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English Faculty Articles and Research

Composition

2011

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Authorial Intent In The Composition Classroom, Ian Barnard Oct 2011

Authorial Intent In The Composition Classroom, Ian Barnard

English Faculty Articles and Research

This article examines the disjunction between, on the one hand, critical theory’s critique of the privileging of authorial intent in protocols of textual interpretation, and, on the other hand, continued obeisance to authorial intent in composition textbooks and pedagogy. By unpacking the implications of this disjunction, I show the limitations that the reification of authorial intent creates for composition pedagogy and student writing. I conclude by suggesting how bracketing authorial intent in the composition classroom might enhance composition pedagogy and student writing, while also challenging fundamental epistemologies of the field.