Re: Autonomous subjects

Hugh Stilley (
Thu, 26 Oct 1995 18:48:58 -0500

Nicely put, Marci. The mass of writing teachers are probably rule-bound.
There have been aims to make it action oriented at least since the Beats
and probably before that, by implication, srs. ww & col.

It doesn't take much in the schools. IMHO it can't, without funding for
burnout, a clear understanding of how such writing can be useful in the
day-to-day world our students will eventually find themselves in.
Actually, for mini-"action" it's pretty hard to find a medium that beats
the net, and as we generate more and more net activity, "action writing,"
whatever it might mean, will probably *find* more English teachers than
it has heretofore so-ta-speak.

Hard and serious stats on comp teachers (let alone on all English
teachers) about such matters would be very useful, letting the "newbies"
know what their latest theoretical stance is *really* up against. I don't
mean that because most English teachers are conservative in such matters
(which I think they are) that they *should* hold the field, but lethargy,
huge superiority and numbers and our friends the publishing industry mean
that in fact they do.

In short, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride...
Giddyup, anyone?

Anyhow, a c
On Thu, 26 Oct 1995, Marcy Bauman wrote:

> On 25 Oct 1995, Fred Kemp wrote:
> > Sorry, but I want it to be clear. I do not say that there aren't 'rules,'
> > but that when such rules drive the pedagogy, the pedagogy distances itself
> > from what writing is and does. A piece of writing must do something, not
> > simply be judged on its formal characteristics independent of a readership.
> > I have found (or believe I have found) that one of the most deadening
> > things occurring in the teaching of writing is a gradual movement in many
> > teachers from writing as action to writing as artifact, and this arises
> > from their own personal distance from the act of writing itself.
> >
> > Now, am I wrong?
> Uh, Fred, I count you wrong _twice_.
> [1] In the notion that there has been a movement by many people away
> from writing as action to writing as artifact. I'm unconvinced that
> writing teachers, students, or anyone else generally hold the opinion
> that writing is NOT artifact. I sure don't see (and never have seen)
> much suggestion in the classrooms I've been in that very many people
> ever thought of writing (at least in school) as action.
> [2] In the notion that if there is/was such a movement, it is/was
> gradual. Seems to me it takes the blink of an eye . . .
> Of course, these "disagreements" don't belie my essential agreement with
> you -- yup, it's deadening, and yup, if people actually wrote they'd be
> less likely to think this way.
> Marcy
> Marcy Bauman
> Writing Program
> University of Michigan-Dearborn
> 4901 Evergreen Rd.
> Dearborn, MI 48128
> email:

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