In This Issue
Cheryl E. Ball, Editor
Readers will already have noticed our biggest announcement for this issue: the redesign! Years in the brainstorming phase, the redesign team of three staffers—Kathie Gossett, Karl Stolley, and Doug Eyman—made it all happen over the last year. They report on design features, including value-added components that have readers in mind, in a separate note in this issue. We thank and congratulate them for a difficult undertaking that was accomplished with little resources and next-to-no time. Wonderful job, folks!
One of my favorite features of the new design is the thumbnail graphics of each webtext on the front page. These thumbnails showcase the smart, sexy scholarship Kairos has always been known for, which visually foregrounds our mission to bridge (and transcend) the linear/alphabetic and hypertextual/multimodal spectrum of scholarship. In the Topoi section for this issue, we present a webtext that creates such a bridge in its argument for audio-visual-textual conferencing in writing center work. In “Expanding the Space of f2f: Writing Centers and Audio-Visual-Textual Conferencing,” authors Melanie Yergeau, Kathryn Wozniak, and Peter Vandenberg discuss the relationships between online tutoring (usually, as the literature suggests, in the form of email correspondence) and multimodal tutoring or coaching where writing center consultants interact with student-authors using webcams, audio, and other multimedia affordances. The benefit of AVT conference, the authors argue, is that it enhances the online tutoring experience by allowing for better exchange of social cues than text-only email conferencing would allow. The social cues available in AVT conferencing, then, simulate f2f sessions that, the authors suggest, “foster interpersonal collaboration and dialogue” which are “the essence of the writing center method” (North, 1984; qtd in the webtext).
In addition to the new design, this issue also inaugurates two new sections: Inventio and Disputatio. Kairos has been preparing for the publication of its first webtext in the Inventio section since we announced it in the anniversary issue two years ago. Last fall, section co-editors Madeleine Sorapure and Karl Stolley provided an overview of Inventio, and this year we are pleased to offer Patricia Webb Boyd’s Pulling the Difference: Re-envisioning Journals' Negotiations of New Media Scholarship, in which she revisits her 2002 article in The Writing Instructor, “Writing and Publishing in the Boundaries: Academic Writing in/through The Virtual Age.” Webb has updated her study in which she compared articles from Computers and Composition to webtexts in Kairos and we are proud to have this new study published in a new form here in Kairos. It’s a great start for Inventio.
Disputatio: A Readers' Forum is more recent in the making than Inventio, having been conceived after the overwhelming response to the Manifesto issue this past May. As well, we recognized the need for more reader input to the journal—not just in the form of written comments, which we knew the redesign would eventually accommodate, but also in the form of short multimedia pieces. In this issue, we offer three texts, all of which were composed as final projects for the Digital Media and Composition (DMAC) summer institute at The Ohio State University. We mention their originations because all the authors reference the institute in some way, including mention of the “Try Harder” graffiti that lined the stairwell in Denney Hall: a motto that every participant took to heart. Although our intention isn’t to privilege DMAC participants (disclosure: Cheryl attended the institute and solicited these final projects for the as-yet-unsubmitted-to section), we do believe that DMAC participants represent potential readers-turned-first-time-Kairos-authors that we hope this section will encourage.
The authors in this issue—Shannon Mondor and Angela Rounsaville, Ryan Omizo, and Douglas Walls—range in new-media composition experience from being first-timers to having composed pieces for graduate classes. The genres they tackle include a mediated response to an already published webtext, a manifesto on digital media composition and cultural representation, and a theoretical digital-media conception (e.g., What would happen if you took Johndan Johnson-Eilola’s datacloud and remixed its concepts using digital media?). These are just some of the genres, media, and textual conceptions we hope that authors will submit to Disputatio. (FYI: Graduate class response assignments might make great Disputatio submissions!) All ideas welcome. The editors do review these texts internally and will offer feedback, as needed. Disputatio submissions are welcome at any time; however, we suggest submitting no later than October 15 for consideration in the January issue and May 15 for the August issue. Queries and submissions can be sent to the Editors at email@example.com.
Also in this issue, we feature webtexts in Praxis, Reviews, and Interviews, along with on-going posts in KairosNews and the annual Conference on College Composition and Communication(CCCC) session reviews, which were compiled and edited by Christopher Dean, with editorial help from Doug Eyman.