Critical Expressivism: Theory and Practice in the Composition Classroom

Critical Expressivism: Theory and Practice in the Composition Classroom

By Tara Roeder and Roseanne Gatto
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Book Description

Edited by Tara Roeder and Roseanne Gatto. Copy edited by Don Donahue. Designed by Tara Reeser.

Critical Expressivism is an ambitious attempt to re-appropriate intellectual territory that has more often been charted by its detractors than by its proponents. Indeed, as Peter Elbow observes in his contribution to this volume, "As far as I can tell, the term 'expressivist' was coined and used only by people who wanted a word for people they disapproved of and wanted to discredit." The editors and contributors to this collection invite readers to join them in a new conversation, one informed by "a belief that the term expressivism continues to have a vitally important function in our field."

About the Editors

Tara Roeder is an Associate Professor with the Institute for Writing Studies at St. John's University. She earned her doctorate in English from the CUNY Graduate Center in 2014. Her research focuses on feminist theory and women's memoir; non-oedipal psychoanalytic theory and pedagogy; and queer theory and pedagogy.

Roseanne Gatto is an Associate Professor with the Institute for Writing Studies at St. John's University. She earned her doctorate in composition and rhetoric at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2011. Her research interests include archival research methods and social justice in composition/rhetoric.

Publication Information: Roeder, Tara, & Gatto, Roseanne (Eds.). (2014). Critical Expressivism: Theory and Practice in the Composition Classroom. Perspectives on Writing. Fort Collins, Colorado: The WAC Clearinghouse and Parlor Press. Available at

Print and PDF Publication Date: November 28, 2014.

ePub Publication Date: November 8, 2015.

Table of Contents
    • Preface: Yes, I Know That Expressivism Is Out of Vogue, But …
      • Lizbeth Bryant
    • Re-Imagining Expressivism: An Introduction
      • Tara Roeder and Roseanne Gatto
  • Section One: Critical Self-Construction
    • “Personal Writing” and “Expressivism” as Problem Terms
      • Peter Elbow
    • Selfhood and the Personal Essay: A Pragmatic Defense
      • Thomas Newkirk
    • Critical Memoir and Identity Formation: Being, Belonging, Becoming
      • Nancy Mack
    • Critical Expressivism’s Alchemical Challenge
      • Derek Owens
    • Past-Writing: Negotiating the Complexity of Experience and Memory
      • Jean Bessette
    • Essai—A Metaphor: Writing to Show Thinking
      • Lea Povozhaev
  • Section Two: Personal Writing and Social Change
    • Communication as Social Action: Critical Expressivist Pedagogies in the Writing Classroom
      • Patricia Webb Boyd
    • From the Personal to the Social
      • Daniel F. Collins
    • “Is it Possible to Teach Writing So That People Stop Killing Each Other?” Nonviolence, Composition, and Critical Expressivism
      • Scott Wagar
    • The (Un)Knowable Self and Others: Critical Empathy and Expressivism
      • Eric Leake
  • Section Three: Histories
    • John Watson Is to Introspectionism as James Berlin Is to Expressivism (And Other Analogies You Won’t Find on the SAT)
      • Maja Wilson
    • Expressive Pedagogies in the University of Pittsburgh’s Alternative Curriculum Program, 1973-1979
      • Chris Warnick
    • Rereading Romanticism, Rereading Expressivism: Revising “Voice” through Wordsworth’s Prefaces
      • Hannah J. Rule
    • Emerson’s Pragmatic Call for Critical Conscience: Double Consciousness, Cognition, and Human Nature
      • Anthony Petruzzi *
  • Section Four: Pedagogies
    • Place-Based Genre Writing as Critical Expressivist Practice
      • David Seitz
    • Multicultural Critical Pedagogy in the Community- Based Classroom: A Motivation for Foregrounding the Personal
      • Kim M. Davis
    • The Economy of Expressivism and Its Legacy of Low/No-Stakes Writing
      • Sheri Rysdam
    • Revisiting Radical Revision
      • Jeff Sommers
    • Contributors
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