Paul Kei Matsuda

Read Widely

Nels Highberg's comment and his related blog entry has inspired me to clarify my advice and to articulate its corollary: Read widely.

I try to keep up with the literature in both rhetoric/composition and applied linguistics/TESOL, both of which are highly interdisciplinary, drawing on various areas of humanities and social sciences. I often find myself having to go into many other fields to fully understand my own fields. And I happen to believe that borrowing ideas from other disciplines requires a deep understanding of the intellectual and historical contexts in which those ideas were developed--so I know what the idea can and cannot do as well as what my borrowing might do to my field and the field it came from.

Naturally, my reading list continues to snowball.

It's certainly impossible to have read everything in all of these (and many more) areas of knowledge. So, my advice, "read everything," is not an imperative to have read everything--a state no one will ever achieve. Rather, it's a call to begin and continue reading deeply and widely.

Labels: , ,


Blogger Nels said...

Oh, no clarification needed. I certainly get your point. I just have a lot of personal writing anxiety at the moment and no idea where to begin. There are times when I'm more aware of what I have not done/read than what I have. I'm sure I'm going to be circling around these points on the blog for a while.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006 8:32:00 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Thanks. It was actually for the benefit of others--e.g., UNH doctoral students--not necessarily a direct response addressed to you. Your comment provided me with a rhetorical context--at least in my mind.

BTW, I admire your courage to branch out to so many different areas of inquiry.

Thursday, September 07, 2006 11:46:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Last update: January 6, 2008