English, Department of


Date of this Version



Bartlett, Lesley Erin. Pedagogy in Action: Teaching and Writing as Rhetorical Performance. PhD Diss. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2014.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Graduate Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: English (Women’s and Gender Studies), Under the Supervision of Professor Shari Stenberg. Lincoln, Nebraska: April, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Lesley Erin Bartlett


Drawing from work in composition studies, rhetorical theory, and feminist theory, this project builds on questions of identity, embodiment, and privilege to enrich conversations about writing pedagogy and teacher development in Composition and Rhetoric. I begin with the assumption that all acts of writing and teaching are performances, whether they are marked as such or not. I engage rhetorical and feminist theories to critically read classroom moments, student writing, and composition scholarship as I urge writing teachers to reflect on the extent to which their embodied pedagogical performances align with their theoretical commitments regarding student learning and teacher development. My work features two key rhetorical concepts, to prepon and to dynaton (the appropriate and the possible), to argue that careful attention to pedagogical performance reveals the constraints in rhetorical situations, which allows for more attention what is possible in teaching and writing. By bringing together pedagogical and rhetorical theories, my dissertation extends the work of the “performance turn” in Composition and Rhetoric and emphasizes how teachers and students negotiate the “appropriate” and the possible in both teaching and writing.

Advisor: Shari Stenberg