by Beth Baldwin
Some more tidbits to whet your appetite:
Interested yet? If so, read on!
Beth Baldwin's dissertation combines conversations
with her "inter-course" collaborator Bob King and textual evidence
from their class's electronic conversations. Between the conversational
chapters lie the chapters of interpretation, as she suggests it should
be - conversation being the primary material of knowledge-making.
Therefore, the conversations both frame the dissertation and reoccur at
crucial points, nicely combining form and content. Beth argues that a
conversation-based pedagogy should replace the academic essay as
the central concern of composition classes. Her students'
conversations are written, computer mediated, and are considered to be
an "authentic," "genuine," and "natural" form of communication which
she contrasts to the "monologic" essay. Yet other voices in composition
conversation have for a decade or more taken issue with the same
adjectives in analyzing expressivist
philosophies and in offering insight into orality
and speech genres. We suggest that these voices are too important to
leave out of the mix. We also suggest that
conversation needs a concise definition.
Conversations has been published on the world wide web in
hyptertext format. Heeding Eric Crump's call, we offer ideas for the use
of hypertext style to help with the
presentation of documents on line. We find ourselves in strong agreement
with Beth's assertion of the great power of conversation to make meaning.
We've tried to stay conversational in both the
form of our review and in our creative process,
following Beth's lead. We want our review to show a formal embodiment of
our ideas - lots of linking back and forth between us, melding
conversations, some of the section jointly done perhaps, with linking
back to the document and to other documents.
You can tell who we are easily if your browser
supports colors and images, especially if you are using Netscape 2 or above (highly recommended):
Something Morgan says is purple and is aligned left. There's also the nifty image of Morgan's name.
Something Mike says is green and is aligned right. And he's got a nifty image of his name too.