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Annotated Works Cited*
Annas, Pamela. “Style as Politics: A Feminist Approach to the Teaching of Writing.” College English 47:4 (April 1985): 360-72.
essay grew out of Annas’ experience teaching a course titled “Writing
as Women.” Annas argues that numerous constraints work to prevent women
from writing and to make them self-conscious when they do write. She
believes that women must be taught to become personally (and politically)
invested in their writing. Annas writes, “Whenever a woman sits down to
write, she is engaged in a complex political act in which the self and the
world struggle in and through the medium of language” (362-363).
Caywood, Cynthia and Gillian Overing. Introduction. Teaching Writing: Pedagogy, Gender, and Equity. Albany, NY: SUNY P, 1987. xi-xvi.
their introduction to this collection of essays, Caywood and Overing write
that the purpose of this book is to explore “the relationship between
feminist theory and writing theory” (xii). They write that there are
important parallels between the feminist critique of patriarchy and
revisionist critiques of traditional writing practices and pedagogies and
equate the process model of writing to feminist revision strategies.
Ultimately, their entire collection argues for transforming the
composition classroom into a feminist language class. The focus is on
empowering women students and revaluing feminine modes of discourse.
Cixous, Helene. “The Laugh of the Medusa.” Signs 1:1 (Summer 1976): 875-93.
one of the most-cited feminist essays, Cixous argues that women must
reclaim their bodies and forge their own path through writing. She
condemns patriarchal intimidation and oppression of women, claiming women
can only free themselves once their establish their right and power
through writing. Cixous argues that women are indoctrinated to believe
their writing is somehow shameful and that women silence themselves by
keeping their writing secret.
Jennifer. Men, Women, and Language: A Sociolinguistic Account of Gender
Differences in Language (2nd ed.). New York: Longman, 1993.
argues that there is a strong interplay between language and social
structure. The author states that society has preconceived notions about
gender and language. For example, women are not as literate as men, they
talk more and say less (silence is the ideal because it is synonymous with
obedience). Coates cites the “Androcentric Rule”—men’s language is
the norm, women’s the deviance. Coates hopes to show readers that
language, dominated by males, plays a key role in continued inequality
between the sexes.
Elisabeth and Sandra Runzo. “Transforming the Composition Classroom.”
Caywood and Overing 45-62.
with a disturbing metaphor of teacher as mother, Daumer and Runzo argue
that composition and women have been neglected, but can be reclaimed and
reconciled in the feminist writing classroom. They offer typical critiques
of the product-oriented class, as well as typical solutions for the
feminist composition teacher. This article actually argues against much of
what contemporary feminist pedagogy strives to achieve.
Carole. “Who’s Got the Floor?” Gender and Conversational
Interaction. Ed. Deborah Tannen. New York and Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993.
taped faculty meetings, Edelsky’s analyzed gendered differences in who
assumes and keeps the “floor.” She found men talk longer than women in
singly-developed floors, and participate less than women in
collaboratively-developed ones. She also warns that the
“turn-taker’s” intentions must be taken into account when analyzing
their participation: are they attempting to support a stated point or
wrest control of the conversation?
Carolyn. Writing a Woman’s Life. New York: Ballantine, 1988.
author argues that women’s lives have been contrived, and now women must
re-write their lives “to make clear, evident, out in the open, those
events, decisions, and relationships that have been invisible outside of
women’s fictions” (18). Heilbrun cautions that idealistic women are
deluding themselves if they think the oppressed status of women (and
others) can be changed without a conscious acknowledgement and
confrontation of that oppression. Heilbrun mentions several feminist
biographies and autobiographies that show women concealing their true
motives and influences (writing for men, as Rich mentions in “When We
Dead Awaken”), and how they are kept from expressing anger or combining
their public and private lives (like famous men do).
bell. “Holding My Sister’s Hand: Feminist Solidarity.” In Teaching
to Transgress: Education as
the Practice of Freedom. New York: Routledge, 1994. 93-110.
this chapter from her famous treatise on engaged pedagogy, hooks argues
that feminism cannot move forward if white women refuse to listen to black
women or deny the reality of racial domination. Beginning with a
historical analysis of white and black women’s relationships (or lack
thereof), hooks writes “White women writing about their impressions in
scholarly and confessional work often ignore the depth of enmity between
the two groups, or see it as solely a black female problem. Many times in
feminist circles I have heard white women talk about a particular black
woman’s hostility toward white females as though such feelings are not
rooted in historical relations and contemporary interactions” (101-2).
Susan. “A Woman’s Place Is in the Composition Classroom.” Rhetoric
Review 9:2 (Spring 1991): 230-45.
elucidates the differences between the way a feminist teacher teaches
writing and the way most of her are accustomed to learning (the masculine
“banking” concept), and argues that those differences need not create
friction between the teacher and her students (acknowledging and
conceptualizing those differences can have a profound effect on student
learning). Hunter writes, “Along with transforming attitudes about
language, feminist teachers and the feminist writing teachers must also
offer alternate models of authority for their students, different from
those available in hierarchical, authoritarian classrooms” (233). She
argues this is especially problematic for the feminist teacher who has
been taught to nurture and whom students expect to mother rather than
Adrienne. “Toward a Woman-Centered University” (1973-74). In On
Lies, Secrets, and Silence: Selected Prose 1966-1978. New York:
Norton, 1979. 125-55.
In this chapter from Rich’s well-known collection, the author argues that a woman-centered university would be a more open and equitable place for learning than the traditionally man-centered one. She writes that women entering the university system become indoctrinated into a system than reinforces male-centered society. Rich believes that women must resist the male-dominated structure, deciding for themselves what they will accept and what they will reject (come to their own modes of critical thought), and that women must work to destroy the fragmentation within the university—both of its classes of people (especially women) and its academic divisions.
*NOTE: Because of web formatting issues, this is not precisely how your works cited/bibliographic entries would appear. Your citations (not the annotations) should have a hanging indent (if you don't know what that is, try it in your work processing program). And I used "works cited" rather than "bibliography" or "references" because that is the MLA convention--check your style manual for the proper term.