Geolocating Compositional Strategies
Geolocating Compositional Strategies
Geolocating Compositional Strategies
Geolocating Compositional Strategies

Geolocating Compositional Strategies

Refereed Journal Article (2008)

Kairos: Rhet, Tech & Pedagogy 12.2

With Curtis Hisayasu

Design: Jentery Sayers

Full Title: “Geolocating Compositional Strategies at the Virtual University”


As composition instructors learn to include new information technologies in their coursework, they also expand the writing classroom beyond its traditional borders. Many teachers take this as an opportunity to articulate their pedagogies with the non-academic dialects and forms that students navigate as a part of their everyday lives. These strategies bypass functionalist approaches to academic form by allowing students to experiment with the wide range of compositional options that they already have at their disposal. But as the writing classroom becomes increasingly mobile, it is in danger of neglecting the impact that context and location have on student writing.

Against the notion that the sphere of academia is inherently opposed to students’ lived spaces, we believe that geoblogging is a way of re-positioning the academy as one site within and amongst many other sites, never discrete and always in revision. Indeed, a pedagogy centered on the “virtual university” can be used to disrupt the very terms that create distance between the official and the everyday. In this argument, we show how geoblogging can be used to construct complex, process-based writing situations. Far from simply replicating academic conventions, geolocational approaches contextualize acts of analysis and composition by mapping them as practices onto a larger socio-cultural landscape. On this virtual surface, students learn to locate the forms and functions of academic writing within the actual spaces that they live in.

What I Learned

“Geolocating Compositional Strategies at the Virtual University” is the first article I published in a peer-reviewed journal. That said, during the process of designing, authoring, submitting, and revising it, as a graduate student I learned how to compose digital scholarship that adheres to particular conventions and standards, namely those of Kairos and the computers and composition community. Writing the article also became an opportunity to broaden my knowledge of how to collaborate with someone else (i.e., Curtis Hisayasu) toward a single authorial voice through a medium other than print. Publishing with Kairos sparked my interest in multimodal scholarship, not to mention my investment in open-access electronic journals.

Since Publication

“Geolocating Compositional Strategies” has been referenced by several geospatial humanities projects and included in syllabi for courses such as Scott Wible’s “Introduction to Rhetoric and Composition Studies” (at West Virginia) and Collin Brooke’s “Rhetoric, Composition, and the Digital Humanities” (at Syracuse).

(The second image on the left is a screen shot of Kairos Issue 12.2, referenced above. All other images are screen shots of the article (which I designed), also referenced above.)