Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Accessing Liberation: Literary Study as a Community of Practice
by Leopold, Christie-Anne, Ph.D., University of Colorado at Boulder, 2019, 317; 22588444
Abstract (Summary)

Accessing Liberation contends that literary study has the potential to operate as a democratic and liberatory discipline. To achieve this potential requires a new approach to the discipline’s epistemological framework that privileges the voices of both student and scholar. I herein argue that a Sociocultural Learning Theory’s Community of Practice (CoP) provides an optimal approach to reframe the discipline’s understanding of its definitions of self, meaning, and purpose in both education and society. Applying a CoP lens requires analysis of situated spaces of learning wherein negotiation for disciplinary identification occurs regularly. The literary classroom is thus a profound place where these epistemological questions and practice-linked-identifications frequently emerge and evolve. By examining Dr. Bickman’s theories and instructional approaches in his Introductory to Literary Analysis class, I hope to show how a path toward liberation might exist. His embodiment of three main practices, teaching toward liberation, writing toward liberation, and community as practice, attempts to rewrite the discipline as a democratic community. His liberatory aims, however, are not prophetic. The students of this class negotiate these practices in order to develop identifications with the discipline. Through analyzing their responses to and negotiations of the practices Marty employs, we will see how students utilize available identity resources to develop disciplinary identifications. The complex and socially negotiated processes of becoming a literary practitioner provide a more compelling approach to disciplinary epistemology because they render that approach profoundly individual and communal. Recognizing the potential of a CoP framework for investigating literary study’s epistemology thus meaningfully redirects the discipline toward intellectual community and participatory democracy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bickman, Martin
Commitee: Lamos, Steven, Jurow, Susan, Brylowe, Thora, Liston, Dan
School: University of Colorado at Boulder
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-A 81/3(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Language arts, Education philosophy, Educational sociology
Keywords: Community, Community of practice, Democratic participation, Epistemology, Literary study, Teaching
Publication Number: 22588444
ISBN: 9781088355817
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