Sunday, February 17, 2019
Montaigne, Studentessa, and Performance :: Music Composition Studies
Montaigne, Studentessa, and Performance The field of composition studies has worked to put and make sense of the introductory writer for decades. In 1977, Mina Shaughnessy called basic composing the pedagogical west, a frontier, unmapped, except for a few blazed trails that man-to-man teacher propose through their texts (4). Since Shaughnessy, the work of David Bartholomae, Min Zhan Lu, Bruce Horner, and others, has expanded upon, and called into question, the enclosure basic writer. In this paper, rather than do away with the term altogether, I will offer a study of a writer who would be typically labelled basic. This study will place her work beside that of an acclaimed and diachronic expert, Michel de Montaigne. Through a series of close readings, I hope to beautify the rhetorical oves from dialogue to performance that Studentessa (a former and anonymous student of mine) undergoes in her writing. At the same time, I will mark moments in which Montaigne reinscribes the se rhetorical moves into his own writing. Ultimately, these points of intersection will reveal the richness inherent in study of writers we call basic, and allow greater appreciation for the performative abilities of Montaigne. The scope of Studentessas audience, peculiarly with her first attempts at essay-writing, is extremely intimate. Specifically, Studentessa is talking to me, the instructor, in an attempt to help my questions in writing. The first essay that we read in class was Richard Rodriguezs skill of Desire, a biographical account of Rodriguezs schooling and emotional growth. For their own writing assignment, students were asked to come up with a definition of education, and to test this definition against their sense of Rodriguez. Studentessa did put together an initial thesis about education commandment is an essential aspect of our lives. Education is something that you share, but you as an individual dismiss learn it for yourself. During one of our many di scussions, I asked Studentessa what pieces made up education--were there different forms of education? In response, Studentessa came up with forms first, of course, was school, second, was life see to it (which broke down into mother wit and street smarts), and third, relationships. We talked about the grandness of applying these forms to Rodriguezs experience Did his education involve street smarts? In a revise draft, after our weekly meeting, Studentessa writes, there is another form of education called street-smarts, these community can survive on the streets with their wit.