So I wonder...
Do you study a theoretical tradition because it confirms your politics?
Did you find that exposure to a theory altered your politics?
Has theory altered your teaching?
Has teaching altered your politics?
Is the theory you're inspired by lived out in your classroom?
Is it possible to appreciate a theoretical point of view, or line of
reasoning, even though you find the politics implied or decreed by the
Do you teach politically? Are your politics known to your students and do
you relate those to how you discuss what writing is, what discourse
conventions are, how grading usually operates, what kind of language is
Is your course taught more with an eye to what the instituition you teach
in imagines its purpose is, perhaps even mandates what the course's
mission is, and pays you based on the assumption that you accept that
mandate? Do you accept either the assumption and/or mandate--say to teach
students to write academic essays, or do you reject it, or subvert it?
Do you feel guilty sometimes? Perhaps for not following what the
institution assumes? Or perhaps for not being able to follow what you
think should be done, or think should be taught?
Do you think sometimes that it might be wrong to influence students with
your politics, or your theory?
Nick Carbone, Writing Instructor
Marlboro, VT 05344