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Postcolonial Life Writing: Culture, Politics and Self-Representation (review)

Postcolonial Life Writing: Culture, Politics and Self-Representation (review) Reviews 549 She describes three model courses created by physician Douglass R. Reifl er, physician and literary scholar Rita Charon, and rhetorician Charles M. An- derson that are distinguished by their “deliberative use of reading and writ- ing” (164). These teachers carefully design assignments to encourage analysis of experience and self-refl ection; they teach students about the processes of composing and interpreting stories; and they offer substantive feedback that addresses “what the students learn about themselves,” as well as “explanations of how these narrative skills aid self-discovery” (164). Rigorous, small class- es such as these do not simply employ writing and reading to embellish the “real” content of the curriculum. Instead, they engage the students as writers and thinkers, and thereby provide them with strategies for making their ex- periences meaningful. There is no formula for teaching emotional honesty, Poirier concludes, just as there is no template for empathy or compassion. In fact, she warns that even “courses that simulate refl ection and emotional honesty . . . can never compensate for an educational environment that is inherently hostile to such exercises” (169). Nevertheless, she maintains that “the fi nal lesson that these memoirs of medical education may teach http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biography University of Hawai'I Press

Postcolonial Life Writing: Culture, Politics and Self-Representation (review)

Biography , Volume 33 (3) – Oct 30, 2010

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © Biographical Research Center
ISSN
0162-4962
eISSN
1529-1456

Abstract

Reviews 549 She describes three model courses created by physician Douglass R. Reifl er, physician and literary scholar Rita Charon, and rhetorician Charles M. An- derson that are distinguished by their “deliberative use of reading and writ- ing” (164). These teachers carefully design assignments to encourage analysis of experience and self-refl ection; they teach students about the processes of composing and interpreting stories; and they offer substantive feedback that addresses “what the students learn about themselves,” as well as “explanations of how these narrative skills aid self-discovery” (164). Rigorous, small class- es such as these do not simply employ writing and reading to embellish the “real” content of the curriculum. Instead, they engage the students as writers and thinkers, and thereby provide them with strategies for making their ex- periences meaningful. There is no formula for teaching emotional honesty, Poirier concludes, just as there is no template for empathy or compassion. In fact, she warns that even “courses that simulate refl ection and emotional honesty . . . can never compensate for an educational environment that is inherently hostile to such exercises” (169). Nevertheless, she maintains that “the fi nal lesson that these memoirs of medical education may teach

Journal

BiographyUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 30, 2010

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