Logging On - KairosCast

Cheryl Ball, Editor

Introducing KairosCast and ScholarNames

We are pleased to announce the addition of two new sections to Kairos—KairosCast and ScholarNames—both intended as useful sections for readers and authors and, we hope, sections that many of you will consider participating in! Both Kcast (as we shorthandedly call it) and ScholarNames will provide information through various media forms to readers in a more timely manner than regular issues of the journal allow. Also moving to this kairotic publication cycle is PraxisWiki. We outline a few of the key features of these moves and changes below.


We are excited to launch Kairos's reader-outreach initiative, KairosCast! This new section will issue broadcasts several times each month to provide readers a chance to engage with Kairos on a more frequent basis. As a section heavy with podcasts, we look forward to accompanying you on your commute or morning run or wherever it is you access podcasts. In addition to audio podcasts, KairosCast will publish audio and video segments featuring tech tutorials, webtext-authoring tips, and design chats with current and past authors—all towards engaging the Kairos mission at the intersections of rhetoric, technology, and pedagogy. We want this section to be pedagogically useful as well as theoretically interesting. We imagine you might use some of these texts in your classes, or have your students contribute their texts to Kcast. We are eager to hear from anyone who might want to get involved here at the beginning of this adventure. Read more about KairosCast at kairos.technorhetoric.net/kairoscast and be sure to subscribe to the stream in your podcast app.

In our first podcast, KairosCast editors Courtney Danforth and Harley Ferris introduce the initiative and the segments they've planned so far; they talk to Cheryl and Doug about the genesis and intentions of KairosCast; and they introduce two affiliated podcast programs we will be hosting and broadcasting regularly: PeoplePlaceThings from Casey Boyle and Nathaniel Rivers and Plugs, Play, Pedagogy from Kyle Stedman. Look for their full shows on our show page and on the podcast stream. Please contact the KairosCast Editors Courtney and Harley at kcast@technorhetoric.net with queries and submissions.


Whenever the Kairos staff has a virtual meeting--something we've been doing a lot more of in the last year--we do what all editors do: start in on our editing pet peeves. We are editors because we love seeing things "correct" in their context, and grammar and misspellings are an easy target in this venue. These pet peeves turn into an internal style guide that Kairos uses to copy- and design-edit accepted submissions. Misspelled names of scholars in our field is one of my particular pet peeves, and so the staff made a big long list of commonly misspelled names so we could be sure to correct them.

Then, a few months ago, a young scholar asked me backchannel on Facebook how to pronounce a certain person's name in our field: Johndan Johnson-Eilola. Having been a student at Michigan Tech, following in Johndan's apocyphal footsteps there, I knew exactly how to pronounce it. And, it was nearly impossible, without using a phonetic alphabet, to describe to someone in writing how to pronounce Johndan's name. But I tried. And then I offered up other commonly mispronounced names: Gail Hawisher, Kristin Arola, Steven Krause, etc., etc. There are a lot of names a lot more complicated than Ball in our field, that's for sure! And that's when I realized that a style sheet of misspellings only goes so far. It's a guide to pronunciations that would be of better use to the field.

So we've started ScholarNames and made it a wiki so that anyone can add their name to it, or pose names that you'd like us to add. There are a number of initiatives to create field-specific wikis, but this wiki is not intended to supply comprehensive details about scholars — just the spelling and pronunciation of names. We've also enlisted some help to have the names spelled phonetically. Feel free to email scholarNames@technorhetoric.net if you have suggestions for additions to this list.

PraxisWiki Updates

With the start of KairosCast, and its bi-weekly-ish publication schedule, we knew it was time to also move the redesigned PraxisWiki back to its original plan of publishing on a rolling basis. With several new pWiki co-editors joining the staff in the coming weeks, we will be better prepared to handle more content faster, which we hope will better serve our readers and encourage more submissions for these short teaching tips and assignments.

To accommodate what we hope will be an influx of submissions, we will be instituting an advisory board to serve as peer-to-peer reviewers for the pWiki content. Thus, this section will now count as being peer-reviewed! The advisory board will be made up of past, current, and potentially future authors--if you have an interest in serving in this capacity, please let the editors know by sending us an email stating your qualifications for reviewing teaching narratives and pedagogical materials and for working in a wiki environment.

Comings & Goings

With great change also comes loss. We've devoted an entire section of the Logging On column to Kairos Founding Editor Mick Doherty, who passed away too young last October. We also have several staff who are stepping down or changing positions, as mentioned below.

Over the summer, as some of the above section changes came into focus, we realized we needed to say goodbye to an old friend, KairosNews, and along with that meant saying goodbye to Charlie Lowe, who served as KairosNews editor since Day One of that sister-site. As the first community weblog in the field of rhetoric and composition, KairosNews began publishing in March 2002, at the height of blogging. It served as an important community touchstone and resource for digital writing scholars for almost a decade, which is an admirable length of time in this age of social media and next-best-things. But we knew the site had gone fallow in the last few years, as Charlie had rightly taken up other necessary projects for the field, such as the Writing Spaces open-access textbook series, an endeavor we greatly admire. We are working on a kind-of replacement for the role KairosNews filled for the Kairos community, but we're not quite ready to announce that yet. Stay tuned in the January issue (or sooner) for an announcement about that.

We bid a fond farewell to another Kairos stalwart, Monica Jacobe, who began her service in 2006 as an assistant editor for the Topoi section. She was an amazing copy-editor and provided excellent feedback and style comments to authors' in-progress work. As another of the many staff members who have creative writing and rhetoric backgrounds, Monica's facility with understanding the experimental and oftentimes poetic nature of webtexts was matched only by her jouissance at helping authors with a scholarly turn-of-phrase. It was her exhuberance for the journal that made her an excellent match for the Communications Editor position, when we needed someone to step in. In that role, Monica worked effortlessly to promote and publicize the journal, bringing it into the 21st century with its own Twitter and Facebook account. As well, she carried on the thankless tradition of managing the annual Kairos awards process: distributing announcements, soliciting judges, compiling reports, and writing the blurbs that Doug and I read every year at Computers and Writing. We cannot thank Monica enough for all of her work and wish her well in her new job directing The Institute for English as a Second Language & American Studies at The College of New Jersey.

We also say goodbye to PraxisWiki Editor Dundee Lackey, who is stepping down to focus on tenure at her still-feels-new job at Texas Woman's University. Like many of our staff members, Dundee teaches a heavy course load, and we've been ever grateful for all the time and effort she has put into shaping the PraxisWiki section as inaugural editor since it split from Praxis in 2010. In that short time, Dundee doubled the publications in that section and spearheaded incorporating the Digital Pedagogy Poster Sessions, which Dickie Selfe has hosted at CCCC the last few years, into PraxisWiki entries. It was at Dundee's suggestion that we are returning PraxisWiki to a more wiki-like, more frequent publication cycle and to bring on an advisory board of previous authors to serve as reviewers for these pieces. She is a woman with a wiki vision, and we will miss her.

To help with the transition to the new-and-improved PraxisWiki section, we promoted Kristi McDuffie to PraxisWiki co-editor. Previously, Kristi had worked as Cheryl's research assistant at Illinois State University, and then as Associate Editor for the journal. In those roles, Kristi did an unfathomable amount of hidden work for Kairos including creating and distributing publicity materials, copy-editing webtexts as a pinch-hitter, collating a decade's worth of emails I randomly sent her to begin Kairos's first ever training wiki for its staff, collecting and formatting 15 years' worth of editorial board discussions for internal research purposes, and about 20,000 other things. iow, Kristi did so much work that she won the Kairos/Bedford-St. Martin's award for Service in 2013. It only made sense that we promote someone with her initiative to help us with an intiative-driven section. Kristi will be joined by the new wiki co-editors we are in the process of hiring.

Over the summer, we promoted a LOT of our staff, and they are already doing GREAT things!

  • Assistant Editors Courtney Danforth and Harley Ferris volunteered to be the new section editors for KairosCast. They are doing an amazing, amazing job so far. Truly, we are beside ourselves with how they've run with this idea, which they talk about more in the first episode.
  • Moe Folk, who came on as a Topoi assistant editor in 2006, has been promoted to a section that has always been in need of an editor: Disputatio. Moe is a secret Disputatio aficionado, and so we wanted to make that secret more public. Thanks, Moe!
  • And, in our next issue, we'll be introducing up to eight new staff members! Egads!! Growth is hard, but fun :)

We've also created new email addresses for Kcast, Disputatio, and Topoi, so that each section has a unique email address. We've put these on our submissions and staff page for your reference.