Just because it’s been so long between entries, I’ve decided to post a couple bits and pieces of things I’m working on and the classes I’m taking next semester.

First off, my Winter 2008 seminar:

7064:  The Teaching of Writing, Prof. Ruth Ray

This is a research and theory course for those who are currently teaching or plan to teach college-level writing.  The main course project will be for each student to develop a personal philosophy of writing instruction, based on course readings in the history of writing instruction, as well as research and theorizing on the development of writing abilities in young adulthood.  The other course project will be to write a case study of a college writer, based on observations and interactions with the writer.  This course will be reading and writing intensive.

Despite much resistance, I enjoyed the pedagogy practicum with Rice in Fall of 2006and want to know more.  This, especially, because my interests and reading of late have fallen more into the rhet side of the rhetcomp program (where my interest is  more focused, but I want to be sure I’m up to date on pedagogical theory as well–an because too I feel like a lot of my knowledge of comp pedagogy is sort of second-hand).  I’ve not studied with Dr. Ray before, but I know she’s got strong interests in comp pedagogy (duh) so it should be a pretty sweet seminar.

My directed study, with Lacey and Pruchnic:

Untimely Mediations: Ancient Rhetorics and Emergent Technologies

The itinerary for this directed study begins through a solid engagement with sophistry and pre-Socratic rhetorics before branching off into questions concerning the possible return of sophistic strategies in relation to contemporary information technologies. Texts include works by Gorgias, Aristophanes, Isocrates, Plato, Hegel, Foucault, Deleuze, Alexander Galloway, Leroi-Gourhan, Merlin Donald, Jeffrey Walker, Kathleen Welch, Jeffrey T. Nealon, Marx, Bernard Steigler, Werner Jaeger, Derrida, Lacan, Bataille, Isabelle Stengers, and Zizek.

Study participants will be evaluated on the basis of the following:
1. Oral Reports: weekly meetings to discuss readings
2. Written Reports: weekly responses to the texts to be posted on a blog, and
3. Scholarly Article: The significant revision of a previous, single-author work of scholarship for publication submission before the end of the Winter semester

I dig theory, and I want to know more about ancient rhetorics, and I want especially to start thinking about recuperating ancient rhetorics in new media environments, so I expect this will be off the hook.

Buster Bluth and his hook

Finally, a quick glimpse of my seminar project for Pruchnic’s 70o7:

Abstract: “Rape Beyond the Body: Interrogating the Limits of Assault”

Susan Brownmiller’s (1975) famous contention that rape is “a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear” has proven a touchstone for feminist theories of rape. Most critics who have responded to Brownmiller have done so by building on her construction of rape as a fundamentally political act of gender terrorism, an act of patriarchal intimidation and control that not only subjugates the female subject to patriarchal discourse and power but also specifically constructs the female subject as the penetrable, rape-able body (see, for example, Gatens 2000, Barnett 2000). Others have responded by calling attention to the way legal discourses surrounding rape perpetuate rape as a political act by focusing strictly on the act of physical assault while effacing the subjective trauma of rape (Campbell 2002).

While some theorists have drawn connections between acts of rape and Michel Foucault’s “technologies of the self” (for example, Cahill 2000), few have yet undertaken an exhumation of Brownmiller’s history of rape in such a way as to consider rape’s relationships to more conventional understandings of technological forms. Barnett perhaps comes nearest by equating rape itself with “disciplinary technology which instantiates the ‘social man’ and the ‘social woman’ (xxiv). Brownmiller herself notes that rape was originally codified as early as Hammurabi, but comes short of analyzing the production of rape as a technologically and discursively bound category of behavior; by tying the invention of the category “rape” to the arrival of literate practice in early Western societies, I hope to inaugurate a discussion of rape’s relationship to technology and to technological progress.

To this end, my project attempts to interrogate the limits of rape as bound by historically situated technologies. Starting with the earliest prohibitions against rape in antiquity (see Brownmiller, Foucault 1985) to the technological innovations of the rape kit and polymerase chain reaction that redefined social response to rape, my project ends with a “speculative history” of rape in the twenty-first century by considering two limit cases that challenge conventional understandings of rape as a crime of body and mind: the rape of coma victims (see Doyle 2003) and of digital avatars (see Dibbell 1993).

So . . . that’s what swinging.  I hope to blog more during the holiday break, but I’ve been a little overwhelmed, schedule-wise, of late–hence the paucity of blogging.




One Response to “whassup?”

  1. jargoncomputer Says:

    You beat me to the punch. I believe we both stopped posting at approximately the same point in time. In any event, I’m following close on your coat tails. Well, not that close. In order to start building the hype, let’s say Wednesday…something along the lines of autonomous astronauts. I’m concerned, though, that this might be some form of abstract post. Sh#t!

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