Methodologies of relationship: risking self-(re)definition through communities and dialogues of difference Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Epes, Heather Elisabeth
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English and Comparative Literature
  • This dissertation discusses methodologies of teaching stressing relationships between class participants through the development of a "community of difference" that uses a "dialogue of difference." In these classrooms, community creates a constructive space for incorporating the lived experiences and multiple identities of individuals into learning processes, favoring the development of critical thought, individual voice, and awareness of difference. My pedagogy combines writing center and composition studies models for writing and discourse communities with the work of Black feminist theorists like Patricia Collins and bell hooks. These women conceptualize community and identity theories that support the idea of self-redefinition within community that may lead to greater understanding of difference. I also draw on Mikhail Bakhtin's concept of the "utterance" to call attention to the ways language may represent individual experience and knowledge. An instructor can employ language use and relationship in a classroom community as a dialogue of difference that critically considers sociohistorical and immediate forces that affect individual experience and identity. In addition to developing self-definition, this kind of environment can also be used to stress continual self-redefinition within community and a responsibility towards recognizing difference in community. The autobiographical first chapter, "Biography of a Pedagogy," positions the development of my pedagogical and methodological convictions at the cross-section of my own sociohistorical circumstances and experience. I present my subsequent theoretical work with a number of composition theorists and Black feminist theorists, and Mikhail Bakhtin in the second chapter, and the last chapter addresses the practice of relationship and research on the subject.
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  • Taylor, Todd
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