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Kevin Roozen

Math, the "Poetry Slam," and mathemagicians: Tracing trajectories of practice and person

This case study illuminates how CHAT moves invention beyond a single autonomous rhetorical situation by resituating it along a trajectory linking multiple contexts. It also foregrounds the profoundly laminated nature of identity—the way selves are forged in the interplay of multiple communities of practice. 

Abstract: Drawing from a longitudinal study of the non-school and school writing done by Brian, a former math education major at the University of Illinois, “Math, the 'Poetry Slam,' and Mathemagicians: Tracing Trajectories of Practice and Person" explores the interplay among and across three of Brian's literate engagements: as a student in upper-division mathematics courses, a member of a sketch comedy troupe, and a gaming enthusiast developing content for a role-playing game. Woven from still images, video clips, and interview excerpts, these vignettes of Brian doing advanced mathematics, creating and performing sketch comedy, and constructing a role-playing game illustrate the profoundly laminated nature of literate activity and the remediation of practices and identities across multiple contexts. Understanding the development of actors and artifacts across settings, this webtext argues, demands a theoretical framework more finely attuned to the chains of remediation that link rhetorical engagements as well as the full range of practices and identities that persons bring to bear on their activities.

Kevin Roozen is an Assistant Professor of English at Auburn University. His interests in cultural-historical activity theory and methodologies, literacy studies, and longitudinal portraits of literate development inform his inquiries into how persons weave literate lives from multiple and diverse experiences with writing and reading. His work has appeared in Text and Talk: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Language, Discourse, and Communication Studies.