“Memeration”: Exploring Academic Authorship in Online Spaces

“Memeration”: Exploring Academic Authorship in Online Spaces

Rob Simon (University of Toronto, Canada), Alisa Acosta (University of Toronto, Canada) and Eveline Houtman (University of Toronto, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7230-7.ch003
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This chapter examines how digital authorship in graduate education can broaden conceptions of scholarly engagement. Using a blog created by one of the authors in the context of a graduate literacy course as data, the authors explore how digital authoring practices influence both what counts as scholarly activity and how individuals approach scholarship. They analyze this blog using a framework that addresses four characteristics of academic writing in online spaces: remix, paratext, curation, and audience. This inquiry is guided by the following questions: What are implications of regarding multimodal practices as forms of scholarly work? What does it mean to invite multimodal work in graduate education? What are affordances and challenges of engaging in multimodal scholarship? In conclusion, the authors discuss several interconnected ways that multimodal authorship can contribute to renewed visions of what counts as writing, literacy, and scholarship in graduate education.
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Blogging As A Social Practice: Scholarly Engagement In A Digital Domain

Following the so-called “social turn” (Gee, 2000), the “digital turn” in literacy studies (Mills, 2010) has inspired explorations of practices within what is variously referred to as “new literacies” (Knobel & Lankshear, 2007), “new literacies studies” (Gee, 2010), or “digital literacies” (Lankshear & Knobel, 2008). This research attempts to capture the rapidly changing nature of literacy, foregrounding, to varying degrees, technologies of literacy, as well as the political and cultural contexts, practices, and relationships within which they are embedded. Technology is a means to power, rather than powerful in and of itself (Simon, 2011; Street, 2011). Yet for researchers and educators, digital literacies have become catalysts for challenging inherited definitions of reading and writing, for reimagining pedagogies, and for exploring new forms of engagement, interaction, and authorship.

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