Gah! I have been saying to myself all weekend that I'm going to blog about the reading I did for my Gender in Science & Technology class. These posts will hopefully help me with the reflective reading papers we have to do in there. I read four articles, all in a collection about material rhetoric called Rhetorical Bodies edited by Jack Selzer and Sharon Crowley, and I just want to post some brief impressions on each:
- Wendy Sharer, "Disintegrating Bodies of Knowledge: Historical Material and Revisionary Histories of Rhetoric." This one sounded the least interesting to me, but I ended up really liking it because it's about libraries and archiving. Sharer is lamenting the ephemera that are rotting and not being stored properly, because you never know what someone will be interested in researching in the future. She used as an example the rhetoric of women's organizations, like the YWCA. If someone did a study on them, they'd be interested in any and all organizational documents, such as minutes of the meetings, pamphlets, etc. If someone wanted to do a study of composition pedagogy from 1900 to the present, he or she would need to see old syllabi, assignment handouts, reading lists, student essays, etc. Sharer does make a great case for the importance of getting involved in preservation and archiving, but in my case she was preaching to the choir. She made some excellent recommendations, for example, fields of study should be more interested in bibliographical essays, library science professors should be invited to conferences, etc.