Aside

I use this blog as a thinking space; it’s not polished/organized, and that’s on purpose. You’ll find entries that relate to my interdisciplinary interests (see word cloud in sidebar). While I will be excited for comments here and in other venues, lurkers are very welcome.

Risk and the pandemic

While news about COVID-19 is everywhere, a year after it became a global headline, I’m seeing relatively little in the way of public writing on risk assessment and evaluation. Some organizational assessments from early on are out there, and plenty of guidance exists on how to manage and/or quantify personal risk. The CDC and similar bodies have put out lots of recommendations that are constantly met with public debate. But less common are analyses of how global perceptions of risk as a social endeavor have changed in the last year. I don’t just mean that the idea of risk is socially constructed (a la Grabill & Simmons), but that risk itself is networked element.

I’ve heard many people say–and I’ve said myself–“Oh, I trust so-and-so. They’re part of my bubble.” This is a way of establishing rhetorically that I have taken a risk but that I believe it to be a justifiable one. Of course, “trusting” someone in this sense also means trusting everyone they trust … and everyone they trust … and so on. Risk is viral. Literally. I’m eager to see some studies on how people’s understandings of risk have shifted over the past year as “risk of exposure” and “risk of being a carrier” have become such a prominent part of our everyday vocabularies and lives.

Holiday magic!

Excerpts from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/for-women-its-the-most-overwhelming-time-of-the-year/2013/12/20/a26461ae-668e-11e3-8b5b-a77187b716a3_story.html

“Despite making advances in education, shattering glass ceilings in the workforce and in politics, and gaining more economic independence in the past 40 years, women, on average, still do twice as much housework and child care as men, even when they work full-time outside the home. This “second shift” of housework and child care, which sociologist Arlie Hochschild first described in the 1980s, is alive and well in the 21st century. And holidays such as Christmas send that unequal division of labor into overdrive, creating a “third shift.””

“While men spend more time than women at paid jobs, married mothers spend six more hours a week caring for children and eight more hours a week on chores than married fathers.”

“So now, each couple begins the season with what they call an “honest conversation”: If the point of the holidays is “family-making,” they said, then they have to talk about what kind of family they want to make — and how the holiday could help. Which traditions are meaningful? And which become a frenzied blur of forced goodwill? How many Christmas cards to send, if any? And most important: When do these tasks need to get done, and how could they share them fairly?”

Feminist Technical Communication

I’ve sent a draft manuscript off. Fingers crossed!

Feminist Technical Communication introduces readers to feminist technical communication and argues for rhetorical feminist approaches as vital to the future of technical communication. It takes an intersectional and transcultural approach, drawing on the well-documented surge of work in feminist technical communication in the 1990s and fusing that work with the more recent social justice turn. The result is apparent feminisms, a methodological approach that can help technical communicators, technical communication and rhetoric scholars, and those interested in gender studies to more systematically interrogate systems of power that operate based on hidden misogynies. This text seeks to revitalize and intersectionalize feminist technical communication as part of a larger social justice project.

The first of its kind to situate feminisms and technical communication in relationship as the focal point of an entire book, this project begins with a review of literature, followed by an introduction to apparent feminist methodologies. It then theorizes slow crisis, a concept made readable to technical communicators by apparent feminism. Slow crisis opens up apparent feminist subjects so that technical communicators can more readily recognize and take on social justice problems. The book then applies this original theoretical framework to the Deepwater Horizon Disaster, an extended crisis that has been publicly framed with a very traditional view of efficiency that has privileged economic impact. Through rich description of apparent feminist information gathering techniques and a layered analysis, readers will see how apparent feminisms and slow crisis make space for new efficiency frames to redefine the DHD. This redefinition work has applications far beyond this single disaster, making available new crisis response possibilities that take economy into account without eliding ecology and human health.

Women faculty have been disproportionately impacted by COVID

… because women are more often caregivers. Employers interested in retaining smart women–who bring much-needed diverse thinking to a variety of workplaces, not just academia–had better be thinking yesterday about how to retain them.

“I hope the administration realizes that anything they do now to alleviate this issue for caregivers will directly impact how the professoriate will look five to 10 years from now — how diverse it will be, and how many women will be in positions of power within academia,” Dr. Escallón said.

Read the full article from the New York Times

Bibliographies

This, including its linked resources, is one of the most important and useful things I’ve seen recently. Bookmark it now!

Bibliography of Works by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in Technical and Professional Communication