Re[8]: Reassessing our practices

Eugene Ortiz (
Thu, 15 Feb 1996 09:03:31 -0600

On 2/15 Mike Hamende wrote (I've deleted parts I'm not addressing):

> Beth, Tricia, Steve, Gentleman from SD, List,
> I find this discussion fascinating in a number of ways. I also appreciate
> the critiques of my thoughts. "Real" dialogue at last!

Dialogue is good. Some would argue that this is not "real" dialogue.

> I have always been frustrated by the
> politics of publishing for the academy. And of course its association
> with getting full-time work, tenure, etc. As some have suggested is the
> trad. publication route really a dialogue or more of a monologue? (I'm
> going to connect this to practice and the classroom in a minute.) I also
> wonder about the idea that in the 21st century we will get "'credit' for
> yakking on the Internet." You think? Nah. Those with the cultural
> capital and an investment in the current power structure will not allow
> that kind of participation by us unwashed masses.

I agree, but my concern would be that we might have a tendency to lose
track of past discoveries. I mean, one of the advantages of having journals
to look at is that it forces you to keep up with what is and has been done
so you know what needs to be looked at. While we have archives available --
I have a huge stack of disks on my desk of past e-mail posts that have come
to me the past few years -- not all of us have the ready access as others.

My guess is that will change in time. For example, in a modern library,
should there be cyber-archives of Rhetnt-l and other electronic journals
that anyone can do a keyword search on the way we can for the traditional

> So I wonder what you all think about this idea of "alternative
> Now for the classroom. I am quite intrigued with the idea of giving up
> the monological essay for a "real" on-line dialogue in a comp classroom.
> Just think of the implications for "distance learning", which is a
>real hot
> topic right now. You could have a comp class with students all over the
> world in a system like this!! Just think of the polyvocality of that!!!!
> What a concept!
> This also seems a way to move from the monologic essay and toward real
> rhetorical practice and dialogue. Maybe this is the answer to "what do we
> replace the essay with?"
> Comments? Thoughts?
> Mike Hamende

I have no doubts about "polyvocality" as a good thing, but this goes back
to the question of the purpose of the essay.


Eugene Ortiz
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