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A weblog about my life as an assistant professor of rhetoric and composition.


CFP: 2014 CCCC-IP Annual

Tue, 04 Nov 2014 23:24:24 +0000

This year is the tenth anniversary of the CCCC-IP Annual, a publication created to fulfill the CCCC Intellectual Property Committee’s charge to keep the Conference on College Composition and Communication’s membership informed on key events and developments in intellectual property that took place over the previous year. Archives can be found at

As 2014 nears its end, we are looking back on what happened over the course of the year in copyright legislation, fair use cases, open access publishing, and notable high-profile plagiarism cases. Developments take place regularly that challenge our notions of what these terms mean, and we engage these developments in a timely manner each year in the CCCC-IP Annual . Typically, each article is an explanation of a particular development in intellectual property and analysis of what its implications are for teachers and scholars of rhetoric and composition. For example, the 2012 Annual contains an analysis of the rise of MOOCs written by James Porter. Starting this year, we encourage multiple genres, such as short (1000-1500 words) scholarly articles, listicles (“7 Things Rhetoricians Need to Know about the Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science and Technology (FIRST) Act”), and infographics.

Some articles for the 2014 Annual have already been planned and are in progress; a working table of contents appears below this CFP. In addition to these, we invite submissions on interesting developments in intellectual property. Some ideas include:

* review of Electronic Frontier Foundation white paper published October 27, 2014: "Who Has Your Back: When Copyright and Trademark Bullies Threaten Free Speech"

* Internet Slowdown campaign: and

* FIRST Act (open access):

* Open Source Seed Initiative:

Please write to Clancy Ratliff (clancy at louisiana dot edu) if you are interested in contributing to this year’s Annual by writing about one of the above topics or other current events in copyright, authorship, and intellectual property. Manuscripts will be due February 28, 2015 for publication about one week before the CCCC convention.


Working Table of Contents, 2014 CCCC-IP Annual

Kim Gainer, Sherlock Holmes case

Jeff Galin, Georgia State University fair use case update

Wendy Warren Austin, Slavoj Žižek book review plagiarism case and Nic Pizzolatto "True Detective" plagiarism accusation

Laurie Cubbison, Taylor Swift removes her music from Spotify

Karen Lunsford, California open access law on publicly funded research

Carol Mohrbacher, review of EFF white paper "Unintended Consequences - 16 Years Under the DMCA"

Christopher Gerben, review of EFF white paper "Open Wi-Fi and Copyright: A Primer for Network Operators"

Steven Engel, Montana senator John Walsh plagiarism case

Mike Edwards, review of EFF white paper "Collateral Damages: Why Congress Needs To Fix Copyright Law’s Civil Penalties"

Traci Zimmerman, review of documentary film "The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz":

Wonder Women

Fri, 17 Jan 2014 22:11:08 +0000

I'm interested to read this book by the president of Barnard College: Wonder Women: Sex, Power, and the Quest for Perfection. I don't know that it's gotten much play with the news media or the academic media (Inside Higher Ed, etc.), so I want to do what I can to fix that. Debora Spar is a mom of three just like me. Maybe I'll be a college president one day too, heh.

Top 30 Most Cited in Composition Studies

Tue, 25 Jun 2013 14:18:01 +0000

Thanks to Jonathan's coding skills, we have a list of the most cited works in composition studies. These are from the journals Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Rhetoric Review, College Composition and Communication, and College English.

Shaughnessy Mina 1977 87
Berlin James A 1987 61
Burke Kenneth 1969 57
Elbow Peter 1973 55
Miller Susan 1991 52
Bartholomae D 1985 52
Bakhtin Mikhail M 1981 49
North Stephen 1987 47
Pratt Mary Louise 1991 46
Heath Shirley Brice 1983 45
Burke Kenneth 1969 43
Berlin James A 1984 42
Connors Robert 1997 40
Burgess Tony 1975 39
Berlin James 1988 38
Fish Stanley 1980 38
Faigley Lester 1992 35
Crowley Sharon 1998 35
Bizzell Patricia 1982 34
Sommers Nancy 1980 33
Harris Joseph 1989 32
Brandt Deborah 2001 31
Graff Gerald 1987 31
Ohmann Richard M 1976 30
Moffett James 1968 30
Burke Kenneth 1966 29
Belenky Mary Field 1986 29
Freire Paulo 1970 29
Kuhn Thomas S 1970 29
Bruffee Kenneth A 1984 28
Eagleton Terry 1983 28

Citational Network Graph: Rhetoric and Composition

Fri, 21 Jun 2013 19:02:30 +0000

Jonathan has done some more technosorcery, producing this time a citational network graph of rhetoric and composition: specifically, the journals College Composition and Communication, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, and Rhetoric Review. JAC wasn't included because it wasn't in the Web of Science database, and College English might go in later; it has so much work in literary studies that we decided to omit it for now.

Much of this is as one would expect. For example, clusters show us that Kenneth Bruffee, John Trimbur, Greg Myers, and Joseph Harris are cited together. They all wrote about collaborative learning at a particular time.

What I find most interesting about this graph, though, is its more-or-less objective illustration of margins and center. I can't even drag Mina Shaughnessy's Errors and Expectations out of the center. Same with Susan Miller's Textual Carnivals, just about everything by James Berlin but especially Rhetoric and Reality: Writing Instruction in American Colleges, 1900 - 1985. Patricia Bizzell “Cognition, Convention, and Certainty: What We Need to Know about Writing.” Maxine Hairston "The Winds of Change: Thomas Kuhn and the Revolution in the Teaching of Writing." Peter Elbow Writing Without Teachers. These seem to be cited more than, and linked to more varied types of conversations than, any other works of scholarship in rhetoric and composition.

The margins are very interesting too. I find it kind of sad that Paul Kei Matsuda, Min-Zhan Lu, Bruce Horner, and Suresh Canagarajah are in their own diamond shape, so far outside the network that I didn't even have to drag. An island, Jonathan called it. Shows how little engagement our field has with multilingual writers.

Right next to that island is another little one about authorship and intellectual property. Not too far from that, another one in lavender about community engagement and public writing: Ellen Cushman, Christian Weisser, Bruce Herzberg, Susan Wells. Above that, an island that's almost all Kenneth Burke. Above that, in orange, an island about genre with Carolyn Miller, Carol Berkenkotter, John Swales, Charles Bazerman.

I'll certainly be sending this to our graduate students who are preparing for comprehensive exams; I imagine it will be immensely helpful to them. I wish I'd had this back then! Anything you notice that interests you or that is remarkable that I didn't pick up on? (I'm sure that one's a yes.)

Edited! This version has College English as well.

And THIS version has a slider that lets you limit the number of points that show up on the graph.

Browser for Rhetoric Topics

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 16:01:46 +0000

Jonathan has now made a browser for rhetoric and composition topics. Click on a truncated topic on the list, and you see the full topic, a graph showing its career in the journals, and a list of the articles most closely associated with it. Each title on the list is a link directly to the article in JSTOR. Preliminary findings:

1. I wouldn't have guessed that the articles most closely associated with television film radio tv popular media movie movies news magazine films newspaper magazines sports newspapers entertainment advertising examples pictures would be published between the years of 1950 and 1979, but there you go.

Also, I'm finding so many articles I wouldn't have found otherwise, including Macrorie's "A Literature Without Criticism" from the above list.

2. Another interesting-to-me topic was attack defense attacks liberal favor conservative defend political responsibility failed attacked standards accused faith claim typical education attacking dismissed, where I found two articles by Donald Lazere that I'd never read. These articles will help me with some work I'm doing right now with agonistic argumentation.

I encourage all of you to poke around in the browser; that's the best way to understand what all the topic modeling fuss is about.

Initial Foray into Topic Modeling for Rhetoric and Composition

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 20:54:08 +0000

I’m just getting into topic modeling as a research method, thanks to my husband, Jonathan Goodwin. This post represents my first attempt to make sense of it, because its value hasn’t been immediately comprehensible to me. You take a huge corpus of thousands of academic articles (or whatever), and then run a program, which extracts and presents you with groups of words that tend to occur together in the articles (topics). Jonathan took all of JSTOR’s archives of College English, CCC, Rhetoric Review, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, and JAC and generated 100 topics. Some were coherent, while others seemed more random – though also somewhat interesting; see postscript. Here’s an example of a coherent one: The program will show you a long list of articles that are associated with the topic. So if you were determined to find absolutely everything having to do with Hugh Blair, this method might give you some articles you wouldn’t have found via a regular JSTOR search. OK, but besides that, what do you DO with the topics? That has always been the confusing question for me, though I have read some work about topic modeling. I want to write a series of posts explaining what I’ve been doing with the topics, to sort it out for myself. When Jonathan sent me the list of 100 topics, I went through all of them and selected 53 that I thought were interesting. Mostly these were the ones that were most coherent, like the Blair example. I then pasted them into a document, labeled each one, and grouped them together, like so: History of Rhetoric classical cicero ancient rhetoric greek roman oratory orator eloquence quintilian invention renaissance speaking aristotle orators rhetoricians vols modem history plato sophists gorgias socrates sophistic greek phaedrus ancient platonic greece athenian greeks athens sophist protagoras logos dialogues carolina isocrates lectures belles century lettres historians rise influential reform hugh british campbell scottish southern rhetorical blair late alexander england founded philosophical philosophy truth logic philosopher rational doctrine philosophers theory aristotle essays thing writings mere science thinking human mind truths rhetoric rhetorical persuasion rhetoricians kenneth communication speech burke aristotle classical audience argumentation philosophy discourse persuasive arguments quarterly speaker invention Now, I haven’t yet looked at the lists of articles associated with these topics, but here’s a list of questions that might be answered by giving these lists a close review: How has the interest in these topics changed over time? This seems to be a favored approach among nerds like my husband – visualizations: graphs that plot the trajectory of when people started becoming interested in the topic, when interest peaked, and when it waned. Below is an obligatory graph for the Hugh Blair topic: Another question I’ve never heard anyone ask, though, is this: which journals are publishing the most on these topics? Most of us in rhetoric and composition assume that if you have a manuscript about Cicero, you send it to Rhetoric Society Quarterly or Rhetoric Review, not to College English, because they don’t publish that kind of thing, generally speaking. But are we sure about that? To what extent? I can now do a frequency count of the journals that are represented in the “classical cicero ancient” topic and make a pie chart showing the breakdown. More on that later. And Now for Expressivism For six of the topics, I wasn’t sure what they meant, but I went ahead and labeled them “Expressivism.” Because expressivism doesn’t have an attendant set of terms, and is misunderstood so often and so profoundly as a theory of writing and teaching philosophy, I was interested in seeing what kinds of articles were listed. As it turns out, most of them were actually about literature, or were works of creative writing. But one [...]

Common Core State Standards (Grades 11-12) Aligned with the WPA Outcomes

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 20:02:22 +0000

In preparation for my CCCC presentation, I did the following alignment of the WPA Outcomes with the Common Core State Standards:

WPA Outcomes Aligned with the Common Core State Standards for ELA Grades 11-12 by Clancy Ratliff

class="scribd_iframe_embed" src="" data-auto-height="false" data-aspect-ratio="0.772727272727273" scrolling="no" id="doc_84255" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0">

Graduate Seminar on Authorship and Intellectual Property in Rhetoric and Composition Studies

Thu, 30 Aug 2012 20:38:07 +0000

I'm excited to teach this class this semester! I had to leave a lot out (there's so much to read in this area of scholarship), but these are what I selected in the end.

English 556 Syllabus class="scribd_iframe_embed" src="" data-auto-height="true" data-aspect-ratio="0.772727272727273" scrolling="no" id="doc_2319" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0">

Framework and WPA Outcomes Aligned

Wed, 04 Jul 2012 15:22:17 +0000

ULL's writing program takes its outcomes from the WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition. Disclosure: the program adopted these outcomes in academic year 2005-2006, before I came here, but I have affirmed them. Anyway, I've been thinking for some time about the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing and how to integrate its eight habits of mind into our writing program's outcomes. The habits of mind are pretty difficult to measure, and in trying to evaluate how well students demonstrate them seems highly problematic; I imagine a lot of personal bias coming into play on teachers' part and a TON of student resistance to having, say, their curiosity or responsibility evaluated. Still, I agree that students with these habits of mind will be much more successful than those without them.

So here's my first shot at integrating the outcomes and the habits. I took our outcomes, matched each one up with one or two habits I thought worked best with it, and then, in the far right column of the table below, I have an explanation of how that habit of mind (or those habits) could be demonstrated in the context of a writing course.

Habits and Outcomes Aligned class="scribd_iframe_embed" src="" data-auto-height="true" data-aspect-ratio="0.772727272727273" scrolling="no" id="doc_40759" width="100%" height="600" frameborder="0">

Obviously, this is only one of many ways these can be matched, and really, each of these outcomes requires all the habits of mind.

Tenure and Promotion Portfolio

Thu, 21 Jun 2012 21:19:34 +0000

I've created an online portfolio of most of the work I've done the last several years for my tenure/promotion case. I have several revisions and additions already planned, but let me know if you have ideas for how to make it better.