Reither argues that writing pedagogy often ignores the “profound relationship between writers and their world” and that we should “redefine the writing process so that substantive social knowing is given due.” He criticizes research into the writing process as being too focused on “cognitive processes,” and that writing actually “cannot be artificially separated from the social-rhetorical situations in which writing gets done, from the conditions that enable writers to do what they do, and from the motives writers have for what they do… writing is, in fact, one of those processes which, in its use, creates and constitutes its own contexts.” Especially keeping in mind the fact that writing “creates and constitutes its own contexts,” what does Reither suggest about the long subordination in pedagogy of writing itself as being but a product of the writer? How else should we conceptualize the duality of the writing/writer relationship if not with the traditional duality of the subject/object? How might we teach writing if writing is in itself a force that acts upon the writer, and also as something the writer uses? How does the idea of a “discourse community” relate to the New Materialist idea of the material--the material in this case being writing--affecting change on and producing the world?
2. Perl proposes the notion of “felt sense,” which I attempt to describe as the wordless, pre-language thoughts in “our mind” we tap while writing. While writing, one can “attend” to “felt sense” to try to discover the feeling(s) one attempts to convey. In “Contemporary Composition: The Major Pedagogical Theories” Berlin describes New Rhetoric as denying “that truth is discoverable in sense impression since this data must always be interpreted-structured and organized-in order to have meaning. The perceiver is of course the interpreter, but she is likewise unable by herself to provide truth since meaning cannot be made apart from the data of experience.” How might Perl’s concept of “felt sense” be related to Berlin’s description of New Criticism as being dependent upon “the data of experience” or knowledge internalized through experience? How might a writer’s experience influence their “felt sense”?
Mary Elizabeth Smith