AcWriMo Update

It’s officially December, and thus my #AcWriMo binge writing adventure has (finally) come to an end. As I mentioned in my last post, one of the things I like best about #AcWriMo is the public accountability part of it. The extra motivation of declaring a stretch goal and posting about how well you meet that goal is an important part of the process. I also think it’s useful to take stock of significant writing activity–think through the process and reflect on what went well and what went not-so-well. This post is about both of those things.

If you’ve read my last post, you’ll know I picked a stretch goal of 30,000 words. I did well. Very well, even. But that doesn’t mean I accomplished all that I hoped. I picked the number 30,000 because that was my best estimate for how many words it would take to finish a solid first draft of this crazy book I’m writing. (I told the acquisitions editor I’m working with that I’d have a submission to her by January, and I’m trying my best to honor that commitment.) Going into November, I had a complete draft of Chapter 1 and partial drafts of Chapters 3, 4, and 5. (The whole thing is going to be six chapters, probably, maybe, I think.)

During my #AcWriMo binge session, I managed to write 36,898 words. That’s a lot of words, and I feel really good about it. But, as cool as that is, I didn’t manage to meet my more important goal of having a complete draft of the book. First: It turns out Chapter 2 is going to be a lot longer than I thought (14,000 words – sorry in advance, future readers). Second: I wrote a fair bit of non-book things, mainly because deadlines. Third: I wrote a lot of words that didn’t make the final cut. There are 12,146 words in my “graveyard” — that supplementary word doc where discarded text goes in hopes of eventual zombification. Some of those are words that I’d written before that got cut through re-writing, but a good chunk of them are part of my #AcWriMo 36,898. So- note to self: I gotta write 40,000-45,000 words to end up with 30,000.

Just for funsies, here’s my #AcWriMo daily writing totals and words per project:

#AcWriMo Tasks by Day

#AcWriMo Words By Task

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Scott’s Guide to #AcWriMo Binge Writing

November is #AcWriMo! That’s Academic Writing Month, of course. A delightful re-branding of National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo), #AcWriMo is a smorgasbord of lofty goal-setting, binge writing, and engineered social accountability. I’m pretty good at #AcWriMo. In November 2015, I wrote about 10,000 words. In November 2017, it was over 17,000. And, in January 2018, I hosted my own personal #AcWriMo-type binge session, logging about 30,000 words. So, yeah, I’m totally bragging here, but let me take a moment to contextualize this braggadocio for what it is. I’m not claiming to be a great writer (or even a good writer.) Indeed, my prose has been publicly derided as “a clunky jargon-laden mess.” Hell, an Irish historian who I’ve never met, probably will never meet, and who publishes in entirely different circles once wrote to tell me that I’m personally responsible for the downfall of the English language. My brag here is simply that I’m a fast writer. And I’ve run into more than a few people over the years who’ve asked me how they too can become a fast writer. I don’t know if I’m really technically qualified to answer that question, but what I can tell you is what’s worked for me. So – as the title suggests – what follows is my brief guide to #AcWriMo binge writing.

#AcWriMo Pre-Game:

Somewhere around 10/25, I will stop all writing until 11/1. I know that seems counter-intuitive when the whole goal is productivity. And, hey, if you’re on a roll, this is crazy advice, so don’t listen to it. But for me, if I want to get a lot of words out, I start by getting a lot of words in. I stop writing and start reading, a lot. To use a sports metaphor, it’s like fuel and hydration. I need a lot of words (different kinds of words) circulating in my brain, bouncing off one another, priming the pump. Only then will I be ready to prose-vomit all November long. My goal for the last week of October will be to read a book and six articles. I won’t succeed. This whole thing is about failure (see below). But, I’m going to go for it all the same.

Pick Your #AcWriMo Events:

#AcWriMo isn’t a marathon. It’s a quadrathlon, or at least some sort of n-athlon. For me, successful academic binge writing means having multiple unrelated writing events ready to go. Last November, I worked on 1) an article for a disciplinary journal, 2) a monograph chapter, 3) a conference presentation, and 4) a grant application. I don’t know about you, but if there’s one thing I can’t do, it’s sit down and write out an entire piece in one go. No way, no how. But what I can do is switch from genre to genre whenever I get bogged down. Book chapter not going well? Work on that grant. Running out of steam on that article? Tackle that conference presentation. (See also: structured procrastination.)

Hulk-Smash #AcWriMo Hurdles:

One of the easiest ways to get bogged down in binge-writing is to try and take all the hurdles. Just going to clean up the phraseology real quick. Oh, spelling errors- whoops. Better chase down that citation. I don’t want to lose it. All of these are critically important writing tasks, and they will all prevent you from putting words on a page. This is a great way to end #AcWriMo with one beautiful paragraph. If you want big numbers, you’ve got to Hulk-Smash your way through those hurdles and just keep going. Here is a real draft sentence from my binge sessions:

Three rotors independently aplied the schema to 1,457 units (which exceeds the minimum reliability threshold of 10,90 and approaches the maximum useful sample of 1,459; see that fucking IRR article Sang-Yeon gave me) in order to assess inter-rater reliability.

Write sentence after sentence, just like this. Do not go back to fix mistakes. Do not look up citations. Just get enough down on the page so that when it’s time to edit (IN DECEMBER), you know what you meant. (100% success not guaranteed.)

Eye on the Prize:

Despite lots of internet advice to the contrary, I think it’s important to set unattainable goals. If I aim for 5,000 words this #AcWriMo, and I succeed at writing 5,000 words, I haven’t done near as good a job as if I shoot for 20,000 and write 15,000. For me, one of the key ways to make this a successful failure is tracking. Each #AcWriMo or #AcWriMo-style event, I create a spreadsheet to log my progress. At the end of each writing session, I note how many words I wrote, on what project, and the spreadsheet auto-calculates my total. I’m always only two clicks away from seeing exactly how hard I’m failing, and that keeps me motivated.

Screen shot of spreadsheet with entries for words written by project

The other harder part is to put everyone else’s eye on your prize. Nothing like a little public accountability to keep you going. But, still, I recommend claiming loudly and proudly how many thousand words you’ll write. Then, keep the world updated. Let them know how far off your goal you are. Cheers and jeers alike keep me going. They let me know I’m part of a community of people slogging through this thing together. Engineered accountability. It exposes you. It can be hard. But it helps.

Screen shoot of social media cheers and jeers.

#AcWriMo 2018

My #AcWriMo 2018 declaration: I’m going to write 30,000 words this November.

Who wants to fail with me?

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CFP: Post-Turn Turn

Call for Papers: The Post-Turn Turn

The last fifty years of humanistic inquiry have been dominated by the navigational and orientational rhetorics of turning. Recent humanistic scholarship has witnessed and weathered a dizzying array of continuing turns including a linguistic turn, a rhetorical turn, a cultural turn, a computational turn, a digital turn, an affective turn, a new materialist turn, an object-oriented turn, a neurohumanistic turn, and a speculative turn, a craftbeer turn, and a custard turn, to name only a few. Indeed, according to the denizens of the MIT Media Lab, we may even be at the outset of a new biotechnical turn. Subsequently, many in the humanities are starting to argue for both a (re)new(ed) attention to the trope of turning, as the foundational idiom of academic inquiry and an exploration of new horizons of inquiry surrounding a post-turn turn. As such, this CFP invites critical responses to the very notion of turns, returns, U-turns, lecterns, cisterns, and interns. We are further interested in projects addressing alternative metaphors for disciplinary reorientation including, but not limited to shifting, banking, drifting, reversing, diving, and plowing-ahead-ignorant-of-the-vagaries-of-academic-fashion.

To submit, post a 200-500 word comment below. Abstracts that make me laugh the most will be invited to submit 3,000-30,000 word chapters on or before February 31st 2023. Inquiries may be sent to

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Rhetoric & Writing Methods Survey

I’m conducting a study designed to learn more about how scholars in rhetoric and writing, broadly conceived, think about research methods and inquiry practices. If you have published one or more articles, books, or book chapters, then I would be grateful for your insights.

Participation in this study involves completing an online survey. The survey will ask you a series of questions about specific work that you have done as well as your general thoughts on research and inquiry practices in the discipline. The study will take approximately 30 min to complete.

This study has been approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

To take the survey, please click on the following link or copy and paste it into your browser:

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What counts as evidence in the humanities?

The following is a talk I delivered at the 5/2/2016 weekly seminar for the UW-Madison Institute for Research in the Humanities (IRH). Over the course of the 2015-2016 academic year, the question of what counts as evidence in the humanities became a sort of informal theme for the collected IRH fellows. Accordingly, IRH director Susan Friedman convened a panel of scholars from a wide variety of disciplinary homes to tackle the question. Since a significant portion of my research of late has moved in the direction of quantitative methodologies, I decided my remarks would directly tackle the possibility of quantitative humanistic evidence.

When it comes to the question of what counts as evidence in the humanities, today I ask, does counting count? Ironically, to answer this question, I begin with three short vignettes:

Vignette 1: When I found out I was going to have the opportunity to talk about what counts as evidence in the humanities, I posted the question to my various social media accounts to see if I could prevail upon my humanist friends and colleagues to offer some insights. Apparently, my friends are kind of (loveable) assholes¹, because I immediately got a flurry of sarcastic replies like:

n = 1
p < .95

What’s really funny about these is that they were sent to me by humanists. When presented with the question of what counts as evidence, the replies were, in part, self-deprecating, but ultimately a rejection of the question as worthy of a serious reply.

Vignette 2: When I was in grad school, I was taking a course in rhetorical theory and we were assigned to write a paper on vernacular rhetorics, that is ephemeral, everyday discourse as opposed to formal political speech. As a part of my paper, I did a little survey designed to help better understand how the rhetors involved understood their own rhetoric. I’ll never forget my professor’s response upon reading this paper:

This is really nice work. Can you take the numbers out?

Vignette 3: Many of you have no doubt heard the dismissive aphorism, “the plural of anecdote is not data,” which is most frequently attributed to Berkley political scientist Raymond Wolfinger. In the following passage from a personal email, Wolfinger writes about the origin of this particular line:

I said ‘The plural of anecdote is data’ some time in the 1969-70 academic year while teaching a graduate seminar at Stanford. The occasion was a student’s dismissal of a simple factual statement–by another student or me–as a mere anecdote. The quotation was my rejoinder. “

With these three vignettes as a guide, my question, “does counting count,” is partially transformed into the question, “what does it mean for counting to count or not count?”

For some humanists, like my old graduate school professor, counting clearly doesn’t count. For others like my Facebook friends, it’s a question of us vs them. It’s a matter of demarcation. Whether or not counting counts is a reification of CP Snow’s “Two Cultures.” It’s a specific effort, admittedly from both “sides”—if there are even sides—to say “what we do is qualitatively different from what you do.

The contemporary cultural capital of the sciences is buttressed significantly by their supposedly privileged access to truth, an access that is grounded in exact quantification. Indeed, scientists even quantify the exactness of their quantification, as was alluded to in my Facebook friends’ caustic dismissal of sample sizes and p-values.

Humanists frequently respond to this with some version of, “you’re not as smart as you think you are.” Scientific research is often dismissed by humanists who suggest that the quantitative approach belies a facile reductivist epistemology. “If only they understood depth, nuance, and complexity the way we do,” some humanists say.

But as the demarcation efforts between humanists and scientists continue, they grow ever more bizarre. What should we make of Wolfinger’s effort to correct the record, to remind everyone that that plural of anecdote is, indeed, data? His rejoinder supports the manifest factyness of non-quantitative data and thereby challenges the presumptive privilege of quantitative inquiry. In contrast, how do we understand postmodernists who say that Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle or Schrödinger’s cat proves the truth of relativist epistemology? In a bizarre reversal, “you’re not as smart as you think you are” becomes “you’re not as smart as you think you are because you quantitatively proved the truth of our arguments about the lack of truth.”

Ultimately, the complex boundaries between different regimes of inquiry are far too messy to say whether or not counting counts in the humanities. Because, in truth, counting both counts and does not count. The equations of quantum mechanics don’t count when used to prove the truth-value of high energy physics, but they do count when used to support epistemological relativity. So, what do we make of this?

I think a lesson from argumentation studies is instructive here. Stephen Toulmin famously defines an argument as the unification of a claim, evidence, and a warrant. (A warrant is a principle that authorizes the connection between the claim and the evidence, and beyond the scope of my comments today.) The important point here is about evidence. Evidence exists within an argument. Evidence is not evidence outside an argument. There is only stuff, information, interpretation, data, or phenomena. That stuff is transformed into evidence when, and only when, it is deployed in an argument.

Accordingly, I would argue that there is no a priori, metaphysical, or ontological quality of numbers that makes them count (or not count) as evidence in the humanities. Rather, it is how they are articulated into the ecology of humanistic argument that allows one to assess not whether they count, but when they count and when they do not count.

1. Not all of my friends chose snark as their reply. Many thanks to Lisa Meloncon who took the time to send me lengthy and insightful comments, including her excellent 2014 CDQ article that tackles the question directly. If this talk had taken less comical turn, her thoughts would have been more substantively included.

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Conflicts of Interest: What’s the Harm?

In May 2015, New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) correspondent Lisa Rosenbaum published a three-part op-ed decrying the state of conflicts of interest policing in health and medicine. Unlike most of the available literature on the topic, she accused those in the medical community concerned with undue industry influence of falling victim to a sad combination of cognitive biases and excessive moralization. Many in health and medicine appropriately rejected Rosenbaum’s argument as a big step back not only for the NEJM, but also for medicine in general. As a publication that was once on the forefront of conflicts of interest protection, Rosenbaum’s op-ed was something of a slap in the face for many who had put their trust in the journal’s editorial board and its supposedly rigorous scrutiny of competing interests.

The second part of Rosenbaum’s argument focuses on a supposed lack of evidence regarding the harms of conflicts of interest. And while she acknowledges that many studies have found clear associations between industry relationships and physician behavior, she ultimately suggests that the effects of such relationships must be tied more closely to documented patient harm if we are to accept recommended limits on conflicts of interest:

Studies seeking evidence of industry influence usually find it, providing us with well-publicized associations. Some 94% of physicians have relationships with industry, though these interactions most often involve activities such as receiving drug samples or food in the workplace. Physicians who request a drug for hospital formulary are more likely than other physicians to have had drug company interactions. Industry-sponsored studies are more likely than government-sponsored ones to have positive results. Physicians who attend symposia funded by pharmaceutical companies subsequently prescribe the featured drugs at a higher rate. All these associations are probably valid. But they don’t answer the key question: Are any of these interactions, or efforts to curtail them, beneficial or harmful to patients?

As I (and many others) have argued, there’s already more than enough evidence to reject Rosenbaum’s arguments. However, if the collected research evidence isn’t enough to persuade you, reports from the U.S. District Court in Washington DC should provide significant cause for concern. Indeed, a recently filed lawsuit alleges that ex-FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg failed to disclose over $200 million in conflicts of interest related to her husband’s ties with Johnson & Johnson. Specifically, the suit suggests that,

During the confirmation process before Congress, Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, acting in concert with her husband, Peter F. Brown, at all material times the Co-CEO of a hedge fund named Renaissance Technologies, L.L.C., failed to disclose to Congress and other relevant authorities, her and her husband’s clear-cut conflict of interest –specifically, that Renaissance Technologies, L.L.C. held hundreds of millions of dollars of Johnson & Johnson stock, the manufacturer of the deadly drug, Levaquin.

Levaquin is the key here, and it’s what specifically addresses Rosenbaum’s demand for clear evidence of patient harm. (Although, I’m not sure that any pile of data would be large enough to appease Rosenbaum.) Despite the fact that the antibiotic and related products have been tied to an estimated 300,000 deaths, the suit alleges that Commissioner Hamburg suppressed mounting evidence of harm.

Certainly, for now, we have only the complaint filed on behalf of the plaintiffs in the case. It remains to be seen how many of the allegations will be born out during discovery and litigation. Nevertheless, if found to be true, this would be entirely in keeping with the kinds of patient harms that are typically documented in cases of industry conflicts of interest. In point of fact, there is significant evidence already that conflicts of interest often result in the suppression of drug side effects and hazards data during testing and evaluation. This has been well documented during high profile cases like the Vioxx and Paxil scandals. However, more comprehensive analyses of industry-funded pharmaceuticals research as well as publications produced by authors with pharmaceuticals conflicts of interest indicate that drug hazards data are systematically suppressed. Closer to home, within the FDA, my own research [paywall, sorry] has documented how increases in the number of conflicts of interest at Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee meetings correspond to a significant reduction in attention to evaluating drug side effects.

I wish I could be more optimistic that the Hamburg case will be the one that makes Rosenbaum, the NEJM editorial board, and everyone else finally sit up and pay attention. Unfortunately, despite an already large and steadily mounting pile of data on the harms (including patient harms) of conflicts of interest, we’ve seen more in the way of retreats than progress, of late. In 2009, the FDA banned conflicts of interest on its drug advisory committees, only to bring them back a year later. The NEJM set aside significant space in three successive issues to defend the role of drug money in medicine. And despite substantial and known ties to industry, Robert Califf’s confirmation as the new FDA commissioner sailed through the Senate 89 to 4. I suppose, if nothing else, we can take solace in having witnessed a rare act of bipartisanship.

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A Public Affair

My friend and colleague Karma Chavez from the Department of Communication Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was kind of enough to have me on her WORT 89.9 radio show, A Public Affair, on March 9th. We talked about my recent book, The Politics of Pain Medicine, and my current research on industry conflicts of interest at the Food and Drug Administration. It’s always fun to have an opportunity to talk about your work with a new audience. Many thanks, Karma!

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Alternative Commercial Models for Drug Development

drug-moneyThe rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria constitutes a serious emerging threat and potential world-wide health crisis. The current treatment options are increasingly ineffective against evolving strains of harmful pathogens. Worse still, antibiotic resistance is not only inevitable, it’s accelerating. Although recent discoveries appear promising, no new classes of antibiotics have been found since 1987. It is currently estimated that a post-antibiotic future would result in the death of over 10 million people and cost $100 trillion in economic losses. This situation represents a clear and present danger, and some—including the AstraZeneca CEO—argue that it’s time for “new commercial models” for drug development.

Accordingly, in January of this year, the Word Economic Forum called for such a new commercial model in the form of up to $37 billion in advanced payments from national governments. This call for investments was endorsed by over 80 pharmaceuticals companies. You’ve read correctly. Merck, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Glaxo-Smith-Kline, AstraZenaca, and 75 other companies are asking for $37 billion before they do anything. At the very least, this seems extortive. Ten million people over the next 35 years are looking at death, and the pharmaceuticals industry’s response is, “You want to live? Pay up.”

Perhaps more importantly, the idea that Merck, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, or GSK aren’t fully capable of making the necessary R&D investments on their own defies belief. These are major multinational pharmaceuticals corporations. The ten largest companies, internationally, make over $10 billion a year, with a 30% profit margin. Combined, global pharmaceuticals is a $300 billion a year industry. As Lawrence Friedhoff explains in his industry-insider’s guide to pharmaceuticals development,

“Successful development of a major new pharmaceutical product typically returns revenue that is approximately 500 times the development investment. In general, a pre-tax profit is 50% or more of this revenue; thus, successful drug development is capable of generating an after-tax return on investment of about 15,000% (assuming a 40% tax rate).”

Never mind the fact that careful use of international tax havens often results in far lower rates. This aside, there are, admittedly, special complexities in the antibiotics market, such as regulatory efforts to slow anti-microbial resistance, which, in some cases, might prevent an individual product from achieving this kind of ROI. Nevertheless, I can’t imagine that the patent-holder on the first new antibiotic in a new class since 1987 wouldn’t be set up to rake it in hand over fist.

However, maybe the World Economic Forum and the CEO of AstraZenaca are correct. Maybe it’s inappropriate to ask these companies to shoulder the R&D burden on their own, as all other companies do. Perhaps it is, indeed, time for alternative commercial models. With such a profound threat to human life and economic well-being on the horizon, it may be incumbent upon national governments to contribute meaningfully to ensuring public health. However, simple advanced remuneration doesn’t seem sufficient. If national publics are going to make an investment in our health security, then it seems inappropriate that we should be subject to the kind of price-gouging that will inevitably arise for newly patented antibiotics, especially given the lack of competition as a result of evolving resistance.

Fortunately, there is a solution. Historically, when modern governments have been faced with a deadly, economically disastrous, and potentially overwhelming threat, they have embraced the profound benefits that alternative commercial models can offer. Here, of course, I speak of nationalization. Both UK and US governments had the presence of mind to nationalize railroads, coal mines, and even a department store in the face of WWI and WWII. More recently, the 2008 financial collapse prompted the US government to assume controlling interests in certain financial and automotive corporations.

With 10 million lives at stake and $100 trillion in potential economic losses, a similar approach may be required with respect to the pharmaceuticals industry. The threat of antibiotic resistance is no less dire than the 2008 fiscal collapse. Trusting an industry that would so mischaracterize its capacity for R&D investment while simultaneously taking in hundreds of billions in annual revenues is certainly not the safest option. As the companies themselves suggest, our governments have a moral obligation to intervene, but they must do so in a way that safeguards public health and well-being. Nationalization may well be the smartest option.

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ARST Article of the Year Award 2015

The Association for the Rhetoric of Science and Technology’s (ARST) Article of the Year Award recognizes the most outstanding article on the rhetoric of science and technology published the preceding calendar year. Criteria for selection include:

1. How well the article extends practical and theoretical knowledge related to the rhetoric of science and technology

2. The article’s potential for cross-disciplinary fertilization

3. The article’s potential for teaching future generations of rhetoric of science and technology scholars

4. The overall quality of writing and thinking.

Nominations should be sent by someone well acquainted with the nominee’s work. Self-nominations are encouraged.The nomination must include the following material (copies will not be returned): 1) A cover letter recommending the article for the award (limited to two pages and providing a detailed rationale for why the person should receive the award), 2) the nominee’s vita, and 3) the article being nominated. Up to three letters supporting the nomination may optionally be included.

This year, the awards committee consists of Scott Graham (chair), Jean Goodwin, and Kenny Walker. Send nominations electronically to Scott Graham, Award Committee Chair at Nominations for the 2015 award, which honors work published during 2014, should be sent as a Microsoft Word or PDF e-mail attachment and received by May 15, 2015. Announcements of the winners will be made by August 15 of each year. Recipients will be recognized at the ARST business meeting and will receive a one-year membership to ARST.

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A Praxiography of Pedagogy

It almost goes without saying that a wide range of disciplines have recently embraced the new material (NM) turn. A large number of scholars in the disciplines of rhetoric and technical communication (TC) are included here. And while a great deal of excellent work has recently been, and is currently being developed that puts NM insights to good use in scholarly analyses of argument and communication, considerably less work has been devoted to the pedagogical ramifications of the NM turn. (I freely admit that my work here is no exception.)

Nevertheless, it occurred to me late last night (too late for this post to constitute a fully coherent thought) that the NM turn directly confronts and likely compels a revaluation of one the core pedagogical conceits of rhetoric and TC: education in theories of communication. It is a common undergraduate rhetoric or TC exercise to present students with a transmission theory of communication (often Shannon and Weaver’s famous mathematical variant) and then explain to students how such a theory does not adequately capture the reality of human communication.


In order to help demonstrate how this transmission theory ultimately fails to capture the reality of human communication, students are then offered successively improved models. They are challenged to compare Shannon and Weaver’s linear transmission model with one of many slightly better transmission + feedback models.


The transmission + feedback model is then compared to a somewhat better dialogic model or audience centered model. And finally, after some indeterminate number of failed models are offered, a truly good model is provided. These good models are typically derived from rhetoric, semiotics, linguistics, and cultural theory and offered as a far more satisfying description of human communication. These models highlight the complex dynamic interactions among audience, purpose, context, signs, symbols, culture, media, semiotics modes, etc. Now, here’s the problem: This is perspectival pedagogy. This pedagogy calls on students to view the same activity differently. It calls students to engage in the same practices but to understand them differently. The hope, of course, is that by viewing communication differently students will learn decide to enact communication differently. They will better account for audiences, cultures, etc.

Now readers of my work will know, I’m quite fond of Annemarie Mol’s multiple ontologies. I find her theory of how different ontologies are staged in practice to be quite compelling. If we apply this analysis to theories of communication, it raises very interesting questions. Given the ubiquity of transmission theories of communication, it seems likely that common communication practices actually stage a transmission ontology. If this is the case, telling students to engage in largely the same practices, but to view them differently is probably not a great option.

Indeed, a praxiography of the classroom would pretty clearly indicate that the practices of the classroom stage a strong transmission + feedback model. Students transmit communication to the instructor. The instructor literally provides feedback. The student, in theory, incorporates that feedback into revisions or subsequent assignments. There may be no more powerful staging of the transmission + feedback model possible.

For me, at least, this raises significant questions about rhetorical and TC pedagogy. If we are to take NM seriously (and I do), then perhaps it should force us to reconsider the fundamental structure of the communication classroom. If the dominant practices of the classroom stage a transmission + feedback model, is it any wonder so many of our students never fully internalize a rhetorical or cultural model of communication?

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