Question #3– Spivak

Yes, I agree with Spivak.  I think that over time, if one learns to write well in a normal context, then that same person will have the ability to write for an audience.  In a sense, they are already writing for an audience of 1 being their teacher.  Others usually read the paper to see what they think of it.  Writing can be done in an internal way or for an audience, but I don’t think that we need to teach writing so that it is done for an audience specifically.  I think that once students have an idea about how to write, what works in their writing, what doesn’t work, what words to use, etc. then they will have the skills to write for an audience.  Perhaps they will need to train a bit, but the foundation will be there.  As per your question, “Do teachers of writing teach a skill or do they facilitate student responses to an audience?” I think they do both but in a specific order.  Teachers teach the skill of writing… then they teach how to use that writing in order to respond to an audience, or write for an audience.

Question #4–Spivak

I found it difficult to read the Spivak interview for a couple of reasons.  Some of them you have alluded to in your question, so I will try to answer as best I can.  At first I thought she was being inconsistent and did not want to give an opinion one way or the other on these topics.  Yet I think the answers parallel the flexibility of the topics in which she speaks… writing, rhetoric, cultural politics… it can’t be easy to have a definitive answer to all of those topics because there are so many differing points of view.  I think she knows what she is talking about and is a very smart person.  I would question how dry her personality is and if she’d be fun to grab a pizza and beer with, but for scholarly work she obviously knows her stuff.