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Literacies, Lies, and Silences

Girls Writing Lives in the Classroom

Series:

Heather E. Bruce

Although written language historically has relegated women to the silence of the margins, writing can place women’s voices among those that would be heard. Scholars in composition and rhetoric have done little since Janet Emig’s (1971) influential study of twelfth-grade writers to look at adolescent women’s specific situations and experiences vis-à-vis writing. This ethnographically designed book reinterprets Emig’s findings through the lens of Judith Butler’s performance theory and reports on three years of participant observation examining the writing of students enrolled in women’s studies at Aspen Grove High School, a suburban school in the Intermountain West region of the United States. Writing enhances the personal, intellectual, and political development of the students enrolled in the class. Students, female and male, find writing to be a critical part of a process that contributes significantly to self- and social transformation.
The Author: Heather E. Bruce is Associate Professor of English Education at the University of Montana-Missoula. She received her Ph.D. in composition, rhetoric, and literacy and is the author of Conversations in Context: Reading, Writing, and Knowing at the University (with co-authors Kathryn Fitzgerald, Sharon Stasney, and Anna Vogt) and contributor to Peer Response Groups in Action: Writing Together in the Secondary Schools (Karen Spear, ed.). She has published widely in several professional journals.