About

This project started during the summer of 2016, my first summer enrolled in the Bread Loaf School of English. I have always been someone that is concerned with social trends and how they manifest themselves in behaviors, so the 2016 political cycle and the changing conditions in which we discourse was of high interest to me when I stepped into Brenda Brueggemann’s “Writing, Rhetoric, and Teaching” course. Through engaging in a wide array of composition theory, I found some key concepts that, with a little updating, speak volumes about the current state of our public discourse. Patricia Bizzell’s “‘Contact Zones’ and English Studies” and Kenneth Bruffee’s “Collaborative Learning and the ‘Conversation of Mankind'” both illuminated some of my existing thoughts and directed my attention to studying how the English/Language Arts (ELA) classroom (my focus is in high school) can be used to help mend our broken conversation and decrease the distance between citizens. Through a restructuring of the ELA classroom, I believe, we can provide students with the skills necessary to engage in productive public discourse and provide an elevated reverence for language, literature, and the humanities in general. One thing I have found to be true through my research: we need to address the rhetoric and discourse of the largest contact zone in human history, the Internet.

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