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"Why Are We Reading a Handbook on Rape?" Young Women Transform a Classic

"Why Are We Reading a Handbook on Rape?" Young Women Transform a Classic Mark Gaipa What is an author’s “authority,” and where does it come from? Expertise, an air of confidence, reliability, and trustworthiness—all contribute to what we think of as a writer’s authority, yet each of these traits obscures how writers acquire their authority by focusing unduly on the character of the author. Authority, I would contend, is less a characteristic than a relationship that a writer has with other authors, measuring how powerfully his or her work affects theirs. In a field such as literary criticism, writers gain authority only when they can relate their arguments to those of other critics and show how their arguments participate in, and extend, the work these critics have done on the writers’ topic. An argument may be solid and interesting, but it will lack authority until its author clarifies its contribution to a larger critical community. : Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture Volume 4, Number 3, © 2004 Duke University Press 419 When I discuss authority this way, it may seem that I am taking it wholly out of the reach of undergraduate students. What authority do they have as writers in our classes? Apart from some little http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture Duke University Press

"Why Are We Reading a Handbook on Rape?" Young Women Transform a Classic

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2004 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1531-4200
eISSN
1533-6255
DOI
10.1215/15314200-4-3-438
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Mark Gaipa What is an author’s “authority,” and where does it come from? Expertise, an air of confidence, reliability, and trustworthiness—all contribute to what we think of as a writer’s authority, yet each of these traits obscures how writers acquire their authority by focusing unduly on the character of the author. Authority, I would contend, is less a characteristic than a relationship that a writer has with other authors, measuring how powerfully his or her work affects theirs. In a field such as literary criticism, writers gain authority only when they can relate their arguments to those of other critics and show how their arguments participate in, and extend, the work these critics have done on the writers’ topic. An argument may be solid and interesting, but it will lack authority until its author clarifies its contribution to a larger critical community. : Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture Volume 4, Number 3, © 2004 Duke University Press 419 When I discuss authority this way, it may seem that I am taking it wholly out of the reach of undergraduate students. What authority do they have as writers in our classes? Apart from some little

Journal

Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and CultureDuke University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2004

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