Date of Award
Master of Arts
Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication
Laura M Brown
Composition studies texts discuss the classroom as a physical and metaphorical space and place. However, they lack consistent language which creates incoherent communication and implementation of the affects classrooms, as a place, have. Similarly, composition teaching texts have a disconnect from composition studies texts in that the teaching texts discuss, in less detail, the classroom as a place. In this project, I argue New Materialism provides a critical lens to view, discuss, and utilize the classroom as a place. Students and teachers create a sense of place in a classroom; and, this sense of place results in the classroom affecting the people within it. Therefore, creating a common way to view, discuss, and communicate the classroom as a place is beneficial to both composition theory and practice. In this project, I first explain what New Materialism is and how I use it as a critical lens for analysis. Then, I examine composition studies texts to find patterns and commonalities for how the classroom as a space and place are discussed. After examining composition studies texts, I transition to an examination of composition teaching texts. Here is where I noticed a distinct gap between the studies and teaching texts. While the composition studies texts inconsistently discuss the classroom as place, that concept is not communicated to new composition instructors through teaching texts. I argue, first, that New Materialism is a beneficial critical lens through which to view a classroom. Second, I argue that while composition studies texts discuss the classroom environment, the texts lack consistency and coherence. Third, I argue that composition teaching texts have a gap in their instruction; specifically, they do not, in enough depth or coherence, discuss the classroom as a place. Lastly, I argue that concepts, space and place, from geography and echoed in New Materialism, provide a common language with which to view, discuss, and communicate how the classroom functions as a place.
Pounders, Michael, "Classroom place: New Materialism as a way to view, discuss, and use the composition classroom" (2020). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 18011.