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San Francisco, March 2005

That's where the Conference on College Composition and Communication will be next year, and my co-presenters and I were officially informed yesterday that we'll be part of the program. Notification is always something of an odd season around grad programs--on the one hand, CCCC is selective enough that you expect a little bit of congratulations; on the other, no one really asks anyone else, for fear that they didn't get accepted. Weird. Last year, since I hadn't proposed, I was fearless about asking--I didn't have to worry about being accepted when someone else wasn't.

So anyway, here's the proposal that we put together. Bear in mind both that we were predicting our interests (proposal due May 2004, presentation delivered March 2005) and that we were limited to 500 words (ours came in at around 440, I think.)

The Aftermath of Access: From Critical to Creative Computer Literacies

Access is a crucial topic for anyone who works with information technologies, as many scholars in rhetoric and composition have pointed out (e.g., Selfe, Moran). While it is certainly vital that we continue to work as a field to provide technology access, it is equally important that we avoid the trap of thinking of access as a purely material or economic issue. Despite our tendency to nominalize the term, "access" is a verb, one that raises questions about what is being accessed, how it is being accessed, and what the consequences of that access are.

Technology scholars frequently make a distinction between functional and critical computer literacies; in fact, our preoccupation with the issue of access is a result of the latter. This panel will argue that it is time that we add a third term to the first two: creative computer literacy. Following Adrian Miles and Jeremy Yuille, authors of the 2004 "Manifesto For Responsible Creative Computing," this panel will argue that we need to see technology as more than another site for critique, that information networks are new sites of cultural production as well. Miles’s and Yuille’s “Manifesto,? with its emphasis on network literacies, provides an intriguing set of topoi from which to rethink our discipline’s approach to computer literacies and access. The individual speakers will each respond to one or more of the "Manifesto" planks, exploring their implications for both scholars and pedagogues in rhetoric and composition.

Speaker 1 will assert that network literacy is based on the explorations, endeavors, and satisfactions emerging from amateur computing, rather than professional practices and standards. Network literacy involves the revaluation of “professional/amateur,? and this in turn forces us to rethink how we approach the literacy skills we attempt to instill in our students. Speaker 2 will focus specifically on the ways we represent ourselves on and engage with networks, examining the phenomenon of weblog "A-lists." Often the object of scorn and/or critique, A-lists also provide us with invaluable insight into how networks function, insight that can help writers rethink their approaches to online audiences. Speaker 3 will focus on the ways that computer programming languages extend our opportunities to teach writing in networked environments. Specifically, loops, conditional statements, and object-based methods or functions will be discussed as the basis for recognizing how code is writing. Speaker 4 will argue that, while we often valorize our ability to multitask, the “back channels? and underlife provided by networks may overwhelm our ability to engage in so-called “central? tasks. This paper raises the question of when the convenience of networks tips over into interference.

That's me checking in as Speaker #2, by the way.

Comments

Woo-Hoo!! SF here we come!

luck dogs!

we got the boot.