GWRJ Issue 7.1
Jacques explores the activity systems surrounding a mobile gaming experience, especially those with a transcultural bent. He considers a variety of his antecedent knowledges and his understanding of CHAT. With some reflection on transcultural language, he discovers that his activities, although largely confined to his smartphone, are part of a system that stretches to the other side of the world and throughout a history that may be more complex than he expected.
Lancrenon tests some of her friends’ abilities to deduce the meaning of five French phrases translated into English. She examines how they go about guessing the meaning of the phrases by drawing on their prior knowledge and transferring their linguistic skills. The readers are also invited to play along and study their own cognitive processes, so… Allons-y*! (* Let’s go!)
Sánchez-Martín explains how cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) allows writers to explicate linguistic variation in different genres. The article provides a model for how the expansion of understanding in a language allows a writer to notice the diverse resources that are available for them to make meaning in creative and non-adaptive ways.
Ackerman uses CHAT to discuss and analyze the unique qualities of social media sensation Humans of New York that make it its own genre. She reviews the history of the project and looks into its recent changes to see what makes it stand out.
Through the lens of cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), Rodríguez analyzes the ways in which the online platform Snapchat is used as a medium for life writing. Rodríguez also unpacks the ways in which the snaps she creates are fun yet meaningful.
Scott has created a genre study of the artist statement by approaching it as something that changes with the needs of society. From manifesto to artist statement to a genre with conflicting views and uses, this article moves through the artist statement using books, interviews, surveys, and looking at the work of professional artists.
Merrifield investigates the activity systems of two different kinds of architects, looking specifically at the way that they achieve their objectives. In her interview with a software architect and a commercial architect, she learns about how they work with real-world genres, how they adjust for different audiences, and how they use specialized languages in their compositions.
Lewis examines several note-taking methods in order to think through how she came to understand her own note-taking. She breaks down note-taking by using cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) to analyze what might be considered the “genre of academic note-taking,” specifically considering socialization, production, ecology, and reception.
Schmidt considers how notebook doodles can actually be an important part of a writing activity system, and how a healthy relationship with distraction can help a writer cultivate a confident writing research identity. He examines his own doodling practices, applying CHAT as a theoretical model for understanding how doodling may be related to concepts such as representation, socialization, and reception. He does not offer any note-taking advice.
Hackett explores the activity system involved in creating and producing a podcast. Annie uses cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) to explain how every little part of the writing process is important for producing a final text. She describes the steps she went through to make a podcast and concludes that sometimes, you just have to power through the pain and frustration to create a successful product.
Sutton discusses how her assumptions about what can and cannot be considered research are challenged when she decides to write a paper on political Facebook memes. In order to write a paper that meets the criteria of the assignment, Sutton ultimately has to unlearn much of what she thinks she knows about research.
Doyle explores the genre of young-adult fiction in order to discover how YA novels make an impact on the works of two kinds of writers—YA authors and writers who read the genre. She relies on the CHAT aspect of reception to help explain her own theories about the positive impacts of reading this genre.
In part one of this article, Hackett met with Angela Sheets, a former English 101 Instructor at ISU who currently works as a writing researcher in the Claims Training department at COUNTRY Financial in Bloomington, Illinois. Here, they discuss elements of CHAT and activity theory to explain the writing systems Angela employs to complete projects for the company, and Annie transcribes the Q & A session for part two of the article.