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GWRJ Issue 8.1

Fall 2017

Gabrielle Litwiller

Genre Subversion by Gummy Bears and Explosive Diarrhea

Litwiller looks to to understand the concept of genre subversion. By tracking the Amazon reviews of Haribo’s sugar free gummy bears, she discovers something more sinister than bowel movements—she discovers how genres change form.

Jenn Coletta

I would not like writing here or there—I would not like writing just anywhere: Exploring the Materiality of Writing Research


Coletta discusses how she developed a writing research identity by becoming more aware of the spaces and places she inhabits. While she has often completed writing assignments on the floor, she did not realize the significance to her learning process until coming to ISU. Coletta unpacks the ways that space can help or hinder our writing, but more importantly, how analyzing our preferences allows us to grow as writing researchers.

Hannah Kroonblawd

Solo Doesn’t Mean Alone: Travels with Lonely Planet


Kroonblawd considers how a specific kind of text, the Lonely Planet guidebook, influences action, and how both text and action can be changed by context. Central to Kroonblawd’s project are ideas of intertextuality, CHAT-based theories of activity and socialization, and recognition of antecedent knowledge.

Sydney Ybarra

Transmedia Storytelling: Social Media Keeping the Story Alive

Ybarra uses genre analysis to examine the multi-platform based genre of transmedia storytelling. Transmedia storytelling is a new modern approach to storytelling in a more technology based society. She discusses the elements of cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), looks at genre conventions and characteristics, and analyzes a video series (The Lizzie Bennet Diaries) to support her findings about the appeal of transmedia storytelling.

Katherine Peterson

Clichés and Other Stressful Components of Writing


From reading and writing fiction, Peterson has observed the negative connotation that surrounds clichés in different genres. Here, she discusses the assumptions she made in her initial research into clichés and how it affected the way that earlier drafts of this article were received by Grassroots editors. Through an analysis of what the definition of a cliché really is, the article explains how a cliché’s acceptance is associated with genre, audience, and socialization.

Shane A. Wood

Atychiphobia, Failure, Genre, and Vulnerability Inside and Outside the Writing Classroom


Wood attempts to enlighten failure as a positive means for production and progress. Wood argues that failure can offer us—the teacher and the student—a lot. This article challenges us to consider how failure aligns with other theories (e.g., genre theory), and to re-consider how failure, through vulnerability, can be relational inside and outside the writing classroom.

Braeden Weiss

Spreading Roots Presents: CHATting About Greatness: Applying CHAT to “the 46” Defense


Using his antecedent knowledge about the game he loves (football), Weiss explores how cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT) helped him to understand the creation of one of the most innovative defenses of all time. By researching and applying CHAT to “the 46” defensive scheme he figures out the secrets of the creation of “the 46” defense.

Mackenzie Flowers

Beginning the Trip into Adulthood: Step One, Get Organized


Flowers explores the genre of Bullet Journaling. She examines the genre through the seven elements of cultural-historical activity theory. Flowers also looks at how a system like the Bullet Journal can help to organize the life of anyone who chooses to use it by sharing her own adventures using the system.

Sarah Lyons

Spreading Roots Presents: To Judge a Book by Its Cover: A Genre Analysis About the Cover of a Book


Book covers are the information on the front and back of the book that includes topics about the author, the title, and the overall mood of the book that makes you want to read it. Book covers are strangely complicated genres that have a strong power over people. Lyons explores the power and different conventions of book covers and why we judge books because of them.

Becky Holdsworth

Let’s Sit Down for a Talk

Captive audiences are some of the trickiest kinds of audiences to write for. They do not always receive information positively. But Holdsworth finds that the Illinois State University (ISU) Health Promotion and Wellness office is calculated in their representation of important information to encourage positive audience uptake. Holdsworth discovers how they use “Toilet Talks” to communicate important messages about general health, safety, and well-being to the ISU campus.

Andrew Del Mastro

Faceless Ecologies: Determining Author Control in the Distribution of Facebook Posts


Del Mastro explores how ecology can affect the way people express themselves when posting content on social media. He specifically looks at elements of Facebook that can and cannot be controlled by users in order to determine how ecology might limit or manipulate self-expression and author ownership online.

Mackenzie Flowers & Maddi Kartcheske

Literate Practices in a Juvenile Detention Home


In part one of this article, Maddi Kartcheske interviewed Patrick Sweeney, Director of the La Salle County Detention Home, via email correspondence. Here, Maddi gets an overview of Patrick’s writing in the workplace, as well as some of his writing history. In part two, Mackenzie Flowers transcribed Patrick Sweeney’s Q & A session during a classroom visit to Delores Robinson’s English 101 class at Illinois Valley Community College (IVCC).

Addie McMullen

CHAT, Would You Accept This Rose?


Reality TV shows are a guilty pleasure for many of us since they are often very dramatic—making them addicting to tune in to week after week. In this article, Addie McMullen analyzes the popular reality TV show The Bachelor through CHAT and the use of a survey in order to understand the complex genre of reality TV.

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