Epiphany

So the job search can be depressing at times, but more importantly, it is a huge timesuck. Which is why I’ve not been blogging regularly. Of course, severe writer’s block might also have something to do with it.

After having a long conversation with my  director last night, I know I need to MAJORLY rethink the direction of my dissertation. And in the shower this morning, I had an epiphany (I think) as to the title that I want to use for this revamped project:

“Excavating the Essay: A Generic Approach to Invention in the Composition Classroom.” The part after the colon is long and not too flashy (and is always subject to change), but the excavation part is what I’m getting at. My dissertation needn’t focus on all this place-invention sh–stuff. That’s great for a chapter, but I’m making an argument for reconceiving the essay in the composition classroom, and the reason for that relates to invention pedagogy in particular. So what might this newly revised dissertation look like?

Chapter One: still about invention through the lens of place (and the old chapter two can be folded into this a bit), maybe more of a focus on topoi

Chapter Two: Genre theory and the history of the essay/tied to comp.

Chapter Three: Topoi in essay writing and how that relates to invention.

Chapter Four: study write-up, focus on public/process essay; other implications for teaching.

This basically means that the chapter I’m working on now needs to be expanded by a lot (and quickly). . .

On a related but fun note,  Santa (in the guise of my husband) gave me John D’Agata’s new anthology The Lost Origins of the Essay for Christmas. YAYAYAYAY!

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I am an associate professor of English and writing center coordinator at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. I teach courses in composition, creative nonfiction, fundamentals of English, and peer tutoring.

Posted in Dissertation, essays, How it’s going, Inspiration

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