In After the Public Turn, author Frank Farmer argues that
counterpublics and the people who make counterpublics-"citizen
bricoleurs"-deserve a more prominent role in our scholarship and in
our classrooms. Encouraging students to understand and consider
resistant or oppositional discourse is a viable route toward mature
participation as citizens in a democracy.
Farmer examines two very different kinds of publics, cultural and
disciplinary, and discusses two counterpublics within those broad
categories: zine discourses and certain academic discourses. By
juxtaposing these two significantly different kinds of publics,
Farmer suggests that each discursive world can be seen, in its own
distinct way, as a counterpublic, an oppositional social formation
that has a stake in widening or altering public life as we know
Drawing on major figures in rhetoric and cultural theory, Farmer
builds his argument about composition teaching and its relation to
the public sphere, leading to a more sophisticated understanding of
public life and a deeper sense of what democratic citizenship means
for our time.
Subjects: Language & Literature
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