I am so far behind. But I may be on track to catch up a bit. I gave my presentation at the Ozarks Studies Symposium on Friday, and it went better than I could have hoped. The audience there was the best, most interested audience that I think I have ever spoken to. They told us that they plan to put our talks online (I did sign a release for that) and I will post a link when I get it.
The keynote speaker asked for a copy of my talk for one of his projects. That makes me insanely happy.
Now I am back to wondering what my dissertation should be. Dr. Stewart's dissertation Orders of Discourse in the Science-Based Controversy Over "Reparative Therapy" for Homosexuality Anyway, what I find interesting about this study is the bit about the discourse approaches:
In this dissertation, I sketch a framework for studying science-based controversies that integrates Goodnight’s (1982) model of technical, personal, and public argument spheres with Fairclough’s (1992) conception of “orders of discourse,” that is, “relatively stabilized configurations of discourse practices” (Fairclough, 1995, p. 2). I argue that Fairclough’s three-layered approach to critical discourse analysis enriches Goodnight’s insights by incorporating methods of bottom-up textual analysis to account for the multiple discourse practices that comprise science-based controversies, while rhetorical theory enriches critical discourse analysis by providing methods for linking text to discursive practice (the production and consumption of discourse) and social practice (ideology and hegemony) in Fairclough’s three-layered approach. I apply this rhetorical/discourse analytic framework to the science-based controversy about “reparative therapy” for homosexuality—that is, debates over whether gay men and lesbians can change their sexual orientation through psychotherapeutic or religious means.
I wonder if I could use a similar framework to look at the Ozarks? Or education? Just to get out of the pedagogy study, where I am working right now? The problem with the pedagogy stuff is that it does not relate to professional writing, or even really to rhetoric. I have considered that, and I do realize what that does to my job prospects. Frankly, I am concerned. I do not want to be stuck in the back of an English department teaching a class in methods that is not enough literature to matter and not enough writing to help. So where does that put me?