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Pedagogy, trauma, and healing - Readings for a transitional fall: September Sessions Readings 2021

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As we move from a tumultuous year of remote learning back toward a fall of on-campus teaching experiences, it’s hard not to think about the very real pressures of this particular pedagogical moment.  Teaching this fall will not be “normal”; our pedagogy will continue to be influenced by the ongoing experiences of life in a pandemic.  As teachers and as individuals, it's impossible not to be thinking about how trauma, anxiety, resilience, and healing will factor into our lived experience of the upcoming year.

At the same time, the realities of the moment take us also in another direction; as we start to literally dust off the desks, journals, and projects we left beyond in the move online, many of us find ourselves refocusing on some of the fundamental questions of writing studies: How do we conceptualize peer review as a moment of individual and collective growth? How can we design an accessible classroom? How do we balance disciplinary expectations with our commitment to students' right to their own language? How can we best help students become active, nimble, critical readers? 

For this reason, the 2021 Septembrists have curated two sets of readings for the upcoming September Sessions: two brief articles from current academic news journals focused on this moment and pedagogy healing -- as core readings for all -- and then a selection of writing studies articles that represent new, fresh contributions to ongoing conversations.

Readings Set #1: Transitioning Back from Pandemic Pedagogy

Brown, Sarah, “A Trauma-Informed Return to Campus.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. 27 July 2021.

Imad, Mays. “Pedagogy of Healing: Bearing Witness to Trauma and Resilience.” Inside Higher Ed. 8 July 2021. (Also available through PWR Canvas>Files>September Sessions>September 2021>Readings. Note pdf has a slightly different title)

Readings Set #2: Choose Your Own Adventure Readings from Writing Studies

Alexander, Jonathan, Karen Lunsford, and Carl Whithaus. "Affect and Wayfinding in Writing after College." College English 82.6 (2020): 563-590.

This paper draws on an empirical study of graduates to investigate the role of affect and emotion in student writing--and in particular, how they play a role in what the authors call “wayfinding”: how recent graduates “adapt, discover, and learn new rhetorical and composing strategies.”

Brown, Tessa. "What Else Do We Know? Translingualism and the History of SRTOL as Threshold Concepts in Our Field." College Composition and Communication 71.4 (2020): 591-619.

This article, by PWR’s own Tessa Brown, provides a critical history of composition studies that frames the “Student’s Right to their Own Language” resolution as a key moment shaping writing pedagogy. 

Hitt, Allison. “(De)Valuing Disability: Moving beyond Accommodation Approaches to Accessibility in Writing Studies.” Rhetorics of Overcoming: Rewriting Narratives of Disability and Accessibility in Writing Studies. National Council of Teachers of English, 2021. 

In this chapter, Hitt provides an overview of common approaches to accessibility in our field and then argues for a way in which Writing Studies can move beyond a rhetoric of “overcoming” disability to one that creates a more accessible framework for all students.

Hsu, V. Jo. "Reflection as relationality: Rhetorical alliances and teaching alternative rhetorics." College Composition and Communication 70.2 (2018): 142.  

After giving an overview of the literature on rhetorical alliances and “alternative rhetorics,” Hsu details a course design personal reflective writing and works through three specific students’ reflective writing projects. She discusses alliance-building, how she treated differing definitions of “reflection,” and how students might “[enact] more radical forms of belonging” through a relational approach to reflective writing. 

Minnix, Christopher. “Rhetorical education and global higher education in an age of precarity,” in Rhetoric and the Global Turn in Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.

Drawing on rhetorical and political theory, this introductory chapter lays out a case for how and why  rhetoricians should engage with the rise of “global education.” Minnix argues that rhetorical education needs to work towards replacing ideas of “global citizenship”  with a move to “transnational rhetorical citizenship.” The topic is timely, with Stanford inaugurating their new first-year “Civic, Liberal, and Global Education” requirement this fall (not to mention the new-ish Global Studies center and major).

Oleksiak, Timothy. "Slow Peer Review in the Writing Classroom." Pedagogy 21.2 (2021): 369-383.

This article proposes the concept of “slow peer review” as a way of structuring student to student feedback on writing. The article unpacks the concept and works through a case study involving two students.  

Overstreet, Matthew. "Networked Reading: How Digital Reading Experts Use Their Tools." College English 83.5 (2021): 357-378.

Overstreet argues that existing literature on digital literacy has undersold the changes wrought by the move from page to screen. He builds on a detailed examination of two empirical studies of digital literacy, one by Stanford’s History Education Group  (of “lateral reading” fame) and another by Kohnen and Mertens, to argue that expert digital readers are “networked.” They “intuitively recognize that no idea exists in isolation” and that “the best way to understand a text is often to look beyond it,” and their approach to digital reading should, he argues, change how digital literacy is taught.


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