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5.

1:  Formal  Research  Proposal              

 

 

 

 

             Due:  3.12    

CFP:  Strange  but  Simple:  The  Rhetoric  of  Everyday  Technological  Change  
Editor:  Professor  Will  Kurlinkus  (University  of  Oklahoma)  
Contact  Email:  wkurlinkus@gmail.com  
 
We  seek  ~200  word  proposals  for  chapters  in  our  edited  collection  Strange  but  Simple:  The  
Rhetoric  of  the  Everyday  Technological  Change.  Where  much  recent  scholarship  on  
technology  has  focused  on  cutting  edge  technological  communities,  in  this  collection  we  
wish  to  explore  “trailing  edge”  technological  change,  those  techno-­‐cultural  trends  that  
remain  ubiquitous,  ignored,  simply  there.  As  technology  theorist  Marc  Wiser  claimed  more  
than  25  years  ago,  “the  most  profound  technologies  are  those  that  disappear.”  More  
specifically,  we’re  interested  in  how  new  technologies  slowly  leak  into  old  communities,  
cultures,  and  spaces,  leisurely  changing  the  actions,  values,  and  ways  of  thinking  that  go  on  
there—the  recent  uptake  of  knitting  by  20-­‐something  hipsters,  the  elderly  joining  
Facebook,  the  constant  presence  of  cellphones  in  college  classrooms,  the  way  Facebook  has  
changed  the  way  we  mourn  the  dead.  We  imagine  the  best  submissions  will:    
1. Select  a  community  and  technology  and  show  how  that  technology  has  profound  
but  unnoticed  effects  on  the  ways  members  of  that  community  act.  How  has  
Facebook  changed  the  very  definition  of  what  it  means  to  be  a  grandparent?  
How  has  Snapchat  changed  the  definition  of  a  sexual  relationship?  How  have  cell  
phones  changed  the  nature  of  the  college  classroom?  
2. Include  primary  research    
3. Include  secondary  research—speak  to  pre-­‐existing  theories  in  rhetoric,  
composition,  and  technological  studies  that  have  been  written  on  this  subject.  
4. Include  some  kind  of  rhetorical  analysis:  though  we  don’t  want  simplistic  and  
empty  references  to  rhetorical  concepts  like  ethos,  pathos,  and  logos,  we  do  
want  nuanced  interpretations  of  communication,  attentional  economics,  writing,  
learning,  persuasion,  emotion,  ethics,  memory,  audiences,  media,  etc.  
 
~200  word  proposals  for  the  collection  will  be  due  November  17,  2014.  If  selected,  we  
expect  annotated  bibliographies  demonstrating  knowledge  of  the  area  on  November  21,  
drafts  by  December  1,  and  final  chapters  of  5-­‐7  single-­‐spaced  pages  by  December  5.  
 
 
 

[What  goes  in  a  chapter/article/speech  proposal?]  







Describe  what  topic  you  are  studying—What  specific  community  have  you  decided  to  
look  at?  
Describe  what  you  are  specifically  looking  at  within  that  community—What  
technological  trend  are  you  examining?  
Thesis:  what  are  you  going  to  be  arguing,  describing,  talking  about  in  this  chapter?  
Give  an  exigency  for  the  project:  Why  is  it  important  that  you  are  studying  this  project?  
Give  kairos  to  the  project:  Why  is  it  important  that  you  are  studying  this  project  now.  
Give  at  least  three  research  questions:  What  types  of  questions  will  you  seek  to  answer  
in  your  project?  
Describe  your  methodology—how  are  you  gaining  information  on  this  community?  Will  
you  be  doing  interviews?  Looking  at  specific  texts  produced  by  this  subject  group?  
Describe  your  organization:  What  are  the  steps/segments  of  your  argument?  Give  at  
least  two  subtopics.  First  I  will  talk  about  this,  then  I  will  talk  about  this,  then  I  will  talk  
about  this.  
Give  a  concrete  larger-­‐scale  takeaway—why  is  it  important  that  this  subject  is  being  
written  about?  How  might  the  information  you  describe  in  this  chapter  be  extended  
elsewhere?  What  will  your  reader  learn  that  they  can  use?  How  might  your  analysis  be  
applied  to  better  the  world?  

[Key  tips  for  proposals]:  





Pretend  like  you’ve  already  done  the  research/the  research  is  ongoing—don’t  state  that  
you  haven’t  started  yet.  
Give  at  least  one  concrete  example  for  every  claim  you  are  making,  e.g,  “For  example,  I  
hope  to  examine…”  
Make  sure  your  proposal  is  somehow  meeting  the  theme  of  the  book,  journal,  or  
conference  you  are  proposing  to.    
Reference  something  ongoing  in  the  news,  field,  or  area  you  are  studying  to  give  the  
topic  currency.  
Be  more  straightforward.  Get  to  the  point  immediately.  
Include  a  catchy  title.