Geographies of Writing: Inhabiting Places and Encountering Difference

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Southern Illinois University Press, 2004 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 207 pages
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Twenty-first-century technological innovations have revolutionized the way we experience space, causing an increased sense of fragmentation, danger, and placelessness. In Geographies of Writing: Inhabiting Places and Encountering Difference, Nedra Reynolds addresses these problems in the context of higher education, arguing that theories of writing and rhetoric must engage the metaphorical implications of place without ignoring materiality.


This text marks a summit of work initiated in Reynolds’s well-received article, “Composition’s Imagined Geographies: The Politics in the Frontier, City, and Cyberspace.” In continuing this earlier work, Geographies of Writing multiplies its range of application and proposes a geographical rhetoric. Reynolds uses cultural geography, feminist theory, qualitative research, and service learning to link writing and spatial practices and to unpack the layers of the social production of space. Drawing largely from participant-observation research in a cultural geography class at Leeds University in England, she investigates questions of difference and identity and offers an alternative to the process paradigm.


Geographies of Writing makes three closely related contributions: one theoretical, to re-imagine composing as spatial, material, and visual; one political, to understand the sociospatial construction of difference; and one pedagogical, to teach writing as a set of spatial practices. Aided by seven maps and illustrations that reinforce the book’s visual rhetoric, Geographies of Writing shows how composing tasks and electronic space function as conduits for navigating reality.

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About the author (2004)

Nedra Reynolds is an associate professor of writing and rhetoric and the director of the College Writing Program at the University of Rhode Island. She is the author of Portfolio Keeping: A Guide for Students and Portfolio Teaching: A Guide for Instructors and the coeditor of the Bedford Bibliography for Teachers of Writing, Sixth Edition.

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