E-Net News

Hiram Maxim, 'Re-visioning Writing as Textual Thinking' - March 10

Emory University Professor Hiram Maxim visits Elon University on March 10 to lead a timely discussion on writing and critical thinking.

The Department of World Languages and Cultures, sponsored by Elon's Writing Excellence Initiative, would like to invite you to Professor Hiram Maxim's public lecture:

Monday, March 10
"Re-visioning Writing as Textual Thinking"
6 p.m., Johnston Hall (Room 100)

Refreshments and conversation will begin at 5:30 p.m.

Sponsored by the Writing Excellence Initiative and the Department of World Languages and Cultures

In the efforts over the past few decades to promote critical thinking in American education, writing has often been seen as the one modality that is particularly well-suited for fostering its development. By its very nature, writing requires students to formulate their ideas in a comprehensible and thoughtful manner so that they can be understood by their readers. Ironically, the predominant paradigm for developing students’ writing abilities has been a process approach that privileges creative self-expression. Within such an approach, students are encouraged to express their critical thoughts in their own words and to see their writing as an individualistic undertaking.
This presentation will argue, however, that writing is much more of a socially situated activity that requires students to acknowledge the contexts and communities in which they are communicating. Specifically, contextualized communication within a certain community typically conforms to a particular genre that consists of identifiable conventions. It will be argued that critical engagement within such a communicative setting requires knowledge of these generic conventions, which then has significant implications for writing instruction. Rather than focusing on individualistic expression, students need to attend to the (con)textual properties of genre as a way to think critically about meaning making. This process of developing and assessing students’ ability to think critically by having them think textually will be illustrated with examples from genre-based writing pedagogy implemented in collegiate language studies classes.

About Hiram Maxim:

Hiram H. Maxim (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin) is Professor and Chair in the German Studies Department, Director of the Emory College Language Center, and a Core Faculty Member in the Linguistics Program at Emory University. His research interests lie in the general area of instructed adult second language acquisition with specific interest in the relationship between second language reading and writing and curricular approaches that facilitate that intersection. His work has appeared in Modern Language Journal, Foreign Language Annals, Die Unterrichtspraxis, and ADFL Bulletin and in various edited volumes. He co-edited with Heather Willis Allen the 2013 AAUSC volume on foreign language graduate student education (Cengage, 2013) and co-authored with Heidi Byrnes and John Norris the monograph Realizing Advanced Foreign Language Writing Development in Collegiate Education: Curricular Design, Pedagogy, Assessment (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)

Keren Rivas,
3/4/2014 9:15 AM