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…

Westmont College Scanning Brains

Disturbing news from The Chronicle: Westmont College will be using headsets to measure electrical activity in students’ brains, attempting to measure “growth” through the college experience.  This is exactly the kind of “research” that disturbs me: no control groups, no prior proof-of-concept with the theory, and a clear conflict of interest.  This isn’t science –…