What Do I Know?
Reading, Writing, and Teaching the Essay
Also available at Amazon.com
The essay has had a secure but often circumscribed place in college education. Mostly limited to freshman composition courses, essays have served as prose models or as topic sources for student writing, but rarely as a genre in and of itself. In What Do I Know?Janis Forman responds to this imbalance, arguing for the essay's inclusion as a genre to be read and written in.
What Do I Know?opens up a whole new conversation about the need to resituate the essay in the classroom. Written by humanities and composition scholars who are actively engaged in their own writing and teaching of writing, its articles invite you to wonder about the genre: What does the essay tell us about the links between literature and composition, fiction and nonfiction, short story and personal narrative? Why does the essay have special appeal to writers disenfranchised from the dominant culture and interested in bringing about social and political change? What's to be learned from revisiting canonical essays? What should be added to the canon and why? What's to be gained from giving space and value to uncertainty, inquiry, and reflection?
What Do I Know?releases the essay from its narrow niche in the academy as a service genre and brings it out into the open. Working with essays can inspire readers, writers, and teachers to go beyond the traditional categories of knowledge and discourse and compose "specimens of the art of wondering."
PUBLICATION DATE: 11/6/1995
CATEGORY: Fiction, Language Arts & Disciplines