P.S. on my previous message...
Just so you know how I'm trying to make this ethnography collaborative and
Regarding my questions in the previous email:
Your response is voluntary, of course. Your responses will be confidential
in the ethnography: I will use a pseudonym--you can choose your own
pseudonym! But it still might be clear-- to insiders --who you are.
If I quote you or paraphrase your ideas in my ethnographic essay, before it
sees any eyes besides my professor's (before even putting it on the
website), I promise to email you to ask for your permission and your
reaction to the relevant passages, to make sure I'm framing your ideas
correctly and ethically.
Of course everything on the listserv is already semi-"public" by being in
archive on the web... but my framing of your words may be inappropriate in
your sight, so I need to ask permission to save my neck and yours.
I did the same for my essay on Canadian composition (see Inkshed website),
asking permission from all those I quoted, and implementing their revisions.
I did make mistakes, and some people wanted to be anonymous, so it was good
that I asked permission.
As for collaboration, someday this mini-ethnography will be on the inkshed
website under your collective scalpels, like Russ Hunt's "Inkshedding"
history. Why not participate in your own representation in print? My essay
on Canadian comp. is already on the website just waiting for responses... I
know it's only one person's view on composition in Canada... and it is
fairly blind to what is going on in CATTW, for example. But it is at least
PPS... if I'm still blind to some impt. ethical issues, please enlighten me.
From: Tania S. Smith <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Tuesday, May 11, 1999 7:43 PM
Subject: What is Inkshed for?
>Hi, Inkshedders, and listserv lurkers!
>Whew! What a weekend at Inkshed XVI. I found it intellectually
>stimulating, heartbreaking at times (the presentations on the residential
>schools and Albanian massacre), socially awkward (the way people often
>changed their speech or attitude when they saw me as ethnographer), and
>incredibly fun at other times (eating, dancing, inkshedding, talent night).
>Thanks to Ann and Jane and everyone else for making it possible.
>And during those 4 days I think I shed more ink than ye all, doing my field
>notes for the ethnographic study of Inkshed.
>I came away with some questions I'd like to pose to all listserv members.
>You can answer to the list to make it an open conversation, or you can
>converse privately with me at [log in to unmask] I'm asking all listserv
>lurkers, conference participants, long-time members, and co-founders.
>Q: Is Inkshed (listserv, conference, newsletter, and website) a "culture"
>a "community"? If so, what are its defining characteristics? Its borders
>Q: What does inkshed do for you, individually, as members (professionally,
>AND Here's some questions for more seasoned Inkshedders:
>Q: What are the future possibilities for Inkshed? Does it have a
>or does it desire to grow in size or scope?
> Background to this question: On the last day of the conference, I was
>thinking, Inkshed is very nurturing of its members, very intellectually
>stimulating-- but does it have an outward face too? Do we as a group want
>"do" anything, to change anything in education or scholarship? When I
>this question at a table, one person said, "I've never thought of Inkshed
>having a missionary function." Another person stressed the way that
>already supports its members with whatever struggles they are going through
>in their home institutions. I went home reflecting upon the nature of
>institutions... how might Inkshed suffer if it did grow too much, if it did
>have some sort of outward "mission"? Would it lose its diversity? its
>coziness and informality?
>Q: On the last day of the conference, I and Janet found ourselves wondering
>aloud, why doesn't Inkshed have a journal? You know, one of those things
>that grants outward status to a field of study and its members, one of
>ways of building up a body of knowledge in "the Canadian study of Language
>and Learning" ? The answer, from a few, was "it's too much work" and
>"we're too small still" (and here I admit I'm utterly naive about what work
>it entails, yet full of energy to want it to happen... I feel like a kid
>begging her parents to go to Disneyland or something. Mary-Louise
>having a graduate-student edited journal. I suggested a web-based journal.
>It looks like Russ is edging in that direction, collaboratively).