Some of my research has been concerned with faculty development and with writing program administration. I have a text, Aging Literacies, that explores the interrelations of shifting literacy requirements within the context of our identities as teachers and scholars and our approaches to our own experiences with aging. I argue that if faculty development is to be effective, how we learn as we age should be part of the considerations.
Recently, I’ve combined an interest in surveillance studies with issues related to writing program administration. As soon as the word surveillance is uttered, my defenses go up, and surveillance studies scholars have been extremely thoughtful about the way popular culture encourages a sort of enjoyment, a docile attitude towards surveillance. Looking at venues such as Facebook, this training becomes apparent, but it’s also true–and this is the interesting conundrum about surveillance– that online networks and programs, while providing troubling relations to surveillance also offer interesting information about how networks function, information that can help a group to choose better directions. I’ve been looking at how online social network programs function within what some would call soft surveillance and have become fascinated with how social networks shape some of our motivations. I have an article on technology adoption that addresses the importance of attending to social networks to facilitate the process of learning new ways of integrating digital literacies into the curriculum.
I also have been focused on how data from students (their essays, entered into programs like Turnitin, or MyCompLab) can be used to promote an agenda that may be antithetical to our core values and ways of knowing about how learning happens, how students become stronger writers. I’m currently writing an article that looks at the ethical issues at stake in choosing online companies who offer to support student portfolios, which facilitate the assessment process for first year writing. What are the issues at stake for writing program administrators who may or may not feel like they have many options?
I’m interested as well in looking at the hiring decisions regarding the teaching of first year writing in independent writing departments. How might independent writing departments offer alternate models, and what strengths/drawbacks exist in those models. We are currently looking at a survey that would allow us to know how different independent writing programs have shaped hiring practices.
I have been long at work on a literacy narrative, one that explores the shifts to narratives that happen because of digital possibilities. The most recent version of this work moves between three online story-telling projects, the It Gets Better Project, Storycorps, and the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives. Tentatively titled, A literacy narrative on a mission: collective, viral, crowd-sourced, this text begins with the It Gets Better project, suggesting the
This book – length manuscript begins with the It Gets Better Project, examining the role of crowd sourcing and algorithms in the construction of a viral literacy project. The IGB project shapes an experience of a literacy narrative on a collective mission, and I explore the parameters of that mission which includes addressing the possibility of speaking when communities are not welcoming. The second chapter of this text explores the “mission” framing of that literacy title, exploring one thread in the IGB project–namely the role evangelical churches have taken in shaping attitudes towards their LBGTQ offspring. Savage explicitly argues that their project is designed to gain access to young LBGTQ youths in spaces previously blocked to LBGTQ elders. Looking at the contemporary digital blocking challenges for conservative evangelical universities, this chapter suggests the necessity of understanding the impact of venues such as Youtube, and shared comment spaces, the impact of heightened availability of YouTube with the advent of smart phones.
The second section explores how multimodal digital framings may be reshaping attitudes towards traditional literacy missions. Extending the focus on religion and literacy, this section explores the role that leaders of projects play in shaping sustainable viral projects in the midst of contemporary digital possibilities. In a contemporary environment in which corporations in the United States have been given more authority and power to participate in elections, this section examines the ways in which multimodal discourse corporations and organizations play in sustaining crowd-sourced, viral literacy narratives. Working between examples from It Gets Better corporate videos, and the Wycliff corporate videos, this section examines shifting notions of what matters for literacy work.
The third section of this text examines possible lessons from online storytelling venues in order to suggest the shape and scope of potential futures for venues such as the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives.
Technical and Professional Writing
I’m interested in the shifts happening with “how – to” instruction sets and manuals, in online venues. I currently have a draft of a text on the ways that individual ceramics artists develop instruction sets that participate in their identity as small business owners, and as artists speaking to other artists.
Ceramics artists may not, at first glance, seem like a population that must access risk, but the process of creating a functional vessel is full of safety and risk assessments. I currently have a draft of a text that examines an online listserv discussion regarding the decision making processes for building and firing raku kilns. What are excessive risks? What are feasible risks? The community conversation suggests the challenges that arise for small businesses and art organizations when determining appropriate levels of risk.
Understanding social media options and the impact of social media on the field of technical and professional writing is not yet clearly articulated. I am currently collecting data, studying forty ceramic artists use of social media venues. I argue elsewhere that ceramics artists are contemporary technical communicators, and in this research, I’m studying various people’s strategies for participating in various on-line interfaces, weaving sales strategies with genres familiar to technical communication.
I have begun studying the argument strategies of cyclists and motorists online in an attempt to explore two issues: first, risk assessment and risk management that involves multiple levels of governance., and second, the explanatory materials that articulate the scope of laws to individuals. Departments of motor vehicles produce manuals for drivers, manuals that are interesting on this particular subject. We have submitted one article that is a brief version of a longer article on the findings from a study of 500+ comments in an online venue. We hope to extend our studies, as this focus affords an opportunity to explore shifting cultural values regarding mobility.
I’ve begun exploring research that looks at the relationship between objects of mobility and communicative practices. The focus, not settled yet, is something that I hope will combine mobile phones and bicycles, and will allow me to look towards international spaces for research and teaching.
- class framings
- missionary kid
- queer theory
- shadow economies
- soft architecture
- the business of
- thinking objects
- webspace architecture