The counter-argument (religion should not be allowed in the writing classroom) is unstated, implicit, and it grows out of the argument against the personal (probably). There’s a certain political correctness (i.e., no religion allowed) implicit.
An outline: Here’s the question, here’s why it’s important to the field and to me. Here’s how it has and has not been addressed.
___ Check with Vander Lei and Kyburz (eds of Negotiating Religious Faith…) to see if they encountered any explicit arguments against religion in the writing classroom.
___ Check the print edition of The Chronicle for an article arguing very explicitly against the personal in writing classrooms. Then a series of online responses. Check under religion, personal, teaching of writing.
Marshall Alcorn’s Changing the Subject in English Class: Discourse and the Constructions of Desire. Southern Illinois UP, 2002. Marshall critiqued James Berlin’s work. Berlin reviewed it (anonymously) and said in essence “Berlin isn’t attentive to students…” Very cool. So had Berlin lived longer…
We talked briefly about Berlin’s four categories and how they became rather too defined, too binary.
___ Check for Alcorn in Lisa’s Situating Composition.
___ Email Lisa to find article by Pat Bizzell which says we should be explicit in our beliefs / assumptions.
Social Constructivism and Expressivism are really false binaries. Alcorn in the former, but criticizes it as well.
___ Check with Michael for people who are holding to the postmodern critique but trying to break out of false binaries.
Lisa’s Situating Composition — swoosh for mid section on history of process pedagogy.
It’s as if composition has been having this debate (over religion) “in absentia.” It’s lurking there, but we “don’t even want to go there.”
It’s very tough to talk about it, but we need to do it. Here’s how we’ve avoided it, here’s the reason why we need to talk about it, here’s the aknowledgement/discussion of the ways religion in the writing classroom could go wrong. (Lisa’s mantra: there’s no pedagogy that can’t be perverted.) Of course, we each can have preferences. But each method we used can be destroyed or perverted.
___ Check Elbow on voice in Everyone Can Write. Good on embracing paradoxes, perhaps a model for way to think about these things? Check his intellectual moves to see if I can use them.
See Lindemann’s and Tate’s debate re the place of literature in the composition classroom, as an example of how NOT to talk because they do binaries and left the field with no advance. Tate’s “A Place for LIterature in Freshman Composition” is in A Writing Teacher’s Sourcebook 175ff. Lindemann’s “Freshman Composition: No Place for Literature” is in College English 55 (March 1993): 311-16.
Dennis pointed out that current traditional pedagogy may have some connection here, too, because it views the text as so absolute (as, presumably, religious students would, too).