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I Miss Michelle

I miss Michelle, of the now offline I haven't seen her comment on Frogs and Ravens or Making Contact for a couple of weeks. How's it going, Michelle? Give me an update.

The CCCC Post

Many have posted about 4Cs already, including Charlie with his notes on the CCCC-Intellectual Property Caucus, Collin with his well-linked notes on panels he attended, Mike's behemoth-like annotations here, here, here, here, here, and here, Arete's notes on blogging at 4Cs, and Samantha's March 29 and 30 posts. [Update: Jeff Ward blogs about the blogging special interest group, Kress's talk, and he has some nice photos of the Riverwalk. Another update: Answergrape also has posts here, here, here, here, and here.] What could I possibly add? Not much, but I'll try. First off, I attended the Intellectual Property Caucus with Charlie. We brainstormed and ranted, and all was well, but then the conversation took a turn from righteous indignation over the dwindling of the public domain to plagiarism in the composition classroom. I ask the following question oh so timorously: Why must our conversations about intellectual property inevitably take such a turn? I realize that we're still trying to get people mobilized for the copyleft/Creative Commons cause, and to do that we have to sell it and make it relevant to composition pedagogy, but I wish the people we're trying to persuade would approach IP issues with a more open mind, not so constrained by disciplinary blinders. Just my $0.02. I know it's informed by my interest in the public domain and free culture. I think we need a way to explain IP issues clearly while circumventing the plagiarism discussion, something like: I want to be able to use "Stairway to Heaven" in a documentary film, not tell you I'm the one who wrote it. :) Anyway, one of the highlights for me from the caucus was Andrea Lunsford's call for two types of research: detailed case studies of encounters with copyright law (especially hindrances it presents and the way these encounters with copyright law result in work that doesn't appear as well-researched and thorough as it actually is) and historical research on the concept of common knowledge. What is common knowledge? Is there still such a thing? I agree that the research is important; I'd read it.

Introducing UThink

The libraries at the University of Minnesota have just gone live with UThink, a big blogging initiative. Every student, faculty member, and staff member will be able to have as many blogs as he or she wants. I've spoken to Shane Nackerud, the librarian who's heading up the initiative, and he hopes it will be pretty big, as in students will be able to comment on campus life in such a way that the blogs might compete with or even supplant the school newspaper. Also, instructors will be able to use the system to create community blogs, students will be able to start community blogs for group projects, clubs, sororities/fraternities and organizations will be able to have community blogs, etc. I'm pretty excited about it and am eager to see what people will do with it, but I do have a couple of problems with the system so far: First, no privacy. If you'll notice on my UThink blog, it says "Posted by ratli008" under every post, and I can't change that in my profile (I tried). That's my username, and anyone can see it if they look me up in the university directory. Also, I can't see my stats and referrers, which are vital if you're to know who's linking to you.

New Listserv on Blogs

Late one night (early one morning) at 4Cs, Charlie started a listserv for bloggers and blog enthusiasts to plan a special interest group for next year's 4Cs. I've copied his post from Kairosnews here:

This past 4C's, there were a lot of events to related to blogging, among which was the special interest group event, “Calling All Bloggers: Academic Bloggers Sharing Strategies and Resources.” At that meeting, attendees decided to create the CCCC Blogging SIG listserv ( "a list of comp/rhet/lit folk devoted to exploring the personal and professional applications of weblogs and wikis in teaching, writing, and research." The list is currently being used to share our blogsites with each other, discuss possible panel presentations on blogging for 4C's 2005, and work out future goals for the SIG and the list. But we also hope to initiate many other conversations about blogging and share other resources. Everyone is invited to come participate in the existing conversations as well as to start their own.

And don't be discouraged if you are new to weblogs and/or don't keep your own weblog. One of the many reasons for forming the list was to create a community for supporting teachers in their efforts to learn about and begin blogging.

You can subscribe to the list online through the list information page. Once subscribed, post your messages to the list at

My good friend Scott has started a new research blog, He's a graduate student in Geography, and he's a wonderful writer of all genres of prose and poetry. I'd highly recommend keeping an eye on his site.


Kewl! I have gone from "Slithering Reptile" up to "Flappy Bird" in the Ecosystem. God, I'm a dork.

Turning the Tide

Everything Is Temporary, Anyway

Invisible Adjunct is closing up shop. I'll repost here what I posted on her site (as the 166th comment!):

I'm sorry about the lack of luck on the market, IA, and saddened that this blog will be ending. I agree with what Timothy Burke said; I really think you have started a movement here. Yours is the strongest, most thoughtful voice for radical institutional reform. So many fine and feasible ideas have been circulated here--how to change graduate programs so that the number of students accepted into the programs is more proportional to the number of job openings and suggestions on how to go about professional development in alternative careers for graduate students in the humanities, making academia more friendly to mothers, etc. I will miss this community terribly. Good luck, IA, and I really hope you'll stay in touch with us.

***Slinks away to brood and listen to "Circle" by Edie Brickell***

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