Logging On

Cheryl Ball, Editor


In 15.2, Kairos offers a special theme for the Topoi and Praxis sections: Memory, Family, Composition. This issue didn't start out as a themed issue, but once again (as with the January 2010 issue) we received several unsolicited submissions that all dealt with a similar topic—how we use digital media technologies to connect with or memorialize family or “the personal.” This was certainly a kairotic moment, and we ran with it.

In Topoi, we offer three webtexts on this theme. Erin Anderson's “The Olive Project: An Oral History Project in Multiple Modes” is devoted to the memory of Anderson's grandmother, Olive. As Anderson describes it, the webtext tells the story of her grandmother's life while not being a story at all. It is a family-built collection of Olive's oral histories, presented as the process of putting the pieces together both by the author and by readers' “ongoing process of composing memory.”

Techno-velcro to Techno-memoria: Technology, Rhetoric, and Family in the Composition Classroom,” by Patricia Freitag Ericsson & Paul Muhlhauser, continues to explore the theme of family and memory and technology. In this webtext, the authors—along with 10 contributors—tell personal stories about the ways digital technologies have impacted the way they interact with family. These stories are offered as a site of composition, for readers to enjoy but also reflect on in relation to theories of embodiment, human-computer interaction, and literacy practices. Ericsson and Muhlhauser conclude by suggesting that the first site of compositional practice for students is the family, and that teachers would do well to remember that those literacy practices should be accounted for in our digital literacy teaching.

Marc Santos takes the familial and technological to, as the Kairos board said, a “haunting” and “powerful” place in “How the Internet Saved My Daughter and How Social Media Saved My Family.” This webtext describes how the Santos family discovered that their baby daughter had eye cancer in 2008, and how they learned about diagnoses, treatments, and recoveries from social networking sites. The purpose of this webtext, however, extends far beyond the personally cathartic, Santos writes. He connects this set of memories to our pedagogical approaches in the early 21st century, with less aim of "constructing knowledge" and more with hopes of “negotiating encounters.”

In Praxis, Lynda Rutledge Stephenson reflects on her process of learning HTML code for the first time to create an electronic literature project while also providing a scholarly FAQ and resource links about electronic literature. These three sections--Road Map (process), Road Way (FAQ), and Road Reverie (e-lit project)--cross the boundaries between Topoi, Praxis, and Inventio, all while Stephenson uses her webtext, “Road Trip: A Writer's Exploration of Cyberspace as Literary Space,” as an example of what creative and other writers can do with and benefit from learning some basic code.

In PraxisWiki, under the astute new leadership of Section Editor Dundee Lackey and Assistant Editors Jill Morris and Allison Carr, we offer two wiki texts. Beth Powell, Kara Poe Alexander, and Sonya Borton's “Interaction of Author, Audience, and Purpose in Multimodal Texts: Students' Discovery of Their Role as Composer,” and Jennifer Swartz's “MySpace, Facebook, and Multimodal Literacy in the Writing Classroom.” We're excited by some of the changes in store for PraxisWiki, including the ability to add more multimedia to the texts and more wikified interaction with author-editors — all projects that our new PraxisWiki team is spearheading.

In Interviews, we are happy to offer you Matthew K. Gold's interview of Bob Stein, Founder and Director of The Institute for the Future of the Book. The interview, “Becoming Book-Like: Bob Stein and the Future of the Book,” is Kairos's first Wordpress-installed publication (with the hopes of more). Because we are running this installation on our own server, authors can customize templates and CSS so that even the standard designs can become unique to each author's argument.

In Reviews, Nick Carbone is our featured Micro-Reviewer this issue, writing about “Bibliography Builders: On the Web and Ready to Use.” In addition, we have four book reviews:

Staff News

In addition to the addition of the PraxisWiki staff (Dundee Lackey, Allison Carr, Jill Morris — see above), we are also pleased to announce that joining Christina Olsen as Communications Editor is Topoi Assistant Editor emeritus, Monica Jacobe. Both Christina and Monica have years of public relations experience in addition to their academic work, so we're excited about their communication plans for the journal's future!

Submit to Kairos

Kairos would like to invite all readers to consider becoming authors. We take submissions for Topoi, Praxis, PraxisWiki, and Disputatio on a rolling basis. If you would like to publish a reflection- or process-based piece in our once-a-year Inventio section, we'd be happy to hear from you as well. And, as always, we are always in need of reviews for books, websites, software, and other technologies, as well as interviews of famous or should-be-famous people of interest to Kairos readers. For more information about querying and submitting to any of these sections, please contact the section editors listed on the Submissions page.