Short Introduction to My Dissertation

A large portion of my dissertation is going to focus on the work of Writing Program Administrators as Rhetorical Workers. Yes, with all of the baggage (thanks, Karl) that comes with “worker.” In order to start putting together the theoretical frame for the research, I’m going to be drawing significantly from Cultural Materialist theory (Bruce Horner, Raymond Williams, Anthony Giddens) and ecological theory (Daniel White, Marilyn Cooper, Gregory Bateson). But as I understand this whole “research process” thingamabob, researchers usually build theoretical frames in order to interpret data which might yield answers to particular questions. (Do you know how long I worked on that sentence to put it as succinctly as possible? Ugh.)

My dissertation is going to be focusing on the the rhetorical work performed by WPAs regarding shifting institutional definitions of writing in response to emerging digital technologies. My plan is to gain three types of data.

Administrative Documents
One group of data will consist of documents created by WPAs related to changing defintions of writing (in some case responding to changes; in other cases arguing for new notions of writing). (More on this later in this post)

WPA Interviews
Another type of data will be interviews with the WPAs who produced those particular documents. I’ll be asking them about their perceptions of the material working conditions from which these particular documents emerged: exigencies, opportunities, crises, and other conditions consituting what a WPA percieves as a particular Kairos. These interviews will likely lead to more WPA-produced documents, interviews with directly related actors, and …

Non-WPA-produced Institutional Documents
Though which influenced thier rhetorical work. These sorts of documents will hopefully help to frame the context of the documents and interviews I’m collecting. I don’t see myself getting to invested in much rhetorical analysis of these documents, unless that’s a thread I’m following because one the WPA’s mentioned it as an influence, or because it is directly referenced in one of the WPA-produced documents. Something like an institutional initiative, or a call for grant proposals, or an alumni fundraising document.

Now, back to those pesky administrative documents…

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(photo credit: gregory james walsh. some rights reserved. see creative commons license.)

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Short Introduction to My Dissertation

A large portion of my dissertation is going to focus on the work of Writing Program Administrators as Rhetorical Workers. Yes, with all of the baggage (thanks, Karl) that comes with “worker.” In order to start putting together the theoretical frame for the research, I’m going to be drawing significantly from Cultural Materialist theory (Bruce Horner, Raymond Williams, Anthony Giddens) and ecological theory (Daniel White, Marilyn Cooper, Gregory Bateson). But as I understand this whole “research process” thingamabob, researchers usually build theoretical frames in order to interpret data which might yield answers to particular questions. (Do you know how long I worked on that sentence to put it as succinctly as possible? Ugh.)

My dissertation is going to be focusing on the the rhetorical work performed by WPAs regarding shifting institutional definitions of writing in response to emerging digital technologies. My plan is to gain three types of data.

Administrative Documents
One group of data will consist of documents created by WPAs related to changing defintions of writing (in some case responding to changes; in other cases arguing for new notions of writing). (More on this later in this post)

WPA Interviews
Another type of data will be interviews with the WPAs who produced those particular documents. I’ll be asking them about their perceptions of the material working conditions from which these particular documents emerged: exigencies, opportunities, crises, and other conditions consituting what a WPA percieves as a particular Kairos. These interviews will likely lead to more WPA-produced documents, interviews with directly related actors, and …

Non-WPA-produced Institutional Documents
Though which influenced thier rhetorical work. These sorts of documents will hopefully help to frame the context of the documents and interviews I’m collecting. I don’t see myself getting to invested in much rhetorical analysis of these documents, unless that’s a thread I’m following because one the WPA’s mentioned it as an influence, or because it is directly referenced in one of the WPA-produced documents. Something like an institutional initiative, or a call for grant proposals, or an alumni fundraising document.

Now, back to those pesky administrative documents…

————————————————-
(photo credit: gregory james walsh. some rights reserved. see creative commons license.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *