Hugh Burns Award

I'm very happy to say that I have received the 2006 Hugh Burns Best Dissertation Award, given each year by the journal Computers and Composition. In 1979, Burns wrote the first computers and composition dissertation. Here I am with him:

Awards banquet at Wright Museum of African American History

That sheet is a facsimile of a plaque I'll receive later.

MediaCommons Presentation at Computers and Writing

Here are my slides from the presentation I gave today:


The ones who make your ears perk up

It's exciting to be here at Computers and Writing and talk to graduate students now that I'm in a tenure-track position. I don't feel in any way competitive toward them, so that affects the dynamic a little. There are several first- and second-year PhD students (and others who are ABD, of course, but right now I'm talking about relative newbies) who I definitely think are going to be serious movers and shakers in the field in the future. The idea flitted across my mind to do a The Ones to Watch-style series of profiles of these folks, but I obviously wouldn't do it. What I WILL do is, if/when they go on to rock the field of rhetoric and composition, write a post about their accomplishments, link back to this post, and say, "Yep. She is one of the people I was talking about here. I CALLED IT."

Trailers for My C&W Presentations

I was hoping to get a chance to show these trailers for my presentations on opening night at the Computers and Writing conference (after the fashion of Daniel Anderson), but they're not having one of those @getinfo sessions this year. Oh well. Here they are. This is the trailer for my first presentation:

H. Web Sensible Selves: Individual and Institutional Identities in Digital Writing
Darren Cambridge: Deep-Web Sensible Selves: Writing the Responsive Learning Organization
Byron Hawk: Identifying Web 2.0: Institutional Identities and the Grounds of Research
Clancy Ratliff: Peer-to-Peer Review, Metadata, and Distant Reading: Introducing MediaCommons, a New Scholarly Network

And here's the one for my second:

I. Roundtable: Digital Writing Research(ers): Institutional Review Boards:
Mapping the Issues for Organizational Position Statements
Will Banks, Michelle Eble, Gail Hawisher, Heidi McKee, James Porter, Clancy Ratliff, Cynthia Selfe, Pam Takayoshi, Laura Gurak

Over My Shoulder: Noise from the Writing Center

Here, if you don't remember, are the rules to Over My Shoulder. The book here is:

Boquet, Elizabeth H. Noise from the Writing Center. Logan, UT: Utah State UP, 2002.

The quotation is from pages 42-43, emphasis in original.

I fear, sometimes, that we are too willing to give our institutions what we think they want, whether or not it is what we want or, ultimately, even what they want. The shift from remediation to efficiency illustrates this point to me. We take great pains now to highlight in our studies, in our annual reports, the very broad appeal that most writing centers enjoy on our campuses and the cost-effective manner in which we operate. Most of us, for example, are advised to include in our annual reports hard numbers (As opposed to soft numbers? Or easy numbers?): number of students served (Do you want fries with that?), number of students from each course, from each major, from each year, from each school, always-another-from-each-that-I-seem-to-have-forgotten. Is this what we do? No. But do we do it? Yes. And we do it for "good" reasons, I suppose, though I don't feel like writing about those. What I do feel like writing about is what happens when we mistake doing it for what we do -- and when our colleagues, administrators, and occasionally our tutors and students, follow us in making the same mistake. I feel like thinking about what happens when we fetishize the numbers of students we see from every end of campus, the numbers of hours we've worked, the numbers of students we've helped to retain for so comparatively little cost, rather than what happened during those hours, between those students. It is rare that annual reports -- my own included -- tell stories of the latter.

Over My Shoulder: Composition and the Academy: A Study of Writing Program Administration

Here, if you don't remember, are the rules to Over My Shoulder. The book here is:

Hartzog, Carol P. Composition and the Academy: A Study of Writing Program Administration. New York: Modern Language Association, 1986.

and the quotation is from page 90.

[Erika Lindemann's TA training] manual sends teaching assistants a message something like this: The teaching of writing is a sophisticated practice, grounded in theory, history, and research. You can do it, and you can do it well. Those of us preparing the manual know more about teaching writing than you do right now, and we've reached consensus on how it should be done, but we trust you to carry it out and gradually to develop your own variations, your own distinctive style and practice. This work is important: it matters to your students now and throughout their careers, and it matters to you, personally and professionally. You should do it well and with dignity, and it will be a good experience for you. You begin as a novice who needs instruction and support, but you join a community; it is a sharing community, and you will make your own contributions to your students and your peers. You will be called to account, but you will be judged fairly. You will know what's expected, and you will be given direction and help. You will be treated with the same respect we want you to give your students.

Writing Program Administration/Design: Mapped

I'm trying to capture in a concept map the various elements of writing program design and administration. What am I missing? (Photo below links to larger one.)


"Walled Gardens": How Copyright Law Can Impede Educators' Use of Digital Learning Materials

What follows is my contribution for the CCCC-IP annual publication of the top intellectual property developments of the year. Here's the 2005 edition. The one for 2006 will be up on the NCTE site in the next few weeks. Links to the different sections in the article are below the fold.

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