This page contains samples of scholarly essays I wrote as a student in the SFSU MA Composition program. I realized, retrospectively as I compiled them to add here, that each of them is a tango between Anzaldúa’s theories of composition and whatever I was learning in the field of Composition Studies. Each essay, I think, is heading in the same direction: How can we use Anzaldúa’s thinking to create writing pedagogies that embed and legitimize the experiences–ways of being and knowing–of our G 1.5 students? Beyond “grooming” and insuring mastery of academic discourse, how can we create environments for teaching and learning where the purpose of the educational pipeline is to provide openings for our student’s ways of being and knowing to fundamentally transform our centers of knowledge production and shape how our institutions of higher education meet the challenges of the 21st century?
1. On the Revelance of Gloria Anzadúa’s Mestiza Rhetoric to the Study of Composition for G 1.5 Students of Color (English 700:Introduction to Composition Theory)
2. Practicing Transgressions (English 705: Pedagogy in Composition)
3. Re/Writing Reality: Toward a Pedagogy of Conocimiento (English 895:Composition MA Culminating Experience)
I wrote this essay in Professor Tara Lockhart’s English 700 Introduction to Composition Theory class. More than anything else the essay documents my excitement about Composition Studies as a field, my struggle with the angels of composition (as in Benjamin’s Angel of History) and my attempt to piece together Gloria Anzaldúa’s ideas about writing and composition into a mestiza rhetoric (I am still working on this).
This second essay asks: How do we translate conocimiento, nepantla, autohistoía and other key concepts of mestiza rhetoric into meaningful transgressive pedagogical practices? I describe my experiences assigning Elbow and Benaloff’s Autobiography of Yourself as a Writer essays and analyze my student’s responses to elaborate a writing pedagogy grounded on mestiza rhetoric where personal writing of autohistorias/teorias is a way to practice transgressions
Re/writing Reality: Toward a Pedagogy of Conocimiento is a revised writing sample that draws from the first two essays and my experience designing and teaching Dreamer’s English in the 2011-2012 academic year, analysis of student essays and recent interviews with 3 participants. While it is a substantial revision of previous writing, what I have here is a work in progress.