Slow Reading, Slow Eating: A Postcritical Approach to First-Year Writing Pedagogy

Turner, Rianna, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Ceraso, Steph

This thesis details pedagogical justifications for assigning a "slow eating" essay — a critical analysis of a food object — instead of a close reading essay to first-year undergraduates. The assignment both defamiliarizes critical analysis from the "rhetorical analysis" process common to secondary-school education and reclaims diet rhetoric that associates slowness with a lack of pleasure, or uses slowness as a mechanism for reducing engagement with food. The point is not to reinforce skeptical relationships between a human with hunger cues and food items, or a critic and an aesthetic object, but use slowness as an attunement mechanism that enables pleasurable interpretive practices. This thesis places post-critique in conversation with Black feminist pedagogy and multi-sensorial-bodily pedagogy to argue for a way of teaching critical writing that prioritizes accessibility and modifies the boundaries around epistemological acceptability.

MA (Master of Arts)
postcritique, pedagogy, food studies, sensory studies, bodily pedagogy
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