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

Thoughts in Progress

 

"Is Social Justice “Just Us?”: Extending Technical Communication Pedagogy." Unpublished manuscript, 2008.

Disrupting the given narrative is so important to growth, to consider other possibilities. Often that prescripted narrative reflects a very narrow viewpoint, where blinders serve to erase and ignore the margins. Many of the seminal works on technical communication pedagogy explore the nuances between technical writing as an end unto itself, and writing technically as a support component toward a separate endeavor. These positions sought to establish the art and discipline of technical communication as a human-focused endeavor, moving away from the desired neutrality stance of scientific fact espoused by the scientific and engineering disciplines.

More recent studies have considered how to incorporate multicultural perspectives or feminist viewpoints in the classroom that continue to challenge the neutrality stance, but they still fall short of the liberating effects of an effective social justice pedagogy. I suggest that viewing technical communication pedagogical practices in the classroom through an Afrafeminist viewpoint can serve to expand teaching practices in a more inclusive way while not diminishing teaching effectiveness.

Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics.

Bell, Derrick. “The Chronicle of the Sacrificed Black Schoolchildren.” And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest for Racial Justice. New York: Basic Books, 1987. 102-7.

Delgado, Richard, and Jean Stefancic. Critical Race Theory: An Introduction. New York: New York UP, 2001.

Kynell-Hunt, Teresa. “Status and the Technical Communicator: Utilitarianism, Prestige, and the Role of Academia in Creating our Professional Personna.” Power and Legitimacy in Technical Communication: The Historical and Contemporary Struggle for Professional Status. Eds. Teresa Kynell-Hunt and Gerald J. Savage. Amityville, NY: Baywood, 2003. 53-67.

Lay, Mary M. "Feminist Theory and the Redefinition of Technical Communication.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication 5.4 (1991): 348-70.

Royster, Jacqueline Jones. Traces of a Stream: Literacy and Social Change Among African-American Women. Pittsburgh: U of Pittsburgh P, 2000.

Thrush, Emily A. “Multicultural Issues in Technical Communication.” Foundations for Teaching Technical Communication: Theory, Practice, and Program Design. Eds. Katherine Staples and Cezar Ornatowski. Greenwich, CT: Ablex Publishing, 1997.161-77.

 

"ColorCulture, Language, and Spirituality: BorderCrossers Impacting the Complexity of Life." Unpublished manuscript, 2017.

The representation of religion in popular culture is often shown as two extreme avenues. The orderly, organized, structured religious body is one viewpoint, while the idiosyncratic, idealistic, spiritual connection to nature or natural events is the other perspective. The former is usually ascribed to civilized peoples in a highly developed society, while the latter is often associated with natives in an evolving community. Often the clash between cultures and religious beliefs and practices are predicated upon some aspect of colonization, such as the Crusades of the 1700’s, the Cold War of the 1950’s, or the Drone War of the 2000’s.

Whether this is predicated upon economic gain, unfettered access to natural resources, geopolitical control, and/or media & information control, religious control (often masked as values and beliefs) of the natural is sanctioned as best. In this instance, the more highly civilized peoples are expected to bring order and structure to the native peoples, whose response is to eschew spiritual practices associated with the veneration of nature, in favor of adopting civilized, structured religious practices. The rigid, religious control of nature is paralleled with the economic-political control of nature – or of the natural resources. This control is often dismantled by the shifting nature of natural events – a continuous evolving, balancing, and inherent force that has its own spiritual, “religious” connotations, without the necessity for outside influences or accouterments.

For this means of artificial control, I offer a different idea about colonialism and cultural appropriation – I call this ideology “colopriatism,” where the colonizers are not simply content to instill their practices to replace existing ones. Instead, these colonizers choose to reshape culture by infecting culture through nuanced steps, even while claiming to protect and preserve the original. The claim of “do no harm” only applies when extracting natural resources, but not to the culture, mores, and values of a people.

Anzaldua, Gloria. Borderlands: La Frontera: The New Mestiza. 2nd ed. San Francisco, Aunt Lute Books, 1999.

Avatar: Theatrical Version. James Cameron & Jon Landau, Prods. James Cameron, Dir. Beverly Hills, CA, 2009.

Butler, Octavia. Survivor. Garden City, New York, 1978.

Davis, Angela Y. The Meaning of Freedom: And Other Difficult Dialogs. San Francisco: City Lights Publishers, 2012.

We study, investigate, and analyze in order to understand, and then share that understanding.

This page last updated 2022
by RexJr
for Blak Kat Productions.
copyright © 1999-2022 | Fenobia I. Dallas