humanities, universities and sustainability

It’s that time of year, when enrollments have been counted and academic job postings have begun to appear, that those in the humanities–though certainly not only the humanities–turn their minds to uncertain future. A recent article in Inside Higher Ed carries on this tradition, comparing the shrinking tenure-track job market to job losses in the Rust…

Spending one’s time in the tech comm classroom

As I’ve been writing about recently, I’m teaching an undergrad tech comm class for the first time in a long time. We’re now a couple weeks in, and here’s my primary observation. It’s probably fairly obvious and not only to teaching technical writing but to almost any writing focused class. There really isn’t any time…

teaching technical communication again for the first time

As I’ve recounted here, for the last seven years I served as WPA in my department. As a result I was working almost exclusively with graduate students and teaching undergrads only during the summer and then the course was online. So this fall finds me back in the classroom with undergrads for the first time…

near futures of professional-technical communication

Over the last few months I’ve been going through the process of proposing a graduate certificate in digital communication and professional writing. It’s a long bureaucratic slog in the SUNY system but, with fingers crossed, we’ll have full state approval in the next few months. In any case, it certainly has me thinking about what…

professional writing’s invention curriculum

As I've written here in the past, professional writing strikes me as an odd hybrid of liberal arts and professional curricula. Clearly there are many people for whom writing is a profession and/or for whom writing is the primary activity of their professional life–particularly if we define writing broadly in terms of networked composition. And…

web identity project

Students in my Writing in the Digital Age professional writing course recently completed a web identity program (assignment). I don’t often write about class assignments, but this one went off pretty well so I thought I’d share. Basically the idea is that most of my students have a fairly limited experience with creating online identities….

why is creativity depressing?

An article on CNN reports on a recent study of the links between creativity and mood disorders. As the article notes, "The research of Verhaeghen and colleagues shows when people are in a reflective mode, they may become more creative, depressed, or both." The article also reports that Creative people in the arts must develop…

professional writing and disciplinary identity

One of the things my colleagues and I have been discussing is how we can communicate to our students what it means to be a professional writing major. If you’re in traditional English or History and so on, that identity is quite familiar. On the flipside if you’re in a more distinctly professionalizing major in…

the unspoken prerequisites of professional writing courses

You have to want to write. And I understand that’s not easy. This summer I did a one-day presentation at a writing institute for teachers, talking about technology and education as I often do. At one point I was talking about Twitter and microblogging a live event. One of the teachers commented on how that…

“creative writing” and the creative economy

I’m teaching our "advanced creative writing" course this semester. It’s a new course that adds another layer onto our "creative writing" curriculum. As I’ve noted in the past, the majority of students come to our professional writing program with a primary interest in writing fiction or poetry or screenplays. There are many reasons for this….