Introducing the Classical Rhetoric & Contemporary Law group

[It’s been a while since I posted: I’ve been wrapped up in wrapping up things as I prepare to leave Georgia Tech and head to Texas A&M’s School of Law in the fall. But here’s one new project about which I’m very excited.] In January 2017 I invited colleagues in the legal academy, particularly those active as teachers of legal writing and legal theory, to join me in an exploration of classical rhetorical texts and their intersections with contemporary law. I issued the invitation over the Legal Writing Institute’s mailing list and via direct emails to a few specific colleagues. Read More …

Research ethics: Gender as a variable in NLP

I’ve previously posted on the talk I’m giving today (April 4) at EACL in Valencia. This post provides the slides with the accompanying notes. (If you are reading this before US Eastern bedtime on April 4, it may not be the final version, as I’m editing the slides while watching the earlier presentations during the day.) Here, again, for your reading pleasure, is the abstract of the paper I submitted at EACL, but note that the last couple slides go far afield of the specific paper… Researchers in natural-language processing (NLP) and related fields should at- tend to ethical principles Read More …

Gender as a variable in writing studies–presentations and paper accepted

As I noted back in November, I’m presenting “Gender as a variable in writing studies: Ethics and methodology” at the Writing Research Across Borders IV conference in Bogotá, Columbia, on Thursday, February 16. While preparing for WRAB, I wrote an article that has been accepted to appear in the peer-reviewed conference proceedings of the First Workshop on Ethics in Natural Language Processing in conjunction with the 2017 conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics (EACL 2017), in Valencia, Spain. I’m traveling there to give that paper in early April. The article, titled “Gender as a variable Read More …

“Gender as a variable in writing studies: Ethics and methodology” at WRAB in Bogotá

Organizers of the Writing Research Across Borders (WRAB) IV conference in Bogotá Colombia in February 2017 accepted my proposal to present a paper. I’ve paid my registration and booked my travel. I intend to have a near-final draft of a journal article ready for the conference; I hope to make a few final edits if I get good feedback there and ship it off the week after I return. I’m also looking forward to a couple days of kicking around with my spouse in Bogotá, which looks like an amazing city. Here is the abstract for my paper: Gender as Read More …

Use What You Choose, article posted on ACM

ACM has published the Proceedings of the 34th ACM International Conference on the Design of Communication (September 2016 SIGDOC ’16), including our article, “Use What You Choose: Applying Computational Methods to Genre Studies in Technical Communication.” My co-authors are William Hart-Davidson, Kenneth C. Walker, Douglas M. Walls, and  Ryan Omizo. Our article is available for free download here: Use What You Choose: Applying Computational Methods to Genre Studies in Technical Communication Brian Larson, William Hart-Davidson, Kenneth C. Walker, Douglas M. Walls, Ryan Omizo SIGDOC ’16 Proceedings of the 34th ACM International Conference on the Design of Communication, 2016 http://dl.acm.org/authorizestats?N27786

#CCCC2017 panel will discuss undergraduate legal writing courses

Updated Nov. 7, with details about Legal Writing and Rhetoric SIG. I’m pleased to be chairing a panel at the 2017 Conference on College Composition and Communication focusing on undergraduate legal writing courses. It takes place Friday, March 17, 03:30 pm – 04:45 pm at Oregon Convention Center E142. There are five talented speakers, identified below. I enjoyed helping with the panel proposal, which Lindsay Head spearheaded, and I’m looking forward to working with them to help draw connections among their presentations. Lindsay also led the effort to apply for a special interest group for this CCCC; the application was Read More …

Does it matter to the legal profession and pedagogy that men and women didn’t write differently?

I gave a talk this week at a law school regarding my article in Written Communication from October 2016, “Gender/Genre: The lack of gendered register in texts requiring genre knowledge.” The article reports the results of an empirical study, but it does so with reference to theories from corpus linguistics and relevance-theoretic pragmatics, not the sort of thing that most law faculty are interested in. Instead, I wanted to emphasize for them the implications of my study in the legal profession and pedagogy and to situate it within a conversation about gender differences more broadly. The article is one voice in a Read More …

Hahn: The Stactive Style

I enjoyed getting to know Dr. Ed Hahn during our time in Minnesota’s PhD program in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication. He always struck me as a very smart and thoughtful guy. In the most recent issue of Rhetoric Society Quarterly, he demonstrated that amply with this essay: Hahn, E. (2016). The Stactive Style: Whiteness and the Rhetoric of History. Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 46(4), 331–350. https://doi.org/10.1080/02773945.2016.1190461 In it, Hahn identifies a stylistic symptom of a challenge that justice-oriented scholars with commitments in postmodern philosophy must face. On the one hand, they need to document historical instances of injustice, for example by Read More …

My Written Communication article has dropped…

My article in Written Communication is now available online. (The print version comes out next month.) You can read it on the journal’s website only if you have a subscription to the journal. You can read the version I submitted here (not formatted as it appears in the journal, but same content other than a few typo corrections): Gender/Genre: The lack of gendered register in texts requiring genre knowledge You can also contact me directly for a copy of the PDF from the journal (with the official page numbers). Here’s the abstract: Some studies have found characteristics of written texts Read More …

Use what you choose presentation at SIGDOC ’16

I’m presenting the paper below at SIGDOC ’16 in Silver Spring, Maryland today. The paper is the outgrowth of an RSA workshop that Bill Hart-Davidson and Ryan Omizo led in Madison, WI, in 2015. Here’s the abstract: This paper reports on the results of an intensive application development workshop held in the summer of 2015 during which a group of thirteen researchers came together to explore the use of machine-learning algorithms in technical communication. To do this we analyzed Amazon.com consumer electronic product customer reviews to reevaluate a central concept in North American Genre Theory: stable genre structures arise from Read More …