“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 …

Empirical research into legal comm’n & professional status of LRW faculty

I was delighted to finagle an invitation to speak on a panel at the Legal Writing Institute in Portland on July 12, during the meeting of the LWI Professional Status Committee. The committee met in a plenary session with a larger audience and conducted its business, and then we panelists were asked to comment in short form (two minutes each) on an angle or issue relating to the professional status of legal research and writing faculty. (For readers outside the legal academy, teachers of communication in that field face status challenges similar to those faced by teachers of writing in the broader academy Read More …

Qualitative empirical research in legal communication (LWI 2016)

This post will ultimately include the presentation slides, handout, and annotated bibliography for my presentation/workshop at the Legal Writing Institute in Portland OR on July 13, 2016. (Until the session is over, only the bibliography will appear here.) Presentation slides (with notes) This PDF includes my slides and my (sometimes extensive) notes on them. Try to ignore the little cues on them reminding me how to do the slide animations and when to move to the [NEXT] slide. Presentation handouts This PDF includes all the handouts from the session. Draft annotated bibliography I meant this bibliography to be more complete and Read More …

Reflections on the Western Front (Part 2)–by the numbers

In Europe this month, there are numerous commemorations of the 1916 Battle of the Somme. Meanwhile, I’m distressed that so little attention has been paid in the U.S. to the centennial of World War I. The importance of that war in setting the stage for the 20th Century is hard to overestimate–the rise of Hitler’s Germany, the reluctance of the other powers to check him, etc. (Of course, events like the Congress of Vienna 100 years earlier can be seen as setting the stage for WW I. Such is history.) But for Americans, reflecting on WWI seems to be of Read More …