Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
College of Liberal Arts
Keywords and Subject Headings
mindfulness, agency, fear, process, brain, social responsibility, neuroplasiticty
This thesis uses a car metaphor to argue that writers lack agency when emotion, especially fear, takes the driver's seat. Fear narrows focus and keeps writers stuck in one "gear" ( editing) through attachment to existing drafts and perspectives. Such a focus leads to shallow writing goals and can make writers defensive and inflexible. These difficulties all signal a lack of agency; writers are not in control of meaning making. Through an understanding of the brain's plasticity and mindfulness practices, writers can take the driver's seat and respond, rather than react, to fear. More specifically, this thesis illustrates how mindfulness supports fluidity and openness during meaning making. Rather than adhering blindly to their current drafts and perspectives, writers can use knowledge of brain plasticity and specific mindfulness practices to continually revise their drafts from multiple, complex perspectives, thus helping them shift gears between different writing processes, such as idea generation and revision. Mindfulness and brain literacy make important contributions to feminist and socially responsible pedagogies by honoring embodied experience, reframing students' struggles with agency, and dissolving the body-mind and emotion-logic dualisms. In all of these ways, brain literacy and mindfulness foster a sense of agency and social responsibility in writers.
Schaefer, Erin Elizabeth, "Writers Finding Agency Through Mindfulness and Brain Literacy" (2014). Culminating Projects in English. 25.