cited and discussed essay in composition studies: David Bartholomae’s ” Inventing the University.” With this event in mind, I invited Bartholomae to reflect on the. Every time a student sits down to write for us, he has to invent the university for the occasion — invent the university, that is, or a branch of David Bartholomae. In the article “Inventing the University” by David Bartholomae, writes about basic writers problems and when they sit down to write for any class.

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When students try to take on this role they often just end up imitating their professor rather than discover and draw their own conclusions.

For that matter, what is gained by forcing students to read Bleak House? There must be steps along the way. Bartholomae is an American scholar in composition studies. They cannot sit through lectures and read textbooks and, as a consequence, write as sociologists or write literary criticism. So, if a student cannot inventting a literary critic, they can still engage in understanding and criticizing literature.

Bartholomae’s “Inventing the University” – The World’s Last Mysteries (And Other Fallacies)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. True, their results might not fit within the current discourse of the discipline, but if they choose to pursue that end, then they will eventually do so.

Beyond that, our students do not all come to us as English majors, certainly not all as composition theorists. Home Rhetoric and Writing are Everywhere! They will do the becoming, not us. Your email address will not be published. Writing Without Teachers 2nd ed.

Some will be marked by courses, and in an ideal curriculum the preliminary courses would be writing courses, whether housed in an English department or not.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Much of the written work that students do is test-taking, report or summary — work that places them outside the official discourse of the academic community, where they are inventinv to admire and report on what we do, rather than inside that discourse, where they can do its work and participate in a common enterprise.


In his final section, Bartholomae comes very close—so very close—to saying just what I wish he would say:. Students gradually enter into discourses, gradually attain comfort with the conventions of those discourses, and we as educators must be attentive to that process and those efforts. Bartholomae has served on the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association and as president of the Conference on College Composition and Communication and president of the Association of Departments of English.

Inventing the University by David Bartholomae

This brings me to my major objection, but before I make it, I must give Bartholomae his defense: You may use these HTML tags and attributes:. He says the writer can then construct what they have to say around a goal they and the reader share. First, Bartholomae makes much too much, I think of convention, of making students perform, making them think and write the way that the academy—that is, Bartholomae—does.

Cross-Talk in Comp Theory: So, to my objections. The power to see, the power to analyze, to understand, to utilize, to transform, to re-create—these, I would say, are at least some of the aims of critical pedagogy. Bartholomae continues with ways of fixing problems basic writers have. The solution to this problem, Bartholomae suggests, is for writers to “build bridges” p.

Some of Bartholomae’s claims have created controversy among colleagues. True, our students are seldom prepared to be fully functional, accomplished literary critics, particularly in a first year writing course.

David Bartholomae

Most notably, Bartholomae engaged Peter Elbow in a long public debate regarding the role of the university-level student writer. Yet, near the end of the chapter, Bartholomae makes a claim that returns me to my objection: In fact, in “Being a Writer vs.

Writing on the Margins: Really, there are two broad objections—or, perhaps I should call them complications—that I would offer.

He brings up that Linda Flower has argued expert writers are better at the reader based prose and can better imagine how a reader will react to their writing and Bartholomae agrees with this. Rick — Teaching Philosophy Blog Posts. For this to happen the writer must be one with the reader.



While I am critical of Bartholomae in some respects, I agree with his claims or elements of them as often as not. Bartholomae wants to fix this by seeing more writing in all classes. Ours should be something more than merely teaching students to emulate, to play a role. Learn how your comment data is processed. Inventting, at the and meetings of the Conference on College Composition and CommunicationBartholomae and Elbow initiated a prominent discussion regarding personal and academic writing, one which spilled over into the pages of academic journals and was taken up by additional scholars in subsequent years.

He examines a student writing sample and discusses the moves the student has made, illustrating how the student at times appropriates and at times fails to appropriate convention. Bartholomae writes of bringing students more seriously into academic battholomae, yet his own language is scattered liberally with references to artifice, performance, and make-believe.

In his final section, Bartholomae comes very close—so very close—to saying just what I wish he would say: Yes, we do teach a particular mode of composition, and yes, there are conventions that come with that. Yet, if we treat student efforts as so much play-acting, then we are not taking them seriously—and if so, how can we ask them to take us seriously? Regardless, yes—we can certainly offer students guidance in convention, and in teaching composition that is a part of what we do.