rsa preview

I’m compiling notes and getting ready to start writing the text of my RSA presentation. Some observations.

  • I have 35 pages of notes for what’s meant to be a 13-16 minute presentation. WTF?
  • Although I understand the problematics surrounding outlines (as noted by Crowley and Rice), I find that sometimes they help me to organize material. The problem they pose, perhaps, is when invention is made to serve outline rather than the reverse. That is, if the outline is presented as the 100%-surefire-guaranteed way to produce research work, that’s a problem. If (as I think I’m doing) the outline is more a question of arrangement–how do I associate this passage with another in a way that is productive–then maybe it can be made to serve in less problematic ways.
  • Until this past semester, I haven’t typically found it very hard to write. I am wont to chalk it up to events in my (im)personal life, but I think that, more realistically, I’m getting distracted more often while I write (by blogging for example–hahaha) and that the more I read composition the more conscious I am of my own writing processes . . . which in turn has made me very self-conscious about writing and the choices I make. Good, on one hand, since I find now I’m more likely to pay more attention to some details of my writing than I have been in the past, but bad because it takes me forever to produce anything.

This will be (barring the easily-forgotten Saturday morning Roundtable at C&W07) my first conference as a professional scholar. Cool. But I’d be lying if I said I was confident of the rhetorical situation here. I am reminded of something Rice has written on the matter of reading a conference presentation as opposed to giving a talk or performing a piece of scholarship (Rice provides the following links here, here, and here on the matter). The distinction is a subtle one but one that I’m not sure how to effect in my work. While I’ve been told that I am an effective reader, I also have been given feedback that my presentations are too much a “paper” and not enough a “talk.” Okay. So, another genre to learn. I’d be interested from my (I suspect) dwindling number of readers to see any suggestions or advice they have on making a paper into a talk. On one hand, I assume it’s a matter of diction, tone, style–see Rice’s comments on using humor in a 4Cs talk. But then, I am afraid that it’s a narrow bull’s-eye, and that trying to craft a talk (rather than a paper) might lead to a too casual, too informal approach to the work . . . and since my essay is about ethos (among other concerns) I’m very conscious of the way I/my work am/is being presented.

A preview of what might be the value of considering ethos in context with star studies:

  1. Star studies encourage us to understand a star’s persona has a de-naturalized construction rather than an essentialized subject. If ethos (as Corder has suggested) is troubled by poststruc versions of the subject, then star studies might offer a model methodology for understanding the way ethos works in public discourses.
  2. On a related note, we can learn from star studies’ emphasis on how star images reflect ideological concerns to understand how and why ethical appeals find traction, moving beyond Burke’s idea of identification or, at least, suggesting that identification as Burke understands it, and as it is key to understanding ethical appeals is an ideological question as much as it is a rhetorical question.
  3. I don’t have a number three yet, but I feel like just two points is kind of lame.
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3 Responses to “rsa preview”

  1. Derek Says:

    FWIW, I am still given to “reading” conference talks. But I try to make it as performative a reading as I can, and I try to write the papers to be talked (keeping in mind all along that less really is more in conference presentations). Plus, I don’t entirely trust myself not to wander off on tangents that would crowd into the time for my co-presenters and Q&A. After a few tries, I’m still fairly sure I haven’t figured it out, even though it has gotten easier.

    Anyway, good luck with the RSA presentation.

  2. rsa goals « FoolsCap Says:

    […] comments Derek on rsa previewMike on music memeMike on right now i’mjenny on right now i’mthe harness […]

  3. Underexpose Says:

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Underexpose.


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