Theses Doctoral

The Writer in Performance: A Study of Under-Represented College Freshman Writers and Their Writing

Wozniak, Sandra M.

The purpose of this qualitative teacher research study is to explore the ways in which the use of performance in the college composition classroom can impact under-represented writers and their engagement in the writing process. Through the lens of performance theory, this study identifies how students present their sociocultural knowledge through writing and explores how this presentation, as a performance of the self, informs pedagogical practice.

One of the major problems typically troubling developmental or basic freshman composition classrooms is that too many of the students seem detached from their own writing and indifferently engaged in their own writing process. This study focuses on examining how the students’ presentation of their knowledge and their own lived experiences through writing and performing their writing in collaboration with classmates influences the quality of their engagement with their own writing and their attitudes toward the academic work of a freshman English class. To this end, data were collected in the form of observation field notes of student writing conferences and performances, student responses to reflective questions, and student writing. The study used discourse analysis to examine, compare, and analyze the data collected.

My interpretations of data were framed by my own performance experiences and the discourse of performance theory, which allowed me to analyze my students’ conferences and group work as rehearsals and preparation for the final performance of their writing and their writing as a performance of the self.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
English Education
Thesis Advisors
Blau, Sheridan
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 22, 2019