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Anarchy in Academe? A Cultural Analysis of Electronic Scholarly Publishing

A year ago, I wrote a paper for my Technical Communication as Cultural Practice class titled "Anarchy in Academe? A Cultural Analysis of Electronic Scholarly Publishing." After much hemming and hawing, I have finally decided to publish the paper online. Note: It's a big pdf file. The assignment for the final paper was to use cultural studies methodology to study mundane text (any text outside of "the canon," which means basically anything goes). Cultural studies methodology, in this class, entailed using Foucault, de Certeau, and Lyotard as a theoretical framework and asking questions about the cultural context surrounding our mundane text, including: How did conditions come to be this way? What's at stake in this issue? Who benefits from the status quo?

Happy to inspire...

Earlier today, I read Rebekah Bennetch's M.A. thesis proposal for her project titled "The Gospel According to Glamour: A Rhetorical Analysis of Revolve: The Complete New Testament." I was really impressed and wondered if maybe my earlier post about Revolve inspired the project. Tonight she emailed me, saying that it did! I feel so beneficent.

Position Papers Aplenty!

The Alliance of Rhetoric Societies recently held a conference in which participants got into groups and discussed four questions:

  1. How ought we to understand the concept of rhetorical

  2. Do we have a “rhetorical tradition”?  Are we better
    advised to think of traditions rather than a single tradition?  If we
    do recognize a tradition or several traditions, how do we identify and
    characterize it (or them)? 

Genre Theory, Genre Analysis, and Blog as Genre

Here are some preliminary thoughts on genre analysis as a method for studying blogs. I'm taking Carol Berkenkotter's genre theory class this semester, and this is a response paper I wrote to some forthcoming work by John Swales and "The Problem of Speech Genres" by Mikhail Bakhtin.

While I appreciate genre theory, the primary material in the reading that interested me is genre analysis as a method (or methodology), as I desire to acquire knowledge of genre analysis as a tool to analyze weblogs. Swales' work, then, was particularly useful to me. One methodological problematic I have been struggling with lately is the question of why, when analyzing an Internet genre one would need a print referent. Three concepts helped me see why a print referent is necessary: Bakhtin's notion of intertextuality among utterances, Todorov's remark that genres come “'[q]uite simply from other genres,'” and Linell's idea of recontextualization. Now I realize that a print referent—a paper journal, perhaps—is needed, but I am still grappling with the problem of genre and subgenre, e.g., a poem is a genre and a sonnet is a subgenre; a blog is a genre and a warblog is a subgenre.

Thoughts on Aspasia and Diotima

This is a really disorganized response paper I wrote for my favorite class, Gender, Rhetoric, and Literacy: Historical Bedfellows, taught by Lillian Bridwell-Bowles. The readings for yesterday's class were parts of Rhetoric Retold by Cheryl Glenn, the first two essays in Reclaiming Rhetorica, edited by Andrea Lunsford, and the selections on Aspasia and Diotima in Available Means, which is sort of a Rhetorical Tradition, but with only women. The selection for Aspasia was from Plato's Menexenus, and the selection for Diotima was from Plato's Symposium.

This just in...more response papers!

Carol just emailed the syllabus to the class, and we'll be doing response papers in the genre class too! Heh, I'm taking classes in three separate departments and they're all assigning response papers. I wonder if they had a university-wide faculty meeting and planned it? The one I'll be doing for next week is on some forthcoming work by John Swales and also some Bakhtin on speech genres.

Response papers are a'comin!

I love my classes this fall. Two of them are what we used to call "readings courses" at the University of Tennessee. In other words, they're meant to be foundation courses, not seminars, which translates to lots of short papers and no long seminar paper! The other is Carol Berkenkotter's Genre Theory course, which will be great too. The first class of my week is Feminist Theories and Methods with Jacquelyn Zita, in which we have a 2-3 page response paper due every week. Then there's Lillian Bridwell-Bowles's Gender, Rhetoric, and Literacy: Historical Bedfellows class, in which we have a one-page response due every week. I thought, why not post those responses here? You can read along with me if you like. Next week's responses will be on the following readings...

For the Feminist Theories and Methods class, which has specified themes for the response papers:

  • Beverly Guy-Sheftall, interview with Evelynn M. Hammonds, "Whither Black Women's Studies"
  • Robyn Wiegman, "The Progress of Gender: Whither 'Women'?"
  • Leora Auslander, "Do Women's + Feminist + Lesbian and Gay + Queer Studies = Gender Studies?"
  • Shirley Yee, "The 'Women' in Women's Studies"

and the theme is "Women's Studies: What's in a name?"

For the Gender, Rhetoric, and Literacy class, the readings are:

  • the first two chapters of Rhetoric Retold by Cheryl Glenn (which is awesome so far!)
  • the first three articles in Reclaiming Rhetorica edited by Andrea Lunsford: "On Reclaiming Rhetorica" by Lunsford, "Aspasia: Rhetoric, Gender, and Colonial Ideology" by Susan Jarratt and Rory Ong, and "A Lover's Discourse: Diotima, Logos, and Desire"
  • and the sections on Aspasia and Diotima from Available Means: An Anthology of Women's Rhetoric(s) edited by Joy Ritchie and Kate Ronald

I figure posting my responses will both beef up the scholarly content of my blog and force me to make the responses better than they'd ordinarily be, as more people will be reading them. Funny what motivates me.

The Ol' College Try

Yesterday, I finished revising my paper titled "Sites of Resistance: Weblogs and Creative Commons Licenses" for the AoIR conference. It was nominated for a student prize (based on the abstract), so I thought I better revise the paper, which I wrote for a class last spring. The original paper was definitely not my best work; I just did what I could with the time allotted, which you have to do sometimes, right? I was dreading looking at the paper, but I did, because I thought about my general guideline in situations like these: If you don't apply for that job/scholarship/award, you have a 100% chance of NOT getting it. If you do apply, you will increase those odds slightly.

I don't think I've ever revised a paper on such a large scale. I mean I took that thing apart and put it back together again. I took out whole paragraphs, cut whole sections and pasted them in different places in the paper, and added paragraphs and sentences that helped express my argument in a more authoritative voice. In other words, I did what all those writing textbooks say to do, and I'm happy with the results. I'm actually going to submit the paper to the conference archive in a few days for all to see! To friends, I joked that trying to revise this paper was like polishing a turd. It was, but I learned in the process, which couldn't come at a better time, as I'm about to start teaching composition again.

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