Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

What we talk about when we talk about emotion: The rhetoric of emotion in composition
by Vogel, Elizabeth, Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 2008, 146; 3316408
Abstract (Summary)

This project addresses the consequences of the binary between the affective and cognitive realms in the composition classroom. In the university, reason has been historically valued over emotion in the production of knowledge despite evidence that emotion is both culturally and cognitively constituted. Although recent scholarship in the field of composition has begun to articulate the necessity of studying affect, these theories have not yet revolutionized teaching practices. This work argues that ignoring emotions in the classroom limits opportunities to deepen writing and critical thinking, especially when focusing on emotionally weighty discussions that may involve race, sex, and gender, and so-called “outlaw emotions,” emotions that draw attention to the emoting vs. the oppression itself. Using the theories of Susanne K. Langer, Ann Berthoff, and Lynn Worsham, this project examines the administrative, political, and pedagogical factors of emotion, keeping in mind that emotion may be present, but silent and unseen. By analyzing classroom narratives and interviewing teaching assistants and beginning instructors from a variety of English specializations – composition, literature, and creative writing – the author proposes a rhetoric of emotion that allows emotion to become a larger part of the critical engagement of ideas that writing classes hope to foster. Ultimately, the aim of this text is to articulate the function of emotion in composition, so it is no longer ineffable, or as Worsham calls it, “beyond our semantic availability.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Chiseri-Strater, Elizabeth
Commitee: Myers, Nancy, Roskelly, Hephzibah, Wiederhold, Eve
School: The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Department: College of Arts & Sciences: English
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 69/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Language arts, Rhetoric, Composition
Keywords: Composition, Emotion, Rhetoric
Publication Number: 3316408
ISBN: 9780549697008
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