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What's shaking

I'm guessing that I'm getting a little more traffic lately, thanks to shouts from Dan and if:book, so I thought I'd throw a quick entry up talking in a little more detail about what I'm doing here, both now and in the long term...

First, I suppose, is that it's important to note that this site is very very "fledgling." I take part of my inspiration from the project that Mitchell Stephens is doing, but also from an abiding interest over the past couple of years in the ways that blogging has changed the way I write. One of the things I genuinely believe is that blogging for three years has diffused my attention, and pushed me away from what I've called the event model of academic prose: the binge-and-purge structure that governs academic writing through graduate school, up until the dissertation, when it is often simply assumed that "3 months reading, 2 nights writing" will be sufficient to produce book-length manuscripts. Writing something that size requires ongoing, gradual writing, and so that's what I'm doing here.

I'm working under the assumption that this will be my second book, but I'm not 100% committed to that outcome. Like the site itself, which I expect to gradually morph as I think of things I can do with it, I'm open to the possibility that this will be the permanent home of this set of my interests, or that I'll extract a few articles or chapters from it, or that something else entirely will suggest itself to me. Thus far, I've given a couple of conference presentations, taught a graduate seminar, and held a workshop on this material, so it's not as though I'm starting from a single set of criteria for making use of it. Long story short, I'm focused more on the process than the outcome, for the moment anyway.

Right now, posting has been intermittent, and mostly of the hunting and gathering variety. I have a bunch of material that I haven't posted on, mainly because right now I'm busy chasing down citations, ordering books, etc. A lot of the obvious things missing from my bibliography are simply waiting on my shelves for me to get to them.

Finally, what am I doing? My general hypothesis is that there's something to be gained from bringing network studies and rhetoric into contact with each other, and in the process, I'm spinning into a bunch of other areas that each have something to tell me. The conclusions I hope to reach touch on questions of writing, disciplinarity, genre, and textual representation. My work with the CCC Online Archive has become partly a laboratory for my thinking about this stuff, about the value of incorporating more database-oriented perspectives into a field that is decisively narrative in the ways that it perceives itself.

Oh, and for better or worse, I'm doing it publicly. Subscribe to me and watch me go...