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MindMap: Week 15


For my final mindmap, I had to abandon Popplet. I enlarged all of my nodes, printed the Popplet, and began color coding the lines. I think my biggest frustration was that I wanted color coded lines so that the connections were easier to trace (I also wanted to be able to multicolor the different nodes, but my mind cringed at the unsightly mess that would ensue).

Because last week I began organizing by distinguishing between human and nonhuman agency, that’s what I began with in revising my mindmap again. I removed the nodes that identified agency, though, so I didn’t really feel like I had a starting place, and so I just began drawing arbitrary lines between the many nodes that allowed for human or nonhuman agency.

The challenge of where to begin also plagued me as it came to my next two categories. By groupings and individuals, I meant “does the theory analyze based on groups or individuals”? I realized that the majority of the theories we’ve read this semester break analysis down according to groups rather than individuals. As Latour demonstrated, this is probably due to the challenges of trying to make any sort of statement based on one individual.

I also wanted to account for the theories that considered the potential multiple levels of networks (e.g. CHAT, Spinuzz), which I differentiate from theories that consider the multitude of aspects that form networks (e.g. Latour, Rickerts).

Next, I identified which theories considered systems as hierarchical and which considered them rhizomatic. I did identify starting places for these connections, namely with Deleuze and Guattari as the starting place for rhizomal structures and Althusser as the starting place for hierarchical structures. This is due to their explicit focus on these structures rather than their chronological appearance in either the class or the scholarship.

Finally, I drew connections between the approach used to analyze the networks: whether we begin externally and branch outwards or externally and dig in. I saw this as more than analyzing and individual or a group–instead, I saw the distinctions as a focus on analyzing activities or behaviors  vs. cultures and/or ideologies.

Basically, my revised mindmap is a collection of binaries, but the binaries are not necessarily consistent. There are parallels and oppositions for almost all of these theories. Revising the mindmap and seeing these connections and distinctions definitely helps me think through my Frankentheory a little more and how the ones I’ve chosen help fill in each other’s gaps.

Mind Map: Class Meeting 4/22/14

Suzanne's Mind Map

I have continued my consideration of networks and heterogeneity and networks and constraints. I have come to think of diversity as essential to survival and constraints as shaping forces. I feel that constraints can sometimes be hard, impenetrable boundaries that prevent a network from taking a particular shape or move in a certain direction. For example, a limit of technology functionality would fit into this category. The network grows as the technology allows.  However, the more interesting kind of constraint is the more abstract cultural or social constraint that perhaps even unconsciously shapes the network makers' minds, allowing or disallowing certain possibilities by set precedents - the proverbial box out of which we are always trying to think.

This week I added two nodes to the heterogeneity node: ISAs and  labor. Althusser argues that there are multiple, distinct, and relatively autonomous ISAs at work in a society. This diversity allows the State to maintain power even if revolutions disrupt several of the ISA structures. Labor skills must also be diverse in order to produce and reproduce in service of the market. This is part based on the idea that there is more than just the raw materials that make up an object; there are also all the goods and services required to produce those raw materials. Diversity is required to produce even the simplest goods. My daughter sits on my lap as I type. She is wearing a diaper. While the materials include cotton, elastic, and velcro, there are whole industries producing each item. Then there are the boxes that the diapers are sold in, the machines that make the diapers, and the trucks that ship them. Then there are the people and tools that service the machinery that produces the diapers. Then the machines and people that produce the tools that fix the diaper-making machines. It is a diverse and intertwined chain of production. The labor node is connected to the Ecology node arguing that diversity is necessary for survival.

Networks function with the same need for diverse inputs to both reproduce and maintain themselves (like labor) and to withstand area damage (like ISAs). However, ISAs are also linked in the map to constraints. ISAs are the kind of cultural and social constraints described above. They are the institutions that set precedents and shape our thinking about what is what and wrong, possible or impossible, useful or unnecessary. The State is then a constraint, made up of ISAs, with education being particularly effective at shaping thinking. ISAs are also connected to Gestalt because they are about setting patterns that shape thinking.

How can we recognize the constraints at work in shaping our own minds? Can we become self-aware of the forces shaping how and what we think. or is that kind of metacognition not possible? I suppose that my natural reaction to a boundary is to find ways to break it, to assume that the limitations it imposes are somehow negatively restrictive. I want to understand the network constraints and find ways to subvert them.

Mind Map: Class Meeting 4/15/14

Suzanne's Mind Map

This week I somewhat started new. I was tired of working with the mega-nodes I developed two weeks ago. I wanted to try thinking about new concepts. The additions this week are in black and to the right of the network.

I started with the concept of heterogeneity. This concept came up in Guattari and Deleuze's discussion of rhizomes as one of the four principles of rhizomatic structures. For them, it is a hallmark of rhizomes that there are many varied structures that work together to create a rhizome. Gibson though also see heterogeneity in ecology as a principle for survival. I also see this concept at work in Rohan's (from CHAT) discussion of the vents. There, perhaps bordering on heteroglossia, students build a collective memory as they add to each other's scribbles and musings. I think for a network, this diversity is key to survival as Gibson states. Growth and survival depends in each case on the network's ability to incorporate diversity. The rhizome grows different structures - like tubers or chutes - depending on the ideal structure for the environment into which it is spreading. It can optimize the conditions it is in by having varied structures. It can also ensure survival - the asignifying rupture idea - because there are varied structures to take the place of damaged areas of the rhizome. The vent community needs the multiple inputs and diversity to grow in new themes and to maintain the network's existence. Without the layers of voices, the community would not grow or thrive. I think we should consider how heterogeneity is or is not accounted for in the various theories we study.

Then I created a node of constraints. This is another new area that seems to be happening in multiple places. Norman sees constraints in how we perceive affordances as being meaningful. Our expectations constrain how and what we see. Rhetoric for Bitzer and Vatz is constrained by the audience, purpose, the rhetorician's choices, and culturally accepted forms. Scott from the week's readings also touched on constraints by bringing Gestalt into the discussion. As an origin point for modern social network analysis, the psychological positions is one that recognizes the influence of patterns of perception and thinking. I don't think I have spent enough time considering how my OoS is constrained by social conventions or technology. I would like to work with that on the final project. Where are the network limits and where do those limits come from?

Mind Map: Class Meeting 4/7/14

Suzanne's Mind Map

(Additions this week continue in green to align with the Castells from last week)

I want to continue to work with mediation and action from last week, but was feeling limited by the two nodes. I looked back into the map for more potential mega-nodes. I realized that my node about Foucault's archives was very deeply connected. Again, archives are an interest of mine, so it seems natural that I would see it as more relevant. The ideas of archives as active as opposed to static and that they provide an avenue for analysis are the two concepts most striking about Foucault's description. I moved it over to the right where my mega-nodes are situated. Hopefully this will give me more room to play.

The first nodes I added were off the mediation hub. These were Castells' ideas about the division of agency among workers in the informational age: networkers, networked, and switched-off. I connected the networkers node directly to mediation to represent the ability of these workers to set up connection on their own initiative. They have the ability to change the network. Connected to that is the node of the networked. These people are connected to the network, but in a "read-only" sense. They can view the information and use it without mediating it. In this way the connection (and I wish popplet had the ability to use arrows to show the direction of connections) represents the connection to the network only through the class of the networkers. Lastly, the switched-off node is positioned near the others but not connected. This represents the disconnection that occurs when instructions are unilateral and tasks are completed independently. Castells' descriptions here speak directly to agency in the informational age. I think what strikes me most about this is that there is a connotation about all things technological that there is an increased level of freedom and democracy. Anyone can access and create content on the web. Musicians can directly reach their fans without the studio middle-man. Political and social change can move through communities facilitated by media platforms. Yet, in the work place, and likely elsewhere with more frequency than we might think, there is much more division and inequity in agency when it comes to mediation. Who really can change the web in meaningful ways? Are we simply working on our own tasks, or are we connected to the network but with restrictions as to when, how, why, and to whom we can connect? We think of ourselves as networkers - mediating according to our own initiative, but I think Castells forces us to question that.

I then decided to add a node for work/labor in the network. This issue is interesting to me on a personal level. The university I work for now has a faculty union. Last year, the union negotiated paid parental leave into the contract, which allowed me to take a semester off after having my baby in August. However, the director of the writing center still expected I be available periodically to check and respond to emails or text messages. Labor is something taken for granted I think now. The forty hour work week, paid vacation, overtime, mandatory breaks. I think some of these things now are so much less relevant, especially as Castells sees work as transitioning from that industrial mode to the informational one. What does it mean to have a forty hour work week and lunch breaks if you work from home? What does an 8 hour work day mean when there is an expectation that emails can be sent and received through smart phones in an instant and at any time? As the informational age changes how we work, how we divide our time, and the expectations of how we spend that time will need to be redefined. France is already trying to change labor laws by banning the exchange of employment related emails after business hours. How will labor laws reflect the informational age?

Mind Map: Week 12

This week I added the neurobiology and Castells readings to my Popplet. Once again, I only added a few nodes. The more we update the mindmap, the more trouble I have with it. I’m having a difficult time getting it to zoom in and to navigate around the map to find the specific sections I want.

ENG  894 Mind Map12

Anywho, the nodes that I added. Following my usual pattern, I added primary nodes for each of the main readings (neurobiology as a category rather than the specific scientists). I connected neurobiolgy to Syverson (ecology), focusing on the element of embodied. I connected neurobiolology and Castells for several reasons (outlined in more detail in Reading Notes for Week 12): interdependence of connections, difficulty distinguishing boundaries, and evolution through a feedback loop.

I do know that next week’s mind map will have a lot more connections–I’ve already been making a lot of marginal notations about Spinuzzi in Chapter 4. 🙂

Mind Map: Class Meeting 4/1/14

Suzanne's Mind Map

I started this week by rearranging my mind map to make it more tenable. Like neurons that are enhanced while others are limited to "sculpt" new pathways, I too have enhanced and limited some nodes in my network. I looked at which nodes seemed to be the most connected. This turned out to be "action in a network" and "mediation". I moved these nodes off to the right hand side of the map in an attempt to re-visualize the map, perhaps see something I had not seen before. I expanded the popple to visually occupy more space and convey significance as a Latourian macroscopic node or a Castellsian mega-node. Then I started to play with the arrangement of the nodes connected to these newly-sized ones. I realized that some of the nodes seemed integrally linked to both action and mediation - doing and changing.

Distribution: Connected to mediation by way of the CHAT authors canon remapping that views distribution and mediation as forms of delivery. It connected out to my object of study, which, as a network, effected action in the underground movement by spreading ideas and building communities.

Discourse: The rhetorical situation explained that discourse can "mediate" a situation and lead to action on the part of the audience. It is connected to network if we think of rhetoric as the product of a network connecting the rhetorician, the situation, exigencies, audience, and constraints.

Hypertext: Hypertext is a tool to create discourse but has the affordance of linking out to the broader digital network. By creating links, we mediate our messages, adding layers of meaning and association otherwise not easily achieved. There is also the potential for action as Johnson-Eilola expresses through the democratic medium of hypertext, removing institutional barriers and reaching audiences who would be able to take actions to mediate the situation.

Genre: Genre is mediation in the sense that it constrains and shapes discourse by plying content into the recognizable characteristics of the form. It is also possible that genre leads to action as Miller and Bazerman contend.

 After thinking about it, I can't say I am too surprised that these are my mega-nodes. Changing, making, doing, acting - these are the issues in scholarship with which I am most concerned. Naturally, I would see these ideas as more relevant and notable than others. This remapping simply confirms those important methodological foundations.

New additions:

I plan to build off my new, streamlined map to make things more tenable. I've added nodes in green.

There are two new connections to mediation. I was struck by the idea that the neurons are shaped by limitations and enhancements - a discussion related to the building of memory (another network itself). This seems to be a kind of mediation, shaping changes, that builds the network of memory. I think sometimes I think of network growth as expansion or addition, but perhaps growth is just as dependent on where we limit or restrict it. This week's reshaping of the map, constraining it and enhancing some areas, seems an application of this principle as well.

Also connected to mediation is Castells' idea of the three stages of technology: automation, experimentation, reconfiguration. This last step is akin to mediation in that we change technology once we become fluent. This has me thinking about fluency and mediation - what other ways are these ideas linked? Academic fluency is certainly necessary before any mediation of the body of scholarship can occur. In technology, fluency is demonstrated through successful mediation, but academia seems to require other people's acknowledgment of one's fluency. Is technology more democratic in this way? More inclusive? Less obstacles? Does the validation from established experts give credence to academic fluency (once accepted) that carries more significance than reconfigurations of technology?

The last new node is off the action mega-node. This is Castells' concept that research is not discourse, but inquiry. At first, this concept takes me aback - not discourse? Not intelligent conversation and interplay between thinkers? Not carefully constructed text and speech? What have I been doing with myself these last ten years? However, after more careful thinking, I see the point. Discourse alone is not active - contradicting the Bitzer/Vatz idea that discourse motivates an audience to effect change on a situation - rather we need inquiry. Discourse is not action, but questioning can be. I wonder though if discourse cannot be also inquiring? I think it can be. Maybe a literary analysis if a poem does not lend itself to social questions to guide actions, but maybe in English studies we need to be more cognizant of how to make poetry relevant. Perhaps finding the questions is one way to do that.

Mind Map: Week 11


In my mind map this week, I added a primary node of Ecology with smaller nodes linking out to Spellman and Syverston (since my book didn’t come until Tuesday, I only read summaries and, thus, I need to read him before I try to add him). As a result of our discussions in class this week, I created a connecting contrast node between Spellman and Latour. I actually had a date with a biologist on Saturday who studies freshwater streams and lakes, so this was a topic of our conversation. It was interesting for me to try to explain my perception (based on our readings and discussions) that ecology focuses on groups and classification. He didn’t see it until I explained how Latour’s theory of tracing all of the messy connections to an individual helps to define that individual’s network–the result of which would not be generalizable to other individuals. For instance, a species of fish serves a role in an ecosystem–its niche–and the role could be filled by any other of the fish in that species. However, while human individuals also serve a role in their network, all of an individual’s roles within his or her own specialized network cannot be fulfilled by another individual, because we have such a high level of agency and the importance we place on social systems.

I also added a primary node for Syverston and connected her concept of emergence to Bazerman, as I see a direct connection with the concept of speech acts and genres. This is a connection I plan to explore more as part of my own research.

Mind Map: Week 10

Mind Map: Class Meeting 3/18/14

Suzanne's Mind Map

Additions this week in blue, generalized in the lower left hand quadrant.

First, this week's additions was complicated by the technology. The mind map has become rather spread out, and to view the entire map, it is necessary to zoom out to such a far removed vantage point that the text is too small to read. It is difficult to connect the popples because you have to be able to drag the connection to another popple visible in the field. If you are zoomed in to one area, you can't connect to popples that are not being displayed on the screen. It is necessary to zoom out until the two popples are both displayed, but from that view, it is difficult to see. I toyed with the idea of starting a new mind map, but I do not want to lose the possibility of making connections across all the course content. Perhaps there needs to be a new map that somehow compresses the different areas into summarized nodes? I'm not sure, but I am fairly certain something will have to be done with this rather unwieldy map.

I began by creating a node for affordances. I connected this to a node I had created a few weeks ago when we worked with the CHAT authors.They used the term affordances in the same way as Gibson defined it, the collection of activities an object allows, but they added the idea that precedent sets the affordances we assign or see. I had connected that to genre in the sense that a form of text follows precedent and tends to have certain affordances - actions that are possible with the text's particular attributes. It was an unexpected connection because I had forgotten that the CHAT authors also brought this theory into their work. Again, the mind map has proven itself to be more useful than I had ever initially expected. It allows me to see ideas and relationships I would not otherwise have seen without the ability to look at a visual representation of all the ideas simultaneously.

From the affordances node, I added two nodes: affordances require perception and affordances allows the study of patterns. I wrote about these ideas in my reading notes this week, but here I was able to connect them to some new ideas. I saw that I had created a node for Foucault's archive in which he argues that studying an archive allows us to see our "difference." I drew a connection between the node about affordances and perception to this because Bateson also discusses how difference is a concept of the mind, of perception. Both scholars are expressing how to recognize difference - the archive analysis and our perception.

I connected the node about the study of patterns to one of my most linked to nodes about how networks allow for the study of relationships, which to me seems like the same idea as patterns. Foucualt's ideas of studying a field and how objects are situated, their proximity to one another, and their relationships are the same way of looking at the world as the affordance theorists - looking for patterns of use forces us to examine objects as part of a larger whole and not just as individual things. This approach to the world and thought appeals to me as it comes from an epistemological approach of all things being connected in and to the universe. We know what we know because we examine how it relates to other things.

Moving away from affordances, I added a node for the consequences of connectivity. This is the idea that if we assume all things are connected, there are necessary effects of that intertwining. This first is that there is no privacy or invisibility, which I wrote about in the reading notes from Gibson's ambient optic array theory. The second is that in a network, there must be change and diversity in order to ensure survival. I connected that back to Spinuzzi's argument that communications and information design are becoming more interdependent. I would argue that English Studies, itself a network within the larger field of academia, must change and adapt to new technologies and digital communications if it is too thrive in the modern university landscape. Lastly, in an interconnected world, we are responsible for the care and keeping of each other and our environment - a point Bateson makes - because the health of the other will directly impact our own. These ethical concerns are connected to the idea that genres serve a social function, Johnson-Eilola's argument that reading and writing should serve sociopolitical purposes, and Bitzer's principle that discourse changes a situation. Each of these nodes has to do with using rhetoric to mediate the world, to improve the human condition. That seems to me to be an ethical stance about the nature of language. There is potential to change the world, and if we are declaring ourselves a part of that discipline, then we too must be agents of that change.

Mind Map: Class Meeting 3/4/14

Suzanne's Mind Map

(Additions this week in green)

The first node addition this week was Latour's idea of text as a laboratory. I am highly interested in the idea of text as living and capable of constantly producing new experiments, results, and analyses. Rather than a fixed object, a text continues to do work in society. I connected this node to several nodes: hypertext, civic web sites, books, and genre. The implication is that each of these textual products can be rethought as a point of experimentation. It forces us to ask how are these types of texts producing results? How do these results change over time? For different audiences? Are the assumptions and hypotheses correct? The use of the scientific vocabulary brings interesting questions to the forefront and provides fertile ground for thinking of literary objects.

The second node is Latour's definition of social not as a frame for viewing objects but as a collection of associations. I see this as relating to Foucault's expression of meaning in the relational rather than the nodes. I connected this new node to a previous node referencing this Foucauldian idea of connectivity. I also connected it to the Rohan node from CHAT. Rohan explains how the vent writings were connected multiple writers into a community. It supports Latour's claim because each of these writers worked in isolation, it was not a social activity in the traditional sense of many people coming together in shared space - either real or digital. Although they were working in isolation, the collection of their utterances is what gives the activity a social quality. It is not about the people, but their statements left in the shared space relating to other statements and information (like the weather or rhythm of the semester).

The third node relates to the Spinuzzi reading that expressed the view that mediational objects change people. I connected this to the area of the map dealing with delivery started by the CHAT authors. I also connected this to Bitzer's node about how discourse can mediate a situation. It highlights how mediation is the tool we use to effect change in discourse, but that discourse changes the situation by changing people. This seems to be something Bitzer does not emphasize. He argues more that the audience if persuaded will take steps to change the situation either legally or in some other tangible way. Yet the Spinuzzi discussion suggests change is a more subtle process of using objects to change people psychologically, to change perceptions and then behavior.

Lastly, I added a node for Latour's actants. This concept incorporates all those who interact with discourse. It is connected to Vatz's rhetor node and Bitzer's audience node because it suggests a new way of thinking about this binary. Rather than the Vatz and Bitzer argument privileging one over the other, Spinuzzi equates the two - writer and reader - as equal partners, as actants, working together to create and mediate meaning. This seems to me to be a more realistic understanding of how audience and rhetorician are related.

Hypertext Theory MindMap

Hypertext Mindmap CroppedTo map hypertext theory this week, I created three nodes off of a new central node called “Hypertext Theory.” The first node from this new primary node was called “The Library in the Digital Age.” I felt that archives play a very important role in hypertext theory, and therefore they need to be explored. The first branch from the library node was labeled “electronic archives as a caesura.” From this node I added two nodes that explore Joyce’s ideas about what this caesura allows: for us to “reflect on where we are,” and it “exposes a moment of change.” I added a node linked to both of these nodes to show that these things lead to the emergence of a new mind. The second node from the library node was “error and wander.” The third node focused on Joyce’s critique of megastores and what they cannot offer that local digital archives can.

The second node from the primary hypertext theory node was labeled “Intertextuality.” I used this as an opportunity to reflect on the conflict between printed text and hypertext. Print lovers seem distrustful of community and the future, while intersexuality actually seems more natural than print.

Finally, I created a node from the Hypertext Theory node to include a few key ideas from the Johnson-Eilola piece that really stood out to me. These included elements central to the definition and behavior of hypertexts.

Mind Map: Class Meeting 2/25/14

Suzanne's Mind Map

(Additions to the map this week are in red)

I started this week by adding the node for hypertext. There were several connections that felt significant with this new theory. First, hypertext as a tool for digital composition, there is a connection to last week's entries from CHAT about delivery. Specifically, hypertext can be understood as a type of mediation; it mediates the information, effects the message and how it is delivered then received by the audience. The second connection here is to the node representing Spinuzzi's argument that composition and information design are becoming ever more intertwined. Hypertext is a significant part of this call for understanding what is possible for composition in the digital era. Obviously, it extends beyond hypertext, but it often serves as the first leap into creating digital content, not just using technology to make a product. When we add links, we make connections, we build the network. The implications are worth considering especially as instructors.

The third connection is to a new node: a quote from Bolton about electronic writing allowing for the capturing of spatial relationships. I was definitely captured by this in the reading notes, so wanted to represent it visually. Hypertext allows for these spatial relationships to be represented as the author can quite literally lead the audience into the connections that position the text within the field. This node is also connected to a node about how networks can allow for the study of connections, which grew from working with Foucault. In some ways, the hypertext link functions as a point in a discourse network, a node.

The third node I added features a Johnson-Eilola quote about the political and social possibilities of reading and writing.  I made several connections here as well, likely due to my personal interests in scholarship of activism and what I believe to be the purpose of scholarship. I went back to Bitzer here with the notion that rhetoric can mediate a situation. As we teach and learn, we participate in the realm of ideas and create content that then effects that realm. In this way, we propel ideas forward that need recognition or admonition; we can ignore them too and relegate them to the dust of forgotten ignorant texts. This connects to the nodes of civic web sites dealing with the power to create producers of knowledge through public sharing of information and to effect community change. Johnson-Eilola's call would work in these two ways - by creating writer/readers who produce knowledge in society but with an eye toward action and change.

Then I connected this to a large node I have about networks allowing for action. It made me think about how hypertext is a network, so I also connected the hypertext node here as well.

Is hypertext a network, building a web of interconnected nodes (websites/digital content)? I feel like it might be similar to understanding hypertext as a genre. There certainly are ways of seeing it through that lens, but it might also be limited by its "toolness". What are the limits of hypertext as a network? That it relies on a network to operate, rather than creating one? It merely limits/edits the larger network in which it functions as a shortcut?

More questions this entry. Like the reading notes from last week. Perhaps there will be some answers forthcoming!

Mind Map: Class Meeting 2/18/14

Suzanne's Mind Map

(Additions this week are in black again since we have worked through each of the colors.)

The CHAT authors are interested in remapping the traditional canonical understanding of composition and rhetoric. From this discussion, I was struck most by the rethinking of delivery as a significant canon. I agree that the role of delivery was significantly diminished after English Studies developed as a written discipline as opposed to the oratorical goals of classical rhetoric. This may have resonated with me as I am working with a delivery system for my object of study, but it seems to build on a thread I have been working with. Last week, I added nodes to civic web sites to show the link between the evaluative criterion of usability and Spinuzzi's declaration of communication and information design becoming ever-more inextricable linked. I added the claim from CHAT authors to that set of nodes that spoke to the same overlap in English and the digital world.

To that growth, I added a node for "delivery" as the CHAT authors describe as being made up of "mediation" and "distribution", or choices we make about form and choices we make for getting that form to the audience respectively. I see a connection between mediation and the cluster of nodes dealing with how English Studies is linked to information technology. The growing use of digital media for rhetorical products requires mediation, choice of form, probably more than the traditional printed essay due to the highly variable environment that does not have a prescribed set of style guidelines like MLA. I thought about where else we have seen mediation as an important element. I thought of genre and Vatz's argument about the role of the rhetor. Genre mediates content by restricting it to a particular form. The rhetor chooses and edits content thus mediating the information an audience receives. I connected these nodes to the mediation node.

I added a node to genre to show the connection between it and what the CHAT authors call "affordances." I wrote about this in my reading notes and feel there may be some further exploration on that point - namely an idea I am kicking around about where action comes from. It seems genre theorists argue that actions stem from genres, but I think the CHAT authors are saying that actions collect into certain affordances that then make objects' use easier or more difficult. Are they coming at action from different angles? One with action as an effect of genre, the other with genre (affordances) as an effect of action?

Lastly, I added a node for "memory networks", the burgeoning archivist I like to see myself as. I connected this to Foucault's archives that I already suggested are a type of network. I connected a node for Solberg and Rohan, both CHAT authors dealing with memory, to that. Solberg suggests strong memories can impact the emotional environment in a positive way and Rohan argues that collective memory is built upon the reuse and repurposing of memory artifacts. I see both of these views as bearing on my object of study as effects of the seeing UPS as a memory network. I also connected that UPS node to "distribution" from the previous paragraph.

This is making me thinking about the relationship between memory and delivery. The classical canon suggests that to deliver a speech, we must have committed it to memory. The UPS is both a memory network, like Rohan's grates collecting thoughts and building a group memory, and a distributive system. I think this will be an interesting place to explore - and I'm glad the mind map was there to suggest it. I'm not sure I would have thought about it otherwise.

If the embed feature works, you will also see the current map here:

MindMap Feb. 16 Spinuzzi

MindMap Feb 16.

For this week’s MindMap activity, I added a node connected both to the primary node labeled “Network Theory” and to the “Genre Theory” node where I mapped the previous week’s readings on genre theory. I added a new primary node in blue labeled “Genre Tracing Theory” and I gave a very brief definition of what genre theory studies. From this node, I added two red nodes: Activity Systems and Genre Tracing Methodology. I used the Activity Systems node, which contains the definition of an activity system, to explore the varying elements of activity system theory. From there, I added a node called “Levels of Scope” and added a note that states that while they may be examined separately, they are also intertwined. From this node, I added a node for each level of scope, from which I added nodes to explore the role of the level in activity theory, how genres are related to or play a role in each level, and I also added an example of the activity of nursing.

The other node that I branched from the primary node is labeled is called “Genre Tracing Methodology”. There are two nodes branched from there labeled “Data Collection” and another called “Data Analysis.” From the “Data Collection” node I added nodes for the steps in the data collection process and a node containing the variety of methods used. From the “Data Analysis” node, I included a discussion of the methodology and I also included a list of methods in data analysis.

Mapping these components of genre tracing theory is very helpful particularly because the elements of an activity system can seem very complex. A basic map of those elements helps me quickly review how they are interrelated. I also found it helpful to map genre tracing methodology so I could visit the popplet to get a quick review of what is involved in this methodology as well as some of the methods for both data collection and analysis.

Activity System Levels

Mind Map: Week 5

Adding Spinuzzi this week, I began to see overlaps rather than contradictions. Even though last week was one of the Mind Maps to drop for me, I also added in a node for Bazerman as I saw a connection between his the felicity conditions he described and Foucault’s historical a priori that I didn’t want to forget.

Although not exactly the same, I do think there are similarities between Spinuzzi’s genre ecology (system of genres) and Foucault’s concepts of archive (“the general system of the formation and transformation of statements”) and tree of enunciative derivation (“at its base are statements that put into operation rules of formation in their most extended form; at the summit, and after a number of branchings, are the statements that put into operation at the same regularity, but one more delicately articulated, more clearly delimited and localized in its extension”). While genre ecology and archive seem to both encompass the system as a whole, the tree seems to correlate with Spinuzzi’s three levels of activity within the system just as the tree describes levels within the archive.

Additionally, Foucault’s methodology of tracing seems closely related to Spinuzzi’s, although Spinuzzi identifies a more systematic approach. Both emphasize the importance of understanding the historical and cultural/disciplinary roots of discourse/genre (which also relates to Popham’s boundary objects).

Finally, I noted a connection between Foucault’s concept of discontinuity and Spinuzzi’s destablization. Again, both identify these as places of interruption–places that indicate the importance of understanding the various levels at play.

The embedded function doesn’t seem to be working for me tonight, so here is a link to the updated version: Popplet Mind Map