Cultural Studies and Composition Pedagogy

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
 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
 Allows students to become informed of the world around
Criticism of Cultural Studies and
Composition Critics have debated the
ethics of professors
pitching their soapboxes in
 Others accuse cultural
studies compositionists as
teaching an ideology, not
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