Radiant Figures

Visual Rhetorics in Everyday Administrative Contexts

The proposal form closed October 31, 2018. We are currently reviewing several strong proposals for end-of-November acceptances.

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In the decade since Carrie Leverenz’s (2008) call to remediate writing program administration, WPAs have greatly expanded visual-rhetorical practices in first-year writing by foregrounding digital and multimodal composing in curricula and program designs (Wysocki and Lynch, 2003; Dryer et al., 2014; Leverenz, 2016; Bourelle and Bourelle, 2015; Lee and Khadka, 2018). Such expansions have targeted curriculum in needed ways: expanding the definitions of composition, increasing students’ rhetorical possibilities, bolstering curricular innovation, honoring myriad stakeholders’ emerging discourse practices, and keeping our programs visible and responsive to challenges in the twenty-first century. However, a multitude of visual-rhetorical practices that WPAs perform in everyday administrative contexts continue to remain underrepresented in contemporary scholarship. Broadly, this collection asks, How are WPAs performing everyday administrative operations using visual-rhetorical strategies?

WPAs work with program data using a variety of appropriate forms and genres, many of them visual. Yet the routine creation and circulation of these visual artifacts receives little attention. This collection aims to illuminate the everyday practices, activities, experiences, and resources that guide visually effective administration. We seek to place a special emphasis on the intersections of program research, institutional data, educational equity, and vulnerable student populations. Thereby, we envision a collection intended to deepen disciplinary conversations about how WPAs--and all writing scholars--may perform agentive actions using a variety of data-driven graphics, visuals, and figures for proactive, productive, and progressive purposes. We are particularly interested in submissions that attend to how visual-rhetorical artifacts have made gains toward advancing the institutional and disciplinary status of more just, equitable, and accessible college writing programs.

We anticipate submitting the collection to a digital press. In part, this is because a survey of recent and frequently assigned WPA scholarship suggests that WPA publications offer sparse examples of everyday figures that perform the visual-rhetorical work of interpreting and representing data. In an examination of the last decade of WPA Journal (2008-2018), oft-cited monographs and edited collections, and popular readings currently assigned in WPA graduate courses (for a total sample size of 226 articles, chapters, and books), we found that 60 percent of the WPA scholarship examined had no figures present. In the remaining 40 percent of this sample, the predominant form of visual-rhetorical artifact is perhaps unsurprisingly the table, which accounts for 56 percent of all figures present, followed by screenshots (12 percent), graphs or charts (12 percent), original diagrams (10 percent), and photographs (8 percent). Thus, while we might claim that visual rhetoric matters in the work of writing program administration, we would do well to demonstrate that better in our scholarship. Publishing this collection digitally will constitute an attempt to do that. To underscore the importance of visual, administrative work, each chapter in the collection will be accompanied by a focal visual-rhetorical artifact (created and/or analyzed by the author) that relates to the work of writing program administration: data visualizations, curriculum maps, representations of outcomes, infographics, maps, logos, assessment-related graphs or charts, schematics, photography, and more. These artifacts will function as objects of analysis and as invitations, visually displaying the importance of this work and inviting readers to take up the work in their own contexts as well. Furthermore, although we wish for each chapter to be anchored to a featured, focal image, we are receptive to submissions that include video or audio, or that feature other creative combinations of multimedia.

We seek chapter contributions of not more than 4000 words, keying on one focal image or data representation as a locus of analysis and reflection. Submissions that make use of other supplemental media are encouraged but not required.

    Contributors can also use the following questions generatively:
  • How are visual figures doing the work of establishing programmatic histories?
  • How are figures projecting visions for programmatic change onto immediate and longer term horizons?
  • How have figures contributed to institutional critique?
  • How have visual figures advanced the institutional status of writing programs?
  • How have visual figures advanced the disciplinary status of WPA work, given contexts of big data, visual rhetoric, and data visualization?
  • How have data visualizations or visual representations of data sets engaged issues pertinent to vulnerable student populations?
  • How can writing programs develop suasive figures that are maximally accessible?
  • How have visual figures contributed to fostering more equitable and just writing programs?
  • How have specific technologies contributed to the development and circulation of effective figures?

Proposal specifications

Please submit proposals of 300-400 words online at https://tinyurl.com/radiantfigures by October 31, 2018. Proposals may include a draft of the visual-rhetorical artifact and should include a concise explanation of both the visual artifact to be analyzed and circulated as well as the context surrounding its creation and use. You can expect to hear back from us by November 30, 2018.

Timeline

Proposals due by October 31, 2018.
Notification of acceptances by November 30, 2018.
Chapters due by March 1, 2019.
Feedback by May 31, 2019.
Chapter revisions due by August 1, 2019.

Questions

If you have any questions about the collection or its timeline, or if you would like to discuss ideas you have for proposing a chapter, please contact the editors (Derek Mueller, Logan Bearden, and Rachel Gramer) at radiantfigures -AT- earthwidemoth.com.