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A case study of writing withs in biology: Tracing laminated, dispersed, and diverse networks of semiotic remediation in scientific authorship

3.5 Unit of analysis: historicity, context, and levels of analytic scale
Paper in a Symposium (Symp)
2:00 PM, Jeudi 31 Août 2017 (30 minutes)
Prior focuses on a case study of the authorship networks of a biologist in a post-doctoral position to consider the dispersed, complex, historical withs that emerge in disciplinary authorship. Research on scientific writing has generally taken institutional networks as the locus of disciplinary and scientific authorship. For example, Blakeslee (2001) traced a physics professor and graduate student/post-doc co-authoring a series of texts, noting the intense and repeated cycles of writing, response and revision that they undertake. Prior (1998) traced how seminar meetings and cycles of document review within a sociology research team shaped graduate student writing and disciplinary argumentation in dissertations, preliminary examinations, and conference papers. Myers (1990) considered how processes of disciplinary review of grants and papers came to shape disciplinary texts, identities, and research activities; he also highlighted the very significant role that editors played in translating such specialized accounts into popular science. Lillis and Curry (2010) traced the varied networks that researchers who speak English as an additional language turned to for disciplinary publication in English, literacy brokering that ranges from recruiting co-authors to seeking the assistance of friends, English language teachers, and translators. Across these studies, co-authorship has mainly followed institutional roles (explicit co-authors, others in the lab, reviewers and editors). In this case study, drawing on discourse-based interviews, ethnographic observation, and intertextual analysis of draft and final texts (including peer-reviewed articles and grant or fellowship proposals), Prior traces a more complex trajectory of participation in authorship. The analysis goes beyond formal institutional maps of anchored activity systems (labs, journal review) to include interactions with family members (her spouse and parents), friends and others (e.g., former faculty, former lab members); with varied genres of texts; and with experiences that assemble different disciplinary and lifeworld perspectives. Writing withs then must be traced across laminated trajectories that are not defined by the maps of anchored activity systems. 
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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