advice for the unplanned online class

UB, like many universities, is preparing to take all its classes online in short notice. Some schools have already made that choice as you know. Our Spring Break is next week so I imagine we'll know a lot more before school starts up again on the 23rd. I'm sure everyone is getting tons of advice... Continue Reading →

who wants to “own” writing?

There's this old Steven Wright line that goes something like, "I used to say I wanted to own the world but then I wondered 'where would I put it all?'" That seems apropos here. To clarify, in higher ed circles the idiom "to own writing" would appear to mean claiming sole disciplinary-intellectual authority and control... Continue Reading →

electrate politics and Joe Biden

In the news today, via The Washington Post and GQ, is the story of a viral video of Biden. It's a heavily-edited 19-second video that attempt to depict Biden as celebrating white nationalist values by ripping phrases and sentences out of context. This is a technique every first-year composition instructor has seen where students quote... Continue Reading →

the principle of illectracy?

Perhaps Ulmer has a more elegant puncept for this, but basically I'm thinking here about the analog of illiteracy within electracy. I.e.: literacy -----> electracyilliteracy -----> illectracy? For the first 25 years or so that we have discussed electracy, I don't think there was a pressing need to imagine the operation of illectracy. For one... Continue Reading →

non-metaphorical wayfinding and writing studies

Jonathan Alexander, Karen Lunsford and Carl Whithaus have a new article in Written Communication, "Toward Wayfinding: a Metaphor for Understanding Writing Experiences." I think it's a great article, and I'm planning to share it with my WAC colleagues. It provides a useful overview of important ideas in the field and adds wayfinding to that list.... Continue Reading →

anti-anti-utopian rhetoric

Kim Stanley Robinson as this great essay, "Dystopias Now," which covers a lot of ground, but one of the central topics is his discussion of anti-anti-utopianism. Basically, you have to imagine a Greimas (or semiotic) square. I'll just borrow the diagram from KSR. As KSR explains it, dystopias are the "not-concept" of utopias, where things... Continue Reading →

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