e-mail me at billdeg@umich.edu


normalcy, writing

Nice to be getting back to a fairly normal routine. Today I worked on email for about two hours, catching up on communication with students regarding their current assignments, and pouring through messages regarding several committees I'm on. Usually I pride myself on quick replies--this past week, not so much. But I'm back.

Then, a few hours of work on the conclusion I'm writing to an edited collection that a few friends of mine from grad school are putting together on the rhetoric of social movements. The book, which looks to be very useful, uses lenses (communication theories) a bit different than my usual perspectives (neo-Marxist, critical, social constructivist, etc.) to look at issues close to my heart: community/civic engagement initiatives, the class dynamics of group organizing, and much more. In fact, I spent a couple months over the summer re-reading Hauser on vernacular rhetorics and looking for the first time at lots of current research on social movements in communication studies. Nice to move beyond comfort zones.

...But I think the newness--to me--of some of the concepts showed in my writing, and now I find myself re-writing, re-thinking, and re-envisioning what I had hoped my conclusion would "do." I wanted to push at the individual chapters of the book and frame them as moments of class consciousness and intersectional identity construction. Though the editors were pleased, the book's peer reviewers, rightly I think, saw the chapter as focusing on issues of class in ways that shut down other possibilities. So I'm trying to do better and it's slow going. Me agonizing over global concerns and writerly choices is probably a good sign.

Looked over a ms. in progress for my colleague M. Started communication with a big name scholar (to be named later when and if things come to fruition) we hope to bring to our university next term for a few events. Judged a writing competition for the lit mag on our campus. The normal busy-ness, which feels good.

I hope to finish up in the next few hours and get out of here (i.e., Caribou) in time to whip up some chili. If I can get the tv and dvd hooked up in our new place, maybe a netflix selection tonight, too.

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