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CASLL-L  June 2011

CASLL-L June 2011

Subject:

Re: Making rhetoric/writing studies more visible in Canada

From:

Will Garrett-Petts <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

casll-l: Canadian Association for the Study of Language and Learning (Inkshed)" <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 4 Jun 2011 10:32:37 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (134 lines)

Thanks for this, Doug. An important (and timely) initiative. 

Like many others, when applying for SSHRC support--especially in terms of SRG support--I've had to apply via Committee 15 (Interdisciplinary Studies); and when I've pointed out, repeatedly to SSHRC staff, that our field is not listed in the various selection committees, they tend to say that communications studies comes closest to the field I describe. A united effort seems what's needed to secure recognition and informed assessment from grant selection committees.

Cheers,

Will





W.F. Garrett-Petts, Professor & Associate Dean
Faculty of Arts
Thompson Rivers University
900 McGill Road, Box 3010
Kamloops, B.C., V2C 5N3
Tel.: 250-828-5248
FAX: 250-371-5697
Webpage: http://www.tru.ca/faculty/petts/index.html
Small Cities CURA: http://www.smallcities.ca
Blog: http://petts.blog.mytru.ca/
>>> Doug Brent <[log in to unmask]> 06/04/11 12:35 AM >>>
Hello all,

Here's a matter of some temporal urgency.

BACKGROUND

In the September 2010 issue of CCC, an article by Louise Wetherbee 
Phelps and John M. Ackerman appeared called "Making the Case for 
Disciplinarity in Rhetoric, Composition and Writing Studies: The 
Visibility Project." The article documents a successful effort to get 
our field formally recognized by the National Research Council's 
taxonomy of research disciplines and by the federal Classification of 
Instructional Programs.

In Canada, the equivalent would be SSHRC, in which we are equally 
invisible, necessitating strange contortions under headings such as 
linguistics, education and communications studies. Check out the list of 
Grant Selection Committees at

http://www.sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/funding-financement/peer_review-evaluation_pairs/selection_committees-comites_selection/standard_research-ordinaire_recherche_2011-eng.aspx

and the list of discipline codes at

http://www.outil.ost.uqam.ca/CRSH/Liste_Info.aspx?Info=2&Langue=2

You'll note that nothing like "us" by any name appears on either list. 
Even those who have no intention of ever applying for a SSHRC grant, or 
of supervising graduate students who do, would benefit from greater 
visibility for our field. Recognition of this type tends to trickle down 
from SSHRC to other levels of the academy and would potentially benefit 
people working everywhere from graduate programs to writing centres.

At last week's meeting of CASLL (the Canadian Society for the Study of 
Language and Learning, aka Inkshed), I put this matter on the table, and 
was rewarded by being acclaimed as unofficial ringleader and gadfly for 
a visibility project in Canada.  Jennifer Clary-lemon at the U of 
Winnipeg has made a start on this, and notes that SSHRC is planning a 
reorganization of these categories in the coming year. This gives us a 
window of opportunity until November at the latest, during which a 
proposal to add us somewhere might have a good chance.

PROPOSED ACTION PLAN

As unofficial and un-authoritative spokesperson (my virtual of being the 
one to open my mouth), I suggest the following steps.

1. Alert interested stakeholders in CASDW, CASLL, CSSR and CWCR, which 
seem to me the national organizations most likely to be interested. 
That's what I'm doing now. (Members, please feel free to spin this off 
to others who might not be represented on one or more organizations).

2. Find out more about exactly what we might have to do to put a 
proposal together. I am starting this fact-finding process with my local 
university SSHRC rep.

3. Start a discussion about what we might want to call this research 
area. The US folks used rhetoric/composition/writing studies, but in 
Canada we could probably leave out composition, and might want to add 
Discourse Studies. The suggestion from Winnipeg is to add ourselves to 
Group 26, which currently includes Communication Studies, Cultural 
Studies and Women's Studies. This is not a perfect spot but perhaps 
better than any of the alternatives. Given our size, we might be better 
positioned to add ourselves to an existing classification rather than 
try to start a new one, but that's up for discussion.

4. Once we've gone through the initial discussions, and found out more 
about what such a proposal might look like, perhaps we can get 
representatives from the four organizations to make up a small committee 
to wordsmith a proposal.

5. Lobby SSHRC representatives from our various institutions to at least 
alert them to what we are doing and to lay a groundwork of support. Your 
respective research offices can probably tell you who to talk to.

Please give me your comments on this project. Given the shortness of the 
window, we should start these discussions right away.

Cheers

Doug
-- 

Dr. Doug Brent
Social Sciences 312

University of Calgary
Department of Communication and Culture

2500 University Drive N.W.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4
Voice: (403) 220-5458 Fax: (403) 210-8138
http://www.ucalgary.ca/~dabrent


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