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

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Boynton/Cook Publishers, 1995 - Education - 294 pages
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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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About the author (1995)

HARRIET MALINOWITZ is Assistant Professor of English at Long Island University in Brooklyn. She is on the Board of Directors of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in New York and is also the writer of lesbian/feminist stand-up comedy performed by her partner, Sara Cytron.

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