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Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Writing

Department

Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences

Advisor

Eric Mason

Committee Member

Gary Gershman

Abstract

This creative thesis attempts to bring academic and New Age discourses into conversation by combining the writing voice of the author’s academic identity—the scholar—with the writing voice of the author’s New Age identity—the wayseer. While researching academic discourses on the use of reflective writing, the author also participated in a New Age self development course called the Life Mastery program and facilitated by the Modern Day Mystery School located in Wilton Manors, Florida. The author uses the knowledge she acquired in her New Age studies to reconsider what she learned about writing as a student as well as to construct an identity as a member of both academic and New Age cultural communities. The work exemplifies what composition scholar Patricia Bizzell calls “hybrid” discourse. By mixing conventional components of research reports with language features from the genres of creative nonfiction and memoir, the resulting hybrid discourse explores as it demonstrates the value of reflective writing for academic objectives, of New Age practices for teaching writing and reflection, and of writing as a tool of identity construction and negotiation. Reflecting on topics ranging from the challenges of teaching first-year college students to the objectives of writing assignments received from Archangelic realms, the author portrays a writer’s path to know herself.

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