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GWRJ Issue 14.1

Fall 2023

Izzy Foltz

Book It to Your Local Library: Public Libraries as Activity Systems

Foltz examines their local public library as an activity system, discussing the many literate activities involved in engaging with it and the literacies needed to navigate it. Looking at the evolution of this activity system over time, they use both antecedent knowledge and multimodality to highlight the complexities of this dynamic community.

Cynthia Nwakudu

Plant Parenting as a Literate Activity

Nwakudu looks at the activity system of cultivating house plants through the lens of her own antecedent knowledge and uptake. She uses P-CHAT to analyze some of the genres, activities, and interactions of plant parenting.

Piper Coe

Birding as an Activity System

Coe compares the activity system of birding that she was a part of as a child to the activity system of birding that she experiences now as an adult. She describes how both herself and this community have evolved in their literacies and literate activities over time.

Manuel Reza

Understanding Magic: The Gathering Commander Through Genre and Community

Reza explores the genres and activities of Magic: The Gathering to illustrate the intricate literacies of learning to play this card game in its various formats. He uses antecedent knowledge and ethics to get at the nuances and dynamics within this rich discourse community.

Isabel Crabtree

“Am I Ever Gonna Use This?”: How P-CHAT Can Be a Useful Tool in Advertising


Crabtree analyzes the genre of advertising through the lens of P-CHAT, looking at social media advertising. By tracing the genre conventions and trajectory of advertising over time, she highlights the impacts of the multimodality and ethics of social media advertising.

Darcy Allred & Natalie Jipson

Indigenous Activism and Language Reclamation

Allred and Jipson have a conversation about antecedent knowledge, translingualism, and Indigenous activism. They discuss how these concepts affect the ways we learn and reclaim languages.

Elena Petrova

Miles Apart: How Moving to the US Transformed Communication with My Best Friend

Petrova explores the conventions of the various multimodal genres she regularly uses to communicate with her best friend in Russia. She uses genre analysis and P-CHAT as tools to showcase the nuances of their translingual communication and activities.

Lily Linden

CHATting about Conflict Coverage


Linden writes about the influence of media coverage on public perception of global conflicts. She looks at the trajectory of various news media genres over time and especially the impact of social media.

Kayleen Haile

The Gen Z Book Review: BookTok and Its Evolution as a Genre


Haile examines the evolution of the genre of BookTok reviews, looking at BookTok as a complex activity system. As part of this discussion, she addresses the commodification of BookTok and how this has impacted the community.

Ola Al-Refae

Here’s a Tip: Receipts Are Genres

Al-Refae discusses the genre of receipts and how the conventions of this genre differ between the US and her home country, Jordan. She studies the genre through the lens of P-CHAT and illustrates how receipts fit into larger cultural, transactional activity systems.

Sam Kelly

Practice Made Perfect: The Key to Turning Music into a Literate Activity


Kelly frames practicing music as part of a larger activity system. By detailing activities and literacies involved in his musical practice, he steps readers through his process for becoming more proficient at playing and performing.

Jessica Kreul

“You Want Me to Do What?”: The Trials and Errors of Coding

Kreul documents the ways in which her antecedent knowledge has both hindered and helped the process of learning to write website code. Through genre research and analysis, she discovers how her experiences of writing as an English major overlap with writing code.

Nichol Brown

Picturing Literate Activity: The Early Bird Battles the Night Owl

Brown uses this short, multimodal genre—an image of her workspace alongside a brief narrative—to think about how her productivity and working/writing habits are in transition.

Evan Craig

My Football Life in Four Quarters: Rediscovering a Lost Literary Identity

Craig describes his love of football and writing and the literacies he gained along the path to becoming a sports media writer. Using different kinds of research and semiotic resources, he ultimately finds a way to satisfy both passions and become confident in his writing identity.

Edcel Javier Cintron-Gonzalez & Ellen Sundermeier

A Conversation with a Grassroots Author Presents: Tolkien, Genre, and Uptake: The Process of Handwritten Letters

Cintron-Gonzalez and Sundermeier come together in this interview—transcribed from an episode of the Writing Program’s podcast series A Conversation with a Grassroots Author—to discuss the researching and writing processes behind the composition of Ellen’s Sundermeier’s Grassroots article, “The Magic of Handwritten Letters: Socialization in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas.”

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