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Memory as travel in composition: Continuity and transformation across generations

Stuart H. D Ching, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Currently, educators seek to empower students by placing in dialogue academic knowledge and student experiences, cultural values, and community histories. Through critically engaging in dialogue with others, students socially construct knowledge and, importantly, develop new knowledge. Such a pedagogy values change as well as ideological and cultural travel. However, for students whose home communities conflict with Western values and culture, this kind of dialogic classroom may be unintentionally disabling if it does not support the counter-concept of rootedness. Cross-cultural pedagogies, then, must reconcile competing needs. ^ This study is twofold: First, it synthesizes the cross-cultural field by organizing perspectives around memory: perspectives in which national and home memory remain irreconcilable, perspectives which articulate boundary-crossing within a single historical moment but do not fully articulate the implications of this crossing in relation to the home community's intergenerational memory, and perspectives in which boundary-crossing is articulated both horizontally within a single historical moment and along the home community's vertical axis of intergenerational change. ^ Second, this study enacts the boundary-crossing rhetoric that it defines. Mixing academic argument and memoir about Chinese-American assimilation in Hawaii, from 1900–present, this text enacts a discourse of cultural traveling, arguing that memory is a dynamic and re-inventive process; theorizing how this dynamic memory applies to the writing classroom and enhances critical consciousness; and demonstrating how individuals, in certain local contexts, may move to new positions while maintaining fluid, yet material connection to homeland. ^

Subject Area

Education, Language and Literature|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies|Language, Rhetoric and Composition

Recommended Citation

Ching, Stuart H. D, "Memory as travel in composition: Continuity and transformation across generations" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9967359.