Disciplining the Traditional Student Subject in Computer-Composition

  1. 1. Tasha Eccles

    Stanford University

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This speaker will examine the pedagogical, theoretical, and cultural impact of computer technology on composition's representation of the writing student. Considering computer-composition cultural artifacts (textbooks, handbooks, and online resources) this speaker argues -- based on the assumptions made by these artifacts; the beliefs, anxieties, and concerns that they reveal about students; and the narratives they tell about technology -- that much work being done in the area of computer-assisted writing pedagogy is still very traditional and relies heavily upon disciplinary technologies that are committed to molding passive student subjects. These resources also often fail to embody contemporary ideas about how technologically-mediated writing sites (in general) and hypertext (in particular) have the potential to complicate traditional ideas about texts and authors (Joyce 1995; Landow 1997; Johnson-Eilola 1998). This speaker therefore analyzes the contemporary cultural conjuncture in which technology and the rhetoric of liberation are combined, where it is often assumed that the computer-mediated subject in composition will automatically be freed from the humanist Enlightenment bonds of coherent rationality and the Romantic limitations of self-expression. Although the liberatory rhetoric surrounding computer-mediated communication may perpetuate our hopes and desires for technology to reconstitute the student subject as an active rhetorician, it also obfuscates our awareness of how such technologies may reinscribe or colonize the subject as passive or in need.

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Conference Info

In review


Hosted at New York University

New York, NY, United States

July 13, 2001 - July 16, 2001

94 works by 167 authors indexed

Series: ACH/ICCH (21), ALLC/EADH (28), ACH/ALLC (13)

Organizers: ACH, ALLC