I presented (with some awesome co-panelists and colleagues from TTU) at the 2012 meeting of the Rhetoric Society of America. I thought it went well. Here’s the abstract:
“‘Writing Instructors Really Are a Pretty Selfless Lot’: Constructing Students and Technology on the WPA-L”
In the productive disciplines of rhetoric, composition, and technical communication, there is no shortage of online talk about our students and their technology. On blogs and popular websites, on listservs and informal communication of all types, teachers and scholars debate the digital native meme, think about the implications of integrating texting and YouTube production in assorted writing classrooms, and focus our scholarly and daily attention on the relationship between our student’s communication and the machines they use to produce it. Our theories of technology and our conceptions of students interact everywhere in all our various professional discourses, including our online talk; it is in those discourses that, as we teach and as we interact with one another, domination and freedom “are exercised in a relativized world” (McKerrow, p. 96). This presentation focuses on a lengthy conversation thread from the Writing Program Administrators’ e-mail listserv, examining doxastic conceptions of central disciplinary concepts like technology, students, and the goals of writing instruction (as one type of rhetorical production), and the complicated ways in which different doxa combine to form questionable pedagogical and philosophical arguments. How do scholars and teachers talk about students and technology; what conceptions of students and technology does that talk reveal, and how do those conceptions interact, combine, or conflict in professionals’ discourse?
Interested in the annotated presentation? Post a comment or tweet me at @cdmandrews for more.