What I find truely perplexing, however, is that some of these (often well
meaning) folk who advocate such mechanistic courses often have intense
theoretical backgrounds in deconstruction, culture theory, various forms of
postmodernism etc. These positions contradict their actual practices in
ways that I find difficult to fathom. Do their brains turn off or what?
And by the way I think it is cheaper to run a "mechanistic" course--no
drafts, multiple choice grammar and style tests.
From: Russ Hunt <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: March 3, 1999 7:57 AM
Subject: Re: Issues in Composition at Cdn. universities
>Seems to me this is quite consistent with Rick's take on style-
>centered as opposed to effect-centered pedagogies.
>> What counts now as "American" style compostition are many of the
>> practices that many of us currently advocate. So for example
>> interactive workshops, attention to invention, drafts,
>> collaborative projects etc. etc. are often viewed (within English
>> departments) as strange foreign and not-to-be trusted practices.
>> What counts as "Canadian" seems to be the mechanistic style focused
>> courses as present in many of the handbooks that have been revised
>> into "Canadian" editions.
>Cathy's suggestion that this is driven by economics might be right
>in terms of the immediate administrative decisions, but long-term I
>think (a) both forms are pretty labor-intensive and (b) the choice
>of the "mechanistic, style-focused courses" is actually driven more
>by a set of goals focused mainly on weeding out those who don't get it
>rather than on trying desperately to help those who don't get it
>build a model of discourse where they might.
>It has been said about a university which shall remain unnamed, "Oh,
>yes, that's the place where they take all those silk purses and make
>silk purses out of them."
> -- Russ
>Russell A. Hunt __|~_)_ __)_|~_ Aquinas Chair
>St. Thomas University )_ __)_|_)__ __) PHONE: (506) 452-0424
>Fredericton, New Brunswick | )____) | FAX: (506) 450-9615
>E3B 5G3 CANADA ___|____|____|____/ [log in to unmask]
> \ /
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://www.StThomasU.ca/hunt/ ~~~~~~~~~~~~