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Audience Schmaudience. Let them eat cake.


Lead questions

Discuss what you know about audience (that is, what you've been taught) - and how you teach it - how you think about it -

These are the ideas Ong and L&E are getting at: We need to theorize it, bring how we think about it out in the open, in order to teach it - in order to figure out if it's worth teaching, and if it is, where does it fit in our teaching.

And what else do we teach when we teach about audience? how to be one? how to move one? how to ignore it?

Consider what conception(s) audience we teach and how we teach that - either openly or as implied:
Consider: How might we teach audience if we're Ong? Lessons? Samples to read? Group work to do?
Take 5 - 7 mins to brainstorm a few, then we'll critique with Ong in mind.

Does this conception of audience help us make compositional sense of some student texts?
That is, what can we say about a student text using this sense of audience?

The Writer's Audience is Always a Fiction

Walter Ong
Classic work, in which he describes a dynamic of writer to reader and back again.

the writer must “construct in his imagination, clearly or vaguely, an audience cast in some sort of role . . .” and that this same audience must “correspondingly fictionalize itself”.

Consider this dynamic in the rhet sit of the classroom: the student writer constructs you as a teacher-audience - and you him, according to the instructions given in the text.

Might compare Ong's conception of audience - writer relation in relation to ones commonly taught -

bring in the diagram from Longaker. This posits an implied writer / reader, which is Ong's take from a different angle.

examples might be
Common conception of audience is passive receiver decoding the message being sent. The old positivistic model of language. Doesn't work like that -

Ong's take also prompts us to reconsider style. That is, to look at some stylistic features as signals of how the audience is to play her role -
Writer picks up a voice - a style - and with it, an audience.

Ong uses fiction to make his point, but this fictionalization occurs in any writing: writer constructs an audience implicit in the text - and the reader uses the text to construct her self a an audience.

From Ong's perspective, student difficulties in writing might be seen as a difficulty in constructing the role the audience is to play -

Think of how you signal roles when you write academic work, as in last week's abstracts.

from a brief from Coley apropos writing on a wiki
The ... continuum of audience as self to known to mass unknown has been criticized for failing to recognize the nuances inherent in the audience structure. In light of these nuances, ... consider Ong’s audience as fiction and Ede and Lunsford’s audience addressed/audience invoked. ... Ong (1975) wrote that the writer must “construct in his imagination, clearly or vaguely, an audience cast in some sort of role . . .” and that this same audience must “correspondingly fictionalize itself” (p. 60). In the wiki community, this means that audience members are constructed by the author(s) of a given piece based ... on past fictionalizations of previous audiences who assumed roles related to other audiences for other (previous) authors. The wiki single-author is related to all other community authors, knows what those authors contributed to community knowledge, and thus conjures up the audiences needed to continue the conversation.

Tomlinson, Barbara, Gesa Kirsch, and Duane H Roen. "Ong May Be Wrong: Negotiating with Nonfictional Readers." A Sense of Audience in Written Communication. Charles R Cooper and Sidney Greenbaum. Vol. 5. Newbury Park: Sage Publications, 1990. 85–98-85–98. Print.

Ong, S J, and Walter Walter. Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. London: Methuen, 1982. Print.

Selzer, Jack. "More Meanings of Audience." A Rhetoric of Doing: Essays on Written Discourse in Honor of James L Kinneavy. Ed. Stephen P Witte, Neil Nakadate, and Roger D Cherry. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1992. 161–180-161–180. Print.

Audience Addressed/Audience Invoked

Lunsford and Ede

Consider the role we will put the rhetorical construct of audience in teaching writing. E&L ask a pedagogical question up front: "What is the best way to help students recognize the significance of the element of audience in any rhetorical sit?"

Addressed (real) outside the text.
Invoked (constructed) implied by the text as written

Each is incomplete on their own, so L&E use both: a synthesis of the addressed and invoked
Writer is guided by a sense of purpose and particularities of the rhet sit in establishing a range of potential roles the audience may play: colleague, critic, mass, anomalous ...
Writers to be read must adapt discourse to meed the need and expectations of the actual, addressed audience. but the text invokes the role the reader is to play. some of those roles - relational roles - are invoked in the genre (tech writing, worksheet, textbook, assignment sheet). Writers construct this invoked audience using resources in language: style, tone, mood, content, even material of paper, font, ...
But audiences are real and may reject the role - unless the text in situation accommodates them.

Applications of L&E
Example from Country Diary - Audience actually addressed - us - may have a hard time playing the audience invoked - who are UKK, middle-class -

Reach
Some notes on L&E's latest work, and notes on audiences on the Internet.
Who is the audience for google hits?
What about unwanted audiences? what do we teach about those?

Ede, Lisa, and Andrea Lunsford. Singular Texts/Plural Authors: Perspectives on Collaborative Writing. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1990. Print.

Booth, Wayne. "The Rhetorical Stance." The Writing Teacher's Sourcebook. Ed. Gary Tate and Edward P J Corbett. New York: OUP, 1981. Print.

Breuch

provides the cross-talk
She may be articulating some of your doubts about this writing process idea -

She calls this a philosophical exercise: a mind-experiment, poking at or interrogating our assumptions to see what comes up

The set up: By 2000, process theories were being critiqued as inadequate explanation for the act of writing. The main critique was that process would be more or less universal, or at least generalizable - would be valid more or all of the time.

It was becoming clear, esp when we draw in post-modern, anti-foundational precepts, that theories of process weren't telling us much about how people acted or what they did. Not telling us much about the act of writing.

Some aspects - some of these are not in Breuch
not a lot of focus on material and ideological situations
political agendas of standardized tests, whole language emphasis, single-language mandates

What happened: When we see writing as a process, the act becomes a body of knowledge. That is, if we know about pre-writing, then we know how to write. Etc. This is an echo of the previous generation's mis-understanding: If students know the terms of grammar, they can write. So, writing-as-process became incorporated in curricula as reified, as a package that can be taught by novices and taught at any level.

So, Breuch's argument:
Set aside process and
But w have a problem: Writing when seen as an activity rather than a body of knowledge it becomes unteachable. there's nothing to teach. B addresses this as a misunderstanding: teaching writing as a system is not possible, with the emphasis on as a system.

This is not the same argument that is made that writing is mysterious / too complex to teach / teaching writing would destroy the mystery of how writing gets written / can't be taught because writing depends on talent - all of which are creationism: the Sarah Palin school of teaching. This perspective relies on high priests and subservient believers: monologic lecturing.

B is going to argue that it might be teachable, so let's look at it. Unpack some terms
Given the impossibility of resting our understanding on absolutes, what do we do?

Assumptions - and some implication for teaching an indeterminate act
writing is public - and so get at able. it's not a private, secret act. it's done out here - with language, and language carries the culture with it. using language is to give in to an audience.
writing is interpretive - won't rely on a universal foundation and so we need to focus on the nature of the interpretation instead of its grounding
writing is situated - it's a physical and material act. kairos, materially situated, varies by mode and medium, so foster an awareness of this.

Overall, rather than teach form, sentence structure, invention, arrangement, talent, teach a critical consciousness of writing as public interpretation that is materially and socially grounded. And do that teaching as a public, interpretive, situated act.

This seems to demand that we give up foundational perspectives such as talent is the thing. etc

When B moves to practice, she argues that teaching writing becomes an act of mentoring rather than delivering content (120) - and the nature of that mentoring would then be based on the nature of the writing process.
This is nice because it sweeps away a content-based curriculum that leads towards a recipe practice of process for an indeterminate act of process.

Teachers become integral to text creation, and the act becomes public, interpretive, and situated -
and that in turn has big implications for DE
this also suggests that the process of writing is fundamentally the same no matter what the genre: academic paper or slam poetry.


Background readings in Foundationalism, Theory and Practice




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