Alcoholics Anonymous, bringing not embarrassment to the story but a view of

her father as a man with a disease who has gone into relapse. I believe she

maintains her father’s anonymity in print by not being more specific. What

“lost his sobriety” means in this context is that he was abstinent from alcohol

for a period of time in AA, but that he lost that abstinence and the peace of

mind that can come from working the program’s suggested steps. I feel only

her sadness at this relapse.

Perhaps it is Faigley who feels embarrassed by the story. The absence of any

sort of self-reflexivity in this particular chapter further weakens his arguments

against autobiographical writing. Edward Said advises theorists to declare their

personal investment in critical projects. Influenced by Antonio Gramsci, he

suggests that we develop a consciousness of who we are as products of “the his-

torical process to date.” These processes have left many marks but no inven-

tory. “‘Therefore it is imperative at the outset to compile such an inventory’”

(qtd. in Said 25). I wish Faigley had done so.

T H E B E R L I N WA L L : I S W R I T I N G A P R I VAT E V I S I O N ?

Many of us who teach writing have been influenced by a taxonomy of the

field of composition established by James Berlin. Berlin shapes a history of what

he calls expressionism beginning in the early part of the twentieth century but

with historical roots in romanticism and further back in Plato.2 “The ideal of

liberal culture indirectly encouraged the development of expressionistic

rhetoric through its philosophic idealism and its emphasis on the cultivation of

the self, both derived from its ties with Brahminical romanticism” (Rhetoric and

Reality 73). Berlin’s reasoning is slippery here. By declaring an “indirect” link

between “expressionistic rhetoric” and “the ideal of liberal culture” with its

188 P e r s o n a l E f f e c t s

Page 197

“philosophic idealism and its emphasis on the cultivation of self,” two charac-

teristics derived from romanticism, Berlin makes these characteristics of liberal

culture appear to be attached to expressionistic rhetoric. The indefinite pro-

noun “its” is used three times in the sentence further blurring liberal

culture/romanticism and expressionistic rhetoric.

What Berlin calls expressionism is almost always associated with notions of

encouraging the student to develop his or her own “unique self ” in writing,

writing that avoids and even disdains connection with the material world. This

disdain for the external world is nowhere documented by Berlin but is appar-

ently to be taken on the good faith of the implied reader who is willing to

accept the connection to Plato3 Berlin refines his view over the course of four

frequently cited articles or books, sometimes referring to his earlier publica-

tions as the only evidence for arguments in later works. These are

“Contemporary Composition: The Major Pedagogical Theories” (1982),

Rhetoric and Reality: Writing Instruction in American Colleges, 1900–1985

(1987), “Rhetoric and Ideology in the Writing Class” (1988), and Rhetorics,

Poetics, and Cultures published posthumously in 1996. Publishing his view

over a fourteen-year period, Berlin had plenty of time to see if his conclusions

were being practiced in classrooms. If he had, he might have seen a range of

pedagogies, some more overtly sociopolitical than others depending on the

comfort level and belief system of the teacher. As it is, Berlin limits himself

within the methodology of his own choosing.4

Furthermore, Berlin seems to either ignore or misunderstand the impor-

tance of group interaction in process pedagogy. As Peter Elbow puts it in the

introduction to the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of his first book, Writing

without Teachers,

A highly respected scholar and historian of composition, James Berlin, does write

briefly of my epistemology, but it’s hard to believe he looked carefully at what I

wrote. For he says that I am a Platonist who believes that knowledge is totally pri-

vate, whereas I make it clear that both the teacherless class and the epistemology of

the believing game can only function as group processes, and that their validity

derives only from people entering into each others’ diverse and conflicting experi-

ences. I argue specifically that the meaning of any spoken or written discourse is entirely

dependent on groups and communities (see p. 156 for what I wrote). The teacherless

class and the believing game are completely undermined if one tries to function

solo. (Emphasis mine, xxvi–xxvii.)

Elbow’s notion of meaning making discourse communities does not sound

so different from what Berlin calls epistemic rhetoric. In Rhetoric and Reality

T h e S o c i a l C o n s t r u c t i o n o f E x p r e s s i v i s t P e d a g o g y 189

Page 392

Mackey, Nathaniel, 69
Maher, Frances, 91
Malin, Irving, 203
Marcus, George, 28, 29, 202, 204
Max, D. T., 145
McClaren, Peter, 175
McDowell, D., 331
McKay, Nellie, 67, 75, 203
Mehta, Ved, 145
Michaels, Anne, 106
Middlebrook, Diane, 96, 101, 116
Mill, John, 169
Miller, Janet, 173
Miller, Nancy., 31, 32, 36, 46–48, 56, 57,

75, 147, 330, 331
Miller, Richard, 27, 45, 49, 353
Miller, Susan, 50, 60, 178, 218
Mills, Charles, 290
Mohanty, Satya, 73
Moon, M., 334
Morgan, Dan, 151, 207, 208
Morson, Gary, 149
motherhood, 79, 88, 278
Munger, Kel, 89, 90

Nachman of Breslov, 132, 134, 135, 138,
144

narcissism, 41, 234
Neumann, Anna, 172, 174
Newfield, C., 332
Newkirk, Thomas, 180, 184, 192, 198,

208, 209, 211
Nissen, Axel, 200, 206
Nye, Emily, 315

Ohmann, Richard, 335, 341
Olds, Sharon, 212
Oliver, Eileen, 195
Olson, David, 28
Omi, Michael, 269
Ong, Ahiwa, 278
Ostriker, Alicia, 94
otherness, 69, 110
Outlaw, Lucius, 292
O’Brien, Mary, 170
O’Donnell, Thomas, 180, 197, 198
O’Reilly, Mary, 126

Paley, Karen, 142, 178, 203–205, 214,
217–219

Palumbo-Liu, D., 65
Parker, Pat, 63–65
Patai, Daphne, 41
Patten, Robert, 155

384 P e r s o n a l E f f e c t s

the personal, 29, 31–36, 38, 42, 44–53, 55,
56, 58, 65, 68, 69, 71–74, 79, 80, 83–92,
95, 96, 98, 100, 106, 108, 109, 111, 113,
114, 121–123, 125, 127–131, 133–136,
138, 144–157, 159, 169, 170, 178–185,
188, 191–193, 197, 199–211, 214–219,
224–226, 228–230, 233–237, 240, 242,
244, 246, 247, 253–258, 260, 262, 263,
266, 268, 272, 273, 276, 277, 279, 285,
287–289, 294, 297–299, 312, 315, 318,
319, 328–331, 338–340, 346–354

Pettit, A., 145
Phelan, Peggy, 49, 109, 113, 117
Pinar, Willaim, 168
Piper, Adrian, 293
Pollard, DeRionne, 83, 86
Poovey, Mary, 222
postmodernism, 174, 202, 283
Pratt, Mary Louise, 47, 59, 74, 309
the private, 19, 43, 44, 61, 79, 89, 99, 121,

147, 150, 151, 169, 170, 172, 177, 180,
189, 190, 193, 194, 196, 199, 200, 212,
214–216, 229, 234, 236–238, 266, 276,
312, 318–322, 329–331, 347

professionalism, 27–29, 31, 32, 34, 38,
44–50, 55, 69, 72, 79, 91, 122, 129, 139,
142, 143, 146, 151, 154, 156–158, 160,
170–172, 183, 203, 205, 209, 210, 215,
216, 221, 232, 234–237, 241–243,
245–247, 253–255, 257–259, 261, 263,
265, 266, 289, 290, 297, 311, 326, 329,
338–340, 342, 343, 345–348, 350, 351

the public, 61, 147, 150, 169, 170, 172,
177, 199, 200, 212, 214–216, 229, 319,
320, 322, 325, 329–331, 346, 353

race, 35, 47, 55, 57–61, 63, 65, 69, 70, 72,
91, 151, 156, 171, 172, 194, 196, 231,
232, 234, 242, 245, 269, 271, 276, 277,
279–286, 290–293, 296, 298, 307, 308,
312–315, 318, 330, 331, 333, 348

Randolph, Laura, 90
Rashkin, Esther, 115
Rich, Adrienne, 47, 147, 151, 179, 209
Richardson, Laurel, 202
Rodriguez, Richard, 35, 36, 68, 75, 179, 307
Roethke, Theodore, 355
Rosen, Harold, 299, 300
Rosenblatt, Louise, 200, 204, 218
Rosenzweig, Franz, 123, 124, 128–130,

132, 139
Ruddick, Sara, 83
Rukeyser, Muriel, 209
Rylant, Cynthia, 106

Page 393

Said, Edward, 61–63, 73, 74, 98, 188, 224
Saldívar, Ramón., 269
Salvatori, Mariolina, 47, 180, 181
Salvio, Paula, 93, 209, 218, 219
San Juan, E., 269
Sartre, Jean Paul, 41, 124, 168, 169, 293
Scarry, Elaine, 107, 116
Schneerson, Yosef, 137, 138
Schneider, Alison, 27
Schön, Donald, 173
Schreiter, Robert, 197
Schulman, S., 331
Schwab, Joseph, 121, 136
Schweickart, Patrocinio, 187, 200, 218, 360
science, 28, 67, 80, 104, 126, 146, 172,

202, 203, 248, 282, 345, 351
Scott, David, 284, 286
Scott, Joan, 285, 354
Scribner, Sylvia, 298, 301
self-inclusion, 77, 80, 201
Sexton, Anne, 111–117, 217
sexuality, 38, 86, 100, 126, 171, 196, 220,

221, 233, 237, 319, 323, 328–330, 333,
334, 342, 343, 349, 351–353

Shannon, Patrick, 301
Shaughnessy, Mina, 150, 151
Shea, Christopher, 145
Sheils, Merrill, 308, 309
Simpson, David, 51, 71, 72, 74, 308
Singh, Armritjit, 269
Smith, K., 245
Smith, Louise, 149, 154
Smith, Sidonie, 249
Smorkaloff, Pamela, 269, 276
Snyder, Don, 47
Southam, B. C., 221
Spingarn, J. E., 203
Spivak, Gayatri, 66, 67, 71–73, 75
Stanislavski, Constantin, 109
Staten, Henry, 75
Steedman, Carolyn, 48
Stewart, Susan, 75
Stone, Laurie, 211, 216
subject matter, 58, 107, 134, 139, 208,

212, 287
subjectivity, 38–40, 43, 48, 51, 52, 56, 69,

71–73, 112, 126, 139, 168, 173, 175,
176, 182, 190, 191, 202, 219, 229, 286,
301, 317, 319

Suleiman, Susan, 46
Sullivan, Patricia, 180, 202, 337

I n d e x 385

Takaki, Ronald, 307, 308
Tall, Deborah, 166
Tanselle, G. Thomas, 145
Tate, Claudia, 201
Taubman, Peter, 114
teaching and scholarship, 49, 94, 96, 105,

106, 119, 128, 133, 134, 168, 173, 199,
208, 224, 228, 254, 257, 258, 266, 337,
340, 345, 348–350, 352

Thomas, Brook, 264, 282, 314
Thompson, Audrey, 153
Thomson, Gary, 159
Tobin, Lad, 114, 181, 209, 219
Todorov, Tzvetan, 76
Tompkins, Jane, 32, 47, 80, 139, 143, 150,

151, 200, 209, 218, 219, 331, 356
Torgovnick, Marianna, 29–31, 33, 47, 48,

199, 331
Treichler, Paula, 100
Trimbur, John, 308, 309
Trouillot, Michel-Rolph, 291
Turner, Frederick, 60, 61

Uchmanowicz, Pauline, 151

Vaihinger, Hans, 73
Villanueva, Victor, 267, 276

Walcott, Derek, 68, 70
Walker, Alice, 190, 217
Wall, Susan, 198
Watney, Simon, 100
Watson, Julia, 249
Webb, Constance, 64
Williams, Patricia, 31, 47, 48, 50, 151, 281,

292, 331
Wright, Richard, 64
writing (incl. scholarly), 28, 30, 32, 33, 37,

46, 49, 52–54, 83, 85–89, 145, 160,
184, 199, 204, 210, 217, 318, 337, 339,
343, 348, 349, 350

Yamamoto, Traise, 64, 65
Yamanaka, Lois-Ann, 304
Yancy, George, 295
Young, Robert, 315
Yu, Henry, 291

Zawacki, Terry, 32
Zeiger, Melissa, 95, 100

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