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CASLL-L  May 1999

CASLL-L May 1999

Subject:

brash thoughts

From:

Christine Skolnik <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CASLL/Inkshed <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 21 May 1999 21:44:21 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (83 lines)

Hi Tania,

Did you get my greetings via Paula Foster?  Various lists seem to be quiet
these days.  I'm sure it's the end of term or after end of term lull. But
I'll give you something to chew on.  One particularly interesting aspect of
Inkshed for me is the Canadian/American connection/tensions etc.  I first
heard of Inkshed through a Penn State, American, Jack Selzer, who couldn't
say enough about his Canadian pals especially Anthony Pare.  People like
Andrea Lunsford, Marcy Bauman, and Roger Graves keep this cross-over
connection alive as do our annual meetings at the four C's.  Being
intellectually raised in Canada I appreciate the cultural resistance to
things American on the list and in writing programs etc., and think it can
be very productive, but being pedagogically trained in the States I also
have real sympathies with composition as it is practiced here.  Sometimes,
however, I think there are unecessary tensions, or that the "we're not like
those Americans" attitude veils various intrinsically Canadian
issues/challenges.  Ideally, I'd like to see Canadian and American
compositionsts take the best from each side of the border without feeling
the need to justify their own way of doing things. Certainly pedagogical
practices have evlolved differently in different regions, north, south,
east, west, gradually and I'm sure somewhat hap-hazzardly--why would anyone
feel the need to justify anything?  What interests me most in fact is the
rich variety of approaches to writing instruction in Canada--the pedagogical
mosaic--what fertile ground for academic research and institutional growth!
Why can't we just look a head, have ideals, and strive to realize them to as
great an extent as possible, given the very serious and real institutional
constraints we all face every day?  Sadly though, I often feel like an
outsider--a traitor almost.  Why is that?  If we were studying in Britian or
France, would things be different?  I thought the point of going abroad for
an education was to bring different ideas back home, but my experience seems
to have severed me from my Canadian roots.  I don't feel quite welcome
sometimes, and other times I'm not sure that I have that much to offer
teaching rhetoric and/or composition in institutional contexts that may be
radically different from the ones I've taught in for the last seven years,
and almost hostile to the cultural contexts of my graduate education.  I'll
even go so far as to say that I'm not sure if my academic accomplishments
and credentials would be fully recognized by Canadian institutions.  Why is
that? A pointed queery, I know, but one I think worth making.


>X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
>X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V4.72.3110.3
>Date:         Fri, 21 May 1999 20:15:32 -0400
>Reply-To: CASLL/Inkshed <[log in to unmask]>
>Sender: CASLL/Inkshed <[log in to unmask]>
>X-PH: V4.1@r02n06
>From: "Tania S. Smith" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject:      so suddenly silent...
>To: [log in to unmask]
>
>As your ethnographer...
>
>I am wondering why the list went so suddenly silent... is it just because it
>is end-of-term for many?  Is it post-conference burnout?  Or-- is it a
>reluctance to post because I asked for more ethnographic information?  I
>notice that other messages asking for info are going unanswered right now,
>which is unusual, considering the high amount of activity in the past 6
>months or so!
>
>I have gotten no responses about "what is Inkshed-- what does the
>conference/listserv do for you-- what is your role in Inkshed" since I asked
>on the list.  I have gotten responses from 3 or 4 NEW conference-presenters,
>however.  That is interesting, but I don't know what it means that they
>responded and others didn't.  Did the "regulars" think that my data
>collection ended at the conference, perhaps, or that they'd done the most
>that could be expected by even letting me "ethno-graph" them?  Did the new
>presenters just have more need to express their reactions to someone?  I
>ask, as my voice echoes across the canyon of listserv space and time ...
>
>Oh well.  It's only a class project, not a dissertation or a book.  I don't
>have the time or means to do a full-scale ethnography, so my data will be
>limited, and I will probably end up making some false conclusions about
>Inkshed that will really annoy core Inkshedders or set sparks flying between
>inkshedders.  I am thinking now that I might never let it be seen by anyone
>besides my professor, because I don't know if I want to risk the chaos that
>would ensue upon letting the Inkshed group view my objectification of who
>they are.
>
>Boy, am I learning a lot about ethnography!!
>
>Tania
>
>

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