The Process Movement

I want to think about how claiming and negotiating a polyamorous identity is that of constant revision. And, well, let’s face it–it’s a task of enormous proportion, as well as a task of constant struggle. Yet struggle means possibility of reward.

I want to think about ways to think about the process movement within rhetoric and composition as analogous to the process of composing a poly identity. On this page, I will collect key quotes, which will help me reflect upon what the rhet/comp process movement meant and means, as well as the connections to what it means to be poly:

Frank Farmer, Saying and Silence: Listening to Composition with Bakhtin: “The process movement took as a cornerstone of its approach the notion that we cannot effectively teach writing if we attend only to the finished product, instead of to the struggles that writers experience in their working toward that finished product” (88). Here we see that a focus on struggle can be a productive lens to teaching how to write, how to craft a complex text.  Yet I’d argue that, for a poly person, there never is a “finished product.” There is only the next level of understanding and consensus (for oneself and possibly between oneself and others–that is, if one has a partner or partners), which is always open to later revision. I do know, however, that many compositionists and rhetoricians would agree that there never really is a final product in writing either. Yes, we may turn in a “final” draft to a teacher or to a publisher…but then lives go fruitfully and wonderfully on, and we continue to revise our theories and ideas (if only in our heads). Thus, in a way, we never really get done with a piece; we only move on to the next thesis. But we can never live again as if we never composed those prior theses. Each thesis leads into the next. Paves the way for the next. And so on…we keep on working, we keep on learning, we keep on admitting that we didn’t know what we didn’t know, before.

2 Responses to The Process Movement

  1. -J. says:

    A poem is never finished, only abandoned.
    – Polymath Paul Valery.

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