Poster Session II

Room: Landmark Ballroom 4, Level One


3:00-3:30 pm

The Changing Face of Textual Production in Technical and Professional Communication: Examining the Profession through the Lens of the MLA Job Information List 1990-2010
Claire Lauer, Utah State University
This presentation will report on the results of a research project that looks at the past twenty years of MLA Job Information List advertisements to examine the changing ways in which members of the profession have talked about the new kinds of texts they are working with in the classroom and in their research.  Over 3000 pages of job advertisements were examined for the ways in which professional and technical communication search committees used key terms to solicit applicants and describe the field’s evolving engagement with multi/modal/new/digital media texts and technologies.

Localizing the Global Through User-Centered Design
Chelsea Moats, Michigan State University
This presentation examines the rhetorics of accommodation in workplaces, the academy, and nonphysical spaces, and promotes an alternative perspective to burdensome accommodations. It discusses how community literacies of accommodation are necessary in all communities and thus requires technical communicators to analyze literacy practices used to represent and address accommodation problems and the ways these practices structure and limit stakeholder participation. Through an examination of the actors within varying networks alongside what it means for the technical communicator who must negotiate accommodation efforts for various stakeholders, this speaker suggests that technical communicators serve as advocates for users’ concerns.

Accessing the Unseen: Technical Communication and Disability Studies
Stephanie Wheeler, Texas A&M University
With the emergence of new global communication environments, little attention has been paid to the role of the body within those environments. Furthermore, even less attention is paid to the ways that certain bodies are unseen in inherently ableist conceptualizations of both globalization and of technical communication. These conceptualizations reveal the necessity of the body in any understanding of the existence of technical writing production.
Too often, however, in attempting to include these bodies in conversations and praxis, disabled bodies are abstracted and thus remain unseen. In an effort to theorize and demonstrate a Disability Studies-centered approach to technical writing, the students in my technical writing classroom are required to produce work that always remembers a disabled audience. That is, students must produce work that relies on the model of Universal Design, a design that opens up accessibility for as many people as possible in as many contexts as possible, thereby opening up conversations about accessibility in various global communication environments. Through an examination of these projects, this paper will demonstrate how a Disability Studies-centered theory must always inform technical communication productions and perceptions.


Cultural SEO: Writing Beyond Robots
Sean Morey, Clemson University
This poster discusses how technical communicators might rethink Search Engine Optimization (SEO) within a global context. SEO requires technical writers to consider nonhuman audiences such as search engine robots, and often targets specific users that exist outside traditional geographical barriers. Increasingly multi-modal search result pages, which frequently occur in “blended” formats of video, images, and text, complicate global technical communication and require cultural considerations of how these results might appear to the end user. By offering examples of some of these result pages, Presenter 1 theorizes some “globalized” approaches for SEO teachers and practitioners.

Going Mobile: From Global Village to Global Theater
John Tinnell, University of Florida
Though smartphones are still new, technical communication scholars such as Christian Weisser point out the immediate relevance of mobile apps for today’s workplace writers. Presenter 2 discusses global examples of technical writing and visual rhetoric projects that incorporate these new technologies. These examples will showcase the innovative efforts of multinational corporations and non-profit cultural institutions. Presenter 2 also argues that the networks created by mobile apps manifest a cultural/rhetorical shift, which can be characterized, in Marshall McLuhan’s terms, as a shift from “global village” to “global theater.”

Exploring New Roles in International Communication and Collaboration
Keith Gibson, Utah State University
Diane Martinez, Utah State University and Kaplan University
This presentation reports on the results of our study on the nature of international collaboration in scientific research. Through an examination of a collection of scientific articles, the poster will analyze the role international communication is playing in the changing face of science. This shift is an important opportunity for technical communication scholars to help improve the effectiveness of science communication and increase the potential for valuable international collaboration.

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