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Feminist dialects: Mapping the landscape of computer-mediated conversation.

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S. Morgan Gresham

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This dissertation examines a series of snapshots of the computer-mediated composition landscape--a cross-section of intersections frozen in one position for our analysis--of the feminist history of CMC, of feminist pedagogy, of feminist assessment, and of feminist administration all within the context of technology. These snapshots raise questions about the ways we have and continue to use technology in the teaching of writing. Each chapter suggests a possible map of this landscape for other CMC specialists to consider, and I propose ways in which CMC might adopt, redefine, and forge additional feminist theories of writing and technology. The initial chapter charts the field of computers and composition's experiences with feminist theories. Here I lay out the initial boundaries of power that computers and composition sought to transgress, and with each subsequent chapter, those boundaries and their power relations are redrawn. Chapter two is an extended example of the kinds of choices and negotiations required in a feminist-based computerized writing class. The tensions created by teaching a writing course that utilizes HTML coding in an outdated computer classroom highlight the role of praxis. Feminist pedagogy mitigates those tensions and helps (re)define what it means to be a feminist teacher in a computerized landscape. The gaps and fissures in the landscape become even more difficult to negotiate when, in chapter three, we consider the constraints of assessment theories and practices that are brought to a feminist online writing course. However, feminist praxis--that intersection of reflective theory and practice--offers boundaries and guidelines that help negotiate this space. The last chapter examines the potential cohesion that systemic, feminist approaches to the administration of CMC classrooms and labs can provide. It examines one specific location in which feminist administrative theories and practices are at work to ascertain how programmatic boundaries are shaped and transgressed.


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University of Louisville

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.