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Mind Map: Week 6

My additions with CHAT this week were fairly simple–I made sure to include Prior et al.’s justification for remapping  rhetorical activity (traditional canons neglect the full scope and complexity of the activity) and the basics of their remapping (literate activity, functional systems, and laminated chronotopes).

As I began mapping them, I thought about how the remapped levels of activity in CHAT connect to Spinuzzi’s three levels of activity: macroscopic, mesoscopic, and microscopic. Although not identical (Spinuzzi’s is more focused on levels of consciousness within a system), a common theme between them and Foucault is the idea of tracing the historical and ideological contexts of the systems. All three theories seem to operate on the belief that there is an underlying abstract basis for networks.

Together the different theories are beginning to illuminate a more holistic understanding of human activity as a network. While they are, for the most part, focusing on communication and discourse, they individually focus on different aspects of it. Bitzer, Vatz, Biesecker, and Prior et al. all focus on the rhetorical nature and implications of interactivity. Miller, Bazerman, Popham, and Spinuzzi and their focus on genres illuminate how rhetorical activity is signified. Foucault helps us understand the complexity of the conditions necessary for the creation of signifiers.

Still having problems with the embed function, so here is a jpeg of my mindmap:

Week 6

Week 6

CHAT[ting] up the Mindmap


Mindmap_Updated February 22

Mindmap_Updated February 22

To wrap up this week’s focus on CHAT, I created four new nodes and connected them outwards. Two of the nodes are lists of rhetorical activity canons, the first being that of the classical canon and the second being that of CHAT creators’ second remapping of that classical canon.  I put both lists up here because the classical canon ties directly to the works of Bitzer, Vatz, and Biesecker, which are exactly what  the CHAT creators seem to be working to revise. I also connected the remapping list to Spinuzzi’s three scopic levels of analysis as I am interested in seeing what comparisons can be made between his macrosopic, mesoscopic, and microscopic to CHAT’s laminated chronotopes, functional systems, and literate activity. They may have very little in common (or nothing), but I am curious as to how each is applied to different kinds of networks and how those setting up of systems are similar.

For the third node I added, I integrated a quote of what CHAT is and is not (essentially, what it rejects and wishes not to be associated with). I included this because it will help me to remember what the creators of CHAT were trying to accomplish and why, what they were working against and what theory they are using to accomplish their goals. This also helped me to understand how they saw the network they were proposing of rhetorical activity in a digital world. I tied this node to the overarching node of rhetorical activity that I had set up for Bitzer and Vatz, but then also linked it with Bitzer’s idea of the rhetorical situation that “rhetoric is situational.” I made this particular link because their definition, with its focus on activity that is both local and historical, seems to decouple and then reestablish how views of rhetorical situations that Bitzer had held as true since CHAT seems to give more agency to everything and everyone that would be involved in the emergence of a rhetorical situation (and, in a way, their definition reminded me of both Foucault and Spinuzzi in their discussion of the historical but also the local).

The last node I added had very similar links as the third node since it discusses why the classical canon needed to be (basically) stripped down, tossed out, and replaced with newer concepts that not only fit a digital age, but also helped to capture the entirety of classical rhetoric. The creators of CHAT declared in their “Core Text” that the five original canons were not even enough in terms of ancient Greece’s relationship with rhetoric, which I find interesting, though I wish I understood their perception of deficiency a bit more.

And So the Sunshine Returns: