Narrative in Tech Comm

A common thread among this week’s readings is a focus on the applicability of narrative as a methodological resource in technical communication. This is uncharted, but exciting  territory. As a group, I think these three chapters highlight some possibilities as well as expose some problems. First, these arguments foreground values other than those that are typically privileged in technical and profession

al communication.  Jones and Walton cite Scott, Longo, and Wills assertion that the field needs “approaches that historicize technical communication’s roles in hegemonic power relations—approaches that are openly critical of nonegalitarian, unethical practices and subject positions, that promote values other than conformity, efficiency, and effectiveness, and that account for technical communication’s broader cultural conditions, circulation and effects” (qtd on pg 336). Their work proposes that narrative steps into this space by responding to that call and achieving “a subjective, reflexive, and critical way of conceptualizing what technical communication is, what technical communication does, and why technical communication matters” (qtd on pg 336). I totally agree. I think this shift is the gateway for what Moore’s and Moeller’s articles achieve. Moore’s work demonstrates the potential narrative has to make connections to the people who will use technical documents and to reflect their experiences in ways that improve design. Moeller’s argument reframes one of the most common and important aspects business structures as a narrative: a brand absolutely creates a narrative that  technical communicators, community members, and documents must all act as characters within. Seeing the usefulness in narrative can help us take the critical stance that Moeller’s adopts in her approach to the Race for the Cure branding of the Susan G. Komen foundation. For me, the exposure of this problem in tech comm was really the most robust space for further exploration. I am more interested in tech comm outside of its traditional science and business spaces. And it is within these government and community spaces, where the goals of technical communication might have more civic-oriented consequences  that we’re are least critical of technical documents and their impact on people. Moeller’s challenge to our blind privileging of altruism at the expense of specific groups of vulnerable people opens up new avenues of inquiry and exploration that I want to pursue.

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Black Feminist Epistemology, Feminist Disability Frameworks, and Narratives in Tech Com

Jones and Walton’s argue that technical communicators must adopt theories and practices that make social justice their primary aim, focusing on direct action that can lessen inequities in the populations we work with. They define social justice research for technical communication as a practice of exploring “how communications, broadly defined, can amplify the agency of oppressed people–those who are materially, socially, politically, and/or economically under-resources” (337), thereby authorizing technical communicators to take on the role of an “author” (Slack, Miller, and Doak, 2006), one who articulates and rearticulates meaning and relationships in a given context. Jones and Walton focus on the power of story as the primary mechanism of meaning-making through both the production and analysis of narratives of possibility in technical communication contexts and outline four elements of narrative (identification, reflexivity, historiocity, and context) that they believe are essential to helping technical communication scholars understand their and their participants’ lived realities and the agency they have to change them. What I wonder about here, though, is about their Western understanding of story, one that seems a bit restrictive in the focus on Aristotelian conventions like main characters, climax etc., and I wonder how “little narratives” (Bamberg and Georgakopoulou, 2008) might open up even greater possibility for action that isn’t dependent on “climactic” (read: male-centered) language. Similarly, Leah Ann Bell’s work on storytelling for social justice could be added in here to help us explore positioning and privilege and flesh out the idea of the “antenarrative” with richer understandings of stock stories, resistance narratives, and transformational narratives. Hmmm… this piece, however, gives me the frame I need to write about my work with X-ray Goggles, though, and how I use Mozilla tool to help students hack the web to write new techno-narratives. I’m going to hold onto that for later article fodder.

I first read Moeller’s piece in Dr. Frost’s class last semester and quite liked the way she uses FDS (although I can’t not think about “feminine deodorant spray”) to demonstrate how “race for the cure” rhetorics operate on a normalizing logic of bodies that are efficient and expedient. I really appreciated the moves that Moeller made to position herself in the analysis as she shows how she has been personally affected by breast cancer and praises the larger goal of the Komen for the Cure foundation while arguing that the means by which they achieve their goals have real and harmful impacts on the bodies that the foundation is working to help. Following Katz (1993) and Ward Sr. (2010), she interrogates the expediency of medicalized rhetoric that stigmatizes lesbians, women without children, and women with disabilities, arguing that Komen for the Cure’s website design uses a retrofitted approach (323) to account for bodily difference, using outdated information to backwards accommodate for those who don’t fall into the default category of straight, white, American, middle class, able-bodied, cis-gendered “woman.” Her work reminds me of Welch and Scott’s (2014) critical material feminism in that a FDS framework “asks students, to not just pay attention to what is present, but what is absent, as well, and what and how that absence says to real, material bodies (330). Framed as a question on page 333, this is a directive to remember that communication is not just discursive; it is a technology to extend the body that has lived, material effects on our own and others’ bodies.

Finally, Kristen Moore’s chapter “Black Feminist Epistemology as a Framework (for)? Community-Based Teaching” is one of the best pieces I’ve read so far in technical communication scholarship. Moore carefully lays out Black Feminist Theory, tracing its genealogy through hooks, Lourde, Smith, Ogunyemi, and most notably, Hill Collins, to argue that BFT “acknowledge[s] rather then suppress[es] Black women’s experiences, theories, and knowledges” (268). In doing so, she calls technical communication scholars to refuse objectivist notions of the field and recognize four key components of BFT: the importance of lived experience, dialogic knowledge production, an ethics of care, and personal accountability that values the relationship between knowledge-making and claims to knowledge (275-276). In the Terms of Use section, Moore does a beautiful job of situating her own claims to knowledge and arguing for why she, as a white woman, should make knowledge through a BFT framework, stating that reciprocity was a key component of her research with Vortex Communication in which she picked up Hill Collins (2012) call to unify activist scholars to upend the white supremacy of technical communication. I love that Samantha Blackmon urged her to use a BFT so that she wasn’t “laying…white theory on Black bodies” (274) and her discussion of “mindfulness, critical reflection, and care” (274), ideological commitments at the heart of her research. I found her critique of participatory design interesting as well as I’m currently working on a critique of open learning rhetorics that calls bullshit on the idea that everyone has equal access to power structures once we open the proverbial door to information. I’ll be using her quote, “I, too, am a supporter of participatory design, participatory action research, and the many approaches to teaching students to ethically engage with communities, but these approaches fail to adequately integrate theories that raise awareness of the suppression and oppression of particular groups of people in the community of the academy” (277) as it gets at the ways “open” and “participatory” ignore unequal distributions of power and resources that are explicitly taken up in a social justice framework.

Week 12

The reading this week was quite interesting. In chapter 9 Moeller explore Feminist Disabilities Studies with technical communication, which challenges the “norm” that we have been discussing for several weeks. Moeller states that FDS calls attention to bodies that comprise the margins, to the disempowerment and disfranchisement of various populations of individuals often found outside of or bastardized by the cultural “norm.” (Moeller, 304). Moeller’s also goes in depth how FDS can assist technical communicators and teachers of technical communication in highlighting the potential to both employ and resist harmful normative narratives about health and wellness (Moeller, 304).

One statement that stood out in this chapter was Moeller stating, “I argue that FDS can also include attention to how language shapes and influences the status of the lived body, the politics of appearance, the medicalization of the body, and our understandings of normalcy” (Moeller, 307) As I was reading I noticed Figure 1 on page 339 and instantly thought of Kenneth Burke’s Terministic Screens (only to find out that Burke’s work was analyzed for this chapter). Burke’s work examines how language and our perception of the world create our reality. I believe this has an impact on how we view certain situations and compare them to the “norm.” Because are previous experiences will effect how we determine what is considered normal or not.

“In relation to social justice, central characters often are symbolic representations of a cause. Stewart, Smith, and Denton (2007) noted that who is telling the story matters tremendously: “The narrator’s image and audience appeal are so important to the narrative that personal identification overpowers logical rigor” (204). The authors asserted that “storytelling engages people in a communicative relationship defined by the narrator-audience relationship. The narrator and listener create a ‘we’ through their identification; ‘my story’ becomes ‘our story’ through co-creation” (204)” (Jones, and Walton, 341).

From my experience I think the quote above is really important to consider when we think of social justice and narratives. My expectation of narratives were only to serve as a story that speaks on issues in a certain context. But as Stewart, Smith , and Dneton explain, characters in narratives are a direct reflextion of a specific audience or reader. “Narrative reasoning highlights connections between the actor and the range of people potentially affected by his or her actions” (Jones, and Walton, 346).

In Moore’s chapter was also intriguing. In the footnotes of this chapter she states, “The origin, of course, is not so neat as I’ve told it. I draw on a wide range of Black feminist and womanist authors in cobbling together the origins of Black feminism, but I want to be careful not to assert a Truthiness to the story that exceeds my own expertise or experience. (Moore, 269). Speaking on a history of black feminist, and clarifying that she isn’t as knowledgeable on the history makes the reading enjoyable, it brings a certain level of awareness to the situation that African-American women experience.

Week twelve reading

One connecting point I find in this week’s readings is the layers of diversity or inequality practices in a society. There is inequality of race, then inequality of gender, inequality of class, and the list seems to keeps going as layers of inequalities exist. First feminism comes as a reaction to practices of privileging males over females, and connected with race inequality practices where the White is privileged, a Black Feminism appears. Black Feminism then is based on two layers, first is gender and second is race. Feminist Disabilities Studies (FDS) also has two layers; gender and embodiment. It can go into three layers if race is added (why not?).

I now understand the multi-layers practices because the readings has shed light on them, but I never thought about the fact that if feminism is seeking equality with men, within feminism itself there should be equality of race. I, therefore, understand how important it is for technical communication teacher to make sure their classroom encompass activities that develop the students’ awareness of these practices. Students would understand that there might be practices that are socially unjust only if they are exposed to these practices. Using narratives as one way of enhancing students awareness of social justice is one applicable activity. I believe it is the reflecting part that might make it effective. Yet, I find it less effective than explicit instruction about social justice (and I still want to know what other classroom practices can help enhance students’ awareness of social justice). However, I think that a first hand experience would be more effective. That is, writing, for instance, would require the students to research, read, and reflect in their writing and have first hand experience with how language can be used to promote social justice.

Generally speaking, I find racism, sexism and others tricky concepts. A society member may be unaware of the fact that their practice or the language they use manifests racism or sexism or any form of inequity. The language people use and their practices are socially constructed and things that people would rarely question. Therefore, spreading the ethic of caring and the attempt to eliminate practices of exclusion can highlight these practices and promote social justice. Herein lies the importance of enhancing awareness of ethic caring in technical communication classrooms.

Hardy – Week 12 Reading Response

Marie Moeller tackles the intersection of technical communication and medical rhetoric with a Feminist Disability Studies (FDS) approach to advocacy work, which “calls attention to bodies that comprise the margins, to the disempowerment and disfranchisement of various populations of individuals often found outside of or bastardized by the cultural ‘norm’” (304). Technical communication itself, in her opinion, is inherently some form of advocacy because it moves people toward (or encourages them to participate in) action through language. The framework employed here is further used to examine nonprofit advocacy organizations and the ways in which they adopt “medical technical communication to forward normative cultural narratives about bodies” and marginalize those bodies on the periphery (307). In prior courses, particularly Dr. Frost’s course on Rhetoric, Technology, and Embodiment, I have been exposed to issues with medical rhetoric to some degree, including how reductive articulations of bodies manifest in medical technical communication related to technologies that penetrate the body, such as ultrasound and X-ray. Bodies, in other words, are often treated as the same — a one-size-fits-all approach — which limits our understanding of the nuanced, and sometimes extreme, differences between bodies and further complicates how those bodies are diagnosed and treated. Technical communication is complicit in shaping the way we perceive, critique, and exclude the body.

Moeller’s discussion of advocacy rhetorics particularly interested me. With regard to the  Susan G. Komen foundation, one can see how those in the nonprofit sector use the “racing for the cure” metaphor to further “manage bodies” in the public sphere by appealing to those who can financially contribute to their cause (317, 318). In the technical communication classroom, interrogating the ideological underpinnings of these advocacy organizations furthers students’ understanding of how metaphors socially and politically (re)construct bodies and the potential consequences of their use.

Jones and Walton suggest ways of using narrative as a tool of critical inquiry that can be used for approaching social justice in the technical communication classroom. They present four capacities of narrative (identification, reflexivity, historicity, and context) that can be studied in isolation or in relation to each other (340). Constructing collective identity, facilitating reflexive practices, interrogating “historical (mis)representations,” and understanding context through stories help shed light on dominant ideologies and who/what is being privileged in those narratives (350). As an instructor, I found the provided heuristic useful, but having students produce multi-vocal narratives and sharing and reflecting on those narratives seems like something I would be more pedagogically inclined to implement. My biggest critique of first-year writing, if I may digress for a moment, is that much of the writing done in and for the course is acontextual, forcing students to write in “mutt genres” that have no bearing outside an academic writing classroom (Wardle). Although I am a supporter of Writing About Writing (WAW), I feel that first-year composition students could benefit from writing about social justice issues and for authentic audiences who have the ability to enact change. Using narratives as an entry point to these conversations about privilege and inequity would supplement the kind of advocacy and awareness so desperately lacking in purpose-driven writing. Perhaps that is biggest critique: writing should also serve a purpose and not simply as a means of evaluation.

Ethics and Narrative?

Ethical Practices in Technical Communications

Jones and Walton discuss narrative as a tool for Social Justice research. “In this section, we extend previous research, connecting narrative as a mechanism for social change with narrative as an instructional tool to help students understand the impact of their writing on diversity and social justice” (338). They go on to elaborate on the four capacities of narrative: identification, historicity, context, and reflexivity. At the root of their argument is that storytelling is a valuable tool for both learning and connecting with the social issues around us. They also point out that ethics are understood within the social and cultural context of use. No communication is neutral; thus, the ethics around them becomes fluid based on intent.

The technical communicator as narrator has a great deal of power. They (we?) choose what information is presented, how it is framed for comprehension, and what persuasive element is addressed. Unlike rhetorical communications, technical communication has the power to change lives on a global scale. For example, take the Zika virus ravaging the Americas and Caribbean. On the CDC website, there are specific articles designed to educate travels on everything from what the Zika virus is to how to use insect repellent and avoid bug bites. That information is packaged in a way to be easily accessible and logically placed (travelers planning for overseas trips visit the CDC website for advisories daily) as well as easily used (the language is not complex or scientific). Now, take the Fukushima nuclear reactor meltdown after the tsunami devastated Japan and the resulting health crisis. That information can be found on the World Nuclear Association’s website. The historical data on the event is easily understood and manageable; however, the resulting health issues are not. No where in this does it say that the US Military required active duty members and their spouses to sign a waiver against legal action in the event future outbreaks of cancer, sterility, or any other medical condition not yet identified and associated with radiation exposure. It does not mention the dependents who were removed from the islands as a protective message. Scientific American took up the cause and wrote a brief article about the environmental impacts in January 2014; however, there isn’t a lot of depth to it.

As technical communicators championing Social Justice, shouldn’t this tory be told? Shouldn’t the information be packaged in a way that can benefit the public masses? What is the ethical obligation? We, after all, aren’t scientists. (I’ll call to point Dr. Sackey’s work)

I’ve, of course, ventured off topic. Narrative has power. We can ask ourselves why until the three-headed fishes wash up, but the bottom line is this: why aren’t communicators joining teams to help drive social justice initiatives or is the approach reactionary?

Understanding Through Narrative – Week 12 Response

I found this week’s readings to be difficult but (nonetheless) engaging. All three articles (Moore, Moeller, and Jones and Walton) seemed to pretty much focus on narrative, teaching pedagogy, theoretical framework, and how they should all be incorporated into acknowledging and advocating disenfranchised groups of people. In my very own troubles with grasping the social and cultural contexts that come along with recent studies within the field of technical and professional communication, I found Jones and Walton’s chapter explaining why narrative is a great choice to promote critical thinking about diversity and social justice to be enlightening. I thought back to our textbook, Solving Problems in Technical Communication, and though all of them did not speak on problems relating to diversity and social justice, I realized that the end of just about every chapter presented a heuristic and/or some kind of scenario that encouraged students to think about 1) the topic at hand and 2) how they could intervene if put into certain situations. After the article confirmed that “narrative has been examined and employed in technical communication research and pedagogy by a number of scholars” (338) I thought about its own effectiveness when applied to me. Most of the understanding that I’ve gained from this course comes directly from examples and/or narratives within the assigned text(s). Thinking back to Moore’s article and how she helped students ‘make knowledge’ within Black feminist framework used in her classroom(s) has also allowed me some insight as to how much our culture values the art of storytelling. It’s almost as if we have been conditioned to find/make meaning from narrative, no matter how it’s presented. Granted I found Moore’s chapter on Black Feminist Epistemology as a Framework Community-Based Teaching to be a bit confusing in a sense that I had difficulty connecting TPC to the community projects she spoke of, I like the explanation that Moore gives when it comes down to the mindset instructors should have when implementing Black feminist theory into classroom projects. By “resist[ing] the tendency to solely value effectiveness of documents, the clarity of ideas, and the efficiency of the project…students are encouraged to value the new knowledge they’ve gathered with citizens” (291). This, in itself, seems to agree with the theme of ‘going against the norm’ of technical and professional communication since one of the main goals of being a technical student is to learn how to make documents and other kinds of writing more user efficient. To take away from that focus (to me) seems to pull away from the very standardized definition that traditionally encompasses tech comm.

(Switching gears! Note: The following bit is reading based and highly opinionated.)

Now when it comes to Moeller’s approach to FDS (Feminist Disability Studies) and the examples provided in the text concerning breast cancer organization Susan G. Komen For The Cure, I must say that I was somewhat annoyed when reading this chapter. Although I wholeheartedly agree that “technical writers have an ethical obligation to consider the impacts we have on users, intended or not” (333), I felt that Moeller (in addition to the person who did the website and pamphlet writing for the Komen organization) did an excessive amount assuming and was (in all honesty) ‘stretching it.’ Before I end this post, I would like to turn attention to the end of page 329. Here Moeller assumes that the section on Komen’s pamphlet that speaks on disability and breast cancer is generalizing all disabilities into physical ones. I can see how the wording of the pamphlet makes women with disabilities out to be “irrational and logic-deficient” (330), but the point Moeller makes on disability generalization feels like a generalization all in itself. Am I the only one who feels this way?

Week 12 response

I loved reading Kristen Moore’s piece on Black Feminist Theory within the technical communication field and classroom. Not only did I admire her personable and self-reflective writing style, but I also appreciated the way in which she structured the article – given the depth and complexity of subject matter, the simplistic manner along with the moments of self-evaluation or awareness (for example, on page 269, she recognizes how her own racial/ethnic identity can perhaps limit her expertise and experience in the realm of Black Feminist Theory, but I think this kind of honesty and awareness further augments her work/argument in it’s credibility and usefulness) made it (relatively) easy and enjoyable to read.

Digger deeper, Moore really got me thinking not only about why and how Black Feminist Theory is imperative in the development and diversification of technical communication – notably both in and out of academia – but also, from a personal standpoint, perhaps about the ways in which I could/should/might/will use Black Feminist Theory in the the not so distant future for upcoming research projects. Holistically, I think this article is a great illustration of ways of thinking and doing in terms of stepping out of that dominating and at times suppressing institutional box, as these “systemic and ideological patterns…dominate the United States at large” (269). Irrefutably,  I believe this is the foregrounding purpose that Moore is trying to get at here; it is an ethical and moral calling at fellow technical communicators, teachers, scholars, and above all students in the field to recognize the importance of utilizing such a theory to in part “enact social justice” (266), create a diverse and innovative thinking, doing, and creating space of collaborative engagement (playing upon intersections between teacher –students, students – community/citizens, teacher – citizens, researcher – community, etc.,) and to dive into the “civic responsibility and potential of technical communication course” (276).

The idea of “intersectional oppression” (267) I think is a great way to coin together the different levels and complexities in the historical rooting of African American female oppression. I thought it was quite interesting to note how Moore mentions that feminism, for the most part, deals with white middles class women and in doing so further suppresses Black feminism; in essence, I think she is saying that for so many years gender >race in that feminist scholar and readership focused more on “gender-based oppression over other forms of oppression” (269). Even in this, we can see the extent to which such intersectional subjugation can intensify the level of suppression experienced by women of colour in the fields of writing, rhetorics, and communication. In this way, page 270 notes that students and scholars have “little exposure” to Women of Colour’s scholarship, practice, and theories. After reading that one sentence, I thought well, why? But in an instant moment of realization (and ‘duh’ moment too), based on what Moore explains throughout the article, I then was able to answer my own question rather quickly and confidently – simply because of the governing white ideology, policy, and praxis in intellectual, theoretical, and institutional spaces.

Overall on a pedagogical platform, Moore stresses the importance of integrating Black Feminist Theory into the technical communication classroom. Specifically, she calls to the concept of narrative along with an emphasis on the emotional investment (or similar to Miller in previous week – humanistic approach rather than technical?!) through community-based work and collaboration. That is to say that narrative, in essence, is perhaps the most “important ways of making knowledge” – through peoples own “stories…[and] lived experiences” (294) in life. By doing so, Moore argues that technical communicators (and its students) will “not only strengthen [their] abilities” but will also begin to build upon a collective and “interdisciplinary effort towards social justice and equity” (295). Similarly, Rebecca Walton in chapter 8 further instigates and encourage the lens of narrative in in the technical communication as it “provides a viable entry point for beginning dialogues about inequity and injustice from a critical-cultural perspective” (364). Through this certain level of human interaction and relatabilty, narratives, Walton points out, give way to the points of reference for “how we, as individuals and communities, experience all facets of life” (364) and as technical communicators, it is possible that, in effect, our job can be and should be a way to shed light on how communication can both empower and disempower and I think that’s the bottom line – we are humans; we talk to one another, either verbally or non-verbally, every single day; for the most part, we like to engage and share stories and talk about the highs and lows of life, to feel apart of some type of community (be that family, group of friends, sports team, Engl 7780 class, with colleagues at work, etc.,) and more often than not, we enjoy listening to stories (well, I do anyway!) because we’re humans and it makes life a wee bit less stressful/difficult/hard. My point is I think taking the fundamentality of the theoretical framework grounded in Black Feminist approach with an encompassing focus on the narrative into technical communication, both in and outside the institutional context, can provide a very special and complex lens into how and why some things are being communicated out there in the world in a certain way to ultimately shut certain people out – if we simply ask and listen to what and how people have lived through life thus far and then place this information into how we approach a particular job/project/text, the results could facilitate and thus enact social justice and equity in certain communities. Perhaps we need to more aware of the proactive power of narrative in mean making and informing knowledge onto one another.

To end, here is a short but pretty cool blog post on the intersectionalities of technical wriitng and narratives. Interestingly, it’s written by novelist Dell Smith, who works as a manager of a small team of technical writers at a Boston software company. Think it’s kind of cool to see his take on on it all given his professional experience and positionailty.

http://smithdell.blogspot.com/2009/10/technical-writing-vs-narrative-fiction.html

 

ECU’s Human Library as a Narrative Method for Creating Space for BFT & FDS Narratives

While reading, I started thinking about how ECU’s Human Library reflects and could be enhanced by many of the ideas from these chapters. The connections to Jones and Walton’s chapter seem obvious.  As the Human Library event website explains, this is a space for storytelling: “It is meant to a open up a dialog about stereotypes on campus, showing that we are all humans with a special story”. It is open to all as you don’t have to be an ECU student or staff member to participate, which could be a possible answer to Moeller’s push for tech comm’s attention to public rhetorics (p. 309). The Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 4.07.52 PM.png(de)constructive, social justice aspects of the event align well with Moore and Moeller’s texts as the library is meant “to basically ‘label’ that person and then have the person break down that stereotype during their conversations with people”. These authors emphasis on bodies also reflects one the more important (and obvious) aspects of the event: the presence of actual bodies

One contribution TPC could offer to an event like this is encouraging participants’ everyday experiences as rich in narrative possibilities. The site includes examples like experiences when one was othered, like with health-related issues, family matters, religion, globl understanding, or being a part of a minority group (email from Kathryn Webb). Including an option of one’s workplace as setting for stories and the textual artifacts found within them could also be possible starting places life stories. As Jones and Walton indicate, written documents and records “undergo a process of legitimization… that is inextricably connected to” historicity (p. 351). In this context, the event reflects how Moeller’s FDS is a way to “augment the terms and confront the limits of the ways we understand human diversity, materiality of the body, multiculturalism and the social formations that interpret bodily differences” (from Garland-Thomas 2004 p. 75 in Moeller on p. 307) and opening possibilities of new epistemological horizons (p. 265).

The Human Library already reflects some of Moore’s tenets of BFT and can offer new or different ways to (re)think about the event. This event values lived experience as a criterion of meaning making in its focus on storytelling. The human books are not asked to site their sources, only to speak from their experiences. Additionally, the use of dialogue in assessing knowledge claims (275) reflects the Human Library’s values as the website directly states, “This event is meant to open up a dialog about stereotypes on campus, showing that we are all humans with a special story”. Event coordinators and participants could also use BFT as a new framework for understanding traditional problems and reseeing conventional relationships (p. 282). Also, this theory’s ethics of caring and personal accountability could be used as strategies for including a broader range of voices, including those of black females, and new kinds of stories.

A useful way to frame the event for students who come to “read” the human book could come from one of “technical communication’s primary concerns” as articulate by Moeller: helping students negotiate the varying rhetorical waters in and outside of the university (p.311). Such approaches could encourage students to go into the “library” with rhetorical questions and/or reflect on the interactions they participate in through a rhetorical lens.

Overall, the Human Library could be a space to encourage reflexivity for ethical merit of actions (p. 343) and consider issues like how knowledge is created and legitimized from a cultural-historic perspective (p. 350-351). I am continuing the think about how Jones and Walton’s heuristic could be used to develop a heuristic for “human books” to develop their narratives. To do so, I am also considering how it could be applied to on my own story (below).  I would also encourage everyone in class to identify their story and sign up to be a human book.

[I had a lot of ideas that I wanted to fit in this post. I had to end somewhere, so I hope this makes sense. 🙂 ]

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 4.09.03 PM