Examines the relationship between theoretical and practical knowledge, within the academy in general and composition studies in particular.
In this thought-provoking and gracefully written new book, Sidney Dobrin examines current debates over the relative value of theoretical and practical knowledges, both in the academy in general and in the discipline of rhetoric and composition. He explores arguments about whether theorizing is an appropriate mode of scholarly inquiry for a field that is primarily informed by practical knowledge, whether theory-building in general speaks to local concerns, and whether the production of theory in composition leads to scholarship that is more obfuscating than illuminating. Ultimately, Dobrin argues that theoretical investigation should be an indispensable form of knowledge-making in composition and that theory and practice must necessarily inform one another.
Sidney I. Dobrin is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. With Gary A. Olson, he co-edited Composition Theory for the Postmodern Classroom, published by SUNY Press, and is co-editor of JAC: A Journal of Composition Theory.
"One of the first book-length studies to investigate the nature and ramifications of something that has come to be called 'post-process' theory in the areas of composition and rhetoric. I believe that the post-process theory represents the most important new development in composition research during the last twenty years or so, and that this book contributes significantly to both composition scholarship and writing practice. " — Thomas Kent, Iowa State University
"The topic is very timely and much in keeping with contemporary debates over the role of theory in composition studies. Constructing Knowledges succeeds in coalescing these debates into a manageable scope, and the analytical apparatus is helpful in recognizing the various forms that the debates take. I particularly appreciate Professor Dobrin's rigorous attempt to link theory and practice throughout. An enjoyable read that made me think and think again. " — J. Rocky Colavito, Northwestern State University