A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Johnson, Robert R.

5 found.

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Complicating Technology: Interdisciplinary Method, the Burden of Comprehension, and the Ethical Space of the Technical Communicator   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

There is much for technical communicators to learn from the burgeoning field of technology studies. Technical communicators, however, have an obligation to exercise patience as they enter this arena of study. Using interdisciplinary theory, this article argues that technical communication must assume the 'burden of comprehension': the responsibility of understanding the ideologies, contexts, values, and histories of those disciplines from which we borrow before we begin using their methods and research findings. Three disciplines of technology study--history, sociology, and philosophy--are examined to investigate how these disciplines approach technology. The article concludes with speculation on how technical communicators, by virtue of their entrance into this interdisciplinary arena, might refashion both their practical roles and the scope of their ethical responsibilities.

Johnson, Robert R. Technical Communication Quarterly (1998). Articles>Technology>Ethics


(Deeply) Resisting Arrest: Beyond the Either/Or of Information Technology in Technical & Scientific Communication Programs   (peer-reviewed)

If I choose to walk or ride a bicycle to work in the morning, will I be perceived as an anti-technology Luddite because I have resisted driving my car? Probably not. In fact, I might be seen as someone who is environmentally aware and health conscious. When it comes to information technology, however, such resistance is seen quite differently.

Johnson, Robert R. CPTSC Proceedings (2000). Academic>Education>Technology


Interdisciplinary/Inter-Program Research

Two presentations about collaboration in research between diverse departments and units.

Brady, Ann, Robert R. Johnson, Michael J. Salvo and Tammy S. Conard-Salvo. CPTSC (2005). Presentations>Collaboration>Research


Review: Nardi and O'Day's Information Ecologies: Using Technology with Heart   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Information. The word has become ubiquitous with the computer and the so-called revolution that has occurred as a result of this electronic gizmo so many of us use on a daily basis. We have linked the word with many other terms to describe how information functions in this new electronically-driven world: information technology, information management, information superhighway. Nardi and O’Day (1999), however, have hitched information to another term—--ecology--—that provides us with another way to think through what it means to work, learn, and play with and through the computer-mediated medium. As with any descriptor that has metaphoric possibilities, inventive minds can conjure a seemingly infinite number of ways to probe the expanded meanings that a metaphor can provide.

Johnson, Robert R. Journal of Computer Documentation (2000). Articles>Reviews>User Centered Design>Tropes


Trajectories, Kairos, and Tulips: A Personal Reflection and Meditation on Programs in Rhetoric, Technical, Professional and Scientific Communication   (PDF)

The purpose of this article is to reflect upon the emergence of programs in rhetoric, technical, professional, and scientific communication (RTPSC) during the past twenty years through a personal narrative of experiences from graduate study to the present. Using a method of inquiry based in rhetorical meditation, the article presents a story of these experiences at Purdue University, Miami University-Ohio, and Michigan Tech University and then moves outward toward national concerns and, finally, suggests a selected “inventory” of challenges the RTPSC field faces in the coming years.

Johnson, Robert R. Programmatic Perspectives (2009). Articles>Education>Rhetoric>History

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