Dear CASLL listserv folks,

At Ohio State U. I just started taking a graduate course in Ethnography as
a research method in rhetoric & composition.  I've decided I'd like to do
an ethnography of CASLL listserv communication because I enjoy so much
being part of this group.  My ethnographic research will happen from now
until the end of May, but I'll also be studying listserv activity in the past.

Because an ethnography requires the study of larger contexts and the
perspective of insiders, I'll be emailing some of you individually over the
next 7-8 weeks to ask for contextual information, or to check my
interpretation of what's going on with your interpretations.  Your
participation in personal email interviews with me is entirely voluntary,
of course!!

I will try hard not to be annoying, but if I/we want this study to
represent more than what's in my head as I read messages, I have to
communicate with people about what is going on.  If this essay ever gets
anywhere beyond the course, I think it would raise an awareness of our
existence and importance as a group.  It would also show whether electronic
communication can form a kind of community in itself, and examine how it
functions for a diverse and geographically diffuse bunch of language
scholars and practitioners like ourselves.  It'll also be interesting as
one reflection of who we are.  That's my sales pitch.

At the conference in May, I'll also be taking some field notes to compare
what goes on there with the kind of communication that goes on on the

I will only be asking you individually for explicit permission to use names
or e-mail information IF or WHEN my essay is going to be read by others
besides my instructor.  (it would be in vain to go through all that
permission-getting if the essay will only be seen by her.)  If inkshedders
want the essay to be available for their reading after my course is done,
I'll just get every participant's permission at that point, just like I've
done recently for the other essay I wrote using listserv research.  If you
want to exclude yourself in advance, or if you have any advice or comments,
please do so by emailing me ([log in to unmask]).