Traversing the Democratic Borders of the Essay

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SUNY Press, Jul 17, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 160 pages
Scholarship on the personal essay has focused on Western European and U. S. varieties of the form. In Traversing the Democratic Borders of the Essay, Cristina Kirklighter extends these boundaries by reading the Latin American and Latino/a essayists Paulo Freire, Victor Villanueva, and Ruth Behar, alongside such canonical figures as Montaigne, Bacon, Emerson, and Thoreau. In this fascinating journey into the commonalities and differences among these essayists, Kirklighter focuses on various elements of the personal essay self-reflexivity, accessibility, spontaneity, and a rhetoric of sincerity in order to argue for a more democratic form of writing in academia, one that would democratize the academy and promote nation-building. By using these elements in their teachings and writings, Kirklighter argues, educators can play a significant role in helping others who experience academic alienation achieve a better sense of belonging as they slowly dismantle the walls of the ivory tower.

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Achieving a Place in Academia through the Personal
The Movement from Mimicry to Spontaneity
Ruth Behar and Her Rise to Academic Prominence
Behars Growing Resistance
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About the author (2002)

Cristina Kirklighter is Assistant Professor of English at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi. She is the coeditor of Voices and Visions: Refiguring Ethnography in Composition.

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