Karen Lynn Kopelson

Teaching trouble. Performativity and composition pedagogy: Composing connections

Karen Lynn Kopelson

  • School: Purdue University (0183)
  • Degree: Ph.D.
  • Date: 2002; pp: 329
  • Advisor: Sullivan, Patricia
  • Source: DAI-A 64/09, p. 3277, Mar 2004
  • Subjects: Language, Rhetoric And Composition (0681); Education, Language And Literature (0279)
  • ProQuest Document Number:
  • ISBN: 0-496-52543-3
  • UMI Number: AAT 3104976

Abstract:

        The 1990 publication of Judith Butler’s

Gender TroubleĀ 

        was arguably the last decade’s shot heard ’round the theorizing world, disrupting feminist and other identity-based paradigms for politics and theorizing across disciplines, and helping to found queer theory itself in that process. Yet, despite the first-order theoretical interventions wrought by

Gender Trouble

    • , and, most notably, by the text’s central concept, performativity, Butler’s work has been slow to enter composition studies, and remains especially underexplored in composition scholarship that is expressly pedagogical in focus. This project demonstrates the vital relevance of the theory of performativity to composition’s pedagogical scholarship, and illustrates the particular contributions it can make to that body of work that takes issues of identity, difference, and resistance to difference to be a central pedagogical concern. Yet, the project also problematizes and complicates appropriations of performativity that are already circulating in composition studies and closely related fields, ultimately suggesting, through discrete though overlapping engagements with various texts, that, conceived in and as pedagogy, performativity both needs, and inherently bears traces of, the identity-based politico-theoretical paradigms that preceded and gave rise to it.