The Rhetoric of Experience: Learning to Navigate Discursive Worlds in Flux
October 6, 2016 Common Hour D’Angelo Center, room 307
In his talk, Professor Juan Guerra will address a question that has guided the work of specialists in writing across the curriculum for many decades now: What, if anything, can we teach students who must learn to write in varied disciplines across a university campus? Implicit in the question is the assumption that students must build on the hard-earned learning incomes they bring to every classroom in the course of developing a broader repertoire of discursive practices that addresses their needs in the academy and beyond. In his response to the question, Professor Guerra argues that students must simultaneously develop their critical language and cultural awareness in the process of learning how to enact what he refers to as the practice of transcultural repositioning. In so doing, students invariably come to see that at the root of any act of reading, writing or rhetoric is a set of dispositions that guides our every effort to communicate meaningfully and productively with others across an array of communities of belonging. Students also come to understand that while a particular ideology typically informs our discursive choices and decisions, knowing that we must navigate and negotiate the various ideologies in contestation with our own is equally important.