Volume 3, Issue 2 Fall 1998
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ISSN 1521-2300
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It's not true that putting a finish on something is all about meticulous attention to detail. That detail work is misleading because it relies on so much cutting and clutter that goes unseen. To polish a car or varnish a dresser, for example, you start by making a mess; you slather compounds over paint, scrape and rub and spray chemicals until, slowly, the object becomes recognizable and ready to shine.

This electronic text takes as its subject those underlying activities, the sanding and scraping that go into the creation of a large scale Web project. Specifically, it looks at the development of a literary hypertext devoted to women writers, the Women of the Romantic Period hypertext (WORP).

But, while the text treats the literary issues encountered and enacted in the design of the WORP project, its real focus is Web creation. Creating the WORP project involved brainstorming, false starts, prototypes and revisions. Along the way realizations about the subject and insights into issues relating to hypertext were as common as improved versions of the project.

The subject of this electronic text, then, is just a lens for exploring literature, cognition and design as they relate to Web building in general. The larger point to be made is embarrasingly obvious: the finished texts that we find online display only part of the real work that is Web composition. Finally, this Kairos text enacts that same message and represents an extension of the drafting that has gone into and is the WORP project; hopefully it speaks to not only the polished surfaces, but also the work that lies beneath and comes before.


Daniel Anderson


Structuring Destructions: (the) Will to Order the Computer Classroom

Using computer classroom structure as a conceptual starting place (topos), this project seeks to meditate on the binary order/chaos as an analogue for other predominant binaries, product/process, literature/composition, rhetorics/poetics, modern/postmodern. The project attempts to make explicit in its own structure the interrelationship of order and chaos, to the point where this binary no longer seems like a feasible way of ordering the world. By doing so, the project is also a meditation on textuality, primarily the relationship between oral/written, formal essay/hypertext, narrative/argument, argument/exposition. The reader is left to "hir" own judgment about the nature of the project and what possible conclusions can be drawn from it.


Byron Hawk


Models of Distance Education for Composition: The Role of Video Conferencing

Written conversations have become standard fare in English courses that use collaborative writing software; thus, the move to a combination of conferencing software and chat rooms or MOOs has been a relatively painless one for computers and composition specialists.

In this webtext, Rodrigues argues that we need a variety of models for teaching Distance Ed English courses; in particular, we need to consider such factors as the ways interactive video might complement text-based conversations and how text-based conversations might complement primarily interactive video/audio courses. Different contexts demand different combinations of technology and pedagogy.


Dawn Rodrigues


Not a Cosmic Convergence: Rhetoric, Poetics, Performance, and the Web

Originally a performance combining elements of reader's theatre with theoretical critique, this work both advocates and enacts a revisioning of written academic genres. Arguing that postmodern argument can involve linear exposition alongside verbal collage and that it can benefit from visual modes of thinking, the piece embeds works of art from the cubist period and later. In performance, these visuals were projected on a large screen behind the readers, as well as on computer screens around the room. Now rendered for webtext format, the work varies fonts, colors and margins to approximate the interplay of voices and visuals in the original live work. Links are provided to explanatory notes and other helpful apparatus.


Myka Vielstimmig


Monitoring Order: Visual Desire, the Organization of Web Pages, and Teaching the Rules of Design

Monitoring Order looks at two potential sources -- writings about book design and writings about visual arrangement in painting -- for helping teachers of writing think about teaching visual composition for Web pages; both sources are problematic but suggest directions for further study.


Anne Frances Wysocki