“[I]f we want to truly understand embodied writing, perhaps what we need to most closely study are not ideal, complete texts, but the messy and recursive process of composing as we break our ideas apart through language. We need to see a polysemous writing process as that which allows for meaning to be made” – Jay Dolmage from “Writing against normal” in Composing Media Composing Embodiment
…and we’ll diffract Dolmage’s quote on embodied writing through second language pedagogy and new materialism. If embodied writing gives greater attention to messy and recursive processes of writing, there is some space opened up for second language learners in the writing classroom, who are sometimes bodily marked as ESL whose final writing product is seen as deficient or incorrect. If the myth of a normative end product is taken away, and the process where differing happens is valued as writing, then second language learners become just as validated in the second language classroom, as do the material conditions for writing, as Dolmage points out. The kind of scholarship that Dolmage is undertaking easily lends itself to new materialist ways of thought, where meaning is made through the intra-action of objects, humans, thoughts, processes, etc. To be able to do this kind of work, as Brian Massumi says, “you have to start in the middle.”
What do you think? Does embodied writing, as Dolmage describes, open doors for further legitimization of second language writing? What other meanings can be made through Dolmage’s research method?