What Matters Who Writes? What Matters Who Responds?

Andrea Lunsford, Rebecca Rickly, Michael Salvo, and Susan West

For 300 years, we have placed value in the textual product and given rights of exclusive ownership of that product to a construct called "Wordsworth." Now, if Foucault and contemporary writers like Esther Dyson are correct, we are going to place value elsewhere--we are going to ask, in Foucault's words, where [Wordsworth] has been used, how "Wordsworth" has circulated, and who has been able to appropriate this work. Moreover, we are going to ask how this work is being used today, and we are going to value those that can bring new ways of using it and working with it--and value the processes we go through in doing so. As teachers of reading and writing, then, we need to start imagining and documenting alternative ways of assigning value, alternative ways of producing and working with information of all kinds. At the very least, we must start imagining more inclusive and expansive ways of responding to student reading and writing, more inclusive and expansive ways of figuring the acts of reading and writing in our classrooms, more inclusive and expansive ways of assigning credit or value or grades to our students. Third, we are going to have to reimagine the space of the classroom. Once delimited by institutional and material walls that held pre-arranged desks facing front, the classroom has been inviolate--a teacher's private space. Such metaphoric space is no longer commensurate with theories of learning or with the realities of late twentieth-century existence in a quite literally electrified world. We are going to have to reimagine our classrooms as open and public, as not bound by walls of any kind, as often virtual places where people meet to make meanings together, not as places where information is dispensed and people credentialed. And finally, we are going to have to find new understandings of what constitutes knowledge.
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Postmodern (un)grounding * Collaboration * Copy(w)right/Ownership * Possible Futures

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