Technology and Technical and Professional Communication through the Lens of the MLA Job Information List 1990-2011
This article tracks the evolving relationship between technology and technical communication through the lens of the academic job market. It identifies the changing ways in which members of the field have talked about the kinds of technologies and composing practices they are looking for in the teaching and research of new hires. The study at the heart of this article catalogued the ways in which seventeen technology and design-related keywords have been used in MLA job advertisements over the past two decades. Looking specifically at the popularity of keywords such as “design” and “new media,” it suggests that program administrators should be aware of these trends and take ownership over the way we name and define the technological advances in our field. Doing so will allow administrators to more strategically discuss the values and practices of our field to those in our departments, universities, and workplace and funding environments.