Social Media Defined

Social media, roughly defined as “a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content” (Kaplan and Haenlein 2010: 60), (quoted from Jose va Dijck)

Trauma, Standpoint, Posthumanity – Theorizing the Bio-Cultural Network of Relationships

It’s well established that some elements of personality are genetic.  It’s also well established that biological determinism can provide one of the most pernicious forms of racism.  It’s generally acknowledged (or at least proclaimed) that all people are created equal (which is not at all the same as all people being created identical).  And yet…

Historical Distinctions in Trauma

A concern I share with LaCapra and others is the ways in which trauma can be defined and redefined and “watered down” to the point that it no longer carries any real meaning: Moreover, there is an important sense in which the aftereffects…of traumatic events are not fully owned by anyone and…affect everyone.  But the…

Theory Is Hermeneutic – Possible Response to Raúl Sánchez?

If we theorize theories of writing as examples of writing, as Raúl Sánchez does, then we must acknowledge that theories function as hermeneutic collection systems, determining the focus of ongoing discourses by constraining the locus of language available to theorists. Thus, to be a successful theorist, one must appropriately collect evidence from previous articulation a…

Literature and Media Aggregators are Hermeneutic Collection Systems

i get my news from Yahoo.  Mostly because that’s my e-mail login, but also because the story headlines (and the stories themselves) are interesting.  I feel better informed of global and national events because of all this “random” reading.  But these stories are curated by the editors at Yahoo, supplemented by the Associated Press, and…

Autobiography and Theories without Data

Autobiographical explanations of theoretical frameworks can provide the false assurance of affective verification.  This is particularly true in creative writing pedagogy, where many articulation a of “how one should teach” are supported with autobiographical (i.e. anecdotal) evidence rather than research data.  This is exactly what James D. Williams criticized in works by Lisa Ede and…

Pathologizing the Other: From Socrates to Vaccination

When I spoke about pathologizing the victim or pathologizing the survivor, what I was thinking about was how we sort people into “us” and “them.”  Unfortunately, we (as a society) frequently do this with “the young” (e.g. students, young adults, Millennials).  In Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates pathologizes those who use writing.  He identifies them as individuals who…

Pathology: Normative Bifurcation

In medicine, pathology is the study of disease processes.  Pathologists identify cancer cells, and pathologists determine cause of death.  It’s a very important specialty.  But the pathological turn can also be misused to impose normative standards, leading to artificial bifurcations in the assessment of lived experience. This type of phenomenon would be like the extreme…