What is Exposition?

John Maguire in his Atlantic Article argues that student writing often is not the best because it gets too caught up on ideas and forgets that all ideas come from physical things. Exposition is focusing on the world outside of your own head. As Kineavy writes in Expressive Discourse: One of the requirements for writing expressively (aka with style) is that you take into account what Sarte calls Being in the world, which he explains is the broader cultural context of you and your actions. How you relate to the world. This is important not only in writing, but also in regular everyday actions. No man is an Island. -John Donne We sometimes have this cultural image in our heads that great writers and creators were all isolated geniuses that took nothing and created completely original innovation, like a fly spontaneously generating out of dead flesh. However, much like flies, writing does not come from nothing. Every poem, manual, or novel was situated in its own cultural and historic moment. Material culture studies is about using expository writing practices to uncover and demystify that moment. This is important because as I have learned through out Exposition 3140, a piece of text, a  bottle, a civil war belt buckle, or a pair of wooden die are so much more than just trash. They have so much information contained within them that could be written. Exposition takes that information and puts it in a mode of communication that is useful and appealing to people. Maybe there’s a message in it. The idea of expository writing being used to help people understand...

Comment on C.Coopers Blog Post 10

When reading “Unpacking My Library”, I remembered one of my first attempts of unpacking my own personal emotions about my book collection. This post was assigned as a five-minute synthesis of our class introduction, which opened discussion with begging the question: Why do we care about our stuff? What makes us care about some of our stuff more than the rest? I found the above quote in Chelsea’s post very interesting because I also just found myself in the same position. In order to prepare for my move to Colorado I have to get rid of a lot of my possessions and only take the essential with me. This is forcing me to look at many objects i have hung onto over the years for sentimental reasons such as my childhood book collection. Although i’m never going to read those books again I found it hard to part with them because they make me feel connect to my childhood. I also really liked Benjamin’s article very interesting and also very helpful in order to reflect on why i was feeling like i was about my childhood possessions....

Exposition and Material Culture: A Natural Relationship

Through this course, I have used Material Culture Studies as an avenue to understand the varied impact of the application of exposition. Whether it was learning my own object, or reading about other people describing theirs. When reading “Unpacking My Library”, I remembered one of my first attempts of unpacking my own personal emotions about my book collection. This post was assigned as a five-minute synthesis of our class introduction, which opened discussion with begging the question: Why do we care about our stuff? What makes us care about some of our stuff more than the rest? I have to say, Walter Benjamin put my emotions and attachments much more eloquently and efficiently than my five minute mental rant of attachment. As I read the article, I felt absolute relief to see it clearly– and to know I wasn’t alone. I believe this is the purpose of Exposition: To synthesize research, with or without the use of a narrative, to create a clear expression of the topic and/or its impact. Which, is honestly a perfect marriage with how I define and understand Material Culture Studies: Expressing an object or event’s purpose while exploring the cultural meaning through time. Let’s consider this Mean Girl’s Clip from 0:00-0:11, as the girls’ employing Material Culture Studies to try and define the hierarchy of phrasing and objects. Obviously, there is the power of persuasion going on in the background– Regina knows she has established her power and ethos within the group which is why her definitions are ultimately abided by. However, taking that aspect out of the discourse, there is an interesting workshop of Material Culture Studies in their...
Blog Post #10: What is exposition?

Blog Post #10: What is exposition?

The full title of this class, from the course catalog, is “History, Theory, and Practice of Exposition.” Over the course of the semester we have identified some of the formal and rhetorical characteristics of expository writing. In general, the purpose of expository writing is to explain, inform, and describe. Its organizational structure tends to be narrative or associative. Expository writing is often found in “essays,” a form or genre that, as Lynn Z. Bloom explains, often operates as a catch-all category for the heterogenous canon of short works studied in first-year composition courses.  Expository writing that describes or explains the author’s subjective experience and perception displays the markers of “expressive discourse,” that is writing through which the author develops and comes to a better understanding of her identity as a human subject in the world. In this blog post, you will offer your answer to the question presented in the title: What is expository writing? Or, in a formulation that includes modes of composition that employ more than alphabetic text: What is exposition? How is exposition different from persuasion? And what is the relationship between exposition, as a rhetorical activity, and material culture studies, as an interdisciplinary field of cultural study and analysis? What, if anything, can we learn about the history, theory, and practice of exposition from material culture studies? Or, how does material culture studies draw upon the theories, or reproduce the practices of exposition? Posting: Group 2 (and anyone else who feels like it and wants some extra participation credit) Commenting: Anyone who feels like it. Category: What is exposition? In your Blog #10 post, you should do...

Things of Want

Studying Abroad: Learning about London & Learning about Myself Learning about History and Traveling: Are These Wanted Activities? Does anyone really want to learn about world history when they’re 15 years old? Perhaps those that are destined to become history majors in college, but I wasn’t too interested in world history at that age; however, when I took World History my sophomore year of college, I was a little more interested. I became especially interested when I discovered I was able to link historical periods with literary periods. Even though my concentration isn’t literary studies, I have a high degree of interest in the Victorian period of literature (poetry & prose). Oftentimes English majors want (or tell themselves they need) to read or buy certain books. Other times English majors want (or tell themselves they need) to take advantage of certain study abroad opportunities. I fall into both categories, and luckily I was able to participate in GSU’s Victorian London’s Underworld program that took place over spring break. Of course in preparation for the trip I packed lightly because I knew I would want a lot of things. But as it turned out I what I wanted most was something that would not fit inside a suitcase. The River Thames provides more than a nice quote; it provides a basic need to many Londoners: water. What I wanted most was the experience, and that is certainly what I got. It was my first flight and international experience, and I was not disappointed. I feel that traveling is not an unusual want, and certainly not for animals. Fish, birds, butterflies, dolphins, and numerous other animals migrate regularly. Even humans migrate (though it’s arguably...

Wanting Things

As I explored the blurred line between needing things and wanting things, I thought of the seven deadly sins. The main unhealthy reasons I think that cross the line of needing things to wanting them is insecurity or addictive behavior. Healthy reasons might include artistic fascination or ways to prolong life, but are also contestable. Although there is probably a lot more psychology behind wanting objects and needing objects, I will delve into this potential theory I have proposed.  The seven deadly sins include vanity, gluttony, envy, anger, lust, greed, and laziness. I would like to exclude lust from my theory. People who can identify with any of these characteristics can typically be traced back to insecurity or have an addictive behavior towards something. The excess beyond basic needs (food, water, human interaction, transportation, exercise, sleep) has been created because of capitalism. But capitalism came from humans wanting more, right? So, I think it comes down to mental health; that is where it all started. Endorphins rushed when people got more of what they wanted, so why would they stop trying to attain more of it? Now that scientists know what happens with serotonin and endorphins with addictive behavior and distraction from denial of insecurity, we can assess the problem. Below is an argument against people who think we need more than basic necessities (and some art). In Czikszentmihalyi’s piece, he argues that human control over what goes on in the mind is very precarious, and we need things to give our minds stabilization (22). While this may be true for some people, studies of regular practice of meditation has...
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