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ERIC Number: EJ944146
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0147-1635
Beyond Charity: Partial Narratives as a Metaphor for Basic Writing
Flores, Nelson
Journal of Basic Writing (CUNY), v29 n2 p31-49 Fall 2010
In "A New World: Redefining the Legacy of Min-Zhan Lu"(JBW 27.2, Fall 2008), Brian Ray revisits the controversy that emerged in the early 1990s in response to critiques of the iconic Mina Shaughnessy made by Min-Zhan Lu. He offers a reading of the debate that focuses on common ground between the two sides through a metaphor of linguistic charity based on the work of Donald Davidson. While common ground can no doubt be found between these two opposing sides, by focusing exclusively on the similarities between Lu and her critics, Ray runs the risk of diluting Lu's argument and inadvertently reproducing the relations of power that Lu's project is attempting to undermine. This article, therefore, offers a different route to reading the debate between Lu and her critics--a reading that focuses on the real and irreconcilable differences between the two sides. Building on the work of Elizabeth Ellsworth, this article offers a metaphor of partial narratives, in an attempt to expose the power relations embedded in all knowledge production. This metaphor of partial narratives provides not only a way of understanding the substantive difference between Lu and her critics but also raises questions that can help inform an approach to negotiating the different discourses present in composition classrooms, especially those focused on students positioned as basic writers.
Kingsborough Community College City University of New York. Available from: Boyd Printing Company, Inc. 49 Sheridan Avenue, Albany, NY 12210. Tel: 800-877-2693; Tel: 518-436-9686; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A