Two Departments within COAFES are mentioned in today's Task Force
report. Rhetoric is one; we are recognized as part of the "prime nucleus
of effective exemplars" in writing pedagogy and research at the
University of Minnesota.
Thanks to everyone in the Department who contributes to our research,
teaching, and service in this area.
April 19th, 2005, 8am-3pm, Coffman Memorial Union
[Colleagues: please consider attending. Laura Gurak and John Logie will
be facilitating two of the afternoon sessions.]
"Publication, the Public University, and the Public Interest"
Scholarship means little without publication. But the definitions of
"publication" are undergoing major changes. The digital age has brought
unprecedented opportunities to share research discoveries with a global
audience, prompting a revolution some have compared to post-Gutenberg
times. Yet as the Internet and World Wide Web have unleashed new
resources and capabilities, they have also challenged the conventions of
how research is published and shared. Traditional modes of
publishing--print journals and books--have served scholars for decades.
Today, though, scholars in some disciplines advocate making research
results available through free electronic archives, and some are even
suggesting that universities and funding agencies require "open access"
publishing. Other new publishing genres like blogs have also been
embraced by scholars.
The event is free and open to faculty, staff, and students, but you
must register online at the conference website.
This conference is part of the President's 21st Century
Interdisciplinary Conference Series.
Congratulations to RSTC doctoral candidate Clancy Ratliff, whose
research on blogs is mentioned in this month's College newsletter.
Serving Urban Communities
New Communication Political blogs received a lot of attention last fall, but blogs exist on all kinds of subjects. Clancy Ratliff, a Rhetoric Ph.D candidate, is currently writing a thesis about gender, punditry and weblogs. Her research has made her a valuable source for those interested in this new form of communication. The Philadelphia Inquirer recently quoted her thoughts on baby blogs, but she says blogs have a wide impact on communication. Ratliff says, "Blogs are exposing and changing existing assumptions of what political discourse is and which issues are political."
The new tutoring center on the St. Paul Campus is a busy place. Following a successful Open House on September 15, the tutors are getting to know each other and their "customers" in the SMART Center. SMART, an acronym for science, math, and research tutoring, also includes a writing tutor and librarians. Located in 43 Classroom Office Building, the Center is a collaboration with the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence, which is contributing much of the tutoring, writing tutors from the Department of Rhetoric, reference staff from Margrath Library, and tutors from Animal Science and Applied Economics. While the SMART Center serves a core population--the COAFES SEAM cohort (Student Excellence in Academics and Multiculturalism) and Diversity Scholars--the Center is available to all students.
Encourage students to take advantage of this new resource on the St. Paul Campus. Current hours of the Center can be found at http://www.rhetoric.umn.edu/smartcenter/.
The Rhetoric Department, Programs in Scientific and Technical Communication, has recently begun a funded research project with the Lincoln Park Zoo of Chicago. The new Lincoln Park Zoo Research Fellowship is designed to study how science is communicated to the public as well as to other scientists. Dr. Carol Berkenkotter is the research supervisor, and Ms. Zoe Nyssa, masters student in RSTC, is the research fellow for this year. One goal is to help the Zoo understand how it can communicate its scientific message related to conservation and biology while at the same time reaching everyday audiences. The research team will use linguistic analysis methods to understand the textual and visual information that can be used most effectively.
Into the Blogosphere: Rhetoric, Culture, and Community of Weblogs, ed. Laura Gurak, Smiljana Antonijevic, Laurie Johnson, Clancy Ratliff, and Jessica Reyman
University of Minnesota
This online, edited collection explores discursive, visual, social, and other communicative features of weblogs. Essays analyze and critique situated cases and examples drawn from weblogs and weblog communities. The collection takes a multidisciplinary approach, and contributions represent perspectives from Rhetoric, Communication, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Linguistics, and Education, among others.
Into the Blogosphere is a first in many ways. Along with its being the first scholarly collection focused on blog as rhetorical artifact, the editors also offer an innovative approach to intellectual property and to publishing. There are a number of peer reviewed journals in digital format. However, with an edited collection, the desired outcome is usually a hard-copy book, so the standard process has been to turn to a publisher with a proposal, then typically wait several years before the book actually comes out.
The editors produced this peer-reviewed edited collection in the spirit of blogging but with a focus on scholarly work that has been through the peer review process (full blind reviews were conducted). The book takes advantage of the speed of electronic publishing, the web's hypertextual nature and new ways of reading, and the formatting and open communication conventions of blog writing, while at the same time providing readers with essays that are of a serious scholarly quality. The blog, in this case, is the subject matter and it is also the book itself. It is not an ancillary web site that accompanies a hard copy book.
Inspired by the collaboration and sharing of ideas common among bloggers, the editors have also chosen to distribute this online collection under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial 2.0 License. It is hosted on the University of Minnesota library's server as part of the University's innovative new blog initiative, UThink: Blogs at the University of Minnesota Libraries