Beyond Postprocess

Beyond Postprocess

Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 238
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  • Book Info
    Beyond Postprocess
    Book Description:

    Beyond Postprocess offers a vigorous, provocative discussion of postprocess theory in its contemporary profile. Fueled by something like a fundamental refusal to see writing as self-evident, reducible, and easily explicable, the contributors rethink postprocess, suggesting that there is no easily defined moment or method that could be called postprocess. Instead, each contribution to this collection provides a unique and important example of what work beyond postprocess could be. Since postprocess theory in writing studies first challenged traditional conceptions of writing and the subject who writes, developments there have continued to push theorists of writing in a number of promising theoretical directions. Spaces for writing have arisen that radically alter ideological notions of space, rational thinking, intellectual property and politics, and epistemologies; and new media, digital, and visual rhetorics have increasingly complicated the scene, as well. Contributors to Beyond Postprocess reconsider writing and writing studies through posthumanism, ecology, new media, materiality, multimodal and digital writing, institutional critique, and postpedagogy. Through the lively and provocative character of these essays, Beyond Postprocess aims to provide a critical site for nothing less than the broad reevaluation of what it means to study writing today. Its polyvocal considerations and conclusions invest the volume with a unique potential to describe not what that field of study should be, but what it has the capacity to create. The central purpose of Beyond Postprocess is to unleash this creative potential.

    eISBN: 978-0-87421-832-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. PREFACE: Righting Writing
    (pp. xi-xxii)
    Thomas Kent
  4. INTRODUCTION: A New Postprocess Manifesto: A Plea for Writing
    (pp. 1-18)
    Sidney I. Dobrin, J. A. Rice and Michael Vastola

    When first published over a decade ago, Thomas Kent’s Post-Process Theory: Beyond the Writing-Process Paradigm participated in a transitional moment in composition scholarship. Before Kent’s collection (and his previously published articles on the subject) began to galvanize the post-process movement, it was difficult to describe writing practices and theories that departed from the process movement in strictly positive terms. Rather, the long dominion of the process paradigm required the identification and critique of its untenable assumptions. This identification was the chief preoccupation of that first collection, and it has enabled other projects—including this one—to point toward new forms...

      (pp. 21-40)
      Barbara Couture

      Writing has a material focus for scholars and teachers in the academy. Students in writing classes expect to be given writing assignments and to have papers, e-journals, and other such experiences graded. They also expect to be told whether their writing is grammatically correct and effective and whether it meets expectations. Beyond our students, testing agencies, peer reviewers, and school and college boards also expect faculty to materially demonstrate how they have improved students’ writing through test scores, portfolio assessments, or other evidential means. At the same time, in this post-process era, our scholarly attention to writing has invited us...

    • 2 WHAT CONSTITUTES A GOOD STORY? Narrative Knowledge in Process, Postprocess, and Post-Postprocess Composition Research
      (pp. 41-60)
      Debra Journet

      To describe composing as a process is to tell a story. Theories of the composing process (including postprocess or post-postprocess theories), that is, are narrative accounts. As narrative explanations, they relate a series of events or episodes (selected out of the myriad things that happened and that were not included in the narrative), and they organize those events in terms of their sequential and causal relations. The result is an interpretation of some part of the real world—a set of linked actions whose meaning derives from the way they extend from the past through the present towards a future....

    • 3 PUTTING PROCESS INTO CIRCULATION: Textual Cosmopolitanism
      (pp. 61-74)
      Joe Marshall Hardin

      The primary thesis of Walter Benjamin’s 1936 essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” is that photography, film, and advances in printmaking had changed the way in which art was valued. Benjamin argues that before the advent of these “reproductive technologies,” the value of individual art objects “originated in the service of ritual—first the magical, then the religious kind.” As an art object is reproduced, he continues, it is freed from its original “use value” and its “parasitical dependence on ritual” (1989, 575) and subjected to processes that function to give it a more social...

    • 4 REASSEMBLING POSTPROCESS: Toward a Posthuman Theory of Public Rhetoric
      (pp. 75-93)
      Byron Hawk

      In Thomas Kent’s introduction to Post-Process Theory, he argues that the three main assumptions behind the emerging postprocess movement are writing is public, writing is interpretive, and writing is situated. By public he means dialectical exchange among writers and audiences through language; by interpretive he means that since humans can never fully understand the other, they must make hermeneutic guesses about the other and align their utterances with others’ beliefs about the world; by situated he means these interpretations are enacted and tested in particular situations and with particular audiences. All these positions are in fact distinct from universal and...

    • 5 THE PAGE AS A UNIT OF DISCOURSE: Notes Toward a Counterhistory for Writing Studies
      (pp. 94-114)
      John Trimbur and Karen Press

      The page is a fundamental feature of print culture that has been largely overlooked in mainstream writing studies. For the most part, the monochromatic page dense with writing has been taken for granted as the norm and icon of mature literacy, a semiotic zone where writers and readers exchange meanings and identities without the ostensibly pre-literate support of pictorial, verbal, and gestural cues, on their own, as it were, relying solely on alphabetic inscription. Unlike other units of discourse (words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, essays, poems, books, and so on) the page has remained until quite recently absent or invisible in...

    • 6 FOLKSONOMIC NARRATIVES: Writing Detroit
      (pp. 117-131)
      Jeff Rice

      Off Woodward Avenue in the north end of Detroit, The Model T factory in Highland Park sits abandoned. Motorists see broken windows in the vacant factory as they make their way along Woodward Avenue, heading north to the suburbs or south to Detroit. A small sign outside the factory, alongside Woodward Avenue, notes the factory’s historic importance to Detroit and American automotive culture. Next door to the abandoned site, more pronounced than the sign, is the Model T Plaza, a who’s who of stores that typically fill out the spaces of most low-income, African American neighborhoods: Rite Aid, Food Basics,...

    • 7 OLD QUESTIONS, NEW MEDIA: Theorizing Writing in a Digital Age
      (pp. 132-144)
      Kyle Jensen

      For those who have followed the evolution of the postprocess conversation in rhetoric and composition studies, this collection’s call to move beyond postprocess will strike a curiously familiar chord. In 2003, Theresa Enos and Keith Miller coedited the book Beyond Postprocess and Postmodernism in which contributors reconsidered the work of the late Jim Corder in order to expand the field’s research beyond (meaning, away from) postprocess theories and pedagogies. This collection’s aim is different insofar as it extends the insights developed by postprocess scholars such as Thomas Kent nearly two decades ago. Nevertheless, this intriguing repetition in titles should initiate...

    • 8 POSTCONFLICT PEDAGOGY: Writing in the Stream of Hearing
      (pp. 145-162)
      Cynthia Haynes

      In January 2002, journalist Daniel Pearl was brutally beheaded in Pakistan by terrorists who filmed the slaughter and posted it on the Internet. At the time, I was working on a paper about rhetoric and peace (introduced above), so I decided to view the video to test my philosophical stamina and think through the connection between the information society and the reality of unthinkable violence. It has taken me almost seven years to think about the digital enframing of scripted torture and to hear the language of pathos circulating online and not off limit. Their script forced Daniel to utter...

    • 9 BEING DELICIOUS: Materialities of Research in a Web 2.0 Application
      (pp. 163-180)
      Collin Brooke and Thomas Rickert

      It is a commonplace that technological change in turn transforms writing and rhetorical practices, if not the human being itself. Well before Eric Havelock and Walter Ong claimed that writing changed human consciousness and thought patterns, Plato complained that writing made us stupid and forgetful. Such ideas about the negative impact of writing technologies are renewed with the advent of the digital age and the debut of newly digital (post)humans, with their intellectual and social attenuation that comes with multitasking activities, heavy online and media engagement, short attention spans, and erosive intercon-nectivity.¹ To engage such ideas, however, will require our...

    • 10 FIRST, A WORD
      (pp. 183-194)
      Raúl Sánchez

      In academic discourse, the gesture of moving “beyond” an established perspective is familiar. Even in composition studies, whose theorists are more likely to imagine themselves as dialogicians than as dialecticians, the temptation of the “beyond” is hard to resist. In the late 1980s, it appeared in claims that the field should move beyond process theory and toward postprocess theory, the latter offered as new conceptual ground on which to approach the study and teaching of writing. Now, the editors of this collection invite yet another such move, this time “beyond postprocess” theory.

      This kind of gesture suggests that, at certain...

    • 11 THE SALON OF 2010
      (pp. 195-218)
      Geoffrey Sirc

      I think of the history of composition as a series of abandoned rooms. Again and again, a terrific, heightened, pointed scene coalesces through mutual enthusiasm out of the otherwise shapeless social. Glasses are filled, appetizers sampled, and the conversational chatter goes from zero to sixty in a matter of seconds. All sorts of brilliant, witty things get said (and a lot of overindulgent foolishness, of course). New paths are discovered, resolutions sworn, lives might even be changed. The persuasiveness of the presiding vibe at that scene is such that the whole future makes sudden, brilliant sense. A new book or...

      (pp. 219-231)
      Rebecca Moore Howard

      I believe in pedagogy. I have devoted a career to curriculum and pedagogy, and I continue in that work today. Because my scholarly research focuses on authorship and specifically on plagiarism, especially student plagiarism, it might seem that my work, if successful, would lead toward better pedagogy, which would in turn lead to a diminished incidence of plagiarism.

      That is indeed my objective. I pursue that objective in my teaching, my scholarship, and my textbook writing. And I meet with enough success to encourage me to continue.

      Yet the more I study student plagiarism, the more I identify problems not...

  8. INDEX
    (pp. 232-235)
    (pp. 236-238)