Academic writing and difference
Ahmed, Soheil (2005) Academic writing and difference. In: 2005 EATAW Conference Proceedings. From: 2005 EATAW Conference, 22-24 June 2005, Athens, Greece.
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This paper addresses the theme of cross-cultural issues in the teaching of writing (Theme 4) through the cultural politics of knowledge and identity. Success in academic writing is dependent not merely on general competence, but also on an understanding of the constitutive cultural system of academic writing. In negotiating writing tasks, writers must also negotiate underlying assumptions of reader expectations and writing strategies which have decided cultural bases (Grabe and Kaplan 1996). What Canagarajah (2000) calls "the geopolitics of academic writing" (p. 85) arises from an asymmetry of power between academic writing and the Other discourses that it tends to negate. To perpetuate itself, academic writing conceals its own cultural roots which lie demonstrably in Western notions of rationality affiliated with the Enlightenment (Knoblauch and Brannon 1984 ). Thus what is, in fact, cultural is made to appear neutral. I explore these issues and the possibilities for an ethnologically informed practice via Canagarajah (2000), Ivanič (1998), Buell (2004), Bleich (1993), Prior (2004) and others.