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(Re)Imagined Textual Geographies

Title: (Re)Imagined Textual Geographies.
Name(s): Bridgman, Katherine, author
Fleckenstein, Kristie, professor directing thesis
Yancey, Kathleen, committee member
Neal, Michael, committee member
Coxwell-Teague, Deborah, committee member
Department of English, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2010
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study addresses the following questions: how can we account for the emergence and change of a discipline and what is the role of the individual in this change? I answer these questions through a case study of the discipline of Basic Writing in which I explicate the textual identities of the Basic Writer and the Basic Writing instructor. The data set of disciplinary texts that used in this study center on two "moments" in the discipline's history. The first "moment" is that of the discipline's inception in the 1970s. The second "moment" is that of a disciplinary change that occurred in the early 1990s. I answer the two research questions posed by this study by drawing from two theoretical frameworks. The first is that of Said in his seminal work of cultural criticism, Orientalism. Said enables this study to account for the initial emergence of a discipline. This methodological approach, however, frames disciplines as closed systems and obscures the agency of individuals who join the discipline after its initial emergence and the discipline's change. Here, mobility theory complements this first theoretical frame through which we see Basic Writing behaving as a discipline. Mobility theory frames disciplinary formations as open systems and enables this study to see authors as active agents in the change of a discipline. The composite methodological framework of this thesis is applied to the two collections of texts that I examine through asking three key questions: who is the Basic Writer? who is the instructor of Basic Writing? what is the location of the Basic Writing classroom? On the basis of this analysis, this study accounts for the emergence of disciplinary formations, the fluidity of these formations as well, and the agency of individual authors in this change. It reveals that, while Said focuses on one moment of emergence, disciplines unfold in terms of multiple moments of (re)emergence. In these moments of (re)emergence, authors actively align their texts with surrounding power structures. Within these texts, disciplinary authors craft multiple fluid and overlapping identities that authorize their voice within these texts, within the narratives that they construct of the Basic Writing classroom, and within the lived experience of their readers. The primary implication of this study is in regard to the discipline of Basic Writing. Although this disciplinary formation may appear to be in a moment of crisis, this study suggests that perhaps this discipline is moving into a moment of (re)emergence in which the Basic Writer will again become textually visible in this moment. This study also suggests that agency is always mediated as it is through the texts that they create that the authors in the study are active agents. Their agency is expressed through the fluid and overlapping textual identities that they enact within the texts of this study. Finally, this study illuminates a reciprocal relationship between scholars and the disciplines that write them into the world of academia. Individuals are not passively written into their roles within the University. Instead, they at once write and are written by the collective textual identities that emerge from the disciplinary texts that articulate a shared understanding of and knowledge about the Basic Writer.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-3042 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the Department of English in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts.
Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2010.
Date of Defense: June 18, 2010.
Keywords: Basic Writing, Discipline, Imaginative Geography, Mobility, Said, Textual Identity
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Kristie Fleckenstein, Professor Directing Thesis; Kathleen Yancey, Committee Member; Michael Neal, Committee Member; Deborah Coxwell-Teague, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Creative writing
English literature
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Host Institution: FSU

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Bridgman, K. (2010). (Re)Imagined Textual Geographies. Retrieved from