Hardy – Week 14 Reading Response

I never thought that I would see hip hop pedagogy discussed within the context of technical communication, but Del Hierro offers solid reasoning for why hip hop offers technical communicators new insights “beyond the the traditional base of the field” (246). The rhetorical and cultural implications of hip hop as a technologically mediated genre is particularly interesting in that it serves to demonstrate how artists “make do” with what is available to them to express themselves and “create resistance and agency” (247). It also serves as its own means of social justice, especially for marginalized groups and youth culture. As a critical and pedagogical tool, hip hop offers teachers and students a new way into discussions about inclusivity and to build communities and alliances in a potentially radical transformative way, mostly because it acknowledges how traditional education “fails marginalized communities” (258). The digital booklet assignment proposed by Del Hierro is an interesting new take on a typical song analysis, which can be beneficial for students preparing to engage in a variety of disciplines, and I see this assignment as a valuable learning opportunity that fits neatly within the learning outcomes of FYC at ECU.

Edwards extends these ideas to race in the workplace by focusing more on language itself and its potentially injurious nature. She offers up Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a way of engaging with notions of race within the classroom and the field of professional writing by “interrupt[ing] the silences that exist with discussing, acknowledging, and dealing with the connections between race, racism, and power” (380-81). Using CRT as a lens in the classroom is valuable for discussions about language because “language use is never objective” and it can be used to critique and resist systems of oppression (385). Furthermore, emphasizing the kairotic nature of using such a lens can better serve teachers of professional writing to “disrupt trained ways of looking at race” in their course design and the documents used in the class (387), which I think is perhaps the most significant benefit of using CRT. As teachers of rhetoric, composition, and/or technical communication, we should constantly be seeking out alternative ways of breaking down an already broken education system and construct a space for students to participate in real life situations beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

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