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Textual Orientations: Lesbian and Gay Students and the Making of Discourse…

by Harriet Malinowitz

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Textual Orientations examines two emerging, mutually illuminating fields: rhetoric/composition and lesbian/gay studies. It is a thorough, fascinating study of the complex rhetorical features in operation for lesbian and gay students in college writing classes. The research from which the book evolves centers on an unusual situation: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual together in a class for which lesbian and gay experience is the theme. What happens in such a circumstance? What kind of discourse community is formed? What kinds of new work does it enable? The book illustrates that in an academic environment that is "queercentric," the complexities of lesbian and gay subjectivity can be drawn upon to frame the very acts of composing from which they are usually erased. Using social construction theory, liberatory pedagogy, feminism, ethnography, and queer theory as frameworks for analysis, the author proposes a pedagogy that uses the vantage point of the social margin -- a place that produces not only abject outsiderhood but also acute ways of self-defining, knowing, and acting. Textual Orientations is essential reading for college composition instructors, those engaged in gay and lesbian studies, and gender specialists.… (more)

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Textual Orientations examines two emerging, mutually illuminating fields: rhetoric/composition and lesbian/gay studies. It is a thorough, fascinating study of the complex rhetorical features in operation for lesbian and gay students in college writing classes. The research from which the book evolves centers on an unusual situation: lesbian, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual together in a class for which lesbian and gay experience is the theme. What happens in such a circumstance? What kind of discourse community is formed? What kinds of new work does it enable? The book illustrates that in an academic environment that is "queercentric," the complexities of lesbian and gay subjectivity can be drawn upon to frame the very acts of composing from which they are usually erased. Using social construction theory, liberatory pedagogy, feminism, ethnography, and queer theory as frameworks for analysis, the author proposes a pedagogy that uses the vantage point of the social margin -- a place that produces not only abject outsiderhood but also acute ways of self-defining, knowing, and acting. Textual Orientations is essential reading for college composition instructors, those engaged in gay and lesbian studies, and gender specialists.

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