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Student Writing, Politics, and Style, 1962-1979

Warnick, Chris (2006) Student Writing, Politics, and Style, 1962-1979. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Student Writing, Politics, and Style, 1962-1979 examines personal writings composed by American college students during the 1960s and 70s, a period that corresponds to important developments in U.S. postwar university student activism and in the modern disciplinary history of composition studies. I contend that students' experimentation with multiple genres of personal writing during this period disturbs a dominant historical narrative in composition and rhetoric that characterizes the theories and pedagogies of personal writing widely circulating in the sixties as "expressive." Looking closely at student-produced memoirs, journals, personal essays, and commencement orations, I argue that students in the sixties approached personal writing not simply to determine the meaning of their experiences as individuals. Rather, the student writers I examine understood personal writing genres as useful for reflecting on the possibility of meaning and for thinking about their complex identities as both individuals and members of collectives. The dissertation offers a way of reading student writing in relation to its historical context and furthermore shows how students work both with and against expectations to construct identities in writing.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCarr, Jean Fergusonjcarr@pitt.eduJCARR
Committee MemberBartholomae, Davidbarth@pitt.eduBARTH
Committee MemberSeitz, Jamesseitz@pitt.eduSEITZ
Committee MemberOlson, Lesterolson@pitt.eduOLSON
Date: 2 October 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 27 July 2006
Approval Date: 2 October 2006
Submission Date: 19 July 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > English
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: college student writing; commencement orations; Eldridge Cleaver; history of writing instruction; Joan Didon; student memoirs; Composition theory and pedagogy; Brown University; University of Pittsburgh
Other ID:, etd-07192006-201123
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:52
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:46


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