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 listserv. 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]). Thanks! Tania.