Monthly Archives: October 2011

Computers and Writing 2012

Computers and Writing 2012 will be hosted at North Carolina State University, and CRDM is involved! We’ll post more about how CRDMers are involved with the conference in our next update, but for now please read our call for conference papers and a related call for a special issue of Enculturation. Please visit the official site as well.

The Call

We welcome proposal submissions for Computers and Writing 2012, “ArchiTEXTure: Composing and Constructing in Digital Spaces.” Under this theme, we encourage submitters to consider issues, challenges, and benefits specifically related to the production of digital texts. Additionally, submissions are encouraged to consider questions that both address “archiTEXTure” in the classroom and as part of a scholarly agenda.

The goal of this conference is to move beyond traditional, print-based examinations of new media objects as texts. Thus, we are interested in how digital spaces and new media objects interact with and influence the ways that we compose ourselves, our classrooms and our scholarly work. The archiTEXTure of new media can be the media object itself, but can also be the the contexts, spaces, bodies, materials, ideas, and histories of media. The TEXTure of the media could be the screen, but it could also be the differing surfaces and materials of media. In the space between the competing materialities of classroom and text, we can ask questions about construction, process, movement, and change.
At Computers and Writing 2012 we will turn our focus to those issues related specifically to composing and constructing as writing flows from the page and the screen to new contexts and formats. The concerns listed below are not exhaustive, but a beginning point for participants to consider:

  • What are the material and/or immaterial barriers and considerations involved in creating new media/digital texts?
  • What changes in the creative process take place when students and instructors utilize new or unfamiliar technologies?
  • How do the institutions in which we teach and work constrain or enable different forms of production?
  • How do new media objects and digital spaces help us to build identities as scholars, instructors, and/or students?
  • How do new media objects and digital spaces enhance the way we construct our courses?
  • What practical concerns do we and our students face when developing new media/digital texts?
  • What do new media objects tell us about how technology influences the relationship to space, body, and self?

Presentation Formats
Computers and Writing 2012 invites proposals in a variety of formats: conference presentations and panels, installations, performances, half and full day workshops. We also introduce a new spin on the mini-workshop: a type of session we call CREATE! In all presentation formats, we strongly encourage presenters to move beyond a traditional read-aloud paper and consider other delivery methods. Please note that presenters can only have one speaking role.  A speaking role includes: Panels/roundtables, CREATE! sessions and ConstrucTEXT.  A speaking role does not include installations and workshops.

Individual Presentations (20 minutes; 250-word proposal)
Panels and Roundtables (90 minutes; 3 or more presenters; 500-word proposals)
Interactive Installations (250-word proposals)
Replacing the traditional poster session, we instead encourage scholars to share research projects, game play, software, videos, or other media that they are researching in or teaching with. Interactive Installation proposals should describe space and technology requirements

Half-Day (3 hour) or Full-Day (6 hour) Pre-Conference Workshops (1 or more presenters; 500-word proposals plus schedule of activities)
Pre-conference workshops are intended to involve participants in a technology or issue set that rewards intensive work, giving them opportunities to learn new applications, assessment, and integration of emergent technologies for writing, learning, and collaboration. Workshops should be participatory, and proposals should articulate how attendees will interact with each other, the presenters, and/or technologies involved. If you submit a workshop proposal, please submit a word document that outlines the proposed workshop timeline of activities.

CREATE!  (90 minutes; 1 or more presenters; 500-word proposals)
CREATE! sessions are similar to mini-workshop sessions at prior C&W conferences. For these sessions facilitators should focus on presenting a specific application or skill to attendees, and all participants should leave the CREATE! sessions with an artifact that they produced. This artifact can be something quite traditional—the basic outline for a lesson plan or a specific activity to use in a classroom—or it could be a new media object.

ConstrucTEXT (90 minutes; 1 or more artists/performers; 500-word proposals, including samples of work if applicable)
ConstrucTEXT sessions are designed specifically to invite artists, performers, and creators to present their work at the conference. We are interested in highlighting artists who are interacting with technologies in some way, shape or form. Sessions can be performance-based, and artists should indicate length of performance, and space and technology needs. In addition, artists are encouraged to take some time to talk about their work which could be during a round table with other artists or an individual session.

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Onsite Conference: Thursday, May 17, 2012 – Sunday, May 20, 2012
Proposal Submission Opens: September 17, 2011
Proposal Due Date: October 22, 2011 (before midnight EST)
Notifications of Acceptance: December 15, 2011
Registration Opens: January 15, 2012
Online Conference: Dates to be announced

CFP: Enculturation 2012 Special Issue

Computers & Writing 2012: ArchiTEXTure: Composing and Constructing in Digital Spaces
Guest Editors
Meagan Kittle Autry, North Carolina State University
Ashley R. Kelly, North Carolina State University

We welcome manuscript submissions for a special issue of Enculturation: A Journal of Rhetoric, Writing, and Culture. For this issue, we invite papers originating from presentations given at Computers and Writing 2012, “ArchiTEXTure: Composing and Constructing in Digital Spaces.”  Under this theme, conference organizers encourage submitters to consider issues, challenges, and benefits specifically related to the production of digital texts. Additionally, submissions are encouraged to consider questions that both address “archiTEXTure” in the classroom and as part of a scholarly agenda.

Notifications of acceptance for C&W 2012 will be sent to the presenters on December 15, 2011. Should your presentation be accepted to the 2012 conference, we encourage you to consider crafting and creating your presentation now for consideration in this online special issue.

Media and Genres
We welcome a mix of media and genres to reflect the various presentation types featured at Computers and Writing 2012 individual presentations, interactive installations, CREATE! sessions, or ConstrucTEXT presentations. Traditional essays, hypertexts, videos, and multimedia projects are all suitable for publication in Enculturation.

Inquiries from authors to guest editors begin: September 25, 2011 (Not all submissions must be queried first, but authors are welcome to correspond about their ideas)
Submissions due: Final day of C&W conference, May 20, 2012
Notifications to authors sent: July 15, 2012
Revised manuscripts due by: September 1, 2012
Publication date: October 1, 2012

Submission Guidelines
Please send queries and submissions to guest editors at cwspecialissue[at]gmail[dot]com.
Email should include author name(s), email address(es), and title of submission within the body. Please ensure no identifying information is contained within your file submission. Submissions should be attached as .doc or .rtf formats. If you are submitting a non-print text, please email the guest editors to inquire regarding appropriate formats for your submission.

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Tunnel Visionary

We asked CRDMer David Gruber to explain his recent art/project/publication. His response below explains “Tunnel Vision” and its inspirations:
“Tunnel Vision” is an interactive digital project that uses motion-tracking software to respond in real-time to users’ body movements.
You might call it a “cybertext” since users’ movements alter the appearance of a poem and users tend to move in response to the reaction of the poem. It will be featured life-sized on a wall at the Contemporary Art Museum of Raleigh this winter.
The project started in Katherine Hayles and Bill Seaman’s digital art and literature class at Duke two years ago. (Interesting CRDM fact: the course was also offered at UCLA in 2002, and Dr. Silva was a student in that course!) I decided to interpret Mark Strand’s poem The Tunnel as an analogy for the human-computer relationship. At the time, I was reading Dorsality by David Wills, a book where Wills dismantles fears of new technology by suggesting that any “technological thing” is always developing out of us and along with us. Wills imagines the backbone as an early human technology to say that once we desire to turn around to see what’s behind us enabling the turn, the backbone is already there. Even if the turn is a paranoid one where we turn back to see who or what is behind us or if we turn back to try to understand where we came from and how we came to Be whatever we are, there’s comfort in knowing that what precedes the turn is what motivates it and what enables it—what is already us.
I saw a connection to the poem, The Tunnel, where a paranoid man hides in his home and digs a tunnel to try to escape a “stranger” standing outside on the front lawn. (I always think of the movie PI when reading this poem, probably for good reason.)
In the end, the paranoid man emerges on a lawn and finds himself standing outside a home for days, waiting for help, desperate, as someone inside hides from him. So the character is trapped in a loop of experience, a dilemma where he fears the Other even while he is the Other and doesn’t even realize he fears himself or becomes what he fears. I wanted to build some kind of digital work that would express this idea and extend it to the human perspective on the computer-as-Other. I asked for Dr. Rieder’s help. He liked the idea of visualizing the poem in terms of the human-computer loop and taught me a lot about the processes involved in programming a digital work. Together, we shaped Tunnel Vision.
A couple of people have asked me whether I would count this as a publication. The question seems motivated by anxiety about the legitimacy of hands-on digital media work and/or digital media art in English and Communication Departments. Floating in the background are concerns about what tenure will mean for CRDM students doing this kind of work. But my answer is “yes, I’ll count this as a publication.”
My answer doesn’t indicate a belief that digital media projects like this one will carry the same weight as peer-reviewed journal articles available in print (although they should—and getting into an online academic journal or into a museum almost certainly requires peer-review). Rather, my response follows from my belief that scholarly digital projects (whether deemed “art” or not) are conceptual, that they require as much work or more to complete as any traditional publication, and that they will soon be viewed as the outcome of a valid intellectual process, instead of a novelty or a side-project for less serious scholars.
Building things with digital media is another way to do intellectual work. I learned this from Dr. Rieder. Right now, for instance, I’m trying to visualize the multiple interpretations of the functioning of mirror neurons, and I’m thinking about how the code can reflect (pun intended) the concept of a “mirror” and still compel users to see their own body movements through the movements of others. To do this, I have to think about the mirror as a metaphor and the different types of “mirroring” going on and what a computational mirror might look like. What’s a mirror expressed in numbers or in the structure of an English sentence? I’m thinking of chiasmus and parallel strings and loops and repetitions. So I’ve learned that hands-on digital media work is a way to explore, a way to develop new ideas, and a way to see connections to rhetoric and writing studies.

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