Performing a Metis Pedagogy in the Rhetoric and Writing Studies Classroom

Hilary Selznick


Scholars in the field of disability rhetoric (e.g. Dolmage; Price; Vidali) have long called for the denormalization of traditional approaches to the teaching of rhetoric and composition. Such approaches historically characterize rhetoric as disembodied and ask students to compose straight, linear, alphabetic texts which privilege meaning-making through written discourse and remain inaccessible to diverse users and audiences. As a response, this article recounts how I applied the concept of metis—double, divergent, crooked—as a theoretical framework for a special topics course "Disability, Rhetoric, and the Body," and as an alternative pedagogical approach to the teaching of rhetoric and composition. More specifically, this article explores the connection between my own metis-work as a teacher-scholar and my students' performance of metis through multimodal composing and analysis. As a result, the rhetoric and composition classroom becomes a non-normative space where difference is not only valued, but celebrated.


rhetoric; composition; rhetoric and composition; disability; disability studies; disability rhetoric; writing pedagogy

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Copyright (c) 2020 Hilary Selznick

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