Ranging in tenor from subtle wit to bold vulgarity, humorous t-shirts offer an opportunity to analyze how a seemingly simple message on one’s clothing presents a multitude of considerations for the student of genre studies. Jones, an avid fan of the humorous tee, dons a couple of his favorite funny shirts in public settings to examine what they tell us about genre.
Jayna Leipart Guttilla
Leipart Guttilla explores the genre of recipes using Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) to find connections between her own cooking methodologies and those in other cultures and historical periods. She explores the connections between food and family, considering not just how people approach their daily meals, but more importantly how they approach one another.
Robinson identifies the similarities between the notes she exchanged with friends as an adolescent and the notes written and shared decades later by her daughter and her daughter’s friends. A genre analysis of these notes passed between friends at school using the lens of Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) reveals some important socialization occurring alongside the production and distribution choices the girls make in their writing.
Wojciechowski, an undergraduate writing tutor, looks at the experiences of native English speakers from those of non-native speakers in a composition classroom. As instructors teach non-native English speakers to write according to the style demanded by American higher academia, they often communicate that the student’s way of writing and thinking is not valid. Wojciechowski suggests a dangerous boundary is crossed when the way “they” write is vilified and dichotomized from the way “we” write.
Shier explores the syllabus genre using his own identities in the university—as a student, a teacher, and an author of his own syllabi. Through this exploration of viewpoints, he argues that the syllabus mediates classroom relationships in interesting ways (and not always completely intentional ones).
Connett explores a piece of sheet music and how it connects to Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). Sharing some of her personal experiences as well as providing many examples, she shows readers that, even in a genre not often thought of as “writing,” it can be beneficial to examine different factors that contribute to the creation and use of the text.
Gill explores the art of creating a hybrid genre, using the example of the jukebox musical. Drawing on her own experience, Gill breaks down the different sub-genres that make up this hybrid, and she shares her thought process in trying to create her very own jukebox musical, explaining the necessary understanding of characteristics and conventions that goes into producing this unique genre.
Through an examination of Tumblr as a genre of social media posting, Ragan demonstrates how writing research is applicable to everyday interactions with genre. She shares how she learned to compose a Tumblr post and how she discovered that even genre conventions that seem confusing at first do, in fact, make sense and are important to defining the genre.
Cullen uncovers a correlation between learning how to ride a bike and learning how to write a successful blog. She takes the reader on a journey through the multiple stages she encounters when learning to compose in this way: piquing interest, choosing a style, finding teachers, training, making first attempts, practicing, experiencing the mishaps along the way, and finally reaching the overall goal.
By conducting a writing experiment to create her own website, Sanghera discovers how important goals are to any piece of writing. She stresses how powerful social media can be, how the voice of an individual matters, and how much impact people can have on others through social media.
Macarthy analyzes reviewers who choose to remain anonymous and reviewers who choose to identify themselves, exploring how online anonymity transforms opinion-based writing and people’s reception of that writing.
In J.K. Rowling’s novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (1997), the author “others” the beloved character Hagrid via representation of dialect in direct speech. O’Connor explores how rather than being a positive portrayal of diversity, this language choice exploits a cultural group. O’Connor questions the technique and purpose of literary portrayal of accents and examines the manner in which Hagrid’s speech draws upon stereotypes of a more rural culture.
Thaddeus Stoklasa and Scott Pryz
We wrote an unpublishable article (that you can still read): This is not that article, but without that article, this one would not exist, or A Story of Collaborative Writing: How Technology and Unchecked Arrogance Led to an Unpublishable Debacle
Stoklasa and Pyrz ruminate on the ways in which the technological and partnership choices one makes when doing collaborative writing significantly impact the successes and failures of that collaborative work. Drawing on the experience of collaborating to create an unpublishable article, the two discuss the technological and rhetorical choices they made that led to both the successes and (far more often) the failures of their article.