Geoffrey Vincent Carter

Rereading and rewriting bloc/ks: Teaching multi-modal literacies through an apprenticeship in proper names

Geoffrey Vincent Carter

  • School: Purdue University (0183)
  • Degree: Ph.D.
  • Date: 2007; pp: 269
  • Advisor: Blakesley, David
  • Source: DAI-A 68/10, Apr 2008
  • Subjects: Language arts, Rhetoric, Composition, Educational theory
  • ProQuest Document Number: 1421603191
  • ISBN: 9780549303558
  • UMI Number: AAT 3287294
  • Document URL: http://www2­.lib­.purdue­.edu:2048/login­?url=http://www2­.lib­.purdue­.edu:2118/pqdweb­?did=1421603191­&sid=1­&Fmt=2­&clientId=31343­&RQT=309­&VName=PQD


            My dissertation,

Rereading and Rewriting Bloc/ks: Teaching Multi-Modal Literacies through an Apprenticeship in Proper Names

            , develops a new theoretical and pedagogical approach for addressing the problem of writer’s block. Scholarship that draws on cognitive models of writer’s block measurement from the 1980s elides the inventive possibilities found in the very literature used to define and measure this condition. One such possibility, suggested by the work of an often overlooked psychiatrist, Edmund Bergler, who coined the term writer’s block in the 1950s, is to consider how someone might play with words and homonyms extracted from their own name (i.e., Bergler to Burglar) as a site of invention. Student writers, who often claim to have writer’s block, can harness this insight to draw associations from their names and in so doing connect their writing to more varied and more sophisticated bibliographic networks. The virgule in my


             both distinguishes my work from the broadly accepted negative condition of writer’s block and the positive groupings that can be formed by


            . Drawing on figures as diverse as Aristotle and Kenneth Burke, as well as other composition and new media theorists who strategically deploy the play of language, my


        •  provide a wide-ranging historic spectrum where the meaning and style of words are perpetually under negotiation. Rather than regarding research in terms of a finite number of sources on a given topic, and rather than jettisoning the term writer’s block altogether, I want to suggest that viewing names as signs of identity that can give rise to an infinite number of inventive resources.