ATTW Announces 2017 Graduate Research Award Winners

ATTW is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 ATTW Graduate Research Awards. In our commitment to advancing graduate students in the field, the award’s purpose is to support and advance the research of graduate students in the latter stages of their PhD programs.

Congratulations to the following recipients for their contributions to research in technical and professional communication:

  • Jeffrey Gerding, Purdue University, “Advocating for Users, Engaging Citizens: Analyzing User Experience Research and the Rhetoric of Civic Engagement in Public Sector Digital Service Design”
  • Eric Stephens,  Clemson University, “Correctional Inclinations: Using Big Data to Trace Correctional Officer Handbooks”
  • Rachel Tofteland-Trampe, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, “Developing Digital Literacies: Engaging Technical Communication at an Urban Community Technology Center”

The award selection committee was really impressed with the quality and potential contributions of these research projects. Award recipients will be featured and present their research in a panel at the annual ATTW conference, which will be held on March 15, 2017, in Portland, OR.

The Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW) is an active professional organization of about 500 teachers, researchers, and practitioners of technical communication. Formed in 1973 to encourage dialogue among teachers of technical communication and to develop technical communication as an academic discipline, the organization boasts an international and interdisciplinary membership. ATTW produces Technical Communication Quarterly, a leading academic journal, and it collaborates with Taylor & Francis/Routledge to publish the ATTW Book Series in Technical and Professional Communication.

CFP: TCQ special issue

CFP: Special Issue on Medical Humanities and/or the Rhetoric of Health and Medicine

liz-angeliNearly twenty years ago, the landmark special issue on “Medical Rhetoric” was published in Technical Communication Quarterly. Since then, research in this area has flourished, with scholars publishing numerous books, articles, and special issues on the topic. The editors of that special issue, Barbara Heifferon and Stuart Brown, noted how the humanities—specifically rhetoric and technical communication—could “suggest alternative discursive practices” in healthcare workplaces (p. 247). Their goal rick-johnson-sheehanwas to reunite the disciplines of rhetoric and medicine, a split that can be dated back to Platonic times (Bell et al., 2000).

Following the lead of that TCQ special issue, editors of special issues in other journals have worked to position medical rhetoric within the broader field of the medical humanities and in relation to other healthcare fields. In 2005, the Journal of Business and Technical Communication published a special issue on “The Discourses of Medicine.” In the editor’s introduction, Ellen Barton noted the interdisciplinary breadth of the field. The discourses of medicine, she pointed out, had become a space where the humanities, the social sciences, and medicine merged. Other special issues narrowed the scope of the field by focusing on topics such as online health communication (Koerber & Stills, 2008), the relationship between writing and medicine (Haas, 2009), the importance of publics in healthcare issues (Keränen, 2014), and the centrality of communication design to health-related fields (Meloncon & Frost, 2015). These collections further refined and clarified the research scope of the field.

Recently, though, some researchers in this field have been leaving behind the title of “medical rhetoric” in order to draw a distinction between themselves and the medical humanities. They have adopted the title “Rhetoric of Health and Medicine (RHM),” which is simultaneously more specific and more expansive than medical rhetoric. In advocating for the term “RHM,” Blake, Segal, and Keränan ask scholars to engage “in programs of research that complement, but are different from, programs of research in bioethics, medical humanities, health communication, or the allied health professions” (2013, p. 2). The medical humanities, as Keränan argues, are concerned with “humane—and distinctly human—dimensions of health and medicine” (2014). To query these dimensions, medical humanities scholars traditionally use theoretical frameworks and methods from the humanities, social sciences, and the arts. Alternatively, as Blake, Segal, and Keränan argue, RHM scholars should “query medicine’s epistemology, culture, principles, practices, and discourses” with the goal of improving areas of medical practice (2013, p. 2).

In this special issue, we are looking for articles that explore the intersections and tensions between RHM and the medical humanities. At this nascent stage in the field’s development, we wonder whether separating RHM from the medical humanities might curtail opportunities for research, curriculum development, and engagement. Separating too early could have unintended ideological and practical repercussions; it could restrict research funding opportunities, and it might limit our access to political capital. Ideologically, this split risks reinforcing an outmoded but still existent two-culture division between STEM and the liberal arts, undermining the re-unification of medicine and rhetoric that Heifferon and Brown (2000) thought medical rhetoric could achieve. For practical reasons, we are concerned that such a split could also potentially cut RHM researchers off from the financial and political resources that are currently flowing into the medical humanities, which is one of the fastest growing areas in academia today, with universities like Yale, Ohio State, and Baylor adding medical humanities programs to their curriculums.

As we approach the 20-year mark from that original special issue in TCQ, we would like to turn our attention back to defining the fields of medical rhetoric, RHM, and the medical humanities. Similar to Heifferon and Brown’s (2000) goal to restore the natural connections between rhetoric and medicine, we aim to learn how two related areas—RHM and the medical humanities—can mutually inform each other. This CFP invites submissions that put these areas into conversation and engage questions like the following:

  • Building on Blake, Segal, and Keränan’s (2013) observation that RHM complements but is different from the medical humanities, how can RHM complement the medical humanities? How can the medical humanities complement RHM?
  • How can theoretical frameworks and methods used in RHM and the medical humanities intersect in ways that allow the fields to work together?
  • How can RHM scholars participate in and contribute to the medical humanities? Likewise, how can scholars in the medical humanities participate in RHM?
  • In what ways can research in the medical humanities be applied to healthcare workplaces, similar to RHM?
  • In what ways can RHM and medical humanities scholars make a meaningful impact on the medical field, broadly defined?
  • With the advent of telemedicine, the medical workplace has become distributed across time and location. How has this shift impacted RHM and the medical humanities? How can these areas contribute to understanding telemedicine?
  • How has RHM scholarship impacted technical communication? In what ways can the medical humanities impact technical communication? What RHM and medical humanities theoretical frameworks, methods, or findings can be imported into technical communication?

This issue is scheduled for January 2018. Please email 500-word proposals to Elizabeth Angeli (elizabeth.angeli@marquette.edu) and Richard Johnson-Sheehan (rjohnso@purdue.edu) by the deadline of January 17, 2017.  For accepted proposals, complete manuscripts will be due by July 17, 2017. In the meantime, we welcome questions via email from potential contributors.

PDF Medical Humanities/Rhetoric of Health and Medicine CFP

Call for Participation ATTW 2017 Research Methods Workshops

ATTW 2017 Research Methods Workshops

Portland, Oregon March 14, 2017 12:30-4:30
Application deadline: December 15th
Scholarships are available!
Visit attw.org for the call for participation and full workshop descriptions
The Research Methods Workshops are an initiative of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW) aimed at providing an opportunity for those entering the profession and those less trained in research to develop more sophisticated research skills.
This year, ATTW is sponsoring two Research Methods Workshops. Each workshop focuses on a methodology for data analysis and is designed to help researchers devise and try out an analytic approach.

Iconographic Tracking: A Digital Research Method for Circulation Studies

Laurie E. Gries, University of Colorado-Boulder

Conducting Quantitative Content Analysis

Ryan K. Boettger, University of North Texas

Have you collected so much content for your research that you don’t know how to analyze it all?
bottgerContent analysis (CA) is a powerful empirical method for analyzing texts, images, maps, sounds, and symbols. Briefly defined, CA is the systematic, objective, and quantitative analysis of message characteristics (Neuendorf 2016). Researchers then make inferences about the messages within the texts, the writer, and the audience. The applied nature of CA has made it popular with academics, commercial researchers, and communication practitioners. However, the method is often misapplied or mislabeled in fields like technical communication.
These two half-day workshops will be held in Portland, Oregon on Tuesday afternoon, March 14, 12:30-4:30. This is the day preceding the ATTW conference (March 15) and the CCCC conference (March 15-18).
Registration for each workshop is $100. Ten scholarships of $200 each are available to graduate students to defray the cost of the workshop and hotel.

Job Posting: two positions at Ithaca College

The Department of Writing at Ithaca College would like to announce two positions for which they are currently hiring;

Position descriptions and application instructions can be found at https://ithaca.peopleadmin.com. The application deadline for both positions is December 5, 2016.

Position 1:

The Department of Writing in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College invites applications for a tenure-eligible position in professional writing beginning August 16, 2017. The successful candidate will carry a 3-3 teaching load, mostly in workplace writing but also in one or more of the following areas: technical writing, legal and public policy writing, science and environmental writing, and/or proposal and grant writing. They also will teach first-year composition as needed. Department/college service and student advising are expected.

We seek applicants with experience in one or more of the following areas: digital media, online teaching, editing and publishing, and/or internships and service learning. Because our students must learn to work in a multicultural, global society, we are particularly interested in candidates whose pedagogy and scholarship address issues of diversity, justice, and equity in the public, private, and/or nonprofit sectors.

Qualifications:

Master’s degree in Professional/Technical Writing, Composition & Rhetoric or relevant field; PhD preferred; demonstrated excellence in, and commitment to, undergraduate teaching; evidence of effective professional writing; and record or promise of scholarship required. A humanistic approach to the field is essential since our professional writing curriculum is grounded in the liberal arts and emphasizes rhetoric and ethics.

Position 2:

The Department of Writing in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Ithaca College invites applications for a three-year non-tenure-eligible position with the possibility of renewal beginning August 16, 2017. The successful candidate will carry a 3-4 teaching load and be responsible for 2-3 sections of Writing for the Workplace per semester, along with first-year composition and other professional writing courses as needed. Department/college service and student advising are expected.

We seek candidates with experience in one or more of the following areas: digital media, online teaching, editing and publishing, and/or internships and service learning. Because our students must learn to work in a multicultural, global society, we are particularly interested in applicants whose pedagogy addresses issues of diversity, justice, and equity in the public, private, and/or nonprofit sectors.

Qualifications:

Master’s degree in Professional/Technical Writing, Composition & Rhetoric or related field and demonstrated excellence in, and commitment to, undergraduate teaching required; PhD desired. Evidence of effective professional writing and a humanistic approach to the field are essential. Our practical curriculum is grounded in the liberal arts and emphasizes rhetoric and ethics.

Application Instructions:

Interested individuals should apply at https://ithaca.peopleadmin.com and attach a cover letter and CV. The applicant must also provide names and email addresses of three (3) individuals who will be asked to submit letters of reference. Emails containing a link to submit these letters will be auto-generated and sent to the applicant’s references upon final submission of application via ithaca.peopleadmin.com. Applications are not complete until all materials are received.

Inquiries about the position may be directed to the Department of Writing at 607-274-3138 at writing@ithaca.edu. Questions about the online application may be directed to the Office of Human Resources at 607-274-8000. Preliminary review of applications will begin immediately. Full review will start on December 5, 2016 and will continue until the position is filled.

About the Department of Writing

Ithaca College offers New York State’s only comprehensive B.A. in Writing. Blending theory and practice, our department seeks to foster clarity, invention, and expertise in various styles and genres. Students select from a diverse curriculum and may choose to concentrate in creative writing, nonfiction, feature writing, or professional writing. Diversity is also a core value of our department. We believe that writing as a discipline is enhanced when diverse groups of faculty with diverse backgrounds and ideas collaborate and learn from each other. Please visit us at www.ithaca.edu/hs/depts/writing.

About Ithaca College

Ithaca College, a comprehensive residential campus community of 6,500 students, offers a learning experience that combines the best of the liberal arts and professional education. We continually strives to build an inclusive and welcoming community of individuals, with diverse talents and skills from a multitude of backgrounds, who are committed to civility, mutual respect, social justice, and the free and open exchange of ideas.

Successful candidates will demonstrate an ability to teach in ways that value the varied learning needs and interests of a culturally diverse student population and that reflect a commitment to encouraging the success of all students.

Ithaca College is committed to building a diverse academic community and encourages members of underrepresented groups to apply. Experience that contributes to the diversity of the college is appreciated.
Comments: Queries about the position should be made not to me but directly to the department at 607-274-3138 or at writing@ithaca.edu.

Job posting: two positions at Portland State University

Job listings posted on behalf of Wint Tracy Dillon (dillont@pdx.edu)

The English Department at Portland State University would like your help in getting the word out about two available positions.

These positions can be found, along with application instructions, at https://jobs.hrc.pdx.edu/postings/21037. The application deadline for both positions is November 15, 2016.

Position 1:

The English Department at Portland State University invites applications for a tenure-track position as Director of Professional & Technical Writing to begin September 16, 2017 at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor. We seek an active scholar with a record of P&TW research who can contribute to the department by teaching core courses in our undergraduate and graduate degree programs, directing the MA/MS program in Professional & Technical Writing, and providing other courses in support of the English and University Studies curricula.

Required specialization in science and/or environmental writing; this position is part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ interdisciplinary cluster hire focusing on Environmental Extremes (impacts, adaptations, and solutions) including seven additional faculty members in the Departments of Communication, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, and Environmental Science and Management. See the Faculty Cluster hire ad at http://www.pdx.edu/clas/faculty-job-openings for all eight positions.

Preferred qualifications include Professional & Technical Writing related industry experience. ABD’s considered. Ph.D. in English, Rhetoric, Technical Communication, or a related field is required by September 15, 2017. 2/2/2 course load (quarter system); course releases for service as director; competitive salary; excellent benefits.

Position 2:

The English Department at Portland State University invites applications for a non-tenure track faculty (NTTF) position as Instructor or Senior Instructor I of Professional & Technical Writing to begin September 16, 2017. We seek an active instructor who can contribute to the department by teaching core courses in our undergraduate and graduate degree programs, and providing other courses in support of the English and University Studies curricula.Required qualifications include Professional & Technical Writing related industry experience; preferred qualifications include specialization in at least one of the following areas: science writing, environmental writing, and/or medical writing. Master’s or Ph.D. in English, Rhetoric, Technical Communication, or a related field is required by time of appointment. 3/3/3 course load (quarter system); competitive salary; excellent benefits.

All materials must be received by November 15, 2016.

Brief Description of PSU’s English Department

A thriving campus in the heart of the city, Portland State University is Oregon’s most affordable public research university and we offer tremendous opportunity to 29,000 students from all backgrounds. Our mission to “let knowledge serve the city” reflects our dedication to finding innovative, sustainable solutions to local and global problems. Our location in the heart

of one of America’s most dynamic cities gives our students unmatched access to career connections and an internationally acclaimed culture scene. PSU is the only Oregon university to offer a four-year degree guarantee. The English Department offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses to meet the needs of students with a diversity of interests, and

academic and professional backgrounds. By studying literature, rhetoric, composition, and critical theory, students in the Department of English acquire experience in inter-textual and cross-disciplinary inquiry represented by many cultures and historical periods. They learn critical approaches to texts and issues that enable them to interpret and compare positions, to read closely, critically, and with empathy, to conduct research, to weigh evidence, and to write with insight and expertise.

Welcome New ATTW Book Series Editor, Tharon Howard

tharon-howard_064aAfter four years of excellent work as the inaugural editor of the ATTW book series in technical and professional communication, Dr. Jo Mackiewicz has stepped down as series editor.  We are grateful for her work and the four publications added to the series under Jo’s tenure. As we begin to celebrate the 20th anniversary of ATTW and imagine what the future of the organization might be, we are pleased to announce Dr. Tharon Howard from Clemson University as our new editor for the ATTW book series.

With expertise in usability, user experience, academic publishing, and multi-media publishing and teaching Dr. Howard brings his interests in interdisciplinary publishing and multi-modal pedagogy to ATTW. He currently serves as the production editor for Clemson’s Center for Electronic and Digital Publishing where, alongside traditional academic publishing, Dr. Howard teaches graduate students to develop and maintain digital and web publications. His commitment to academic publishing and multi-modal innovations in scholarly publication make him the perfect fit to take the editorial helm at ATTW. We are looking forward to working with him as the book series progresses.

Biography

Dr. Tharon W. Howard teaches in the Master of Arts in Professional Communication program and the Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design doctoral program at Clemson University. He is a recipient of the STC’s J.R. Gould Award for Excellence in Teaching Technical Communication and is a nationally recognized leader in the field of usability and user experience research. As Director of the Clemson University Usability Testing Facility, he has conducted sponsored research aimed at improving and creating new software interfaces, online document designs, and information architectures for clients including Pearson Higher Education, IBM, NCR Corp., and AT&T. For his work promoting the importance of usability in both industry and technical communication, Dr. Howard was awarded the Usability Professionals Association’s “Extraordinary Service Award.” Howard serves as the Production Editor for Clemson’s Center for Electronic and Digital Publishing where—in addition to producing scholarly journals, books, fliers, and brochures—he teaches MAPC and RCID graduate students to create and maintain digital publications and websites.  He also designed and directed Clemson’s Multimedia Authoring Teaching and Research Facility where faculty and graduate students in architecture, arts, and humanities learn to develop fully interactive, stand-alone multimodal productions and experiment with emerging instructional technologies, augmented reality devices, and interface designs.  Howard is the author of Design to Thrive: Creating Online Communities and Social Networks That Last; A Rhetoric of Electronic Communities, co-author of Visual Communication: A Writer’s Guide, co-editor of Electronic Networks:  Crossing Boundaries and Creating Communities, and has articles in journals including Technical Communication, Technical Communication Quarterly, and Computers and Composition.

 

ATTW.org accounts required for proposals

We’re now accepting ATTW 2017 proposals! This year, we’re requiring that everyone proposing a speaking role create a free ATTW.org account so we can more easily track submissions, reviews, and members.

Since we had some security problems in the past, we’ve deleted all existing ATTW.org accounts and started afresh. So, everyone will need to take a few minutes to make an ATTW.org account.

Please make an account as soon as you can. That will give us time to review and approve accounts well in advance of the October 15 deadline. (We have to review them since spammers still attempt to create bogus accounts every day.) Help us make review easy by filling out the form completely.

If you are planning a panel or co-authored presentation, make sure your collaborators create ATTW.org accounts as well, then provide you the email addresses tied to their accounts. We’ve created a page listing all the registered accounts, so you’ll be able to look them up easily, in case you forget.

Accounts are free and can be created by members or non-members. We plan to keep this system in place for ATTW 2018 and 2019, so this should be a time saver on the long run.

Let us know if you have questions. We’ll be welcoming your submissions soon!

Create your ATTW.org account now

ATTW 2017 Graduate Research Award CFP

In our commitment to advancing graduate students in the field, ATTW is pleased to announce the 2017 ATTW Graduate Research Award.  This award’s purpose is to support and advance the research of graduate students in the latter stages of their PhD programs (preference will be given to those students working on their dissertations).

Up to three awardees will receive a monetary amount ($500.00) to be used for research expenses and/or to help defray the costs of attending the annual ATTW conference.  In addition, award recipients will be featured in a work-in-progress panel presentation at the annual conference in Portland, Oregon in 2017, and the conference registration fee will be waived.

Application details

At this time, we are soliciting application materials from graduate students whose research is in technical and professional communication. Interested students should send (as one *.pdf file):

  • a prospectus that describes their current research and its contribution to the field of technical and professional communication; the prospectus should also address the applicants’ plans for future work. (Please limit to 3-4 pages).
  • a description of the ways in which the award money will be used to support the research
  • a current CV
  • a letter of support from the student’s advisor that confirms the student’s status as a graduate student and details the advisor’s support for the student’s application

Awards will be given to those with clearly defined research projects that contribute to the field of technical and professional communication.

Send completed applications to Michelle F. Eble at eblem@ecu.edu

Important Dates

Application deadline: September 30, 2016

Notification of award recipients: October 30, 2016

ATTW Conference: March 15, 2017

If you have questions, feel free to contact Michelle F. Eble at eblem@ecu.edu.

Social Media Wrap-up of #attwcon in Houston

Social Media Wrap-up of #attwcon in Houston

It’s hard to believe that ATTW’s annual convention in Houston was a whole month ago—time has flown by, our semesters are coming to an end (or we’re hitting mid-quarter for those of you on the quarter system), and many of us are switching gears from thinking about our spring classes and instead thinking about summer projects, vacations, and possibly even prepping for fall courses (though maybe we’ll hold off on that for a little bit for a breather).

We thought it would be useful to give a brief recap of social media use at this year’s convention. For a few years now, conference attendees have used the #attwcon hashtag to share experiences about the conferences, network, share insights from presentations, and more. This year attendees posted 805 tweets and retweets using the conference hashtag on the day of the conference (an archive of tweets is available here).

This network visualization shows that over 197 different twitter accounts have used the hashtag or were mentioned by someone using the hashtag this year. (This data includes tweets from a few weeks before the conference and since then as well.) You can click on a node to get data about that twitter user—for instance, @beyonce was mentioned once during the conference (but sadly, she didn’t tweet about the conference).

If you click on the “mentions” link at the bottom of the visualization, you can see that we’re a pretty chatty bunch, not just sending out tweets in isolation, but replying to each other, mentioning each other in tweets, and retweeting each other quite frequently. The retweets link on the bottom of the page shows an even denser network: we like to share what each other has written.

For the second year, we asked a few graduate students to serve as Social Media Curators at the conference. They kept track of tweets and other social media and used our Storify account to create stories about panels and other events at the conference. Special thanks to Jack Labriola, Elizabeth Mackey, Allegra Smith, and Tiffany Wilgar for creating the following stories of #attwcon events:

The convention in Houston was a huge success, thanks in large part to conference program co-chairs Natalia Matveeva and Godwin Agboka, ATTW’s many volunteers and sponsors,  great presentations by ATTW members, and a wonderful, collegial membership that tweets about the conference. Looking forward to next year in Portland!

Michael J. Faris
ATTW Social Media Coordinator

Thank you, ATTW!

THANK YOU to all of our conference sponsors, reviewers, presenters, and attendees for making ATTW 2016 a great success:

  • Conference program co-chairs Natalia Matveeva and Godwin Agboka;
  • Volunteers who staffed our registration and check-in tables;
  • Exhibitors Taylor & Francis and Routledge;
  • The many sponsors who purchased ads in the program or donated items for attendees;
  • NCTE/CCCC staff and hotel services who helped with infrastructure and technology;
  • Many more people we’ll make sure to add here later!

Congratulations to all the award winners, especially Brenda Sims and Bill Hart-Davidson, both elevated to ATTW Fellow. We’ll add a list of all the award winners here shortly.

We hope to see all of you next year in Portland, on March 15, 2017!