Procedural Slaves


Material Information

Procedural Slaves Liberating Digital Classrooms through African-American Rhetoric
Physical Description:
1 online resource (51 p.)
Hamilton, Sam
University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Master's ( M.A.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Committee Chair:
Sanchez, Raul
Committee Members:
Ongiri, Amy A


Subjects / Keywords:
african-american -- digital -- education -- rhetoric
English -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
English thesis, M.A.
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )


There exists a long history of conceiving of students as slaves. The procedural rhetoric of education/schooling/training forms this rhetorical and pedagogical position. This same procedural argument reinstantiates in contemporary digital learning environments and through contemporary digital learning tools. In order to liberate students from history's long-held procedural metaphor that likens them to slaves, scholars and students of rhetoric and composition studies might turn our attention to various rhetorical and pedagogical traditions that emerge from a history of slavery. Specifically, we might turn to the work of 21st century African-American rhetorical scholars such as Adam Banks and Vorris Nunley.
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of Florida, 2012.
Adviser: Sanchez, Raul.
Electronic Access:
Statement of Responsibility:
by Samuel Z Hamilton.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Rights Management:
Applicable rights reserved.
lcc - LD1780 2012
System ID:

This item is only available as the following downloads:

Full Text




2 2012 Sam Hamilton


3 To Jessica, mom, and dad


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I thank my committee members, Ral Snchez and Amy Ongiri, for their guidance, support, and encouragement. Additionally, I th ank Laurie Gries, Sid Dobrin, Jake Riley, Jordan Youngblood, Melissa Bianchi, and Kyle Bohunicky for their questions, comments, and suggestions. I thank the students/teachers of section 4409 of ENC 1101: Writing Academic Arguments for the lessons. Most of all, I thank Jessica, for whom every word I write is written.


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 6 CHAPTERS 1 INTRODUCTION: CLASSROOMS AND POWER ................................ .................... 7 2 ARISTOCRATIC EDUCATION: SLAVES BY BIRTH ................................ .............. 10 3 MIDDLE CL ASS EDUCATION: SLAVES BY SCIENCE ................................ ......... 12 4 INSTRUCTIONAL PROCESSES: HOW TO BE A SLAVE ................................ ..... 18 5 HUSH HARBORS AND GRIOTS ................................ ................................ ............ 33 6 CONCLUSION: POWER AND CLASSROOMS ................................ ...................... 46 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................... 49 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ............................ 51


6 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts PROCEDURAL SLAVES: LIBERATING D IGITAL CLASSROOMS THROUGH AFRICAN AMERICAN RHETORIC By Sam Hamilton May 2012 Chair : Ral Snchez Major: English There exists a long history of conceiving of students as slaves. The procedural rhetoric of education/schooling/training forms this rhetoric al and pedagogical position. This same procedural argument reinstantiates in contemporary digital learning environments and through contemporary digital learn ing tools. In order to liberate held procedural metaphor that likens them to slaves, scholars and students of rhetoric and composition studies might turn our attention to various rhetorical and pedagogical traditions that emerge from a history of slavery. Specifically, we might turn to the work of 21 st century African Ameri can rhetorical scholars such as Adam Banks and Vorris Nunley.


7 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION: CLASSR OOMS AND POWER In a 1967 manifesto published in the Los Angeles Free Press, critical pedagogue Jerry Farber explosively claimed u get that straight, para. 1). Farber thus snatched pedagogical rhetoric from the clear water of institu tional acceptability, and shoved it into invective mud In doing so, he disrupted a long history of pedagogical theory and practice indeed the entire history of pedagogical theory and practice that conceives of the student/ teacher (and administrator) relationship as firmly and necessarily grounded in a strict power dynamic; administrators and teachers have i t, student year course in how to be (para. 11) This slave mentality continued int o post secondar students retained a servile, submissive and self loathing mentality, having Farber, the power and pervasiveness of educational subju gation is such that students internalize its machinations, believing them legitimate, beneficial and even necessary. Therefore, describing ed the long historical truth that while students in state run educa tional institutions have the most to gain or lose from their p articipation in that education, they are rarely, if ever, able to play a part in how these institutions organize and conduct themselves on any level, particularly, and most significantly, the cl assroom level We can understand run educational practices across the world, from


8 the earliest written records of global teaching practices to prese nt day. The second, short history is that of secondary and post secondary educational practices in 20 th century United States, specifically as they manifest ed in the literature and writing classes Farber taught at Cal. State. While the first history tells an enduringly depressing story of student subjugation and servility, the second illustrates specific pedagogical policies and practices Farber and other radical educators enthusiasticall y, even vitriolically, rejected in the 1960s. These policies, in promo ting the supposedly naturally suited for different jobs and, consequently, would benefit most from different educations. As such, state produced educational policie s lead to myriad models that d o as much to o pen experiential doors for some as close them for others Specifically, Farber critiqued the educational positions following early 20 th century American psychologists and pedagogues such as Lewis Terman, Robert Y erkes, and Henry Goddard, and eugenicists such as Charles Davenport, Harry Laughlin and the Eugenics Record Office (ERO). While this second, short history represents the most direct target stitutional education practices that place teachers and administrators in positions of power, and students in positions of subjugated powerlessness. history to which it responds both emerge from the unique educational, psychological and political climate of the late 19 th and early 20 th century in the United States. Unfortunately, he problematic educational models collectively promoted at this time and to which Farber and his contemporaries were so opposed have found a foothold in composition classrooms around the world, and they continue to


9 play major roles in how writing is taught in the early 21 st century. More problematic still is the degree to which these models have infi ltrated digital learning spaces that many in our field ho ped could be potentially even inherently liberating. The long history of conceiving of students as slave continues apace in many 21 st tools and practices, ranging from course management systems to digital teaching and writing environments to newly designed, digitally integrated school buildings. This stems from the fact that many 21 st parrot the same procedural enact ed in school and course design and implementation over the long and global history of education. More than ever, then we need new arguments. Toward that end, t his essay identifies classroom level pedagogical possibilities in certain rhetorics of resistanc e. Specifically, I accept incendiary metaphor and wonder: if students are slaves, how might rheto rical traditions emerging from the history of African American slavery help conceive the liberatory possibilities of education in the 21 st century? Ul timately, these rhetorical traditions present models through which writing instructors can and should conduct our classrooms in light of the myriad communication and writing strategies available to our students both in and out of our classrooms.


10 CHAPTER 2 ARISTOCRATIC EDUCATI ON: SLAVES BY BIRTH In some of its earliest forms, state run education was intimately connected with commerce, religion and legal practices. Of Ath enian education, Aristotle writes in Book Eight of Politics does harm to the constitution. The citizen should be molded to suit 300, emphasis added) Students were typically of a higher class, and their education prepared (read: transformed) them for a role in a field widely recognized as valuable for the bureaucratic functioning society as a whole, rather than the practice of a distinct trade. Apprenticeships and family training provided teaching related to specific trades, while e was the distinct privilege of a very few, what Gabriel Compayr refers to in his 1887 book, The History of Pedagogy (40). According to Compayr, e ven in the few historical examples where so called universal educat ion existed, the educational models either served to enculturate the population so as to maintain a rigid social structure (e.g. ancient Sparta or China during the Zhou dynasty), or they dissipated because of societal pressures, as with the Vedic education system in ancient India which faced unstoppable pressures to limit access from the devel oping caste system. This system, which was as limitin g in terms of access as it was in terms of methods and goals was particularly prevalent in composition instructio n. In Writing Instruction in Nineteenth Century American Colleges James Berlin writes, For centuries [Classical Rhetorical education] had served the needs of a society in which wealth and power were concentrated in the hands of a ruling class, a group t hat used the univers ity to conserve its power. ( 18)


11 This was as true of ancient Greek, Spartan, and Chinese education, as it was of place in Central and South America. P eople either never learned how to read and write, or if they did it was in order to perform a very specific, limited task such as transcribing religious texts or preparing contracts or legal decisions. In the case of the former, students in the ancient mod els were locked in place, so to speak, with their learning opportunities and post learning life opportunities pre determined by virtue of their birth. In the case of the latter, even the elite few in a position to benefit from their birthright to educa


12 CHAPTER 3 MIDDLE CLASS EDUCATION: SLA VES BY SCIENCE In the late part of the 19 th and early part of the 20 th centuries, however, the limi ted scope and arbitrariness of this model needed rethinking, particularly in composition classrooms. Berlin identifies the expanding middle class as a major reason why composition instructional practices shifted at this time, stating cam e aspects of education, particularly as it related to getting a job (18). As such, rhetorical education was a part of the 20 th mobility. As Berlin argues in Writing Instruction at its loftiest th e new model of rhetorical natural talents emphasis added ), while at its most basic he continues in Rhetoric and Reality it was le class professionals with the ( 35). The new rhetorical educational model what Berlin calls the current traditional rhetoric emerged from Harvard and Columbia and while it was adopted and adapted by st ate universities across the country such as Illinois, Wisconsin, and Texas, it was staunchly opposed by schools such as Yale, Williams, and Princeton which promoted a more conservative model 1 This model, following the long history of education briefly out and aristocratic, contending that the aims of writing instruction in the English department ought to be to encourage those few students who possessed genius ( 35 emphasis added) Though the current the best of their natural abilities, its rival sought only to teach those with the natural abilities of genius. Both relied necessarily and fundamentally on the so called Noble Lie Republic : in society was


13 immediately identifiable and predetermined by virtue of the societal position of his or her forebears. That is, both the current traditional and its rival maintained that all people, particularly students, possess ed a predetermined set of abilities, talents, and intelligences. Aristocrats begat aristocrats; carpenters begat carpenters. 2 both model s of w riting instruction recognized a deficiency in their founding principle that people were naturall y ordered according to ability, namely that it lacked any legitimate scientific basis. Without this the claim for dividing people up according to their abiliti es was transparent; it merely served those already in positions of authority by eliminating the possib ility of true upward mobility. But r ather than abandon the idea of inherited natural worth, however, professionals in the burgeoning fields of comparative psychology and eugenics nearly all of whom researched and taught in Harvard, Columbia, and Princeton conceived of various mechanisms for measuring an methods theoreticall y though not practicably measured IQ removed from and regardless of up to the First World War, one of these Robert Yerkes, these testing precursors for the modern day Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) aimed to determine a test Literate recruits took the written language based Alpha tests, while illiterate recruits took picture based Beta tests. Yerkes and his fellow psychologists used the tests to categorize potential soldiers using the familiar A through E grading scale. The officially stated motivation in testing and in categorizing test takers was to allow Army recruiters


14 to place the individual into the appropriate field and division with the armed services. psychological explanation for why certain groups seemed to be locked in place one that we As an evaluative and explanatory mechanism, the Alpha and Beta tests yielded with t hat of a 14 year old, but also over 80% of all immigrant recruits from Eastern Europe, Central and South America, Asia and so on, as well as US born African intelligence. Psych ologists and eugenicists at the time interpreted these results as scientific proof of the Noble Lie: intelligence was inherited, which explained why the sons and daughters of aristocrats tended to be aristocrats, while the sons and daughters of carpenters tended to be carpenters. 3 Carl Brigham, a professor of psychology at Princeton and author of A Study in American Intelligence interpreted these results further, concluding: organizers, and reliant, and jealous of their perfect ( qtd. I n Kamin, 185 ) ent perfectly reflects the problematic early 20 th century relationship between the questionable scientific conclusions of comparative psychology and the applied science of eugenics. Ostensibly his statements are merely descriptive in nature. He does not ev er say, for example, that Alpines should be slaves; he merely indicates that they are perfectly suited to be slaves. But to suggest that Brigham and his


15 colleagues insisted such a distinction is laughable. The Alpha and Beta tests, as well as their progeny were and remain sorting devices. As Walter Lippmann writes in the fourth of six essays published in the New Republic Though the title of this essay categorizes States already employed a similar tactic when populating their classrooms well prior to 4 In one such examp le at the turn of the century, the Harvard Committee on Composition comprised of diplomat Charles Francis Adams, journalist EL Godkin and publicist Josiah P. Quincy reviewed student essays from college entrance examinations and first year writing cours es to determine the state of take immediate action in addressing that the litany of deficiencies in the writing of their students. Rather than addressing the problem direc tly, however, Harvard officials exam, presumably to eliminate those not fit to participate in higher education (Berlin, 1984 61). By raising entrance exam requirements, s chools such as Harvard stacked the deck, so to speak, with students already demonstrated to be competent writers according to the standards of groups like the Harvard Committee on Composition. throws i nto serious doubt the current Students were encouraged to develop their own natural talents in college, as long as their natural talents were already developed enough for them to atte nd college in the


16 first place. This makes it hard to differentiate between the current traditional model and the rivaling model at Yale, Williams, and Princeton. And for those programs that did not resort to such gate keeping exams, the focus of writing i nstruction became to, according to Albert Kitzhaber, [ D ] iscipline and strengthen these separate faculties through drill and exercises; and secondary to supply the student with a store of general principles in the light of which his trained faculties would in later professional life, make needed particular applications. (qtd. in Berlin, 1984 p. 31) This was a troubling return to the pervasive model of education and writing instruction that existed globally prior to the 20 th century. Now, instead of soci al position, students were the inheritors of the more nebulous, ill defined concept of intelligence. Those who did not inherit enough intelligence, or those that inherit ed the wrong kinds of intelligence primarily individuals from various subaltern group s would be denied access to higher education and elevated writing instruction. Those who did inherit enough of the right kind of intelligence would and frequently, where to set the This cursory and ramshackle history is far from complete. Instead, my limited history is meant to highlight through broad, sweeping strokes the historical pervasiveness of a power dynamic between teacher and student that has remained r elative ly constant throughout the long, global history of education generally and writing instruction specifically. At its core, this dynamic emerges from the historically and glo bally ubiquitous belie f in the Noble Lie: people are what they are by birth, and they cannot change predetermination save through state intervention. And while earlier models relied upon a system of inheritance as a determination of individual worth,


17 contemporary models turned to the questionable sciences of comparative psychology instruction did so in a manner that generally reified and ossified societal values and principles. Teachers, in acting a s agents of the state (willfully or not), imparted to students pre ordained principles (intentionally or not) that succeeded in maintaining the order and structure of the state. What Compayr writes of Rome seems to hold true for historical and global educ ( 44). Notes 1. educati onal model is one that seeks to educate according to inherited models. What one teaches and will teach is based on what has been taught. The goal of a conservative model is the preservation of the already in place. Democratic educational models, on the oth er hand, teach based on the emerging values of those bein g taught and, to a lesser extent those doing the group being taught. 2. As Berlin states, the current traditional model promoted upward mobility. Presumably, however, e the be able to reach the higher rungs. 3. Almost since their creation and administration, the Alpha and Beta tests have been the targ et of profound and full throated criticism, from a series of New Republic ng, The Science and Politics of IQ Leon Kamin former chair of the same Princeton Psychology department in which Carl Brigham once served which should lead a prudent man to accept the hypothesis that IQ test scores are in any degree paradigm in which pedagogy generally, and writing instruction specifically existed in the early 20 th century. 4. ence is also particularly troubling when one considers that in addition to the ASVAB, the direct descendants of the Alpha and Beta tests include the SATs (conceived of and originally designed by Brigham), as well as every single standardized test administe red by the Educational Testing Services (ETS), the Princeton based campus of which features the Carl Campbell Brigham Memorial Library. Even in their retooled and revamped contemporary forms, these tests remain a better indicator of the test do of the test


18 CHAPTER 4 INSTRUCTIONAL PROCES SES: HOW TO BE A SLA VE This obedient devotion emerges equally from the content of instruction what is read, what is written as it does from the processes of instruction itself. Instructional processes deploy what Ian Bogost refers to in Persuasive Games as procedural based representations and interactions, ( ix). That is, they are the processes we internalize as necessary based on their constraining actions, repetition, unstated suggestions, etc. Unlike written rhetoric, procedural rhetoric ( 23), as opposed to writing, speech or other types of discourse. For example, Bogost highlights the ways in which the building and product purchasing processes deployed in the Si m City series generate a procedural position advocating conspicuous consumer culture. Though the foci of Persuasive Games are video game and computer processes, Bogost does recognize the use of procedural rhetoric in general processes as well. For example, court room processes or military procedures. The vividness and power of procedural arguments are readily apparent in the repeated attitudes and behaviors of teachers and students throughout the long history of education and composition instruction. As th e scattershot history presented above indicates, education is rife with procedural models that extend from where a student should sit to how a student should address a teacher to what is and is not a relevant subject of study. If the representational goals of the majority of educational models throughout history and the world were to produce obedient, devoted, servile citizens, then it should follow that those models would enact processes promoting obedi ence,


19 devotion, and servility. Or, t o return to Farber a 12 year course in how to be a slaves. These courses, obviously, are never explicitly stated. They are not a part of a course s their arguments procedurally; instead they ( 31). The articulated purpose is for students to ocedural purpose perhaps, to brush up on the three Ses (submissiveness, servility and shame) remains unstated, but always present. Punishing Schools: Fear and Citizenshi p in Public Education there is a long history of controlling the entry points into and out of a school, as well as the various access points within a school building. Though relatively recent incidents such as the Columbine school shootings pressured scho ol administrators into many of these procedural changes at the primary and secondary level in the United States, there has buildings and campus at all levels of education. As Farber noted students have separate and unequal dining facilities. If I take them into the faculty dining The segregation metaphor subsists into t he classroom itself, where students and teachers operate from speaking and listening positions that were established well bef ore either entered the room. Cathy Davidson and David Goldberg remark that : Ichabod Crane, that parody of bad teaching in Washingt classrooms today and know exactly where to stan d and how to address his class. (2)


20 Unsaid in this poignant criticism is the idea that students also walk into colle ge classrooms and know exactly where to sit and how to address each other as well as the professor. Think of first year college students entering a lecture hall and sitting in the same seats week after week, simply because it is with this procedure that th ey are familiar. Bogost might argue these students have developed procedural literacy of a specific and pervasive secondary classroom policy: assigned seats. Used in many elementary through high school classrooms, assigned seats serve a specific purpose wi thin primary and secondary schools. They both organize students according to the to better facilitate role call or classroom activities, and they also allow the inst ructor to operate in one of her secondary functions: protector (read: manager) of somebody models in which different procedural rhetorics and literacies are enacted), most f irst year college students carry with them procedural literacies from their extensive experience in secondary education. Bogost indicates that procedural literacy: [ C ] omes from interacting with procedural systems themselves, especially systems that make s trong ties between processes in a model and a representational goal those with strong ly argued p rocedural rhetorics. (255) Though a professor might laugh or scoff when a student raises her hand to use the restroom, or refer to a professor as Mrs. Smith, rather than Dr. Smith, these represent obvious moments of procedural rhetorical code slippage; the inadvertent reversion to a The se historical procedural arguments place students in positions of subjugation These arguments are not, however, limited to classroom behaviors, though this is


21 perhaps where they are most endemic. The evaluative procedures of most writing classrooms exist as a compensation diminishes as the course progresses, except in those rare cases when teachers deign to mete out extra credit. In the first year writing courses at my university, the core syllabus features assignments whose point values add up to 1,000 points. Ostensibly eard of many of my colleagues repeating this line on the first day of class students start the course with a perfect score, 1,000 out of 1,000. As the semester assignment, 15 of f a later assignment, and so on and so forth. Eventually, at the end of flawless 1,000 point total has been chipped away by each successive assignment until they are left with their final score out of the 1,000 possible points. This is uncompensated labor, spurred not by the promise of reward, but by the accept the encouragement or constructive criticism it offers via marginal comments, question s, or suggestions. And, with rare exception, students entering into a writing classroom will likely focus entirely on the output of their writerly efforts, rather than the involved process of production itself. This concern over product over process, as with the inclination sit in the same seat week in and week out, emerges from a lifetime of educational processes rather than its formative role. That is, because many of our students e merged from a public secondary educational system in which the culminating educational activity of their K 12 learning careers is often a standardized exam of some kind either a state sanctioned


22 standardized test linked to NCLB, or the SATs or ACTs stu dents have come to expect that they will somehow need to demonstrate their mastery over various skills in a discrete, gradeable object that will be sent away to be evaluated by an expert in the appropriate field. Significantly, this final point places pr essure on educators as well, often spurring instructors at both the secondary and post secondary level to teach what is expected of them. As Kelly Ritter notes in Who Owns School?: Authority, Students, and Online Discourse (2010) and so the overarching curriculum as well as the individual lessons themselves are truly state ( 39). At a secondary level, this means short, repeatable document structures that lend themselves to qui ck reading and easy comprehension. Oftentimes, the summative writing experience for secondary students is the timed response to a standardized prompt. When instructing high school juniors and seniors how to successfully and quickly respond to these prompts Standardized Assessment (PSSA), as well as the SATs, I was advised by my curriculum director to emphasize structure over content. Even as I winced internally, I ave to pore elements in your writing: an introductory paragraph with a guiding question and thesis statement, two or three body paragraphs, a conclusion that sums up y our position. If you include these elements, it does not matter as much what you are arguing for or the tips had been dumped on me by an assessment supervisor preparing me and a group of fellow high


23 school English teachers to act as readers for a set of standardized, state administered writing exams. I was not overly surprised then when upon shifting from secondary to post secondary writing instruction, I discovered startlingly similar amount s of standardization and emphasis on the end product in first year writing courses. I suppose it was navet on my part to expect something different. Though my fellow graduate instructors and I pooh poohed the formulaic nature of the five paragraph essay, many of us still snuck some of the advice I had heard from the assessment supervisor into our lessons and statement plotting out the sections of the essay to come m ade the reading and grading of essays that much easier. More than that, however, was the expectation that we all teach in measurably similar ways. Both of the first year writing courses an argumentation and a research based course used communal syllabi and shared assignments. This was acceptable to many of us, as we all seemed to struggle to cut planning and grading time, which we balanced against our coursework, thesis and dissertation writing, and social lives. Centralized and distributed lessons, ass ignment descriptions, and lecture notes cut down on planning time, even if we had no ownership of the material, and our teacherly idiosyncrasies became as homogenized as our Procedurally, these assessment and assignment expectations of s econdary and post se condary writing education argue for a system in which student writers produce massive amounts of highly structured and rigidly formatted essays that are nearly indistinguishable from each other, excepting, perhaps, for the amount of mec hanical


24 errors they feature. Bogost would argue that this i s not an instance of educating but rather a clear example of training or schooling. He writes: Being schooled means becoming an expert in the actual process of schooling, the requirements and cond itions of doing well in school, so as to ratchet up in the system. Being schooled means understanding how to stand in line, how to speak when acknowledged and how to follow directions. ( 262). product produced by a student intent on ratcheting himsel f up within a system of schooling. Such students are, according to Farber headed house hit routine, a shuffling performance aimed to please, never disrupt. Eventually from the outrageous toward the absurd No teacher conceives of his or her role as one intended to produce docile, submissive, and shuffling students. Writing teachers want students to write with elegance, originality and creativity. We want verve and dynamism, even if it means more time spent conferencing and grading. We can shout down the demons of our classroom processes with the better angels of our stated preferences. Significantly, however, according to Bogost, procedural rhetoric does not simply represent just another mode or style of rhetorical expression or argumentation. In analyzing the the first in the collection Defining Visual Rhetorics (2004) Hill


25 posits that moving a nd static images exist closer to actual experience in terms of vividness than do written descriptive accounts or basic statistics. Hill concludes that visual arguments, therefore, often impact the receiver with more power than do written or spoken argument s, simply by virtue of the fact that they more vividly resemble lived than moving images with sound, and thus earns the second spot on the continuum, directly under act structures lived experience in a way written and visual rhetoric does not, whether it be the assumed rules governing highway driving, the unspoken etiquette of waiting in a long line, or the i nherited classroom, assessment, and assignment procedures outlined above. Consequently, for Bogost, procedural rhetoric represents perhaps the most powerful method of argumentation tha t can be produced by a rhetor. By implication, then, t he rhetoric of our teaching processes argues with more force and vividness than even our most full throated denial that we are slave drivers and overseers To invoke the clich, actions speak louder than words. More problematic still is the great degree to which these proce dures both in terms of the necessary separation between teachers and students, as well as the content of and assessment strategies for assignments and lessons subsist in digital learning technologies being deployed and adopted in writing instruction cl assrooms around the world. In The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age Davidson and Goldberg identify a number of learning institutions in which various nd even movements throughout the school building itself. For example, the boldly named School


26 of the Future in Philadelphia employs various devices that allow school administrators to act location inside a school building, and even how many calories they consume over the course of the school day. Though these practices tend to be more prevalent in secondary educational institutions, similar digital traps and tracking devices for examp le, Turnitin or SynchronEyes are deployed in many post secondary institutions. In these situations, digital technologies aid in monitoring student behavior, rather than supplementing or the role of panopticism, instilling in students the sense that all their actions are under scrutiny, both Discipline and Punish ment (1995) as relating to both prisoners and students when he writes, He who is subjected to a field of visibility, and who knows it, assumes responsibility for the constraints of power; he makes them play spontaneously upon himself; he inscribes in himself the power relation in which he simultaneously plays both roles; he becomes the principle of his own subjection. ( 202 203). In this internalization of the power relationship between teachers and students, students become their own (hall) monitors, checking behaviors and beliefs that could or would be deemed inappropriate by the schooling system in which they are situation. As it relates to writing instruction specifically, perhaps nowhere is the digital instantiation of subjugating teaching processes more evident than in the preponderance of institutions around the world that use course or learning management services (LMS), most notably the industry g iant Blackboard. As of late 2012 more than 9,000 clients in over 7 0 countries used Blackboard as the primary LMS (Blackboard, 2012 ), while thousands of other institutions us ed some similar open source or proprietary course management systems. Their ubiquity, however, belies their success in


27 generating a truly advantageous and beneficial learning space. As Darin Payne notes, ( 485). Specifically, Payne points out the myriad ways in which LMSes specifically Blackboard ability to personalize pages, interact with each other and the teacher, and contribute to the learning goals and objectives of course shells. This consequence is hardly accidental, given that as their name suggests LMSes were designed for the management o f learning, as opposed to say the fostering, development or facilitation of it. As such, they are systems designed with the teacher in mind, not the student, providing mechanisms that simplify the distributing and grading of assignments, monitoring of stud ent interactions, and takes the physical, on the ground classroom, and repositions it physically in the world of educational processes into a digital realm occurs in nearly all institution of higher education, and even in counter or anti institutions attempt to compete with the ease an d ubiquity of online colleges like the University of Phoenix and DeVry University. But the problem extends beyond a simple digital reiteration of analog teaching practices, no matter the ubiquity. Students are doubly indentured in classes organized by LMSe s. First, by the reiterated classroom procedures outlined above, and second by the very code of the LMS itself. While a physical classroom enables various possibilities of counteraction, 1 digital courses afford no such opportunities. Students can either ch oose to participate according to the


28 procedural rules governing the administration of the digital course, or they can choose to not participate in the course and, by proxy, education itself at all. has reinvented itse lf for the digital age: student as slave 2.0. other liberatory pedagogical models of the era, most notably the school as machine metaphor pilloried by the Free Speech Movement (FSM) of Berkeley and the oft Pedagogy of the Oppressed (2000). Each of these emerged from distinct theoretical frameworks, and as such, each yields a distinct though related, metaphorical interpretation of students. involvement in and dedication to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s led to him to read students as coded black slaves, FSM spokesperson Mario Savio e voked a mechanical, post Fordist metaphor envisioning students as mere cogs in a machi ne, teacher/student interactions. But r egardless of the metaphor, Farber, the FSM, and and minds. E ach metaphor however, differentiates and directs the ai liberatory pedagogy For example, Freire sees a two stage process for liberatory pedagogy: In the first, the oppressed unveil the world of oppression and through the pr pedagogy ceases to belong to the oppressed and becomes a pedagogy of all people in the process of permanent liberation ( 54) ature. He sees his critical pedagogy as a necessary and initial component of a proletarian revolution. Members of


29 the producing class must come to know both their de facto powerlessness and subjugation at the hands of the bourgeoisie, as well as their inhe rent, de jure power as the majority class. Then and only then, can this class also produce curricular objectives to guide their own education, which will set the stage for the proletarian revolution S tudents must recognize their status as passive vessels, question the validity of the information being deposited in them, resist the authority of the dominant banker educator, and develop their own pedagogical transactions that will guide their future education. Similarly the FSM, through the words of Savio, p roposed a pedagogy based on disrupting the production of the educational machine. From the steps of Sproul Hall in 1964, Savio called upon his fellow students to, [ P ] ut your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatu indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that unless prevented from working at all. (para. 8) In the vacuum left by an educational system disrupted, Savio insists that Sproul Hall will Un to the 1 st and 14 th nts of a yet to be actualized curriculum, Savio clearly sees a liberatory pedagogy whose primary purpose is the humanization or re humanization of its students. Such students will first learn that they are empowered to organize and speak freely against any one or anything that attempts to deny them the procedural rights guaranteed them in the Constitution. And even if these oppressive forces should deny students their bodily freedom, they are nonetheless able to maintain mental freedom, as with the older pri


30 Both Freire and the FSM (vis vis Savio) figure the history of education in slightly inaccurate ways There exists a gap between the metaphor used to describe a ents must take in order to resist that status. This gap is highlighted by asking what, on the face of it, might be considered a nave question: how does an empty vessel or cog in a machine do anything? Ostensibly, they cannot. They are objects, and objects can only ever function as passive tools, vessels, or parts. gap. Read as human chattel, students are both objects in a system of education (empty vessels or cogs in a machine), as well as subjects participa ting in that system. They are slaves, human objects, an ontological paradox. Unlike the FSM and Freire, therefore, the educational system itself. It is not a machine serv ing a larger social construct, as with the FSM, or a bank serving the economic interests of the bourgeoisie, as with Freire. The processes of education itself ensnares and enslaves, encodes and enculturates students, and it continues to do so even as digit al educational possibilities emerge. Significantly, Farber unlike the FSM and Freire does not offer a solution to his procedural reading of students as slaves. He concludes his essay with a partial gesture at the possibility of a student led pedagogy, students might participate in this education remains unanswered. In recognizing the ways in which the FSM and Freire inaccurat ely extended their procedural metaphors of students into questionable liberatory pedagogies, however, a blueprint emerges for


31 etaphor to its fullest are crucial if an instructor wishes to enact the promises made by liberatory pedagogies. First and foremost, if students are slaves, instructors are masters. I must recognize that it is my authority in the classroom that neuters my s direction of their own education. The only way I can abandon this position of authority is to abandon the educational institution itself. In that regard, I am as much a slave as my students. Confronting this met aphorical reality, then, I am left with a limited number of options when it comes to how I conduct myself in the classroom. On the face of it, I could be nice, forgiving, and permissive, or mean, unforgiving, and draconian. In either case, and anywhere in between, however, I remain the authority. As an authority, I have specific goals, learning objectives for the class, as much my own as a professional and permissive authority often has difficulty in guiding a class to those objectives. My only option, it seems, is to be hard, mean, unforgiving, draconian, to embrace my authority, to wield it menacingly, to threaten rather than cajole, punish rather than inspire, trai n rather than teach. This is the old model; it seems to work. But the old model leaves little room for students to participate fully in the construction and implementation of their own education. It reiterates the idea that teachers know best, and student s should sit idly back, keep their mouths shut and their minds out, and sponge up the information that we deem worthy. It posits that students should be slaves, instructors their masters. As with a slave breaking the ontological or spiritual strictures of bondage, however, there are many things a student can do to


32 liberate herself and take a leading role in the construction, organization, and implementation of her own education. In searching for such a way for students (ostensibly enslaved in our writing co urses) to participate in their own education, we might turn to historical accounts of actual slaves rhetorically confronting and navigating work on hush harbors and Adam Ban demonstrate how writing instruction particularly students of writing instruction might be served by these rhetorical models of resistance and expression that developed during and emerged from a history of sl avery Notes 1.


33 CHAPTER 5 HUSH HARBORS AND GRI OTS Historically, hush harbors represented secret places in which African slaves could meet to converse and pray outside the gaze of their controlling masters. Typically in the woods, hush harbors developed as slaves searched for ways to maintain pre Middle Passage traditions and practice newly bestowed Chr istian rituals. As secretive spaces of worship, hush harbors allowed slaves to develop a sense of spiritual liberation. In Slave Missions and the Black Church in the Antebellum South Janet Faced with the impossibility of escape from physical bondage, slaves looked to hush harbors and the spiritual services t herein as a way to transcend their bodily servitude. These services mentally transported slaves to the Promised Land, the penultimate gift of spiritual freedom after a lifetime of punishment, dehumanization, and oppression. Though historically entrench ed in a Judeo Christian tradition the rhetorical concept of hush harbors carried over to many present day Black communities. In contemporary times, they exist as secret, often secular rhetorical spaces whose primary functions remain inventive, liberatory, and ontologically transformative. Vorris Nunley and Carmen Kynard offer the two most developed conceptions of hush harbor s in the field of contemporary rhetoric. of African American Hush Harbor Rheto ric (AAHHR) in detail, Kynard examines AAHHR in its practical deployment in a university environment.


34 (2011) investigates the hush harbor rhetorical space of the barbershop, as well as the features of AAHHR enacted in that space. as hush harbors, unsanctioned emphasis added) Similarly, Kynard outlines a comparably unsanctioned rhetorical ndy Girls to Cyber Sista Cipher (2010). rhetorical space exists in the barbershop, Kynard and a group of her former students established and maintained a virtual space, an ema il exchange in which the participants exchanged ideas, praise and cr iticism on a variety of topics. Kynard sees her email class/working poor people alternate gendered and racialized (33 emphasis added) For both Nunley and Kynard, hush harbors as alternate and unsanctioned rhetorical spaces allow subaltern groups to speak freely in a manner that disrupts dominant institutional, ideological, and rhetor ical practices. Significantly though, for both Nunley and Kynard, hush harbors do more than merely provide a safe space to speak your mind. As Nunley points out, a hidden space in which subalterns or specifically African Americans engage in ungoverne d rhetorical exchanges provides a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for defining a hush harbor. He points to social clubs such as black fraternities and sororities as sequestered spaces that are not necessarily hush harbors. The missing ingredient for both theorists is what is being talked about and how that conversation fundamentally changes the participants. Both Nunley and Kynard conceive of hush harbors as spaces for agency creation not simply agent expression That is, hush harbors exist not o nly as


35 rhetorically liberated spaces, but also as ontologically transformative and liberatory spaces. In early hush harbors, this liberation was spiritual, and it occurred through the inventive and transformative spiritual practices that defined the secret space as a hush harbor. Cornelius addresses the inventive nature of early hush harbors, stating harbor services showed how blacks could take white ritual and create unique services ( 10). Essentia lly, hush harbor participants altered white, European spiritual traditions and practices, conjoining them with other traditions, and ultimately producing unique cultural and rhetorical expressions. This production of unique expressions involved a three ste p rhetorical most importantly, an act of appropriation, a lifting or taking possession of another n, amendments to traditional spiritual practices, as well as the Judeo Christian narrative itself. Endemic to the hush harbor tradition, as Cornelius and Nunley point out, was the rereading of Christ as liberator. And finally, the rhetorical production of hush harbors was an act of distribution or redistribution, a dissemination of the appropriated and altered spiritualism. This act of appropriation, alteration, and redistribution indicates the empowered agency of rhetors in a hush harbor, as well as the p ossibilities of ontological empowerment through AAHHR. It is not simply that the words spoken in a hush harbor reflect an ideology of resistance though they frequently do rather, it is that the rhetors in a hush harbor are able to speak at all, and spe ak in way that utilizes an appropriative approach. Kynard specifies that the ontologically transformative power of


36 a hush harbor emerges from that works toward zing African American challenges to ( 34). In early, spiritual hush harbors, this act of empowering appropriation The consistent structure of antebellum hush harbor servi ces built to the shout as the acme of spiritual liberation. Marked by the trance like possession of those participants having reached this zenith, the shout manifests a liminal ontology in which the physical bodies of the slaves commune directly with the s piritual world. In fostering this communion, the shout of a hush harbor service transported participants to a khoral space or interval, bound by the physical strictures of slavery, but emancipated by the spiritual trance of ritual. The shout was a flipping of the script, so to speak, a redefining of the physical reality of slavery as a mere part of a greater, spiritual progression towards eventual and inevitable salvation. concept of nommo. Indeed, features enacted through contemporary AAHHR. Janheinz Jahn Muntu: An Outline of New African Culture published in 1961, provides what remains one of the most significant and infl operation on speakers and in th e world, we must address the specific metaphysical and ontological conditions Jahn describes. According to the metaphysics NTU: the world is a force, NTU, of which there several subcategories, two of which are of concern here:


37 Kintu refers to the things th study, humanity. A subcategory of Kintu is bintu, things or forces without intelligence such as rocks, animals, plants; essentially all the observable things populating the physical world around us. B ahn points to the interconnec tedness between the spoken word, and the ontology of the world, specifically as it relates to power stating that nommo is present when an (137). Accordin g to Jahn, this transformation applies to both the speaker herself, as well as the world around her. He describes in Muntu these images are not separate from the world, but constitute the world itself, both in terms of its written, historical record, as well as the fundamental ontological and metaphysical principles on which it operates. Both the speaker a nd her world exist in a sort of rhetorical positive feedback loop, in which the spoken word of the former alters the constitution of the latter, which in turn alters the ontology of the former, and so on. Metaphorically, nommo exists as a distant cousin o utterance, in which the very act of speaking in some way actually alters our being. The transformation through the meaningful content of the utt erance, while nommo generates ontological transformation through the mere act of uttering itself. For example, in


38 condition: I am the being that empowers and is empowered. I however, I have t hrough nommo already indicate my power not just to myself, but to the world around me This to the ontological subject/object paradox that is a sla ve. N ommo, the spoken word, the utterance, subjectivizes the object and liberates the slave. That is, in the very act of speaking itself, a slave, human chattel, signals her agency, identifying herself as more than a mere object, no longer a usable thing, but a speaking subject, a rhetor. T he instantiation but to change them, mix them up, layer them upon each other and ultimately own them. Hush harbors, therefore, do not just result in the alteration of rhetoric al expression but also the empowerment of the rhetors themselves In both facilitating and identifying the ontological shift of slaves into rhetorical age of verbosi empowering act of appropriating, altering, and redistributing typifies the rhetorical practices of the griot. Also known as jelis, guewels, or gawlos, griots were West African poets o r storytellers who were experts at the type of metaphysical and ontological alteration enacted through nommo. Not only do both nommo and griot emerge from West Africa Mali, specifically but also the procedures and results of each are


39 inextricably entwi ned. Specifically, griots attended to the metaphysical and ontological riots recited and sang stories, resituating both the past and the present in a projected and shared cultural narrative. That is, they refashioned both traditional stories and contemporary events to fit within a productive cultural narrative that could guide the social group in which they operated. As such, griots possessed a deep and inescapable understanding of the traditions of their culture and community, which they were able to call up at a moment's notice an d recast in light of current events This clearly marks the rhetorical practices within a hush harbor as firmly emerging from the griotic tradition. Hush harbor participants, act ing as griots, combined both inherited and conferred spiritual traditions with their lived experience as slaves to craft a productive narrative of spiritual liberation. In short, they revised, recast, and rewrote their story as one of empowered freedom, ra ther than slavery. We can see how crucial this type of griotic revision is to the student as slave. Students need a space in which they can transform their ontological position in the larger education system generally, and our writing classrooms specifica lly. They need an opportunity, to return to Farber, to participate in their own education. In emerging from a historical context that is metaphorically simpatico with that of our students, hush harbors seemingly provide this opportunity. Exactly how our st udents or we can use hush harbors in our writing classrooms is not immediately obvious. Kynard offers one possibility, detailing the benefits of a digital instantia tion of students interacting via a list serv email exchange. Problematically for those seeki ng a helpful teaching tool for their in conjunction with her classroom or the classrooms of the other participants. This


40 ondence to be, for the most part, removed from her empowered position as an instructor as institutional agent Significantly, Kynard was invited to participate in a hush harbor that she did not herself create or maintain. Consequently, attempting to recrea te the interactive, digital space in which Kynard participated in our own writing classrooms without significant attention to our disruptive operations in those spaces would likely be perceived as a veiled attempt to, opriate, or de ( 38). So, too, is the very notion of an instructor using a hush harbor in her classroom paradoxical. To paraphrase Ritter, how can we use our power to empower our students so they c an subvert our power? An alternative approach Who Owns School? Specifically, institutional discourse already ting digital services such as RateMyProfessors, Ritter identifies potential alternatives participation in a digital hush harbor Simply, we might encourage our students to set up some space digital or analog of their choosing tha t could facilitate their communication about the course with each other This could not be by necessary design, a requirement of the course. It could not be asse ssed because we, as assessors, could not see it. 1 in such a space if needed is simply the opportunity to potentially change how the course is structured. As an instructor, I must be willing to present a problem to my students relating to the design or implementation of the course, and I must be willin g to let them solve this problem without my intervention. For example, when approaching an


41 assignment focusing on synthesizing ideas, I might present to my students an is asse ss you difficulty does not mean that only experts are in a position to answer them. After all, having sat through numerous faculty meetings, conferences on best practices, team planning sessions, and so on, it is clear we experts need as much help as possible in attempting to answer them. Perhaps ideally, teachers and students could exchange ideas about pedagogical as valued as the egalitarian environment. But ultimately and both students and teachers know this the teacher remains the final arbiter because both she and her stude nts expect her to remain so. Further, her position in her educational institution and her status in society relies upon her remaining in a position of controlling authority. Students are slaves, teachers their masters. Significantly, therefore, any convers ations our students have about the direction of their education, must take place beyond our instructorly gaze. As noted by Ritter, the advent of various digital writing technologies and services provided ideal spaces digital hush harbors, so to speak f or these conversations to take place. Our job might merely be, therefore, to direct our students to the digital spaces they already inhabit, and tell them how they might empower themselves through those


42 spaces. This would at once disrupt the hegemonic proc edural managing of our students through LMSes, as well as avoid the commodifying de liberation of these spaces Ritter describes. In my own experience, students have arranged online groups via social networking services such as Facebook, established prolong ed email exchanges and message boards, arranged alternate meeting times, and even, in a pinch, asked me to leave the room. We can see similar tactics employed by students across the world, as evidenced by the massive student presence in the Arab Spring, th e student organized university boycotts in central London in 2011, and the various Occupy campus protests throughout the United States, particularly those in California state universities, all of which were organized, to varying degrees, by social networki ng tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit. The result of these student organized hush harbors in both my personal teaching, as well as in global, political movements was a significant and productive disruption of the very system of education so po ignantly criticized by Freire, the FSM, and Farber. For those more fearful of the results of students conspiring against us, than intrigued or excited for the results of students collaborating with each other, it should be noted that ideally students and t eachers share a few common goals. For writing instructors and students in writing classrooms, for example, each group wants students to become better readers, writers, and thinkers. Though our opinions might differ when it comes to the best ways to reach t hese goals, it is foolish and unproductive to suggest that any of our students truly believe them to be unimportant. The suggested alterations my students made to me never reflected a disdain for writing instruction or education generally. They have never, for example, suggested that there be no reading or writing


43 in my reading and writing courses. They have, however, challenged the primacy of canonical texts, rejected the necessity of a point based system of evaluation, and insisted that preparation for da ily discussions be the responsibility of individual students, rather than me. more in sync with the type of writing they already do on the web. Specifically, they design and sugge st assignments that reflect writing practices best described by in Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age Drawing from the same West African and African American rhetorical tradition of nommo and hush harbors, Banks k repositions writers and student s of writing. Writers are DJs, and DJs are digital griots. As with their analog forebears, d igital griots write and tell stories. They possess a profound understanding of digital culture and communities, and they can refash ion, repurpose, and redeploy this knowledge using the myriad digital tools at their disposal. In terms of multimedia writing, digital griots composit, rather than compose. cut and paste visual, aural, tactile, and textual objects, capable of circulations of (para. 20). They stack and layer multimedia elements texts, conversations, images, videos, and on and on cohering these seemingly disparate elements into a process, a movement. They build and build upon tradition, simultaneously creating, citing, and revising it.


44 descriptive. That is, for Banks, writing as a digital griot is not only something students in a multimedia age should do; it is somethi ng they already do. Just not in classrooms in which students are procedurally made to be slaves. In my experience, though the procedural possibilities of a classroom hush harbor opens up the space for our students as digital griots to participate in the contemporary reading and writing practices with which they are familiar. In this vein, my students have proposed a variety of composition and compositing assignments, ranging from films composed of narrated screen captures of video games known as machinima, to the creation of pithy Intern et memes, to how to instructions mimicking those of sites such as eHow to websites and character Facebook profiles and tweets, and on and on Additionally, they have produced more familiar analytical and evaluative essays in which they cite both peer revi ewed publications, as well as digitally published reviews by their peers, deftly navigating the difficult and confusing terrain of establishing and maintaining ethos when using a variety of sources on a continuum of expertise. They often share with each ot her, with me, and with the entire class, various news articles, videos, sound clips, and images they find in their daily surfing they find humorous, relevant, poignant, significant, or otherwise related to the subject of our course, or some snippet of disc ussion we shared that day. In short, they create an abundance of writing demonstrating their commitment to the course, to each other, and to all the nebulous and idealistic aims o f a humanities based education. Notes 1. Significantly, though I address ways in which my authority as the assessor should also be disrupted, I do not think it valuable to have students assess each other based on their participation in class related hush harbor. This could result in a panoptic scenario in which


45 students, reporting on of a centralized authority, namely the instructor


46 CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSION: POWER AN D CLASSROOMS In The Future of Thinking Davidson and Goldberg describe the new model of reading a nd writing that emerges from a world immersed in technology. They indicate: Interactive reading and writing now increasingly engage us. One can read together with others remotely, commenting between the virtual lines and in the margins, reading each other documents together in real time by adding words or sentences to those just c ( 65) The problem is, this writing does not look like the writing we are used to, the writing we often assign or the writing we tend to value. In our efforts to change, to alter the content of what we do and do not value in terms of writing, we might make the tragic misstep of simply identifying some form of digital writing or compositing with which we are passi ngly familiar and ask our students to replicate it. We might scan the seemingly innumerable methods through which our students write these days methods that produce according to Andrea Lunsford, more wri ting than any generation prior and we might sett le on one form, one method, one practice that we can get a grasp on, and their thoughts about a particular reading. But to do so would be to assert our authority; to ap propriate what belongs to our students; to claim what is not ours as our own. As Ritter argues, [I]t is not enough to simply mimic these online structures that subvert academic literacy values, including reading practices, in institutionally sanctioned o nline course programs; we must also recognize the power and viability that the extra institutional systems have in further defining the shape and tenor of our classrooms, beyond the simple introduction of like techn ology into our teaching methods ( 57) As ( 17). Students are as much in a


47 gatekeeper position as teachers, as students tend to more enthusiastically and wholly ad opt emerging digital tools than do academics struggling to stay at the forefront of specific field. It is as invigorating as it is overwhelming to consider the possibility that as an academic, I must simultaneously learn as much as I can in my specific dis cipline, the digital programs and tools I am expected to employ in my teaching, not to mention any personal interests or life lessons I might have or need to learn if I am wish to remain of me, as a teacher, goes beyond simply foisting digital stuff onto my students, and expecting them to be comfortable with, and responsive to it by virtue of the fact that it is digital. What is required of me, as a teacher, goes beyond simply recognizing what digital tools or services my students are using, and attempting to shoehorn those tools and services into my pre established syllabi. Instead, what is required of me is an attendance to how those tools and services already affect what and how my stude nts interact and learn in my classroom. I am required to encourage my students to use these tools to shape their learning experiences, to free themselves from the enslaving procedures of a traditional classroom. That is what writing means, both inside my c lassroom, and inside the larger institutions educational, governmental, societal, etc. my classroom ostensibly serves Conceiving of our students as digital griots that employ nommo through AAHHR offers a powerful method through which we can dismantle the ontological problem outlined by Farber. Specifically, as writing instructors, we might consider the ways in which we can open up or encourage the use of rhetorical spaces outside the immediate purview of our courses to challenge and supplant the conte nt and methods of those


48 courses. Writing instruction and composition studies exist, after all, as fields wholly concerned with all types of utterances, written, spoken, and otherwise. Specifically, we seek to know how and why people speak and write the way they do, and we strive to help our students develop and strengthen their abilities to speak and write in functional, creative, expressive, and yes, empowered ways. We want them to own their words. We might, therefore, champion the appropriation, alteratio n, and (re)distribution as well as analyses, evaluation, critique, and so on of our hegemonic writing practices. And while these instructional goals can be accomplished (with limited success) through directed practices in our classes, they work better in spaces unsanctioned by our institutional(ized) gaze. After all, on the face of it, a student led, instructor free educational hush harbor empowers our students by minimizing the distance between us and our student s in t erms of classroom authority, encou raging our students to challenge our direction of their education; in short, it destroys the notion of the instructors as, to These model s can be and should be used to encourage students to engag e, analyze, evaluate, critique, and create everything from course elements such as individual activities, syllabi, and assignments to university or state level educational policy. As one of my former think we understand exactly how


49 LIST OF REFERENCES Aristotle. Politics Mineola: Dover, 2000. Print. Banks, Adam. Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois Un iversity Press 2011. Print. niversity. The Norton Book of Composition Studies Ed. Susan Miller. New York: WW Norton, 2009. Print. Berlin, James. Writing in struction In Nineteenth Century American C olleges Carbondale and Edwardsville: Sou thern Illinois University Press, 1984. Print. -------. Rhetoric and Reality: Writing Instruction in A merican Colleges, 1900 1985 Carbondale and Edwardsvill e: Southern Illinois University Press, 1987. Print. ng and Compositing: Integrated Digital Writing and Academic The Fibreculture Journal Issue 10 (2007). Web. 17 Mar. 2012. 061 composing and compositing integrated digita l writing and academic pedagogy Blac Blackboard | About Bb. Web. 17 Mar. 2012. Bb/News Center/Press Kit.aspx Bogost, Ian. Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of V ideogames Cambridge MA : The MIT Press, 2007. Print. Brigham, Carl. A Study in American Intelligence Princ eton: Princeton University Press, 1923. Print. Compayr, Gabriel. The History of P edagogy New York: AMS Press, Inc., 1886/1971. 29 Oct. 2008. W eb. 17 Mar. 2012. ybAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&pg=GBS.PR5 Cornelius, Janet. Slave Missions and the Black Church in the A ntebellum S outh Columbia, SC: Uni versity of South Carolina Press, 1999. Print. Davidson, Cathy and David Goldberg. The Future of Thinking: Learning I nstitutions in a Digital A ge. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2010. Pr int. Farber, Jerry. Ry4an. 18 May 1998 Web. 17 Mar. 2012. Foucault, Michel Discipline and P unishment New York: Vintage, 1995. Prin t. Freire, Paolo. Pedagogy of the O ppressed New York: Continuum, 2000. Print. Jahn, Janheinz. Muntu: The New African Culture New York: Grove Press, 1961. Print.


50 Kamin, Leon. The Science and Politics of I.Q New York: Halsted Press, 1974. Print. Kynar d, Carmen. ybe r Sista Cipher: Narrating Black Females' Color Consciousness and C ounst Harvard Educational Review 80.1 (2010): 30 52. Print. Lippmann, Walter. ntelligence Experts: Walter Li ppmann Speaks O ut. History Matters Web. 17 Mar. 2012. Lyons, William and Julie Drew. Punishing Schools: Fear and C itizenship in American Public Education (Law, Me aning, and V iolence). Ann Arbo r: University of Michigan Press, 2006. Print. Nunley, Vorris. Keepin' it Hushed: The B arbershop and African American H ush H ar bor R hetoric Detroi t: Wayne State University Press, 2011. Print. L evittown: Rh etorics of Space and Technology in Course Management S oftware. College English 67,5 (2005): 483 507. Ritter, Kelly. Who Owns School?: Authority, S tudent s, and Online D iscourse New York: Hampton Press, 2010. Savio, Mario. (2009, September 1 8). In Address on the Steps of Sproul H all. American Rhetoric. 2009 Sept 18. Web. 17 Mar. 2012.


51 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Sam Hamilton was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. An only child, he grew up on a small farm in nearby Blairsville, graduating from Derry High School in 2001. He ear ned a dual B.A. in English and p hilosophy from Indiana University of Pennsyl vania in 2006, and a M.A.T. in s econdary E nglish e ducation from the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) in 2007, where he met his wife, Jessica. Upon graduating from Pitt in July 2007, Sam taught for four years in and around the greater Pittsburgh area, acquiring invaluable professional exper ience working with a Schools to the sons and daughters of public officials and figures at an elite private academy. Sam is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in r h etoric, w riting, and c omposition studies.