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Literacies, Lies, and Silences: Girls Writing Lives in the Classroom (Adolescent Cultures, School & Society) Paperback – January 30, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0820450421 ISBN-10: 0820450421

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Editorial Reviews


«Heather E. Bruce’s compelling and insightful description of the power of writing in a high school women’s studies class provides new and important constructions of writing, gender, and the complexities of growing up female in America.» (Elizabeth A. Flynn, Professor of Humanities, Michigan Technological University)
«The high school students enrolled in women’s studies classes at Aspen Grove are lucky to know Heather E. Bruce, but the readers of this important ethnography are even luckier to hear the record of what these students wrote about - and how they imagined their future selves. Candid, troubling, thoughtful, the stories of these students are at the heart of a book that will sometimes haunt you. This book is a valuable and extensive analysis of how gender is produced in language and how in changing that language we can transform lives. Bruce frames her study with a thoughtful, nuanced discussion of contemporary theories and theorists. By rereading Janet Emig, synthesizing Judith Butler, Lester Faigley, Susan Miller, and others, and returning body, gender, and sexual experiences to a discussion of composing, Bruce offers intelligence and hope to the often fraught discourse between essentialists and social constructionists. She also offers clear suggestions for how we might reconfigure composition pedagogies to better align the feminist and postmodern in today’s public classrooms, allowing all students, especially girls and women, to compose lives rich in possibility and reality. I can’t wait to order this book for my graduate classes in composition theory and pedagogy.» (Sarah Jane Sloane, Associate Professor of English, Colorado State University)
«In ‘Literacies, Lies, & Silences’, Heather E. Bruce brings together a multidisciplinary body of scholarship on girls’ psychosocial development, composition theory, and postmodern feminist theories to illuminate the vital function of writing in students’ lives. The young women at Aspen Grove High School, whose women’s studies class was the object of study, write to analyze and challenge powerful social ideologies that narrowly construct their lives. As they write, the students reconstruct transformative spaces for growth and agency that are unique to their own lives. Although this book foregrounds writing in a high school women’s studies classroom, Bruce presents a compelling and lucid argument for the importance of writing in all disciplines, along with examples to guide teachers in creating empowering opportunities for their own students at all grade levels.» (Joy S. Ritchie, Director of Women’s Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

About the Author

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.

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