The New Work of Composing


With changing technologies and heightening expectations for publication for tenure and promotion, scholars, particularly those who do work in non-traditional (i.e., non-print) forms, are understandably concerned about the ways in which scholarly production is (or is not) recognized and measured. In this digital chapter, we seek to address this issue by rhetorically analyzing texts from different digital venues to show the kinds of scholarly activities that occur across a spectrum of digital spaces. Based on this analysis, we argue that our discipline needs to pay more attention to scholarly activity rather than certain scholarly forms to fully recognize the new work of composing. To share our analysis, we are employing some of the very digital technologies that afford unique possibilities for scholarly activity. Key among them is Prezi, a zooming presentation application. Our goal is not to promote use of Prezi itself (by the time this chapter is published, Prezi may no longer be cutting edge or new), but to illustrate scholarly activity happening in unfamiliar ways. Frequently, part of the argument for digital scholarship is based in delivery: it is more efficient and timely (e.g., Levine, 2007, p.103). While often true, we think digital scholarship has value beyond that: digital scholarship allows for new kinds of scholarly activity, and we are trying that out here. To read much of our chapter, therefore, readers are asked to engage with Prezis. If you are new to this form, the Prezi website provides instructions. The presentations in this webtext are public, so you can view them on the Prezi website by clicking the hyperlink below each one.
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