A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

UCSB

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1.
#14067

The Case for Writing Studies as a Major Discipline    (peer-reviewed)

Literate activity, directly and indirectly, occupies much of the day of people in modern society. Literacy in its basic and more elaborated, specialized forms is the cornerstone in the education of the young. Literacy and symbolic artifacts underlay the information age and its information economy. Literacy along with its enabling technologies and consequent forms of social, political, and economic organization, has supported ways of life that distinguish us from humans of 5000 years ago. Literate engagement is also associated with forms of belief, commitment, and consciousness that shape modern personality. Yet the study of writing--its production, its circulation, its uses, its role in the development of individuals and societies, and its learning by individuals, social collectives, and historically emergent cultures--remains a dispersed enterprise. Inquiry into skills, practices, objects, and consequences of reading and writing is the concern of only a few people, fragmented across university disciplines, with no serious home of its own.

Bazerman, Charles. UCSB (2002). Articles>Education>Writing

2.
#37062

Database as a Symbolic Form

After the novel, and subsequently cinema privileged narrative as the key form of cultural expression of the modern age, the computer age introduces its correlate - database. Many new media objects do not tell stories; they don't have beginning or end; in fact, they don't have any development, thematically, formally or otherwise which would organize their elements into a sequence. Instead, they are collections of individual items, where every item has the same significance as any other.

Manovich, Lev. UCSB (2001). Articles>Writing>Databases>Information Design

3.
#14052

Genre and Identity: Citizenship in the Age of the Internet and the Age of Global Capitalism

One of the more popular academic slogans of this half century is Wittgenstein's characterization of language-in-use as a form of life. Genre theory takes this slogan seriously. In perceiving an utterance as being of a certain kind or genre, we become caught up in a form of life, joining speakers and hearers, writers and readers, in particular relations of a familiar and intelligible sort. As participants orient towards this communicative social space they take on the mood, attitude, and actional possibilities of that placeĆ³they go that place to do the kinds of things you do there, think the kinds of thoughts you think there, feel the kind of way you feel there, satisfy what you can satisfy there, be the kind of person you can become there (Bazerman 1997, 1998). It is like going to a dining room, or a dance hall, or a seminar, or church. You know what you are getting yourself into and what range of relations and objects will likely be realized there. You adopt a frame of mind, set your hopes, plan accordingly, and begin acting with that orientation.

Bazerman, Charles. UCSB (1999). Articles>Rhetoric>Theory

4.
#14069

Green Giving: Engagement, Values, Activism, and Community Life   (peer-reviewed)

Philanthropic campaigns typically offer value identification and identity rewards for gift giving. These rewards may be increased by engaging the gift-givers within the work and activity of the charitable organization; moreover, fund-raising may reach beyond the limited budget people typically allocate to psychic goods if charitable gifts are perceived as part of the costs of one's way of life and as part of the meanings, activities, and communities within which one lived one's life. In support of these claims, I examine environmental fund-raising in Santa Barbara through interviews with fund-raisers involved with the Community Environmental Council and the campaign to purchase a major coastal property for a preserve. The fundraising for CEC indicates ways in which people's identities and commitments may be drawn on and reinforced and how people's interests in sustaining a way of life can become the basis of funding campaigns; CEC fundraising suggests that activism does not necessarily translate into giving, depending on the nature of the active engagement. The case of the preservation of the Wilcox property suggests how commitment to a community way of life can mobilize extraordinary giving when the community as a whole starts to perceive itself engaged in common endeavor and commitment. The success of the campaign itself then becomes a sign of community strength and community values.

Bazerman, Charles. UCSB. Articles>Rhetoric>Community Building

5.
#14068

Letters and the Social Grounding of Differentiated Genres   (peer-reviewed)

Several times in my research over the years, I have noticed letters playing a role in the emergence of distinctive genres: the early scientific article emerging from the correspondence of Hans Oldenburg, the first editor of the Philosophic Transactions of the Royal Society; the patent, originally known as letters patent; stockholders' reports evolving from letters to stockholders; and internal corporate reporting and record forms regularizing internal corporate correspondence. was not the first to notice any of these; however, in putting the four cases together, it struck me that these may be part of a more general pattern. As I pursued the thought that letters might have a special role in genre formation, many other examples of genres with strong connections to correspondence came to my attention, including newspapers and other periodicals, financial instruments such as bills of exchange and letters of credit, books of the New Testament, papal encyclicals, and novels. The letter, in its directness of communication between two parties within a specific relationship in specific circumstances (all of which could be commented on directly), seemed to provide a flexible medium out of which many functions, relationships, and institutional practices might develop--making new uses socially intelligible at the same time as allowing the form of the communication to develop in new directions.

Bazerman, Charles. UCSB. Articles>Rhetoric>Correspondence>Genre

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