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Sharing Our Intellectual Traces: Narrative Reflections from Administrators of Professional, Technical, and Scientific Programs

Sharing Our Intellectual Traces: Narrative Reflections from Administrators of Professional, Technical, and Scientific Programs (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Administrators of academic professional and technical communication (PTSC) programs have long relied upon lore--stories of what works--to understand and communicate about the work of program administration. Stories are interesting, telling, engaging, and necessary. But a discipline focused primarily on stories, especially the ephemeral stories narrated at conferences and deliberated at department meetings, usually suffice primarily to solve immediate problems and address day-to-day concerns and activities. This edited collection captures some of those stories and layers them with theoretical perspectives and reflection, to enhance their usefulness to the PTSC program administration community at large. Like the ephemeral stories PTSC program administrators are accustomed to, the stories told in this volume are set within specific institutional contexts that reflect specific institutional challenges. They emphasize the intellectual traces--the debts the authors owe to those who have informed and transformed their administrative work.

In so doing, this collection creates another conversation--albeit a robust, diverse, and theoretically informed one--around which program leaders might define or redefine their roles and re-envision their administrative work as the rich, complex, intellectual engagement that we find it to be. This volume asks authors to move beyond a notion of administration as an activity based solely in institutional details and processes. In so doing, they emphasize theory as they share their reflections on core administrative processes and significant moments in the histories of their associated programs, thereby affording opportunities for critical examination in conjunction with practical advice.

Tracy Bridgeford is an associate professor of Technical Communication at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA, where she also directs the Technical Communication program and the English master's program. She contributed a chapter to Resources in Technical Communication: Outcomes and Approaches; Teaching Writing with Computers: An Introduction; and Innovative Approaches to Teaching Technical Communication, which she also coedited. She has also published in Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. She coedited a special issue of Technical Communication Quarterly on Techne (2002). She is coeditor of Programmatic Perspectives, the journal of the Council for Program in Technical and Scientific Communication, and serves on the organization's executive committee as information officer.Karla Saari Kitalong is an associate professor of Humanities and director of Composition and interim director of the Multiliteracies Center at Michigan Technological University, USA. Her research interests include visual rhetoric and usability in technical communication, especially concerning new media contexts; multimodal composition pedagogy; writing program administration; and writing in the disciplines.Bill Williamson is a professor of Professional and Technical Writing at Saginaw Valley State University, USA (SVSU). He has administered undergraduate technical writing programs at two universities--SVSU and the University of Northern Iowa, USA. He served as coeditor of Programmatic Perspectives, the journal of the Council for Program in Technical and Scientific Communication, and served that organization as information officer and president. His research interests include program administration; technical communication curriculum design, and technical communication pedagogy.

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