Standing on the Shoulders of Networks Poster
Standing on the Shoulders of Networks Poster

Immersed in prepping this talk for much of the morning, noticing as closing in the constraints of time and purpose and what I’d supposed possible before really squaring with the script. Deck is drafted, talk is drafted, and still there isn’t quite enough explicit about this business of standing on shoulders–so much more I’d like to do with footing for newcomers, hospitality for initiates.

Kinaesthetics, Intensive Gatherings and Bodily Arts

The body itself becomes a sundromos, an intensive gathering of forces
(of desire, of vigorous practices, of musical sounds, of corporeal codes),
trafficked through and by neurons, muscles and organs.  Entwined with the
body in this way, rhetorical training thus exceeds the transmission of ‘ideas,’
rhetoric the bounds of ‘words.’ (Hawhee 160)

Yesterday I attended a Writing Program mini-seminar on the relationship
between the writing center and athletics and the presence of
student-athletes in writing courses. As a part of ongoing professional
development, most writing teachers at SU attend two mini-seminars each semester. 
The speaker–a graduate student in rhetoric at Arizona–brought many insights;
he’s been instrumental in launching a satellite writing center in the athletic
department at UofA, and so the four-hour session was aptly named "Home Turf:
Defining Access and Success for College Student-Athletes."  Early on, the
conversation hinged on the spatial quality of athletic performance; for
pre-reading, we looked at Hawhee’s "Bodily Pedagogies: Rhetoric, Athletics, and
the Sophists’ Three Rs," from College English, Andrew Zimbalist’s chapter
"The Student as Athlete" from Unpaid Professionals, Wilfred Bailey’s
"Summary: Time Constraints, Or Why Most College Athletes Cannot Also Be
Students," (College Sports, Inc.) and a few articles from
on whistle-blowers. We also talked through perceptions of
student-athlete privilege, so-called "problematic sports" of men’s basketball
and football (with no direct justification for crediting this commonplace to any
particular institution, much less SU), and part-time faculty bearing added labor
because of support measures (email check-ins from coaches, mid-semester progress
reports, etc.) initiated from athletics.

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I was at the front of the room–staring into the light from the projector
bulb–for most of this morning’s Writing Program TA orientation session on Quick
& Dirty Research.  What put the Q&D in today’s talk?  Aggregation and
RSS.  Everyone going along with it now has a fresh-fed Bloglines account
and 67 subscriptions.  For more, here’s
and the

accompanying screencast
.  I welcome any suggestions; the screencast is
a bit rough in spots (and longer than I’d like).

Basically, the talk hinged on these few thoughts:

  • Aggregation as Q&D (not slow and clean) is applicable for students
    working on projects and also for your work as a teacher, writer, scholar and
  • It leads with questions about the inventive and generative activity rather
    beginning with a hierarchy predicated upon licensed sources (credible if it’s from the library only, myth debunked).
  • It dislodges the material orthodoxy in composition (what materials are
    appropriate for composition, what counts as writing…it’s unbothered by
    intermittent junkiness in feeds).
  • It exonerates us from narrow or unnecessarily constrained reading habits. 
    Qualification: this isn’t meant to disparage book-reading.
  • It productively complicates (or steadies, if you’re into efficiencies) our
    information ecologies and personal knowledge management systems.

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Palm Caked Hard

Quick and Dirty research (really just wanted to see Q in drop caps).  I
accepted an invitation to participate in (talk/click)-ing through a few minutes
of a session for incoming TA’s on Q&D.  A few others will give brief
pitches, too, so I can’t hog the floor (not that I would).  Thinking for
now that I’ll emphasize the D–dirty, as in the perpetual grubbing aligned with
aggregation and a few other must-use sites.  The ‘Dirty’ in research not
only identifies with the hands-dirty dig-dump-sift set of metaphors, as was so
eloquently introduced to me by a memorable professor at my MA alma mater what,
six years ago; it also drops the point of a spade into composition’s material
orthodoxy.  Unsifted presumptions about the material suited to composition
research preserves the orthodoxy (straight phenomenological knowing), avoiding
the deep down griminess, and instead digging materials delicately, troweling
with too much propriety.  Worry-free and proven: Spray-n-Wash. Library
databases: Quick and Clean research–different work involved in plucking a
clean-authorized article (scrubbed by peer review), patching it into an essay.  

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