Monday, February 25, 2008

Anis Bawarshi Introduction

Anis Bawarshi's Genre and the Invention of  the Writer Chapter 1 "Introduction: A Meditation on Beginnings" p.1-15

I like the "in medias res (the 'into the midst of things') strategy" (2) very much. Haswell mentioned the same concept in Gaining Ground, and I was compelled by it. I encountered this idea through the work of Zillah Eisenstein's book Against Empire where she situates the current neo-liberal globalization trends in a context of what she calls "befores, alreadys, durings and afters." For example, she challenges the way naming of American wars in the Middle East fractures and shrinks the conception of the extent and duration of what could actually be considered one ongoing process or imperial project. In my way of looking at things, I see this recognition of historical, political, social and cultural contexts (and subtexts) as an attempt to make ones perspective and purpose transparent-- embrace subjectivity without wagering significance. 

It's self serving too: let me know where you stand and how you see the world so I can decide whether or not (and how) to read you.

Invention isn't my favorite part of writing to examine-- but I'm trying to be open minded. It sounds like Bawarshi has a thought-provoking Foucault-influenced understanding of how genre functions both to generate and to regulate (12).  If that confliction holds its significance in terms of invention-- then I'll try to get interested. 

One last question: Bawarshi refers to "writing in the disciplines (WID)" (14) instead of Writing Across the Curriculum. Is this a different argument? There seems to be a different implication to using one or the other name. 

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