Here be monsters': Emergent discourses of hybrid identity in students' hypertextual constructions

Year: 2002

Author: Morgan, Wendy

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

It has been argued (Luke, 2002) that Critical Discourse Analysis needs to expand its range into studies documenting genres which offer new forms of representation and identity. Janks (2002) has also suggested that Critical Language Awareness teachers need to take their students beyond the cognitive and analytical into more playful, affective modes of engagement.

Taking up these arguments, this paper first analyses a recent form of textual configuration - literary (fictional, auto/biographical) hypertext - which already deconstructs its own unitary meanings and discourses. It then explores the hypertextual representations of multiple, fragmented selves in the multimodal hypertexts of tertiary education students. Finally the paper traces the ways in which the practice of this electronic mode of collage leads many of the students beyond their reluctance to engage with poststructuralist discourses about textualised subjectivity. (The persistence of more humanist discourses of identity in some cases is also noted.) The paper concludes by noting the implications of this kind of practice for critical language awareness pedagogy.