Monthly Archives: March 2010

CCCC 2010 Thoughts

I figure it’s time that I post a few basic thoughts on some of my experiences at the 2010 Conference on College Composition and Communication in Louisville. But like everyone else, I’m wide-eyed at the amount of things waiting for me back home, so I’ll try to be brief.

Best Panels

  • In A19, Bump Halbritter and Jenn Fishman stepped back and let two students (J.R. Hammond and Casey Miles) share their multimedia work with us. It was a perfect example of how we might continue to remix the traditional academic paper format–lots of A/V goodness. Also interesting was their insistence that filming, editing, mixing, is all “writing.” But why not follow John Logie (K24) and call it all “composing,” including the alphabetic-based stuff we do on paper?
  • In C1, Bronwyn Williams became my new hero. He interviewed lots of students about their online activities, expressions of self, expressions of pop culture love, and shared some intriguing results, especially on students’ attitudes toward pop culture artifacts as authorless, and how appropriation blurs the boundaries between reading and writing. And shoot, his book is called Shimmering Literacies, and that’s just as cool as it gets.
  • D18 was my most pleasant surprise: I went to hear my buddy Dan Richards collaborate with Josh Mehler on “the active potential of metaphor” in the classroom, expecting to be a good supporter of a friend but not overwhelmingly interested in the material, but I left with a rich contemplation of the complex metaphors we use to help us make sense of things like writing and argument. And even better, they came across like two TV hosts, passing the proverbial mic back and forth with humor and just the right touch of silliness.
  • It was refreshing to end the first day hearing Rebecca Lucy Busker talk casually and persuasively in E08 about her experiences as a fan fiction composer, and how all the things we teach in comp are enacted in fic circles. Sweet.
  • My favorite overall panel was F12. Randall McClure, summarized: “There are tons of studies about the overwhelming amounts of information our students process every day, so let’s see what it can teach us.” Rebecca Moore Howard: “I used to say that patchwriting happened because readers didn’t understand the source material. But now I’ve got data that says it’s more complicated, and probably related to students’ lack of time.” Jim Purdy (who wins my Best Slideshow Award): “Let’s actually talk to student researchers about how they research. Here’s the beginning of my results.” Janice Walker: “Look at this video of what a student actually does when faced with a research task! Telling, huh?”
  • In the generally awesome I7 panel, I was most intrigued by Tim Laquintano’s points about the pressures felt by composers of online poker-playing manuals–this complex rhetorical situation of wanting to help other players (and thus make money when they buy your book), but not wanting to help them so much that they stomp your elite status as a player, and not wanting to alienate your buddies who also want to keep their reigns secure. Tricky!
  • I already mentioned K24 above, with John Logie and Martine Courant Rife. This was where I saw the Best Multimedia Presentation (Logie clearly breathes music through his pores and eyes, and it shows in his exuberance) and where I had the Best Discussion. Shall we replace the word author with composer? How about as long as there isn’t a reason not to?
  • Finally, I was glad I stuck around for P14 to hear some awesome applications of the inspiring work of The Citation Project. I was especially pleased to meet Crystal Benedicks, who spoke partly on her university’s attempt to complexify a “draconian” intellectual honest policy, and who told me about the book-length poem The Beauty of the Husband, which I will try my best not to read when I ought to be reading other things, but which I will certainly read in all the in-between times.

Best Experiences

  • Finding out that the roommate I randomly found on the WPA list was awesome, nice, and cool. Good Saved by the Bell conversations.
  • Wandering all around downtown Louisville on my own on Tuesday, and successfully navigating a few different bus routes.
  • Having Cindy Selfe sit down with my group at O’Shea’s pub.
  • Randomly chatting at the airport with Kathleen Yancey and Geoffrey Sirc about all kinds of stuff, for like half an hour. I love meeting nice people who know what the heck they’re talking about.
  • Feeling part of a Twitter conversation. Even though some lamented that the #cccc10 hashtag wasn’t very active, it was the most real-timey I’ve ever been on Twitter, and that was exciting.
  • Getting the idea for a Fandom SIG. Excited to see if that will play out for next year!

Best Food

  • The Mayan Cafe
  • Kashmir (Indian food)
  • Za’s (pizza)

Other Blog Posts on CCCC 10

I’m glad to post more, of course, but this is all that have naturally flowed my way so far.

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New Section: Portfolio!

This is just a friendly note to point out that I have a new section: a portfolio! Check it out for some of my zany videos, some of my uncouth design work, and some of my wildly innovative teaching materials. Zounds!

I would have more to say, but I’m putting last minutes on my presentation for C’s and applying for a USF graduate student award. Plus, getting ready for the awesomest game party cookout that’s ever been. (Carcassonne, here I come.)

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Audience Participation?

[Wordpress is pretty strict about what you can and can’t embed here, so I can’t embed into this post the music I want you to listen to while reading it. So open this link in another window and use your imagination.]

So last night Margo, a friend, and I saw Béla Fleck perform at Orlando’s Plaza Theatre with some “Amazing African Musicians” (according to the press for the show), including  Bassekou Kouyate and Anania Ngoglia.

It was one of those shows that are hard to forget, with a stellar mix of mellowness (two songs with just guitar, thumb piano, and two harmonized vocals), rambunctiousness (four different n’gonis plus two percussionists plus a crazy banjo player), and jaw-dropping-ness (Béla playing an entire solo song without fretting any of the strings, only changing the notes by constantly retuning the banjo).

But I’m mentioning this here because of some interesting excitement at the end of the show. A gentleman in the audience, who seemed to have one more substance in him than a gentle man ought, got up toward the end of the show and started dancing in front of the stage. In a lot of contexts, that wouldn’t have been odd at all, and there was definitely something friendly and nice about his exuberance. But two problems:

  1. He was clearly up there not just to enjoy the band, but to grab attention. I was clued in to this by his repeated turning to the audience and pumping his fists in the air, with a, “Yeah! How about some applause for me?!” kind of gesture.
  2. The Plaza is a “pay for your specific seat” venue, which means that for every person who stands up in front of the stage, there’s a person or two in the first couple rows who paid $40 for the front rows and can now not see.

So when others caught the excitement and started slowly streaming to the front, I was torn. On one hand, it was a fervent, intuitively felt, bold decision to dance to music that practically demands dancing. But on the other hand, in that context dancing felt inherently rude to others.

So–and tell me if this is a stretch–it’s making me think about audience participation in other areas. Not like there’s a one-to-one correlation between rushing the stage and, say, making a fanvid, but perhaps as an illustrative example? A “let me tell you a story, and let’s use that story as an inroads to the unmediated beauty and rambunctious rudeness that can come from interactive participation” kind of thing. No?

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Lessig Silenced . . . Again

You ought to read this short piece on Techdirt about a Lawrence Lessig video being silenced on YouTube. Another example of content owners assuming that use isn’t fair until it’s proven fair–silliness.

Interestingly enough, in the day since the Techdirt article went up, the video has its sound again! Perhaps this is related to the 54 comments it got…? Not sure.

(Article found via Wild Webmink)

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