Fenobia I. Dallas, Ph.D.
Professor of Rhetoric and Professional Writing
Department of Rhetoric & Professional Writing
Saginaw Valley State University
7400 Bay Road
University Center, MI 48710

Engage with Others

Engaging with others is more than an obligatory greeting to someone. Serious, heartfelt, gut-wrenching engagement is humanity personified.

"The Technical Communicator in TechniColor," excerpt from unpublished manuscript, 2004, 2013.

"...I envisioned the Enterprises as another form of a business and industry entity, set to tell us technical communication folks what to do—and how we could “serve” them. As I sat there, I couldn't figure out if these teams were there of their own accord because they wanted technical communication assistance, whether they we “instructed' to be there by the Enterprise administrators, or whether they were simply putting on another show—another presentation, albeit tossing in the we-need-you-mantra as if it was on the added-on three-by-five card in their canned presentation stack.

I say all this to perhaps influence, perhaps only to have my voice heard in all this disciplinary talk, and maybe just to be seen as an African American in a field that is pretty much lily-white. What I suggest is that this place be a miniature model of what we envision our field to become. We should create our own Enterprise team, composed of ONLY technical communicators.

This miniature model could be tweaked, massaged, and modified... to attain power and legitimacy, and consequently provide assistance or guidance in a way that privileges concerns about social justice and the public sphere. And then, in a real world, this model can be held up as the end-target of the discipline. A pipe dream? No. This is the track that technical communication must pursue if we are to become and remain not just a disciplinary body in the academy, but a force to be reckoned with as we move the academy towards something more reflective of the community—and world—around us."

We talk to understand; we share to inform; and we listen to know better.

This page last updated 2022
by Big Walter
for Blak Kat Productions.
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