Cultural Studies and Composition Pedagogy ENGL 2900: Methods for Teaching Writing What is Cultural Studies as a theory of composition? It is a field of composition studies that examines both writing as an artifact of culture and the contexts of writing situations. It also examines what happens to writing when cultures come into contact with each other Cultural Studies and Composition Cultural Studies in composition theory appeared in the late 1980s and early 1990s, in the depths of the Reagan-Bush era. It gained momentum as way of empowering otherwise disenfranchised voices: those who did not follow common or accepted political or social norms. Cultural Studies and Composition It was used as way of challenging an established power by investigating issues of multiculturalism, the politics of literacy, and the implications of race, class, and gender Within the discipline exists a variety of agendas and methods, but the fundamental idea behind cultural studies is to give voice to "the masses" and encourage representation of all cultures within a society. What it does Cultural studies pedagogy tends to include examinations of pop culture and media texts and rhetoric. Cultural studies is influential in the composition classroom because it enables instructors to help students write about subjects they are familiar with Why use Cultural Studies and Composition in the classroom? It allows for the idea that we are overwhelmed by culture in everything we see and read, and so it is useful in the composition classroom to analyze, examine, close-read, and understand the meaning in and around the texts. Using Cultural Studies in the classroom Classroom methods include using pop culture and media studies into composition classrooms Often these sources tend to allow students to write about what they know and to close-read and interpret texts about culture instead of literature Advantages It helps students contextualize their own experiences Teachers use multicultural texts that introduce and encourage discussions of multiple literacies, the implications of power, and the where cultures overlap and potentially collide Allows students to become informed of the world around them Criticism of Cultural Studies and Composition Critics have debated the ethics of professors pitching their soapboxes in class. Others accuse cultural studies compositionists as teaching an ideology, not writing.