In Sessions on October 22, 2015 at 1:01 am



  • Video Essay/Screencast demo by Corey
  • Video Games/Gamification demo by Duston
  • “Reinventing the Digital Literacy Narrative” demos by Tori & Ruth.
  • Discussion of “Practice” readings

Readings for Next Week:

  • Anderson & Sayers / The Metaphor and Materiality of Layers (in Ridolfo and Hart-Davidson, 80-95)
  • Carter, et al. / Beyond Territorial Disputes (in Ridolfo and Hart-Davidson, 33-48)
  • Johnson / Modeling Rhetorical Disciplinarity (in Ridolfo and Hart-Davidson, 96-107)
  • Klein / Interdisciplining Digital Humanities: Boundary Work in an Emerging Field
  • Reid / Digital Humanities Now and the Possibilities of a Speculative Digital Rhetoric (in Ridolfo and Hart-Davidson, 15-19)
  • Walls / In/Between Programs: Forging a Curriculum between Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities (in Ridolfo & Hart-Davidson, 210-223)

Assignment for Next Week:

  • Sean, Deanna, and Joe: develop a question to ask Dr. Klein
  • Everyone else: compose a response to the above readings and bring it to class
  1. As with all attempts to integrate revolutions into society, our inherent readiness to embrace the value of their ideological principles is shackled by our own stubborn adherence to traditional practice. When the promised reforms of the revolution begin to threaten what we as a society have come to unquestionably accept, such as canons, we are slow to assimilate the full potential of the revolution’s ideals, opting instead to instinctively transpose the epitomes in our canons onto the principles of our revolutions. The technological advancements of the digital revolution have brought the internet to virtually every single person in society regardless of race or socioeconomic class, yet our strict adherence to literary canon prevents the broader assimilation of equally diversified texts that was initially predicted during the dawn of the digital age. Consequently, we are using the digital revolution more as a means of converting old ideas into a new medium instead of using it to foster and create new conventions.
    This adherence to canon over fully realizing the potential of the digital revolution is the central focus of Amy Earhart’s “Can Information Be Unfettered? Race and the New Digital Humanities Canon.” She argues that digital humanists are creating “a canon that skews toward traditional texts and excludes crucial work by women, people of color, and the GLBTQ community. We need to reinvigorate the spirit of previous scholars who believed that textual recovery was crucial to their work, who saw the digital as a way to enact changes in the canon.” As technology gradually shrinks the digital divide by increasingly exposing more people to an ever expanding array of digital resources, this becomes ever more imperative. If we do not adapt our canon to the digital age, do we risk creating a sort of cyber segregation that will ultimately threaten the vast exchange of information which characterizes the digital revolution?

  2. Tori Reeder
    “The power of rhetoric lies not just in its analytic or productive capacities, but in its emphasis on pedagogy “(Eyman); this is an interesting point. I think that it not only illustrates that inexplicable link between rhetoric and pedagogy but it also brings to light some of the functionalities of rhetoric as a discipline, or that is to say, within pedagogy we treat rhetoric as a techne, further exacerbated by the digital. The digital pedagogies that are formed within the digital rhetorics speak to certain methodologies that are the sort of framework for rhetoric as a techne. Moreover, the text discusses rhetoric as a production. This is something that I have a huge interest in. As I am also interested in delivery as a production and performance, the same goes for rhetoric overall. I think that in rhetoric being a production, it turns into a performance, whether it is digital or maintains specific elements of orality, in acting as a production, I think it ultimately becomes a performance. Now, in thinking about its role in the classroom, if we think of rhetoric as a production as well as a performance, this does indeed shift the focus of a course to production. Eyman articulated it in this way “Unlike Arroyo’s and Hawk’s courses, my course shifts attention away from theories and critiques of digital rhetoric and focuses almost exclusively on production”. (Eyman) This brings my attention to two things, one, moving the course away from theory and criticism to production grounds the class within a practical framework, that is to say, the class now has another element of applicability. Two, it raises the issue of that course becoming more of a methods course. Now, this may or may not be problematic, it really depends on the learning outcomes of the course. I think having an exclusive methods course is vital especially in the first year writing curriculum, however, I digress. Eyman goes on to say, “Turnley’s appropriation and application of such a methodological framework to the analysis and production of digital texts is one of the practices that digital rhetoric can engage when developing new theories and methods”. (Eyman) I think this is significant because it overlaps this parallel between theory and production. My question here is if we utilize a methodological framework in a writing composition classroom exclusively, what would that look like? Would there still be room from any sort of emphasis on production or performance? And, is there a parallel between production and theory, or is it more of a dichotomy

    • Writing Tech assignment description
      Networked narratives: A digital pedagogy utilizing a tech genre
      A lesson plan around “reinventing” the (digital) literacy narrative: Putting a spin on the twitter fishbowl assignment.
      What I hope to reinforce is three particular canons of the five: Style, Arrangement, and Delivery. What I hope to reinforce in terms of learning outcomes is mainly digital literacy. More specifically cognitive literacy which consists of information and critical literacy, mulitliteracies, photo visual, gestural, spatial and linguistics. Technical literacy which consists of operational and critical literacy. And Social emotional literacy which consists of social networking function.

      Keeping all of that in mind, I want to preface this by saying that I think that this assignment and similar one like it can foster procedural knowledge, analytical knowledge, and practical wisdom; which is technical and cognitive literacy for the writer though this tech genre of networked narratives. A tech genre is a term that refers to a genre that has been informed by or created by electronic technology. Tech genres such as networked narratives are useful in digital pedagogies because they allow the student to utilize the canon of delivery. Walter Ong argues that writing is a performance, and as such delivery presets in the electronic technologies for many purposes: to use symbol physically, “to perform through multiple systems of signification” (qtd. in Ong). And According to Brooke, remixing the canon delivery will also allow us to remix the genre of the academic essay. This remixing can allow us as instructors to integrate popular tech genres such as Twitter to shape a new type of essay. Bronwyn Williams writes in the article, From Screen to Screen: Students Use of Popular Culture Genres in Multimodal Writing Assignments, “What has gone largely un-examined, however, is the influence of popular culture genres on students conceptions of and approaches to composing multimodal texts” ( Williams 10). This may bring about a risky view of writing, as a tool for delivery rather than just a product of the oratory tradition. This will allow our students to surpass traditional goals of writing, such as, writing for a specific audience to writing with more intention. Forcing them to utilize their digital literacy skills, and critically think about style, arrangement and delivery. I find the concept of the twitter essay and the twitter fishbowl assignment fascinating.
      The Twitter essay is where “students condense an argument with evidentiary support into 140 characters” (Stommel). The Twitter Fishbowl is where “students formulate questions in small groups during the prior class period. Who is the intended audience for each genre, create two circles (an inner and outer circle), [then] discussion between anyone in inner or outer circle” (Stommel).

      Here as you can see, the twitter essay is pretty simple in terms of expectations as well as final products. What I would do to put a spin on it is to add an audio or video component in order to force the students to think about delivery and composition as a performance. The 140 character limit offers both affordances as well as constraints but with a video in the place of 140 characters it forces them to digitize all of the canons. I would most likely have a time limit of 5 to 8 minutes. They would have to use Screen Cast then upload that to youtube to get it to twitter. At least with something like screen cast they can include images as well as text as well as audio. How they decide to utilize all three of these elements within that window is a part of their challenge. Their topics would ultimately be up to them, but I would be interested in seeing a research type topic as opposed to a non-academic topic because I would like to see the juxtaposition of posting a scholarly topic on a social media website, therefore blurring the lines of accessibility. This would also help the gain fluency with such technology forcing them to challenge their digital native citizenship as well as fostering an environment that reinforces digital literacy.

  3. In Alexander and Rhoades’ “Collaboration, Interactivity, and the Derive in Computer Gaming” the authors address the concern that instructors who do not have experience with video games will not be able to effectively incorporate video games into the classroom. I was drawn to this point because I do not have experience with video games (the last system I owned was a Nintendo 64) and was wondering the entire time I read the chapter about how I might utilize games in the classroom. In response to these concerns, the authors write, “In many ways, these are the ideal instructors for such a course—because they can learn with their students. More powerfully, many of their students might actually teach the instructors about gaming, allowing the students some opportunity to think authoritatively” (168). In a class of 20-25 students the odds that at least one of the students will play video games is pretty good. Of course, there is always the possibility that students will have no experience with video games. It seems to me that the authors here are making certain assumptions about students’ technological literacy, that the students, being of the current generation, will inevitably have access to and interest in video games. This is not to say that video games couldn’t, or shouldn’t be incorporated into the classroom. I think the authors make a persuasive case for why they should. However, I do not think that Alexander and Rhodes thoroughly address the constraints and concerns
    Another thought, unrelated to the previous observation, I had while reading this chapter is about video game walkthroughs. These are videos (typically screencasts) that gamers post online of themselves playing video games. Usually, gamers are evaluating the quality of, or explaining how to play, the game. It seems that there are certain rhetorical opportunities in this as a genre of multimedia text that would be interesting to be explored. Although Alexander and Rhodes do not address this, I think this would also be a genre that could be utilized in the classroom.
    My question for this week is relatively simple: has anyone in the class had experience using video games in the classroom? Are Alexander and Rhodes correct when they claim that the instructor who is inexperienced with video games is more ideally placed to incorporate video games into the classroom?

  4. “Over the last several decades, scholars have developed standards for how best to create, organize, present, and preserve digital information so that future generations of teachers, students, scholars, and librarians may still use it. What has remained neglected for the most part, however, are the needs of people with disabilities.”
    After reading the Williams piece about universal design and disabilities I was reminded of a specific student that I encountered during my first year of teaching that would have benefited from these practices. The student was an albino African American. He lacked pigment in his skin, eyes and hair and as a result his peers often treated him as an outcast. Since he had little to no pigment in his eyes, his sight was very limited. The speech and vision person at our school got him a set of what looked like theater binoculars so that he could read the board. Every hand out I gave him was blown up as large as the copier could handle. He still struggled despite all of the modifications that we gave him.
    There are copious amounts of hearing and visually impaired people. The legislation is there. The grants are there. There are enough graduate students to lead the charge and create the technology to truly make technology a level playing field for all. Sure tablets have done a lot so that things can be magnified as large as the user wants and text to speech programs have revolutionized the way that all of us and interact with technology, but is it enough?
    The American Foundation for the Blind attributes this lack of accessibility for the disabled to the lack of training for developers, web developers are not aware of the guidelines or web developers just choose to not follow these guidelines. Why isn’t there more pressure on developers to move this research forward and to follow the guidelines set forth?

  5. Practice, Production, Performance

    This week, I was really interested in the syllabus excerpts in Eyman’s chapter, “Practice.” What first caught my attention was Eyman’s description of his own course as focused on “production,” which I thought might be similar to the “functional” literacy described by Stuart Selber in Multiliteracies for a Digital Age. In my own classes (which aren’t focused on web design, like Eyman’s), I’ve asked my students to use multiple tools for writing: submit a paper, have a discussion, blog etc. using the university’s course management system, and then also use a website they created to blog, design documents, etc. My reason for using the CMS was that it’s helpful for first-year students to practice using the CMS they are likely to encounter in other courses. One purpose of Eyman’s coursework focused on code and web-editing software is practice. However, the course activities he describes are tied more closely to written products and their purposes. Maybe this type of practice is not possible in a CMS because the tools are not authentically tied to written products of the course. Maybe a CMS is actually designed to imitate non-digital classroom practices, so other technologies must be incorporated into the course for students to be able to have the opportunity to step back and consider their use of technology as a rhetorical choice. Hawk’s course description seems to suggest that students practice a number of technologies and then choose the one most appropriate for their own project. Arroyo tells her students that their final video essay will be “not a critical analysis of the texts we read, but instead will be a performance of your responses to them” (115). Thus, the practice phase of these courses aimed at exploration while the production phase focused on the rhetorical. In some ways, my response this week may be a continuation of my complaint/question from last week, which highlighted the process/product, practice/product relationships in writing courses. Breaking down a longer assignment into short “practice” assignments is probably considered a best practice by many composition teachers and other educators. Ideally, practice assignments would be valuable because they are low-stakes and allow students to focus on one piece of a larger picture. Ideally, the final product of a project is more than just practice. I can imagine ways to do this if a course has a theme and/or community outreach connection to ensure that the products of a project are not simply practice but useful in a larger context. But are there other ways, too? It seems useful for students to reflect on the purposes of assignments throughout a class, but I’m also concerned about what those reflections might reveal… that a CMS imitates the F2F classroom? That a traditional paper is, as the student I quoted last week said, just something “no one will ever read again”?

  6. Corey Hamilton
    Dr. Jeff Pruchnic
    Practice Response
    15 October 2015
    A Tarting We Will Go
    At the beginning of his essay, Michael O’Malley exclaims, “But we write as if a learned gentleman of leisure sits in a paneled study, savoring every word.” Barring the slam against gentlewomen engaging in the same activity, he paints quite a picture with a slanted brush. However, O’Malley sounds like trollop, tarting up his prose for all the other middle-aged trollops. The kind of trollops who sit around with their homes with their tomes narcotizing and blithely historiographing nary “fetal journal articles and books.” He also seems to have the gift of knowing, just as he “knows all things about past writers” (see his magnificent work on “knowing” that Foucault’s work wasn’t peer reviewed). Although I agree with some of his points, he seems to use the very language in his article with which he has a problem. I mean, how many times did you say the following words within the last year: tart, trollops, narcotizing, historiographic, nary, blithely? Present company excluded, obviously!
    O’Malley next takes on peer-review as yet another characteristic of the tarting trollopery (yes, I am taking some creative liberty with words). One of the ideas with a peer-reviewed piece is so that you can read the article more confidently knowing that the scholarship has been vetted. Now, if you read the article specifically looking for egregious errors and fine none, then “Let ‘er rip tater chip,” compliment the peer review: “Nice peer review, dude!” But he seems to think that we all read the article to assess the performance of the reviewer, that that’s our first thought. But I do empathize with O’Malley and his concerns that there are “few or no outlets that take chances with form.”
    However, while I understand the concept of kairos and its relevance to nowcasting and futurcasting as proffered by Elizabeth Losh, as well as O’Malley’s concerns for time to publication, I agree that there most certainly should be a “place” for more scholarship, thus taking advantage of all that “space” out ther, but surely not all. Because there still remains an epistemological question: what counts as knowledge? In other words, what is “worthier” than others and counts as those epistemological moments, i.e. a publishable piece of knowledge in our field?
    The reason why Brahms isn’t the “only template for musical expression” is because there are other forms of music. The same way that the genre of the scholarly argument published in the scholarly journal is not the “the only template for written expression.” Why? Because there are other forms of writing. If O’Malley is suggesting that there needs to be a division, stratification, and parturition in the field of scholarly publishing in the digital realm, then “Praise Jesus, and pass the ammunition,” then let’s have that conversation. A conversation that proposes a “new” place for other academic works that are not intended for a “tarted” scholarly journal solely from the pen of “trollops” and let’s map out that genre. (Here I will have to acknowledge that this appears to be what he is doing. I argue that he could present the parameters for what this space would look like, rather than arguing that there isn’t one.)
    So, O’Malley seems to be suggesting two ideas here: 1) That academic writing is inaccessible to the masses, and 2) That due to the digital accoutrement that we now possess, we should rethink the academic journal and in conjunction, peer-review is nothing more that “parsley garnish.” Here is my question: By what standard, then, would “digital” scholarly writing be different than the current scholarly genre form? Wouldn’t we want there to still be a standard?

  7. My respose to this set of readings….whatever weeks they’re for. #confusion #wheresmytardis

    Ruth Boeder
    Writing Technologies
    Jeff Pruchnic
    Reading Response

    In “Nowcasting/ Futurecasting: Big Data, Prognostication, and the Rhetorics of Scale” Elizabeth Losh claims that “complex assemblages of authors, works, editors, recommenders, readers, publishers, technologies, media, and institutions and the systems in which persons, products, ideas, and corporations circulate” and the use of digital tools and quantitative methods to explore these assemblages are “new kinds of interpretive problems for the humanities”. It seems to me that these areas are not so much new as they are ignored. The list of assemblage components she provides is nowhere near exhaustive, but it is still more extensive than the ones that have been prioritized in the past. Humanities fields, and more specifically lit studies, historically focused on authors and texts as singular, autonomous entities, with occasional thought given to particular editors or cultural contexts. To be able to include these other dynamics in a study of production as a bigger process is exciting and should be embraced. As Losh notes, tracing the relationships between them seems to be one of the important, provocative big questions that Lev Manovich recommends to humanities scholars. And yet, traditional humanities puts up resistance. These endeavors, aided by computers because doing it on paper is literally impossible, are labeled “digital” humanities and pushed into a separate class–meaning not only the course in the academic catalog but also the workers, who are left in a departmental and disciplinary no-mans-land in which their pedagogy and promotion can both founder.
    Many of Losh’s points seemed to build on Wilken’s argument in last week’s reading. Both authors call on traditional humanities (and maybe specifically literary studies) to expand the group of methods and tools they are willing to use. Part of the reason why I chose to abandon literary studies was because by the end of my undergraduate degree I was already bored with the method of close reading, and with always just using the same method. The questions I’d like to pose ask what could and should be done to reintegrate the two separate fields into one humanities.
    Can we even envision an integrated humanities where the digital is not separate from the traditional? Have they been separated for so long that they could not be reassembled?
    What would it take for traditional humanists to become comfortable with quantitative and/or digital analytical methods and tools? What needs to happen so that digital humanities doesn’t have to continue to be its own apologist?

  8. Doug Eyman’s chapter explores, in part, digital texts as “rhetoric-in-action” either as works of scholarship (examples he gives form the journal *Kairos* and other webtext) or as other kinds of aritfacts (*Grand theft Auto*, for example). What I’m interested in thinking through and exploring in more detail is how affective resposnes contribute to, work against, or otherwise parallel persuasion. This chapter by Eyman explores how scholarship or other artifacts persuade, and it seems as if such an exploration is rooted in classical rhetorical theory (ethos, pathos, logos). I would like to begin to think through how we might extend the conversation Eyman begins here through an attention to affect. In other words, how does affect contribute to, shape, or result in a failure to persuade. How can we use affect to explore a finer gradation of persuasion?

    Let me be more specific. In the webtext *Wunderkrammer, Cornell, andthe Visual Canon of Arrangement,” how might I begin to explore the persuasive impact of the work through an attention to affect? I might wonder how attributes of the webtext specific to its digitality—colors, moving images, for example, or hyperlinks, or novel juxtapositions of image and text or layered images—contribute to its persuasiveness. How might we approach an articulation of the affective responses to such webtexts? How do such webtexts persuade through presenting images that may tap into memory, novelty, confusion, wanderlust, and so on? How might we begin to articulate an affective response to digital artifacts or scholarship?

  9. Here is the link to my Video Essay/Screencast Assignment:

  10. Valerie Valentino

    I remember reading about Universal Design for Learning or UDL in graduate school. My professor, who was also blind, emphasized the necessity of keeping “the largest possible audience in mind” not only with the accommodations he needed but the future accommodations my students would need (Eyman). I do recognize that the use of the word “accommodation” is counter to UDL, which emphasizes developing tools for everyone to use; I merely lacked a better word. As the Eyman text supports, UDL promotes the use of flexible digital media in my classroom, which allows for multiple alternatives to completing an assignment, enacting a lesson, or enforcing positive behavior. Content can be represented in the form of audio clips, video, visuals, and is not limited to text or even a computer. As Mace states, “to embrace universal design, by contrast, is to focus “not specifically on people with disabilities, but all people” (Eyman). Furthermore, I especially appreciated Eyman’s acknowledgment of who has access to particular technology: “those more likely to use a mobile device for online access include African Americans, Hispanics, and individuals from lower-income households” (Smith qtd. Eyman). When I was teaching at a low income, urban high school in Washington, D.C. all of my students had cell phones but none had access to computers. As Eyman asserts, “If the digital humanities is to create resources accessible by a[n] array of people, then compatibility with mobile devices is a necessity.” I do think UDL applies not only to the access of technology but to content as well. The representation of diversity in the literary cannon is imperative for an inclusive community; community is an essential part of Universal Design for Learning. Everyone must take part in caring for all people’s needs, and when members fail to do so, they fragment the delicate fabric of support set up for everyone to succeed. How can we work on building an inclusive community for UDL, especially through the literary cannon? Additionally, how does one advertise this cannon to the public, especially in the face of a patriarchal mass media? And, finally, if the controlling media fights against inclusivity are we doomed to forever ostracize members from society?

  11. I was initially excited to read Williams’ article simply because disability studies and discussion around disability is something I’ve failed to educate myself on. I believe my interests in posthumanism would be bolstered by being more familiar with posthumanism and though this article isn’t really theoretical, it did make me contemplate technology and how our bodies interact with technologies. That said, I was left skeptical of universal design, or at least Williams’ commitment to it.

    I had never heard of universal design before but immediately the concept of having one piece of software or hardware that works for the greatest number of people, disabled or not, made sense. The example of the cut sidewalk made sense. The four reasons Williams gave for the benefit of universal design made sense, especially the fact that the work would be more efficient since you’re not making a version of your site or hardware specifically for the disabled but instead making one for all. But when Williams moves to how we can implement universal design in digital humanities software, namely the software “Anthologize,” this is where I get confused about Williams’ commitment to universal design.

    The issue is that Williams doesn’t offer up universal design elements, but instead talks about add-ons and extensions to the Anthologize software for people with disabilities. If the cut sidewalk is not just a benefit for those in wheelchairs, but also parents with strollers and workers with dollies, and thus it is an example of universal design, then who, other than those with visual impairments is really going to benefit from making sure that Anthologize incorporates digital talking books smoothly? Even more so, who needs a braille translator add-on other than the visually-impaired? I’m not saying that we shouldn’t incorporate such add-ons because they only help the disabled, but I am saying that Williams talks about universal design instead of accessibility design and then proceeds to give examples that are almost exclusively accessibility design. It isn’t until the end, when he mentions touchscreens and voice recognition software, that I see how universal design in technology can benefit all.

    The thing is, though I’m brand new to universal design, I’m skeptical in some regards and Williams has illustrated why I’m skeptical: some things simply aren’t beneficial to all (or most) and are simply there for users with specific needs (such as braille translations) and that’s okay. I guess what rubs me wrong is Chisolm and May’s urging that we have “the ultimate goal of providing the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people possible” because the greatest number of people are able-bodied people since they are the majority. Some of the benefits are simply going to be for a few people, and I repeat, that’s okay. In a way, the definitions provided by Williams of universal design strike me as approaching “all lives matter.” Making websites pleasant to me, a person with decent vision and hearing, is not the priority when trying to improve people with disabilities ability to use a website, or a piece of software, or an academic database, etc.

  12. I was most interested in the Williams article because I am interested in Disability Studies. At first I was drawn in by the connection with the cultural aspects of disability, but this is an idea that Williams does not follow up on, at least in a manner that I found satisfactory. I suppose that I came to the article with a negative mindset because of its focus on Universal Design. I don’t believe that any software design is actually universal, but I can agree with Williams in that Universal Design, in principle, is supposed to meet the needs of the largest group of people—with, but mostly without disabilities. In my mind, Universal Design limits the capability of disabled students because it dictates how people will utilize technology and what knowledge they will bring to that technology. For universal design to be effective, it has to be intuitive, like Williams’ website that utilized one pixel in the corner of each page. The advancement of the digital humanities must be accompanied with equal or greater enhancement in accessible technology. Instead of choosing only universal design, which focuses on the larger group of people like Williams does, I think that DH should focus on making its digital artifacts not only universal, but also digital. Williams argues that UD is efficient, but accessibility does not have the chance to become efficient if DH scholars focus on UD. I do find the project and software suggestions in Williams’ article useful, and it seemed like Williams’ focus in this section was more on accessibility, which seemed a bit odd. Overall, Williams made some useful points, but the article did not meet my expectations on the whole.

  13. Nathan Johnson’s “Modeling Rhetorical Disciplinarity: Mapping the Digital Network” provided more reasons for using data visualization in both scholarship and student assignments. For me, the most interesting part is that Johnson suggests that visualization projects should focus on revealing “the powerful dynamics influencing academic work” and not be understood as “measuring” scholarship itself. He points out that mapping seems to “project the values of history onto the present” (99). Mapping relationships by institution, geography, friendships, and other factors can reveal “hidden influences” that scholars already suspect are present in scholarship (106).

    Johnson’s explanation of data visualizations as arguments and demonstrations of hidden values suggests that these projects and methods as rhetorical. But how can these kinds of projects be incorporated into a writing course? Julie Klein’s chapter describes the institutionalized structures of digital humanities and the “patterns of affiliations” between scholars in the field. Should writing instructors who want to teach a method like data visualization have a certificate or formal training in teaching digital humanities? Should these project exist only in courses that are truly interdisciplinary?

    Johnson points out that data visualization projects can make strong arguments to stakeholders in institutional settings. At the same time, he describes many academics’ worry that arguments made with data mining techniques (for example, those that generate a numerical value to judge scholarly contribution) could be unfairly used against scholars in the tenure process. Who determines the ethical uses of these types of projects?

    Thinking about these issues also leads me to questions about courses and my own assignments. Johnson claims that data visualization can be used to study practices and not to measure scholarly contributions. Perhaps students could study scholarly practices of specific disciplines. Or they could study the “patterns of affiliations” between groups and individuals they are reading for a research project. For what kinds of topics or findings is data visualization appropriate (or not appropriate) in writing courses? Is it our place as instructors to limit or define the boundaries of these methods?

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