Weekly Digiddenda: 19 February 2010

Here’s this week’s quick list of items that might be of interest to digital bibliophiles and Rhet/Comp scholars:

University Presses Embrace Electronic Publishing. This is a great post at ProfHacker about the trend of university presses to offer more digital options or digital-only books publications. It’s serious issue for several reasons. What will this mean for publishing opportunites in T&P consideration? Will there be more opportunities, but devalued ones because of traditional perceptions of digital texts? Are the days of the bound scholarly manuscript over? Will I need a Kindle or an iPad to access these? What does this mean for access to scholarly books? And there’s a link to the University of Chicago’s press where you can pick up a free copy of Adrian John’s The Nature of the Book. Interestingly, though, the ebook is downloadable for everyone, but you can only read it using a specific type of Adobe Reader capable of handling DRM licensing. Fascinating post all around. [Digital Bibliophiles]

Electronic Frontier Foundation. I keep finding myself following links to this foundation’s website. They are absolutely amazing. This site is a must-have-bookmarked for anyone interested in writing about or producing digital texts. Copyright. Production tips. Politics. Blogging rights. Coders’ rights. They are a central piece to keeping the big players honest (yeah, I’m looking at you, Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Comcast, etc). Visit their site. Buy a t-shirt. Buy a poster. Support them. They already support you. (Oh yeah, and eat your vegetables.) [Digital Bibliophiles]

Doug Hesse Responds to Cynthia L. Selfe’s “The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing.” This link is to an “Interchange” exchange in the latest issue of CCC (61.3). Selfe’s response is included in the issue as well.  I haven’t been able to read it through yet, but Selfe’s work has been central to my development as a Rhet/Comp scholar, and I have great respect for Hesse’s work. I’m sure it’s a lively exchange, and one to which I’ll be responding in the next week or two. [Rhet/Comp Scholarship]

Joanna Wolfe article in CCC. Also, I need to give a shout-out to one of my professors here at the U of Louisville, Joanna Wolfe, who also has a piece appearing in this issue of CCC. It’s titled “Rhetorical Numbers: A Case for Quantitative Writing in the Composition Classroom.” Here’s the abstract from the CCC site: “Contemporary argument increasingly relies on quantitative information and reasoning, yet our profession neglects to view these means of persuasion as central to rhetorical arts. Such omission ironically serves to privilege quantitative arguments as above “mere rhetoric.” Changes are needed to our textbooks, writing assignments, and instructor development programs to broaden how both we and our students perceive rhetoric.” Take a look. Put it to work for you. [Rhet/Comp Scholarship]

Smashing Magazine. I also want to, when I can, include some links about interesting or helpful resources for those of us who design, produce, edit, whatever digital texts. I haven’t known about Smashing Magazine for that long, but so far, I’ve encountered smart writing, simple design, and really helpful decisions about what they cover. Great stuff here. Especially this entry about “the meaning of color” and digital texts. [Digital Text Production]

BookBook for Macbook. Okay, this is just for sheer fun. Seems like anyone reading this blog will end up coveting one of these once they see it. A “vintage” hardcover slip case for your Macbook Pro. I want one of these soooooo much. Alas. $79.99 is just too steep for somebody who just plunked down the change to buy the actual laptop itself. But you’d be crazy if you think I haven’t already been thinking about ways to DIY one of these for myself. And if you need help justifying this undeniable indulgence, here’s maybe the most ridiculous sales points I’ve heard in a long time: “Sitting on a coffee table, dorm room or desk, BookBook looks like a vintage piece of literature, not an expensive laptop.” And thus, no one would bother to snatch it? Yeah, like you wouldn’t show this thing off to everybody you encountered everyday. And once that got old, wouldn’t you just ditch the thing anyway? Still… I want one. [Fun. Fun. Fun.]

Leave a Reply

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