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In Stores Now

A couple of projects I've worked on are now live:

1. My article "Attracting Readers: Sex and Audience in the Blogosphere" is now live in the new issue of Scholar & Feminist Online. The issue has a companion blog for discussion of the articles.

While I stand by what I wrote, I am somewhat concerned that Daniel Drezner comes off sounding like a bad guy. That isn't actually true at all; he is very nice and collegial, and I reference a couple of posts on his weblog simply as examples of discourse.

2. A Conversation: From "They Call Me Doctor?" to Tenure is live in the Professional Development section of Computers and Composition Online. Cheryl Ball and Kristin Arola composed the piece, but I am one of the people interviewed. My contributions can be found here and here, but I encourage you to interact with the whole thing.

Want to join a CCCC panel?

Jonathan and I are putting together a panel on civic literacy. He and I are going to be talking specifically about the connections (and disconnects) between blogging and civic literacy, but if you wanted to talk about civic/political literacy independently of blogging or any particular technology, that would be great too. We need at least one person, preferably more. Remember, the deadline is this Friday, so let me know soon if you'd like to join us. clancy.ratliff at gmail.

Don Imus and Everyday Racism

Today Jonathan and I watched game four in the Suns/Lakers playoff series. Of this player, Amare Stoudemire:

A white sportscaster said, "He is a beast out there!"

I said to Jonathan, "WHAT? Isn't that a little racist?"

He said, "Yeah, they can be pretty racist."

A few minutes pass, and what sounded like the same sportscaster exclaimed, "He is a surgeon out there!"

I had looked away from the TV for a second and missed the reference, but I said, "Hey! Who was he talking about just now? 'He is a surgeon out there'?"

Jonathan said, "Steve Nash."


Two metaphors for athletic performance by two brilliant athletes: beast, and surgeon. Would a White guy be called a beast? Would a Black guy be called a surgeon? I don't know, but I have a feeling that the Imus utterance was only the tip of the rhetorical iceberg, and I'm going to start listening more closely to sportscasters in the future.

Extended Deadline for Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference

Call for Papers

The 2007 Feminism(s) & Rhetoric(s) conference invites proposals on civic discourse, feminisms, and rhetorics. The conference draws inspiration from the 50th anniversary of Little Rock’s Central High School integration, the Clinton Presidential Library, Heifer Project International & the Clinton School for Public Service.

For conference information, go to http://femrhet.cwshrc.org


Submit your abstracts online—http://femrhet.cwshrc.org/submissions.php

Register for the conference online—http://femrhet.cwshrc.org and click Conference Registration


Confirmed Keynote Speaker: Krista Ratcliffe

Invitation Pending Keynote Speaker/not confirmed: Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton

Featured Speakers: Hui Wu, Shirley Wilson Logan, Malea Powell, Carol Mattingly, Jessica Reyman, and more.


This conference asks us to explore civic discourse and how civic discourse, feminism(s) and rhetoric(s) interact with, for, and against each other.

What is civic discourse? What counts as civic discourse?

How has civic discourse changed over the years for women? For feminism?

How can we expand the definition of civic discourse?

What does it mean to participate in civic discourse in the 21st century?

How do women participate in civic discourse?

How has the internet/electronic discourse affected civic discourse?

How has civic discourse become corporatized?

How has globalization impacted civic discourse?

What does it mean to be a feminist and/or rhetorician participating in civic discourse?


We look forward to reading proposals from a wide variety of disciplines, including, but not limited to, history, ethics, new media, political science, social justice, pedagogy, law, literature, art and art theory, queer theory, international studies, cultural studies, race studies, economics, environmental studies, science, social activism, communication studies, technical communication, visual design, philosophy, and engineering.

Questions--contact Barbara L’Eplattenier (bleplatt@ualr.edu) or Marcia Smith (mmsmith@ualr.edu).

Composition Concept Map

Today I've been trying to join up the issues in composition studies that are most important to me and the scholars with whom I want to align myself. I want to try to connect these in some meaningful way.

Composition Issues

By the "academic discourse" bubble, I am acknowledging the very real responsibilities we have as composition teachers -- teaching citation practices, genres, etc. The bubbles that overlap are the issues I see as grouped closely together.

Famous correspondence in the public domain?

On Thursday in my Introduction to Rhetorical Studies class, we're going to be talking about Rationes dictandi, or Principles of Letter Writing: an excerpt of it, anyway, from The Rhetorical Tradition. I was thinking about famous letters to show in class, and Thomas Jefferson's letter to Benjamin Banneker came to mind, as well as the correspondence between Kenneth Burke and Malcolm Cowley, though it's dense and maybe not as well suited to a quick class exercise. Emily Dickinson's letters to Susan Huntington Gilbert Dickinson might be good.

Anyway, I was thinking that it would be anachronistically cool to take a collection of famous correspondence and reproduce it in two email accounts. Gmail might be good for the way it displays emails as conversations. You could create email addresses like, say, malcolm.cowley@gmail.com and symbolic.action@gmail.com. The letters could be typed out as emails, and the public could have access to the usernames and passwords to check the inboxes as new letters were added. I guess it would get vandalized and spammed pretty quickly, but it would be interesting for a while.

Take 20: My Version

At CCCC, I made sure to pick up my copy of Take 20, Todd Taylor's documentary film about teaching writing. For those of you who don't have access to the DVD, you can watch the trailer to get an idea. The premise: take 22 writing teachers and ask each of them twenty questions about teaching writing. I wasn't one of the 22 people tapped to be interviewed in the film, so I decided to answer the questions and make my own movie. Enjoy:

Uploaded by culturecat

By the way, if you want to upload videos longer than ten minutes (YouTube's limit -- my movie is a little over sixteen minutes), DailyMotion gives you twenty minutes.

The Mother Lode

I just uploaded tons of presentations to SlideShare. I hope you'll create an account there and do the same -- or, if you already have an account, add me as a contact.

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