I started this blog, in part, to help students in my English 350 course, Expository Writing: Rhetorics of Place, which I teach at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. What I hoped to model for them was:
- an attentiveness to one’s surroundings;
- a habit of close observation, of noticing and note-taking;
- a willingness to share personal experiences, memories, and stories;
- a confidence that one’s response to the world will be recognized by others;
- a habit of regular writing, constant revision, ceaseless copy-editing;
- an openness to experimentation as a writer, artist, and citizen;
- a desire to combine words, images, video, and sound – to map the world both verbally, visually, and aurally;
- an eagerness to create as well as use images (photographs, maps, drawings, etc.); and
- a disposition to endless, unabashed self-publication.
But I know I have much more to learn than I do to teach. If you have feedback on this blog, please reply below, or contact me by clicking here. And please let me know if you blog about place – or if you know of good online resources for place-based writing to include in my blogroll!