Friday, February 7, 2014

Mind Map: Class Meeting 2/4/14

Additions this week in hot pink.

This week I have been eagerly digesting the ideas from Miller, Bazerman, Popham, and Zoetewey. Each of these authors speaks to some aspect of social action, which excited me to my core. I study activism, and have always held a fascination for and respect of the work that activists do. Then in more recent years, I have come to see how my own scholarly pursuits can be actionable. There is a growing emphasis on critical making in digital humanities, on scholars not just thinking and writing but making and doing. I see myself situated in this discursive field with an emphasis on building a digital archive combined with social media functions (like BuddyPress). This critical making will bridge the gap between the theoretical and pragmatic, and this is exactly the kind of function that the writers this week argue about genres and civic web sites.

I started by creating a node labeled “Things that can be seen as networks” and connected out to genre (through Bazerman’s argument that genres exist in inter-textual systems), civic web sites, literature reviews (an idea explored in my Reading Notes) and the archive node from last week.

I then made a node labeled “Networks in action” and connected  that to genre, civic websites, and a node related to archives explaining that an archive allows for the action of diagnosis. I connected this node to Bitzer’s argument that through the actions of an audience, discourse can mediate or change the rhetorical situation.

Genres fulfill social functions; they effect change in a community. These ideas clearly appear in Miller’s and Popham’s articles. Discourse, in the form of a genre, can be understood by an audience and used to inform, persuade, or support them. This argument resonates with me as a way that English Studies, that objects belonging to that field, can be more and do more than just existing in the pages of obscure texts. Things under the purview of this discipline can be active and engaged in our communities.

Civic web sites also “do work” by creating a space for discourse about a community issue, often leading to action of the part of the informed public. In this way, they turn the public into producers of knowledge, a node that I connected to Bitzer’s idea that rhetorical situations (community problems) invite a response (creation of civic web sites) that can be used to effect change by the audience (public viewers of web site).
Another connection from genre is to Foucault’s argument that books are nodes in a network. Miller argues that the genre is an interlocution between the mind and society. It is a node in the network of social activity, a point through which ideas are transformed into action.


Finally, I added a node for Popham’s idea of “reflexion”, that we use one discipline to create an image of another, which connects to Foucault’s idea that we come to know a discursive field by studying how one object/event informs another, their proximity, the connections, and the relations between them.

Suzanne's Mind Map


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