Theory Is Hermeneutic – Possible Response to Raúl Sánchez?

If we theorize theories of writing as examples of writing, as Raúl Sánchez does, then we must acknowledge that theories function as hermeneutic collection systems, determining the focus of ongoing discourses by constraining the locus of language available to theorists. Thus, to be a successful theorist, one must appropriately collect evidence from previous articulation a…

Autobiography and Theories without Data

Autobiographical explanations of theoretical frameworks can provide the false assurance of affective verification.  This is particularly true in creative writing pedagogy, where many articulation a of “how one should teach” are supported with autobiographical (i.e. anecdotal) evidence rather than research data.  This is exactly what James D. Williams criticized in works by Lisa Ede and…

Trauma and Standpoint: Inflicting Hierarchy via Mimesis

Leys describes the memetic and antimimetic aspects of trauma to be one of the sticking points of most theories of trauma.  Past psychoanalysts found that their patients would imitate hypnotic suggestion, indicating that the memories might be implanted (citation) – the survivors of abuse also appeared to adopt the perspectives over their abusers (citation). This is…

Pathologizing the Other: From Socrates to Vaccination

When I spoke about pathologizing the victim or pathologizing the survivor, what I was thinking about was how we sort people into “us” and “them.”  Unfortunately, we (as a society) frequently do this with “the young” (e.g. students, young adults, Millennials).  In Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates pathologizes those who use writing.  He identifies them as individuals who…

J.C. Hallman on reading in the context of ourselves

J.C. Hallman writes that “We never read outside the context of ourselves” (qtd. in Kellman B15).  And this, I think, seems pretty obvious – why even state it, really?  Except that most theories of knowledge appear to posit knowing as tied to an external phenomenon.  There must be an external something that one is to know about.…

Blogging Research: How Much Is Too Much?

So in posting new material, I’m finding that it’s hard to actually keep up with my own expectations of “good” research and “good” blogging.  The real question I face is one of genre and writing research: how am I using this blog? (Activity, Representation)  How do I think others will perceive it?  (Reception, Representation)  How…