Expanding the metaphor: a pragmatic application of hospitality theory to the field of writing studies

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Brandy Lyn Grabow (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Hephzibah Roskelly

Abstract: This dissertation examines the relationship between hospitality theory and Writing Studies. Contemporary Writing Studies scholarship approaches hospitality through a traditional lens viewing it separately as either theory, practice or pedagogy for the composition classroom (Dale Jacobs, Richard Haswell, Janice Haswell, Glen Blalock, Matthew Heard, Joanna Lin Want). As the practice and pedagogy of hospitality are promoted in Writing Studies, the binary metaphor of the host and guest provides the dominant way of discussing this work. In this binary metaphor the instructor is often designated the host, and the students the guests. This configuration obscures the important influence of the university upon the classroom relationship. I argue that recognizing the additional influence of the university on the relationship between the instructor and students is necessary because it impacts the instructor's ability to act as a host. Following pragmatic influences like William James and Ann E. Berthoff, I argue for a disruption of the binary metaphor of hospitality. Returning to hospitality theory I focus on Levinas' identification of a third position in the hospitable metaphor. Using this third position, which for this conversation I call the "Preparer," to apply a triadic metaphor of hospitality to the composition classroom reveals how the institution must create the conditions necessary for the instructor to act as the host. The triadic metaphor of hospitality supplies an analytical perspective to be applied beyond the classroom to the additional work of Writing Studies as well. Viewing the position of the writing program administrator in the context of the triadic metaphor untangles the multiple, often conflicting, positions the administrator occupies. The peripheral position of the writing center at the edges of the university provides a space in which the writing center administrator can create an environment in which a hospitable encounter between the consultant and writer is possible.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
Hospititality, Pragmatism, Writing Center, Writing Studies
English language $x Rhetoric $x Study and teaching
Writing centers

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