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Where Writing Begins

Where Writing Begins

A Postmodern Reconstruction

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Michael Carter


Hardcover (Other formats: NLEB)
288 pages, 6 x 9

Rhetorical Philosophy & Theory


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About the Book

Where Writing Begins: A Postmodern Reconstruction is an innovative approach to the postmodern dilemma in rhetoric and composition thatoffers a positive and postmodern pedagogy that redefines and revalues writing and the teaching of writing through reconstructive, postmodern thought. The result is a fresh understanding of both the field of composition and writing instruction.

Drawing on the rich potential of “beginning” as a philosophical concept, Michael Carter asks the simple question: Where does writing begin? His findings take readers first to a new view of what it means to begin, and then to a new understanding of writing and teaching writing based on the redefined beginning. Challenging conventional notions that posit “beginning” as a chronological and temporal concept, he instead advocates an ontological and philosophical approach, in which “beginning” embodies both deconstruction and reconstruction—and the very possibility of newness.

Adding to a growing body of rhetorical scholarship in postmodern reconstruction, Where Writing Begins illustrates that writing must be understood within the framework of deconstruction and reconstruction. Writing, then, may be newly defined and valued as beginning. Weaving together conceptual, structural, and methodological patterns, Carter’s study is also a journey through the history of philosophy and rhetoric that will leave readers feeling refreshed and teachers eager to return to their classes.


Michael Carter is an associate professor of English at North Carolina State University. His scholarly articles have been published in College English, Rhetorica, Rhetoric Review, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, and as book chapters in Teaching Advanced Composition: Why and How and Landmark Essays on Advanced Composition.