It seems the article - and cheese sandwich metaphor - has driven the food bloggers into a frenzy. Somehow, this distinction was read as a "declaration of war" by some food bloggers. Protests. Nasty comments. Cheese sandwich day! has been issued as a call in the hopes of uniting the masses.
The cliché of community.
Now - what would a "serious" day look like? That would be a cool response. "We're serious and we're proud!"
Yet - this morning, I started to think: Ok. Let's return one more time (aw, do we have to?) to this issue of being anonymous online. Do folks approach their academic writing with the same fear of being known? The answer - based on what irks anonymous bloggers - must be "no." But why not? Subject matter? Maybe. But the key seems to be that other dreaded computers and writing term, "access." Hope that my library has collected ALL the publication's archived material and not thrown a certain time period in the trash
Access, you say? Oh yes. Because academic writing is just not as accessible as blogging. Google changed the interface of interaction in ways other search engines failed. But for me to access a fellow academic's work, I must:
And since there are more journals than a human can read, and we don't all write for the same area of inquiry, the odds that I know who you are and where you publish are small (unless you have made Norman Mailer status in the field and become the next Gerry Graff or John Guillory or whoever).
But if the open source advocates and rah rah creative commons folks had their way, would these anonymous folks still want to be anonymous?
"NO! We don't fear repercussions for our academic work! There is nothing for us to fear when we write about X novel, X poem, X composition moment, X…."
Really? Why not? Is it because our academic ideas are "safe" and our desire to document the untold story of Plezure is "unsafe?" Is academic writing always so safe that no one gets upset when they read recent scholarship? Tell that to James Sledd. Tell that to VV. A moment for ideological reflection, no? Academic work is supposed to be "safe?" I think I hear the ghost of Berlin about to land and say a thing or two about writing and being safe.
If I think about and try to consider working with what non-academic writers do with the medium (like change the nature of archiving, document forgotten moments, etc) is that "unsafe?" Is blogging unsafe at any speed?
Listen: I wish access was different. I don't know if it would change the anonymous fear, but I do know, that out of my published writings, the one I wish was taken seriously and which could provoke a mass audience ain't this little InsideHigherEd thing. In the last couple years, I've published a few pieces I hoped folks would get irked about, or think about, or respond to. But nada has happened. Only the online pieces get attention. I wish I could upset someone with my academic work. At best, I hear a yawn - maybe because of quality, but also likely because probably half a dozen people read that stuff.
Fear of retribution is not our problem. Access, I can't believe I am saying this, is.
Posted by jrice @ 10:22 AM EST [Link]
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Theory and Practice
From the Lectures of the Cliché: Theory and Practice
Forgive poor transcriptions. Neighbors won't turn their radio down.
(CREAAAAAAAAAK. Door opens. In walks the good Dr.)
What are we talking about? We're talking about practice? Practice?
Compositionists fret over practice. "We must practice!" Practice?
(inaudible mumbling in class; sound of someone leaving the room, maybe more than one)
The (still) emerging field of computers and writing/writing with technology/composition and technology, however you all may scribble it into your term papers, still wonders about practice. How do you put "that idea" into practice? We no longer have lore; we have practice! Our field is becoming a series of Time/Life books: How to manuals. Hackerism. The will to practice. "In this article I will show how I practice multimodal/multiliteracy/multimulti writing in my class. . ."
The Compile search engine for composition scholarship brings up almost 10,000 hits for "practice" and less than 3,000 for "theory." Practice! Practice has won the search engine war!
(barely audible question from students)
"But Dr. Don't you tell us not to draw binaries?"
Indeed. You ask a good question. I will give you a "C." It is neither A nor F. So it, too, is not a binary.
Quintilian told us to practice the places of argument, not just know them! Jay David Bolter asks us to practice our theories, not just explicate them! Who among us really works with applied grammatology? But what are we talking about?
Student: "Uh, practice?"
Correct! In his CCCC chair address, Donald Stewart asked: "How can historical knowledge liberate composition teachers from theory and practice which are dated and ineffective?" I give you your notes. Why do you people not read your notes from this course! A history which lasts only one or two weeks, and you forget! You over there! You're not even taking notes! What the hell are you doing?
But I digress.
What were we talking about?
Posted by jrice @ 08:15 AM EST [Link]
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Now I know how Michael Berube feels!
A little public writing (I said a little!) goes a little way on the Web. It was interesting to see my hits triple and to get a little blogosphere action on the side, outside of the usual suspects I run with here. Some folks think I'm talking about stand-up, some don't like the word serious, some got too hung up on the context I introduced regarding being too heavy handed (being anonymous), some say, yeah, maybe, some remember their past habits as trolls and relive that experience again, some want public conversation to always be a debate (You're wrong! You're right!). No one really wanted to talk about new media (it's new cause it didn't exist before) and conventions, particularly how we are drawn to maintain conventions (or, we say, gasp! how we are interpellated!).
The disagreement is, for the most part, cool (I really don't like the debate aspect; however, regardless of which side a response takes). It's just a short piece. But you get a few folks talking that you normally wouldn't talk with, and that's not bad. Overall, public writing (outside of blog writing) is not entirely for me (because of space, form, debate responses, and language limitations), and without the invite, I wouldn't have done it. I said entirely! It was a bit enjoyable as well.
My favorite response is the one from the guy who can't help but STILL be mad that I (and someone else) told him a year ago he wasn't up to speed with current scholarship regarding his topic.
Maybe it’s as simple as meaning intended is not necessarily meaning received. My point is that we need a lot of care with humorous writing to avoid as much missing of meaning as possible. If a joke is hurtful to some people mentioned in the joke,” is it rightfully funny?
To which I say: Yes.
Posted by jrice @ 07:04 AM EST [Link]
Monday, February 20, 2006
A few weeks ago, I was invited to do an IHE piece. So here it is:
Posted by jrice @ 06:47 AM EST [Link]
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Even if I am dangerous, I find this weird:
Stumbled across it by accident yesterday. To whoever is trading my website on the fantasy stock exchange: