Beyond Argument: Essaying as a Practice of (Ex)Change
Sarah Allen
Literature & Fiction
Beyond Argument: Essaying as a Practice of (Ex)Change
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By Sarah Allen. Copy edited by Sarah Brooks. Designed by Mike Palmquist.

Beyond Argument offers an in-depth examination of how current ways of thinking about the writer-page relation in personal essays can be reconceived according to practices in the care of the self — an ethic by which writers such as Seneca, Montaigne, and Nietzsche lived. This approach promises to reinvigorate the form and address many of the concerns expressed by essay scholars and writers regarding the lack of rigorous exploration we see in our students' personal essays — and sometimes, even, in our own. In pursuing this approach, Sarah Allen presents a version of subjectivity that enables productive debate in the essay, among essays, and beyond.

About the Author

Sarah Allen is Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, CO, where she serves as a Rhetoric and Composition scholar and teacher. Her work has been published in Rhetoric Review and in Educational Philosophy and Theory; she also has book chapters in Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing (Parlor Press) and in Research Writing Revisited: A Sourcebook for Teachers (Heinemann). Her scholarship generally explores the ethics of the personal essay, and this work informs her teaching, as she works to discover the most useful and effective ways of assisting students in engaging with difficult, dense material and in generating complex, rigorous writings of their own.

Publication Information: Allen, Sarah. (2015). Beyond Argument: Essaying as a Practice of (Ex)Change. Perspectives on Writing. Fort Collins, Colorado: The WAC Clearinghouse and Parlor Press. Available at

Publication Date: January 19, 2015.

Chapter 1: Meeting the Real Self in the Essay
Chapter 2: Meeting the Constructed Self in the Essay
Chapter 3: Cultivating a Self in the Essay
Chapter 4: Imitation as Meditation
Chapter 5: Self Writing in the Classroom
About the Author
Works Cited
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