Date of Award

Summer 8-2-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Mary Hocks

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Burmester

Third Advisor

Marti Singer

Abstract

Recuperating Composition’s lore in postdisciplinarity in order to illustrate the polyvalent, multidirectional positionality of our practices, this study argues that Composition’s lore, as it functions in a community of practice, helps locate and address various challenges with the cultural displacement that burgeoning scholars experience as they critically negotiate their practices within the expectations of the academy. Bridging the communities of writing teachers in classrooms and writing centers in a demonstration of institutional polyvalence, this ethnographic study’s participants suggest the reflexive influence of postdisciplinary lore in the cultivation of authority and practitioner identity. As one point of access to this cultural negotiation, the transmission and application of myth contextualizes lore as cultural phenomena affecting both professional and pedagogical development in graduate student teachers and tutors. This study concludes that the reflexivity offered in postdisciplinary sites of cultural engagement encourages a negotiated, recursive power relation between the institution and the practitioner, thus creating multiple, malleable sites of authority and agency within disciplinary culture.

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