Liminal Spaces of Writing in Adolescent and Adult Education addresses the persistent gap in writing reform at the middle, secondary, and post-secondary level. Through an examination of “useful” and “liminal” writing, the book explores the intellectual and creative space where structured expectations verge with individual imagination in writing. The premise of the book is built around a multiplicity of ways to invite adolescent and adult students to enter into states of liminality where they are encouraged to experiment with style, form, genre, and voice. Through research featuring the perspectives of adolescents, classroom teachers, teacher educators, graduate students, and literacy researchers, the book offers numerous insights into fostering a liminal and useful approach to writing instruction. Each author takes the reader through a journey of finding the liminal as teachers, writers, and researchers. Taken together, this tapestry of perspectives puts forth the argument that liminal moments are necessary caveats to explore in order to cultivate fully actualized writing where students are in control of structures and traditional writing expectations but also free to imagine new ways of breaking with conventions and being as writers. Thus, the book argues liminal writing is critical in bringing about sustained writing reform.
Mellinee Lesley is professor in the Language, Diversity & Literacy Studies program in the College of Education at Texas Tech University.
René Saldaña, Jr. is associate professor of Language, Diversity & Literacy Studies in the Department of Curriculum and instruction at Texas Tech University.
Julie Smit is associate professor of Language, Diversity & Literacy Studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas Tech University.
Jin Kyeong Jung is assistant professor of Language, Diversity & Literacy Studies in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas Tech University.
Mellinee Lesley, René Saldaña, Jr., Julie Smit, Jin Kyeong Jung
Introduction: The Role of Liminality in Developing Useful Writing
René Saldaña, Jr., Mellinee Lesley, Julie Smit, Jin Kyeong Jung
Chapter One: More than the Second ‘R’: Revisiting Writing Instruction for Young Adults
Kristine E. Pytash and Mellinee Lesley
Chapter Two: Why We Write: The Scribal Identities of Adolescents Working against Standardization
R. Joseph Rodriguez
Chapter Three: The Shifting Identities of Literacy Graduates: From Learners of Writing Instruction to Novice Teachers of Adolescent Writers
Thea Yurkewecz-Stellato, Shelby Erhard, and Richard Rappold
Chapter Four: In Search of the Aesthetic: An Arts-based Approach to Writing Up Our Research
Elizabeth Stewart and René Saldaña, Jr.
Chapter Five: Literacy Legacies
Chapter Six: Creating a Liminal Writing Class for Multilingual Adolescent Writers
Jin Kyeong Jung
Chapter Seven: Video Games in the Middle School Reading Classroom: A Cultural Canon or a Social Bomb?
Elizabeth Davis Jones
Chapter Eight: Writing Interviews
Chapter Nine: Writing Catharsis: Inviting Students to Think and Then Write Outside of the Box
Rachel R. Graham
Chapter Ten: “I Really Wish More Girls Would Tell their Story”: Adolescent Girls’ Composing for Advocacy in the Liminal Space of Digital Media
Chapter Eleven: Voices from an “Underperforming” English Class
Chapter Twelve: “Places so far that I Could Only Dream”: An Interview with Cameron James
Cameron James, Mellinee Lesley and René Saldaña, Jr.
List of Contributors
Gathering the voices of literacy scholars and youth writers themselves, Saldaña, Lesley, Smit, and Jung invite a range of conversations about thresholds and transitions, about forming and revising one's identity through writing. With contributions that explore topics ranging from the role of video games in English class to the nuanced work of autoethnography, each of the contributions in Liminal Spaces of Writing in Adolescent and Adult Education demands that readers rethink what counts as writing instruction, pushing educators to cross boundaries of their own. In doing so, the editors and their contributors encourage us to reimagine the complexities of genre, audience, and purpose so that we can create new spaces for our students as they, too, develop their writerly voices both in the classroom and beyond.