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GWRJ Issue 7.2

Spring 2017

Heidi Bowman

Gone to the Dogs (and Cats, and Rabbits, and Various Other Small Animals): Writing for Animals at HSCI


Bowman, an animal person who describes herself as “half-cat” and is only half-joking, looks at how human beings can use writing to help other animals. She focuses on the writing surrounding the animals at the Humane Society of Central Illinois (HSCI) in Normal, examining how writing has been used to try to find a forever home for a cat named Laynie and a dog named Clover.

Bridget Langdon

Why Is Everyone So Emojinal?


Langdon was born in a strange time during the transition into the technological era. During this transition, a new genre of emoji speak emerged and integrated itself into a modern form of text communication. Through cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), Langdon researches Generation X and millennials to try to understand emoji speak as a genre and how it functions within an activity system.

Annie Hackett & David Giovagnoli

Coordinating Care: The Literate Activity Systems of Hospital Nursing


Nurses serve a very important role in any hospital, providing much of the day-to-day patient care and coordinating between other service providers. With lives on the line, thorough documentation is critical. In this interview, Hackett and Giovagnoli discuss the complex literate activity system within the field of nursing with Alex O’Brien, a Registered Nurse at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL.

Brooke Evans

Spreading Roots Presents: CHATting ’Bout Chats

Evans researches the connections between the ways we have communicated throughout history, attempting to figure out how these different genres might be related. She theorizes that the telegram and text messages might be part of the same genre family (maybe even genre siblings) then interviews her teacher, Mrs. Kieffer, to get her take on this.

Laura Skokan

Dan Harmon Uptook Nothing! And Neither Can You


Humor is a tricky beast—What’s funny, what isn’t; Why it is/isn’t. But this article doesn’t address those interesting notions. Instead, Skokan focuses on a single man and why he is terrible at telling jokes. She theorizes about the obstacles to his uptake, reflects on her own, and puts forth a conceptual way to imagine uptake (with pictures.)

Amish Trivedi

“Best of” What Now?


Trivedi asks us to consider who’s making all these “best of” lists that overwhelm our media and whether or not we give up too much authority in the process. Further, we are asked if these list makers even know what they are doing with all this authority.

Tobey Klungseth

Spreading Roots Presents: To Read or Not to Read, That Is My Question: Genre Analysis of Book Reviews


The more-than-you-thought complex genre known as the book review is used by many, and people use it frequently in the book buying process. Book reviews have a huge impact not only on readers, but also new and existing authors. As Klungseth analyzes the genre, she realizes that eighth graders use it less than she thought. Using research and surveys, Klungseth investigates the genre of book reviews.

Melanie Holden

“#Goals”: Examining a Subgenre of Social Media


Holden takes a deeper look at #goals, a sub-genre of social media that has captivated young adults. Through cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), she examines what she sees as the problematic way that our culture partakes in this trend.

Sydney Velez

Let’s “Chalk” It Up: Fun Pastimes Turned Advertising Gold


“Drawing” from the world around her, undergraduate double major in public relations and English studies, Velez explains how fun, kid-friendly activities that children participate in have become a prominent way student groups get the attention of students on college campuses.

Avery Fischer

Spreading Roots Presents: The Llamas that Light Up the World


Fischer investigates a genre that melds two things he loves: memes and llamas (llama memes). But he discovers that memes are much more than what’s on the Internet, and trying to determine which llama memes people prefer (and why) is trickier than it seems.

Md. Mijanur Rahman

Spreading Roots Presents: “Spam, Spam, Spam . . . ”: A CHAT Perspective


Using cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) as a framework, Rahman uncovers some of the complexities of the genre of electronic troublemaking as a writing practice. This article is an attempt to make meaning of the genre of spam in e-mails from a writing researcher perspective.

Hailey Langstaff

An Investigation of Recipes


Langstaff looks deeper into the genre of recipes. She searches for what may be taken for granted in, or missing from, various recipes and how that might be connected to assumptions about antecedent knowledge and antecedent genre knowledge. She uses many different examples and research methods (including baking) to test her research theory and attempts to investigate the reception of specific recipes as well.

Su Yin Khor

Multilingual Notes as a Tool to Understand Super Dense Readings


Khor investigated her dual-language note-taking method that emerged from her struggle to understand class readings. What she discovered was that her notes were more than multilingual scribbles on complicated theories and tricky terminology.

Sanam Shahmiri

Translating the Untranslatable: Making Meaning of  Idiomatic Expressions Across Languages


Shahmiri interviewed seven people who spoke languages other than English to learn about how they translated untranslatable expressions. Through her interview findings, she demonstrates how translingualism is closely tied to writing research identity and uses CHAT to look at this activity system’s influence on antecedent knowledge, uptake, and transfer.

LaToya Carter

Let the Dance Speak to You: How Dance Is a Cultural Artifact of Communication and Connection that Endures


Considering how dance is an interactive circle of give and take between performers and audiences, Carter connects dance to cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT). She demonstrates that dance, like writing, is a vital cultural artifact, a tool that we respond to and make specific meaning of, which is passed down and adapted for different purposes in various social contexts.

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