Beyond Argument: Essaying as a Practice of (Ex)Change

  • self-care, voice, composition studies, Pedagogy, personal essay

By Sarah Allen
Copy edited by Sarah Brooks. Designed by Mike Palmquist.

CoverBeyond Argument offers an in-depth examination of how current ways of thinking about the writer-page relation in personal essays can be reconceived according to practices in the care of the self — an ethic by which writers such as Seneca, Montaigne, and Nietzsche lived. This approach promises to reinvigorate the form and address many of the concerns expressed by essay scholars and writers regarding the lack of rigorous exploration we see in our students' personal essays — and sometimes, even, in our own. In pursuing this approach, Sarah Allen presents a version of subjectivity that enables productive debate in the essay, among essays, and beyond.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter



Chapter One: Meeting the Real Self in the Essay

Chapter Two: Meeting the Constructed Self in the Essay

Chapter Three: Cultivating a Self in the Essay

Chapter Four: Imitation as Meditation

Chapter Five: Self Writing in the Classroom

Works Cited

About the Author

Sarah Allen is Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO, where she serves as a Rhetoric and Composition scholar and teacher. Her work has been published in Rhetoric Review and in Educational Philosophy and Theory; she also has book chapters in Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing (Parlor Press) and in Research Writing Revisited: A Sourcebook for Teachers (Heinemann). Her scholarship generally explores the ethics of the personal essay, and this work informs her teaching, as she works to discover the most useful and effective ways of assisting students in engaging with difficult, dense material and in generating complex, rigorous writings of their own.

Publication Information: Allen, Sarah. (2015). Beyond Argument: Essaying as a Practice of (Ex)Change. The WAC Clearinghouse; Parlor Press. 
Publication Date: January 19, 2015.

ISBN: 978-1-64215-061-2 (pdf) | 978-1-64215-062-9 (epub) | 978-1-60235-646-7 (pbk.)
DOI: 10.37514/PER-B.2015.0612

Contact Information:
Sarah Allen:

Perspectives on Writing

Series Editor: Susan H. McLeod, University of California, Santa Barbara

Acrobat Reader DownloadThis book is available in whole and in part in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). It will also be available in a low-cost print edition from our publishing partner, the University Press of Colorado.

Copyright © 2015 Sarah Allen. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License. 158 pages, with notes and bibliographies. Available in print from Parlor Press online, or at any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Available in digital format for no charge on this page at the WAC Clearinghouse. You may view this book. You may print personal copies of this book. You may link to this page. You may not reproduce this book on another website.