Working Title: Arguing to Create Change
Tony O. Tyler, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of English
State University of New York, Potsdam
This reader leads students to create arguments deriving from six themes – Imagining, Resisting, Letting Go, Discovering, Engaging, and Reflecting. These themes explore a set of behaviors that together describe the process of change for human beings and the cultures they create. Many students of culture and of human development have created models that purport to define a relatively predictable sequence of events and behaviors involved in the evolution of societies and individuals. The chapters in Arguing to Create Change reflect one such sequence.
Admittedly, meaningful change is far too dynamic to be easily or accurately described in a linear series of discrete, neatly partitioned stages or steps. Both individuals and societies often develop haphazardly, moving recursively through stages in the process, sometimes making discoveries, for instance, without ever imagining that a change might occur. By casting these themes into gerunds which stress active and complex behaviors, the author highlights this movement against an abundance of readings that instructors can and should mix and match to suit their individual goals for the course.