Applying the complexities of literacy development and personal ethos to the teaching of composition, Zan Meyer Goncalves challenges writing teachers to consider ethos as a series of identity performances shaped by the often-inequitable social contexts of their classrooms and communities. Using the rhetorical experiences of students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and/or transgender, she proposes a new way of thinking about ethos that addresses the challenges of social justice, identity, and transfer issues in the classroom.
Goncalves offers an innovative approach to teaching identity performance theory bound by social contexts. She applies this new approach to theories of specificity and intersectionality, illustrating how teachers can help students redefine the relationship between their social identities and their writing. She also addresses bringing social activism and identity politics into the classroom, helping writers make transfers across rhetorical contexts and linking students' interests to public conversations.
Theoretical and practical, Sexuality and the Politics of Ethos in the Writing Classroom provides teachers of first-year and advanced composition studies with useful, detailed assignments based in specific identity performance. Goncalves offers techniques to subvert oppressive language practices, while encouraging students to recognize themselves as writers, citizens, and active participants in their own educations and communities.