Skip to main content
Search Mobile Navigation

Living Room

Teaching Public Writing in a Privatized World

By Nancy Welch

 
How can our students find—or make—spaces where their ideas and arguments can be heard? Living Room takes up this question in an age defined not only by YouTube and My Space but also the conversion of public streets to festival marketplaces, the creation of cordoned-off and tucked-away “free speech” zones, and the state sanctioning of ethnic profiling.
 
In Living Room Nancy Welch traces the erosion of publicity rights to post-9/11 legislation and, more troublingly, to nearly thirty years of neoliberal privatization of space, institutions, and resources—even
...

Special Offer: Save 30% off our list price automatically when you buy 15 or more.

Paperback

In Stock

List Price: $37.50

Web/School Price: $30.00

Quantity

Full Description

 
How can our students find—or make—spaces where their ideas and arguments can be heard? Living Room takes up this question in an age defined not only by YouTube and My Space but also the conversion of public streets to festival marketplaces, the creation of cordoned-off and tucked-away “free speech” zones, and the state sanctioning of ethnic profiling.
 
In Living Room Nancy Welch traces the erosion of publicity rights to post-9/11 legislation and, more troublingly, to nearly thirty years of neoliberal privatization of space, institutions, and resources—even the very idea of who has the authority to speak and argue, especially in the political and public arenas.
 
Joining the field's reinvigorated interest in public writing and rhetorical history, Welch argues that if we're to explore with our students when, where, and how they can deliver arguments that matter, we need to look to the lessons of earlier generations. Especially in the 20th century's struggles for labor and civil rights—the struggles that won “living room” rights for ordinary people in the first place—we find consequential (and sometimes unruly) arguments: workers shutting down production lines and cash registers, students disrupting segregated lunch counters, AIDS-HIV activists dying-in across a Wall Street intersection. By examining these and other vibrant models of rhetorical action in our classrooms, we can help our students better understand how to deliver effective arguments in the most restrictive of circumstances and how to most effectively shape their arguments using genre, collaboration, audience, tone, and style.
 
Living Room vigorously critiques our privatized era “of shopping malls and Clear Channel; of state-sanctioned ethnic profiling and militarized responses to public protest; of private economic interests colluding to shape public policy on everything from energy and interest rates to health care and access to the airwaves.” Read Living Room and heed Nancy Welch’s call for a reinvigorated rhetoric that connects your composition classroom with a contentious, lively history of writing as social action.

Additional Resource Information

(click any section below to continue reading)