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The falling scholar : essays in the outside Hodges, Diane Celia


"The Falling Scholar - Essays in the Outside" is a collection of six essays that explore the effects and affects of crisis in the contexts of academic writing. Crisis, from the Greek root word, Krinein, means "to turn;" and is applied in a variety of historical settings that allow for the writing itself to turn towards writing. As the writer, I am always in a position of turning towards, or away from the crisis as a site of learning, or of turning the crisis into something else. These essays constitute a performance-writing that attempts to expose new possibilities in meanings and interpretations through "turning," and for revealing the subject-in-process. The subject-in- process is an identity that flows in and out of each effort to address the crisis: whether personal, social, or political, each crisis is an event for turning towards what might not yet be written about how we understand ourselves as authors of our bodies. These essays are invested with a writer's vigilance, attending ceaselessly to the ways writing can refuse, deny, displace, disguise, conceal, and protect what might be revealed in writing. By locating this work in the university, I have tried to explicate the conflicts and contradictions that arise for women who are writing within the institutionalized discourses that originate in a historically misogynist vernacular. The "poetic conscience" is foregrounded as what might assist in writing outside of the traditional academic language practices, and each essay contains stories that work to disclose what is so often closed or forbidden by university writing systems. It is a writing that subjects the reader to the process of the writer's learning to write as an intellectual and as an artist - an initial effort to perform intellectual artistry as a passionate practice, and as a performance of the passionate intellectual.

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