Critical Expressivism: Theory and Practice in the Composition Classroom

Edited by Tara Roeder and Roseanne Gatto
Copy edited by Don Donahue. Designed by Tara Reeser.

CoverCritical Expressivism is an ambitious attempt to re-appropriate intellectual territory that has more often been charted by its detractors than by its proponents. Indeed, as Peter Elbow observes in his contribution to this volume, "As far as I can tell, the term 'expressivist' was coined and used only by people who wanted a word for people they disapproved of and wanted to discredit." The editors and contributors to this collection invite readers to join them in a new conversation, one informed by "a belief that the term expressivism continues to have a vitally important function in our field."

Table of Contents

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Front Matter

Preface: Yes, I Know That Expressivism Is out of Vogue, But ..., Lizbeth Bryant

Re-Imagining Expressivism: An Introduction, Tara Roeder and Roseanne Gatto

Section One: Critical Self-Construction

"Personal Writing" and "Expressivism" as Problematic Terms, Peter Elbow

Selfhood and the Personal Essay: A Pragmatic Defense, Thomas Newkirk

Critical Memoir and Identity Formation: Being, Belonging, Becoming, Nancy Mack

Critical Expressivism's Alchemical Challenge, Derek Owens

Past-Writing: Negotiating the Complexity of Experience and Memory, Jean Bessette

Essai—A Metaphor: Writing to Show Thinking, Lea Povozhaev

Section Two: Personal Writing and Social Change

Communication as Social Action: Critical Expressivist Pedagogies in the Writing Classroom, Patricia Webb Boyd

From the Personal to the Social, Daniel F. Collins

"Is it Possible to Teach Writing So That People Stop Killing Each Other?" Nonviolence, Composition, and Critical Expressivism, Scott Wagar

The (Un)Knowable Self and Others: Critical Empathy and Expressivism, Eric Leake

Section Three: Histories

John Watson Is to Introspectionism as James Berlin Is to Expressivism (And Other Analogies You Won't Find on the SAT), Maja Wilson

Expressive Pedagogies in the University of Pittsburgh's Alternative Curriculum Program, 1973-1979, Chris Warnick

Rereading Romanticism, Rereading Expressivism: Revising "Voice" through Wordsworth's Prefaces, Hannah J. Rule

Emerson's Pragmatic Call for Critical Conscience: Double Consciousness, Cognition, and Human Nature, Anthony Petruzzi

Section Four: Pedagogies

Place-Based Genre Writing as Critical Expressivist Practice, David Seitz

Multicultural Critical Pedagogy in the Community-Based Classroom: A Motivation for Foregrounding the Personal, Kim M. Davis

The Economy of Expressivism and Its Legacy of Low/No-Stakes Writing, Sheri Rysdam

Revisiting Radical Revision, Jeff Sommers


About the Editors

Tara Roeder is an Associate Professor with the Institute for Writing Studies at St. John's University. She earned her doctorate in English from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2014. Her research focuses on feminist theory and women's memoir; non-oedipal psychoanalytic theory and pedagogy; and queer theory and pedagogy.

Roseanne Gatto is an Associate Professor with the Institute for Writing Studies at St. John's University. She earned her doctorate in composition and rhetoric at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2011. Her research interests include archival research methods and social justice in composition/rhetoric.

Publication Information: Roeder, Tara, & Gatto, Roseanne (Eds.). (2014). Critical Expressivism: Theory and Practice in the Composition Classroom. Perspectives on Writing. The WAC Clearinghouse; Parlor Press.

Publication Date: November 28, 2014.

Contact Information:
Tara Roeder:
Roseanne Gatto:

Perspectives on Writing

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

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Copyright © 2014 Tara Roeder and Roseanne Gatto. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 United States License. 322 pages, with notes, illustrations, 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.