CFP - Participatory Art & Digital Culture

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Call for papers for a special issue on: Participatory Art & Digital Culture

Guest editor: Kris Rutten
Editorial consultant: Leora Farber

Theme

In this special issue of Critical Arts we aim to explore participatory art practices that specifically engage with technology and digital media. There has been a growing body of art that focuses on social practices, networks and processes as constituting the artwork itself. This implies that the events that facilitate social interaction and cultural encounter are variously seen as the actual art practice (Siegenthaler 2013). However, because contemporary media culture is characterized by participation, interaction, immersion and collaboration, art practices are challenged to move beyond a “mere” adoption of new technologies. There is a need to explore how technologies are also changing our experience of place, conceptions of intimacy, co-presence and interaction, and to generate new understandings of technological mediation as a feature of social relations (Beaulieu, 2010; Hjorth and Sharp 2014).

We invite papers from researchers, theorists and artists to engage critically with how technology, media and networks open up new avenues to develop practices that examine place and locality, community and communication, interaction and intimacy, proximity and distance, creation and co-creation. Papers can also focus more broadly on the impact of digital technologies on art today, for example by exploring the creative and participatory practices that are made possible by artists working with technology or by collaborations between artists, scientists and technological experts, focusing for example on robotics, virtual/ augmented reality, immersive media or game technology (Gardiner and Gere 2010, Gronlund 2016). Next to full research papers we also invite contributions that can serve as vignettes - short statements and reflections by artists about their practice.

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Submission guidelines

- Deadline for abstracts: Please send your abstracts of 300 words by April 15th 2017 to Kris.Rutten@UGent.be.

- Notification of selected abstracts by: May 15th 2017.

- Deadline for article submission: based on the selection of the abstracts full papers will need to be submitted by: August 15th 2017.

- Information and instructions for authors: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/RCRC

All completed manuscripts MUST be uploaded onto the online manuscript portal Scholar One. Go to Critical Arts on the Taylor and Francis site. There is an option on the top left pane of the screen that says ‘submit’, select this then click ‘submit online’ and follow the prompts.

Further inquiries about the special issue: Kris.Rutten@UGent.be
Alternatively, contact the Critical Arts editorial office at criticalarts@ukzn.ac.za or the editor-in-chief, Keyan Tomaselli at keyant@uj.ac.za

Critical Arts prides itself in publishing original, readable, and theoretically cutting edge articles. For more information on the history and the orientation of the journal, as well as guidelines for authors, and legal and editorial procedures, please visit: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/authors/rcrcauth.asp Critical Arts is now published six times annually and is indexed in the International Bibliography of Social Sciences (IBSS) and the ISI Social Science Index and Arts & Humanities Citation Index and other indexes.

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References

- Beaulieu, A. 2010. From co-location to co-presence: Shifts in the use of ethnography for the study of knowledge. Social Studies of Science 40(3): 453-470.
- Gardiner, H. and Gere, C. 2010. Art Practice in a Digital Culture. London: Routledge.
- Gronlund, D. 2016. Contemporary Art and Digital Culture. London: Taylor and Francis.
- Hjorth, L. and Sharp, K. 2014. The art of ethnography: the aesthetics or ethics of participation? Visual Studies 29(2): 128-135.
- Siegenthaler, F. 2013. Towards an ethnographic turn in contemporary art scholarship. Critical Arts. South-North Cultural and Media Studies, 27(6): 737-752.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday March 08th 2017 14:18

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Symposium: NO STRINGS ATTACHED

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NO STRINGS ATTACHED
Exploring the relation between ethnography and contemporary arts

28.10.2015 – 29.10.2015 – 10:00-17:30 BEURSSCHOUWBURG (Brussels - Belgium)
€20/day - €35/2 days - lunch included - Register via tickets@beursschouwburg.be

Keynote speakers:

- Leora Farber (Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre, University of Johannesburg) - "Beyond the ethnographic turn: (re)-conceptualisations of, and approaches to, selfhood and otherness in the Dis-Location/Re-Location project"

- Genevieve Yue (Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts, New York) - "Documentary’s Outsides: Scenes of Encounter in Contemporary Ethnographic Film”

The programme is now available on-line: http://www.soundimageculture.org/sic/en/Discursive_Program

A selection of partners from Brussels and Ghent join hands for a two-day symposium about the relation between anthropology and contemporary (audio)visual art and the many forms in which art can present itself today. We zoom in on our hyper-diverse society in which different generations, age groups, communities and people with different habits live together. In what way does art connect these generations and communities—on a journey through time and across borders?

We introduce a series of artist talks by international makers and offer time to view their work. How does one capture people, communities and evolving landscapes on camera with respect and integrity? What does it mean to ‘do’ anthropology in an age of superdiversity? With among others Wapke Feenstra (NL), Alexis Destoop (BE), Leora Farber (ZA), Le Peuple qui Manque (FR), Emre Huner (TR), Fiona Tan (NL, with a proviso), Britt Hatzius (UK) and Genevieve Yue (US).

Symposium organised by SoundImage Culture (SIC), KASK-School of Arts Ghent, Beursschouwburg, UGent, Platform 0090, LUCA School of Arts - campus Sint-Lukas Brussels, Argos - Centre for Art and Media and deBuren.

http://www.soundimageculture.org

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday October 14th 2015 21:51

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Masterclass Qualitative Research Methodologies

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I gave a masterclass on Qualitative Research Methodologies at the School of Anthropology of the University of Kent (Canterbury, October 14th 2015).

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday October 14th 2015 21:49

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New Publication: Constructing the ‘Child at Risk’ in Social Work Reports: A Way of Seeing is a Way of not Seeing.

Filed under:   presentation                  

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In the context of the changing relationship between children, parents and the welfare state, professionals have to deal with notions of the ‘child at risk’. In child welfare and protection, the issue of normative judgement in (risk) assessment and documentation is an essential area for exploration for social workers. We examine the practice of report writing in which future professionals exercise power while assessing, documenting and judging the child as ‘at risk’. We report on a study about a fictional social work case conducted with 152 students in Belgium, in which we developed a rhetorical analysis of the ‘terministic screens’ used in writing reports.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday October 14th 2015 21:47

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Special Issue: Attitudes Toward Education: Kenneth Burke and New Rhetoric

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Attitudes Toward Education: Kenneth Burke and New Rhetoric. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 34 (4).
Guest editors: Kris Rutten and Ronald Soetaert

- Attitudes Toward Education: Kenneth Burke and New Rhetoric by Kris Rutten and Ronald Soetaert.

- Burke’s Pentad as a Guide for Symbol-Using Citizens by Clarke Rountree and John Rountree

- Equipment for Thinking: or Why Kenneth Burke is Still Worth Reading by Jennifer Richards

- Form, Experience and the Centrality of Rhetoric to Pedagogy by Barry Brummett

- National Identity Within the National Museum: Subjectification Within Socialization by M. Elizabeth Weiser

- Jesuit Eloquentia Perfecta and Theotropic Logology by Steven Mailloux

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday October 14th 2015 21:44

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Special Issue: Rhetoric as Equipment For Living. Part II

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Rhetoric as Equipment For Living. Part II
Ghent Conference Special Issue II
Guest Editors: Kris Rutten, Dries Vrijders, and Ronald Soetaert, Ghent University

- The International Legacy of Kenneth Burke by Kris Rutten, Dries Vrijders and Ronald Soetaert

- Rhetorical Figures in Education: Kenneth Burke and Maimire Mennasemay by Ivo Strecker

- Reading the Negative: Kenneth Burke and Jean-Francois Lyotard on Augustine Confessions by Hanne Roer

- Burke, Perelman, and the Transmission of Values: The Beatitudes as Epideictic Topoi by Stan A. Lindsay

- Symbolic Action and Dialogic Social Interaction in Burkes and the Bakhtin School Sociological Approaches to Poetry by Don Bialostosky

- A McKeonist Understanding of Kenneth Burkes Rhetorical Realism in Particular and Constructivism in General by Robert Wess

- Toward A Dramatistic Ethics by Kevin McClure and Julia Skwar

- Attitudes as Equipment for Living by Waldemar Petermann

- Burkes New Body? The Problem of Virtual Material, and Motive, in Object Oriented Philosophy by Steven B. Katz

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday October 14th 2015 21:36

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RSA Summer Institute

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I participated in the Rhetoric Society of America Summer Institute at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (01/07/2015 till 07/07/2015).

- Participation in the seminar “The War of Words,” A Rhetoric of Motives, and Contemporary Rhetorical Theory.

- Participation in the workshop Neurorhetorics: Thinking Together About the Persuasive Brain.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday October 14th 2015 21:30

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Invited lecture: The Rhetorical Turn in Art and Anthropology

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I gave an invited lecture at the School of Anthropology of the University of Kent entitled: The Rhetorical Turn in Art and Anthropology.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday October 14th 2015 21:21

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Paper: A way of seeing is a way of not seeing: introducing rhetoric as a ‘perspective on perspectives’.

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I presented a paper at the RiS5 Conference - Rhetoric in the Knowledge Society entitled: A way of seeing is a way of not seeing: introducing rhetoric as a ‘perspective on perspectives’.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday October 14th 2015 21:19

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Paper: A rhetorical analysis of the representation of the ‘two cultures’ in literary fiction.

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I presented a paper at ENN4 – Modelling narratives across borders entitled: A rhetorical analysis of the representation of the ‘two cultures’ in literary fiction.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday October 14th 2015 21:14

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Paper: The Culture of Science

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I presented a paper at the Narrative 2015 conference in Chicago entitled: The Culture of Science.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday October 14th 2015 21:13

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CFP - Critical Arts - THE ETHNOGRAPHIC TURN (REVISITED)

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Call for papers for a themed issue on

The Ethnographic Turn (Revisited)

Guest editor: Kris Rutten
Editorial consultant: Leora Farber

Theme:
In 2013 a double special issue of Critical Arts was published on Revisiting the Ethnographic Turn in Contemporary Art (Critical Arts 27.5 and 27.6). Since the 90s an increasing wave of challenging art events occurred that shows significant similarities with anthropology and ethnography in its theorizations of cultural difference and representational practices. At the same time, there has been growing interest in anthropology for contemporary art that started from a problematisation of the different possible ways to communicate ethnographic findings and insights. This interest has been referred to as the sensory turn in anthropology and ethnographic research and is exemplified by anthropologists who are collaborating with artists, by artists who are creating projects generating anthropological insights, and by art projects that are produced as outcomes of ethnographic research.

We are very happy to announce that there will now be an annual themed issue that focuses on the ethnographic turn in art with a specific focus on practice-led research. We invite papers from artists, theorists, researchers and educators to engage critically with the ethnographic perspective in their work. Next to full research papers we also invite contributions that can serve as vignettes - short statements and reflections by artists about their practice. Throughout the themed issues we approach ethnography from a thematic and/ or methodological perspective rather than looking for fixed categories for defining ‘ethnographic art’.

Our aim is to further the critical work on ethnography in relation to contemporary art by specifically looking at authorship, art practices and processes, thereby offering a bottom-up perspective from artists and researchers addressing the question if, why and how an ethnographic perspective is indeed at work. In these practices we are equally interested in to what extent contextualization is relevant when dealing with the display of alterity, diversity and outsiderness. The main focus is on discussions pertaining to the ethnographic turn but we also invite contributions that reflect on artistic practice-led research in a broader sense. The first themed issue is to be published in June 2016.

Submission guidelines:
Deadline for abstracts: Please send your abstracts of 300 words by March 14th 2015 to Kris.Rutten@UGent.be.
Notification of selection of abstracts by April 15th 2015.
Deadline for article submission: based on the selection of the abstracts full papers will need to be submitted by July 15th 2015.

Further inquiries about the special issue: Kris.Rutten@UGent.be

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Friday December 12th 2014 08:58

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Special Issue - Attitudes Toward Education: Kenneth Burke and New Rhetoric (Studies in Philosophy and Education)

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In this article we introduce the special issue Attitudes Toward Education: Kenneth Burke and New Rhetoric, which brings together a number of contributions that were first presented at the conference Rhetoric as Equipment for Living. Kenneth Burke, Culture and Education (Ghent University, May 2013). Kenneth Burke [1897–1993] is one of the foundational figures in the development of what is known as the ‘new rhetoric’. The aim of the contributions to this special issue is to explore what is pedagogical about Burke’s anthropological account of rhetoric and, more specifically, whether his concepts and ideas can still be relevant for educational research and practice. In this article, we briefly introduce some key concepts from Burke’s rhetorical framework and we give an overview of the different contributions that are part of the special issue by summarizing how they address the educational dimension of (parts of) Burke’s corpus. We end by introducing a ‘grammar of educational motives’ to explore educational purposes and implications.

Contributions:

- Kris Rutten & Ronald Soetaert:
Attitudes Toward Education: Kenneth Burke and New Rhetoric
- Clarke Rountree & John Rountree:
Burke’s Pentad as a Guide for Symbol-Using Citizens
- Jennifer Richards:
Equipment for Thinking: or Why Kenneth Burke is Still Worth Reading
- Barry Brummett:
Form, Experience and the Centrality of Rhetoric to Pedagogy
- Elizabeth Weiser:
National Identity Within the National Museum: Subjectification Within Socialization
- Steven Mailloux:
Jesuit Eloquentia Perfecta and Theotropic Logology

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Monday October 20th 2014 09:49

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FLEMISH PAVILION / PAVILLON FLAMAND / VLAAMS PAVILJOEN

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Performatieve lezing - Donderdag 27/11/2014 om 18.30u - Auditorium 1 (H. Dunantlaan 2)

FLEMISH PAVILION / PAVILLON FLAMAND / VLAAMS PAVILJOEN
Chokri Ben Chikha & Walid Ben Chikha
Inleiding en debat: Kris Rutten

In 2020 wordt in Dubai de 35ste wereldexpositie georganiseerd met als thema Connecting Minds, Creating The Future. Meer dan 120 landen en organisaties zullen deelnemen, waaronder Vlaanderen. Onderzoeker dr. Chokri Ben Chikha werd, samen met andere kunstenaars, geselecteerd om een artistiek voorontwerp te realiseren voor het Vlaams Paviljoen op de Wereldtentoonstelling Expo Dubai 2020. Daarvoor gaat hij op zoek naar wat Vlaanderen bezielt, welke geschiedenis we delen en welke toekomstdromen de Vlaming koestert. De roep naar Vlaamse emancipatie klonk nooit zo luid en meer dan ooit wil Vlaanderen zichzelf op de kaart zien staan in Europa en de rest van de wereld. Samen met de Vlaming onderzoekt Chokri Ben Chikha de hoekstenen van de Vlaamse identiteit. Het project start in Dilbeek en reist doorheen Vlaanderen op zoek naar typisch Vlaamse tradities, verhalen, voorwerpen en personen. Het Vlaams Paviljoen start niet toevallig in Dilbeek, een gemeente in de rand van Brussel, op zoek naar haar eigen identiteit. Daarna trekt Chokri Ben Chikha doorheen Vlaanderen om het paviljoen verder vorm te geven. Met als einddoel Dubai en de wereld charmeren voor de Vlaamse culturele sector. Een uitgelezen kans voor de sector om haar huidige precaire situatie af te wenden en te mikken op internationale privéfondsen. Want in Dubai is alles mogelijk en is alles groot, groter, grootst. De hoogste wolkenkrabbers, het grootste winkelcentrum, de grootste overdekte skihal, de grootste luchthaven in aanbouw ter wereld. Sinds enkele jaren staan kunst en cultuur in Dubai op de investeringsagenda. Hier mag Vlaanderen niet ontbreken!

Bio:
Chokri Ben Chikha (Oostende, 1969) is een Vlaams/Belgisch acteur en theatermaker. Sinds 2007 is hij docent en artistiek onderzoeker aan de Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten (KASK) van de HoGent. Vanuit die context richt hij in 2009 de internationale performancegroep Action Zoo Humain op, waar hij vandaag nog steeds artistiek leider is. In 2013 behaalde hij zijn Doctoraat in de Kunsten.

Walid Ben Chikha (Blankenberge, 1980) is een zanger/muzikant/acteur van Tunesische afkomst. Hij werd geboren in Blankenberge, maar verhuisde op zijn tiende samen met zijn ouders naar Tunesië. Op zijn twintigste besliste hij terug naar België te komen. Zijn multiculturele achtergrond brengt hij samen in theater en muziek, waaronder de band Sous-Couche, waar hij singer/songwriter is. Ben Chikha geeft ook gitaar- en percussielessen aan kinderen. Verder werkte Ben Chikha mee aan de HETPALEISproductie Hotel Ahmed in regie van zijn broer Chokri Ben Chikha en speelde mee in Femme Blanche. Ben Chikha regisseerde bovendien mee de muzikale voorstelling Hotel California in de gevangenis van Gent in het kader van het Festival van Vlaanderen.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Monday October 20th 2014 09:38

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The Ethnographic Turn (revisited)

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The Ethnographic Turn (revisited) - A lecture series by SoundImageCulture

This series of lectures explores the relationship between contemporary art and cultural diversity in an urban context, with a specific focus on practice-based-research. What does it imply to create art in an age of so-called ‘superdiversity’? How can art become a space for exploring the effects of difference in contemporary life?

(moderated by Kris Rutten, Ghent University)

16.10.2014 / 19:30
LONNIE VAN BRUMMELEN
& SIEBREN DE HAAN

Lonnie van Brummelen & Siebren de Haan produce film installations, texts, sculptures and collages that explore cultural and geopolitical landscapes such as Europe’s borders, sites of resource production and global trade and the (non) sites of cultural heritage.


19.11.2014 / 19:30
URSULA BIEMANN

Ursula Biemann is an artist, theorist and curator who has in recent years produced a considerable body of work on migration, mobility, technology and gender.


venue :
deBuren
Léopoldstraat 6,
1000 Brussel

reservation mail to: soundimageculture@gmail.com.
A partnership between ARGOS, KASK - Gent, Sic and deBuren.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Tuesday October 14th 2014 08:10

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Video Games and Citizenship

Filed under:   academic_paper   capital   citizenship   social   video games      

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In their article "Video Games and Citizenship" Jeroen Bourgonjon and Ronald Soetaert argue that digitization problematizes and broadens our perspective on culture and popular media and that this has important ramifications for our understanding of citizenship. Bourgonjon and Soetaert respond to the call of Gert Biesta for the contextualized study of young peoples practices by exploring a particular aspect of digitization that affects young people, namely video games. They explore the new social spaces which emerge in video game culture and how these spaces relate to community building and citizenship. Bourgonjon and Soetaert also examine whether these social spaces can be a source for different types of capital (Bourdieu) and reflect on the ethical dimensions of video gaming.

Blog entry added by Jeroen Bourgonjon on Monday July 21st 2014 06:51

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Special Issue: Rhetoric as Equipment for Living Part I

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Rutten, K., Vrijders, D. and Soetaert, R. (eds). (2014) Rhetoric as Equipment for Living. Kenneth Burke, Culture and Education. KBJournal 10(1).

This special issue of KB Journal is the first of two issues that offer a compilation of papers that were presented at the conference Rhetoric as Equipment for Living: Kenneth Burke, Culture and Education, which was held in May 2013 at Ghent University, Belgium. Thanks to what we believe was a succesfull conference that realized its double aim—introducing Burkean new rhetoric into new areas of research and new geographical domains—and the generous response to the ensuing call for papers, we are very happy to change roles from being satisfied conference organizers to becoming excited guest editors of two special issues of KB Journal. This first Summer 2014 issue is devoted exclusively to non-US scholars, with contributions by authors coming from Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, the UK, and South Africa. This issue will offer both an overview of the conference set-up, as well as a practical incarnation of its international and explorative spirit. In the second issue (to be published in the fall of 2014), we will continue with a more theoretical examination of Burke’s international legacy, by giving a stage to scholars who confront Burke’s ideas with the work of European thinkers such as François Lyotard, Chaim Perelman, Augustine, and others.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Thursday July 17th 2014 08:50

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New publication: A Rhetoric of Turns. Signs and Symbols in Education

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Rutten, K. & Soetaert, R. (2014). A Rhetoric of Turns. Signs and Symbols in Education. Journal of Philosophy of Education.

In our research and teaching we explore the value and the place of rhetoric in education. From a theoretical perspective we situate our work in different disciplines, inspired by major turns: linguistic, cultural, anthropological/ethnographic, interpretive, semiotic, narrative, literary, rhetorical etc. In this article we engage in the discussion about what all these turns might entail for education by elaborating on what it implies to read the world as a text—as is central in a semiotic approach—and by introducing new rhetoric in general, and the work of the literary critic and rhetorician Kenneth Burke in particular, as a possible theoretical and methodological resource. We illustrate its application in the analysis of a fictional narrative. Our aim is to explore how an understanding of education as rhetoric can be integrated into the teacher education curriculum.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Tuesday July 15th 2014 09:15

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Paper: Nationalism as identification and division. Crossing borders in the teacher education curriculum in Flanders.

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Rutten, K. (2014). Nationalism as identification and division. Crossing borders in the teacher education curriculum in Flanders. Paper presented at the biennial conference of the Rhetoric Society of America (San Antonio, May 25th 2014).

In this paper I explore what we can learn from Kenneth Burke’s rhetoric of identification about (national) identity and discuss how nationalism can be taught from such a rhetorical perspective. Despite the ‘deconstruction’ of Nation(alism) as a Grand Narrative and its relation to education, there is a new tendency towards emphasizing national identity, caused by trends such as globalisation and multiculturalism. In the language and literature teaching curriculum, this paradoxical situation often causes frictions for teachers who very often are expected to teach standard language and national literature. In this paper I discuss how the rhetorical construction of Flanders was analyzed from a dramatistic perspective together with pre-service teachers. I argue that Burke’s rhetorical framework – with a focus on circumference – is useful ‘equipment’ to make students ‘symbol-wise’: to understand the way national symbols work, and to develop critical engagement with, as well as on behalf of, those symbols.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Monday June 02nd 2014 14:19

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Invited lecture: Rhetoric as Equipment for Living

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Together with Ronald Soetaert I gave an invited lecture at the University of Texas-at-Austin. The lecture was part of the on-going collaboration with Prof. Barry Brummett and the Department of Communication Studies.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Monday June 02nd 2014 14:15

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Edited volume: New essays on deliberative rhetoric

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New essays on deliberative rhetoric.
Edited by Hilde Van Belle, Kris Rutten, Paul Gillaerts, Dorien Van De Mieroop and Baldwin Van Gorp
John Benjamins Publishing Company [Argumentation-in-Context Series]

In this volume on political argumentation, the study of argument takes place within a rhetorical framework. As such, it is a contribution to the study of argumentation-in-context with an explicit rhetorical approach. Rather than focusing on the poor quality of political participation and political understanding by citizens, this volume explores how the study of rhetoric, both as an academic discipline and as a political practice, stands in a unique position to critically engage with a ‘contextualized’ understanding of politics and civic engagement. Many contributions in this volume confront classical rhetorical concepts and theories with current political developments such as globalization and multiculturalism and the emergence of new democracies. Others focus explicitly on deliberative rhetoric in the political realm, or undertake a critical analysis of political texts and public events in order to explore what this can imply for the development of a ‘critical’ citizenship.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Friday April 18th 2014 08:36

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Edited volume: Verbal and Visual Rhetoric in a Media World

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Verbal and Visual Rhetoric in a Media World
Edited by Hilde van Belle, Paul Gillaerts, Baldwin van Gorp, Dorien van de Mieroop, Kris Rutten
Leiden University Press [Rhetoric in Society Series]

Since Aristotle, the study of rhetoric has focused on the persuasive aspect of verbal discourse in the political, forensic and ceremonial domains. Rhetoric deals with doxa, with public discourse and persuasion as they develop in a world with no absolute knowledge, certainty or fixity. Changing cultural and political conditions urge us to discuss the status, scope and value of rhetorical studies as a discipline. One of these conditions is the increasing influence of visual communication. This collection brings together work that examines how rhetoric functions at this moment and how it balances tradition and renewal. It discusses new theoretical perspectives and it proposes different rhetorical analyses of actual topics. A substantial part of the collection focuses specifically on the issue of (new) media discourse and visual rhetoric as it appears in pictures, graphics, cartoons, documentaries and videos.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Friday April 18th 2014 08:33

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Paper: The Academic Novel and Cultural Capital: Zadie Smith’s On Beauty.

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At the The American Comparative Literature Association’s 2014 Annual Meeting I presented a paper together with Ronald Soetaert on The Academic Novel and Cultural Capital: Zadie Smith’s On Beauty.

Abstract:
In this paper, we present a rhetorical perspective on literacy narratives inspired by the idea that fiction can be read as an important source of critical reflection on value. To analyze these literacy narratives we draw on the work of Kenneth Burke for a theoretical (literacy narratives as ‘representative anecdotes’ and literature as ‘equipment for living’) and empirical (cluster analysis and the pentad) perspective. We focus on a rhetorical analysis of how art education, art criticism and art talk in general are represented in academic/campus novels/films. We present an overview of different trends in (re)presenting ‘art talk’ in fiction in general and campus novels in particular. Indeed, as Showalter argues campus novels have “offered a full social history of the university, as well as a spiritual, political, and psychological guide to the [academic] profession.”

We focus on the novel On Beauty by Zadie Smith. Smith thematizes cultural capital by problematizing current perspectives on art, criticism and education. Because the major scene of the novel is the university, this reflection also problematizes university culture and teaching, as indeed a can be illustrated with an epigram Smith uses from an essay by Elaine Scarry (‘On Beauty’): “To misstate, or even merely understate, the relation of the universities to beauty is one kind of error that can be made. A university is among the precious things that can be destroyed.”

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday March 26th 2014 16:38

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The Artist as Ethnographer

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"The artist as ethnographer"
KASK lezing Cirque, 18/3 om 20u
met Chokri ben Chikha, Hugo DeBlock, Mekhitar Garabedian, Elias Grootaers, Kris Rutten, Ronald Soetaert en An van. Dienderen

Kris Rutten en Ronald Soetaert (UGent) hebben in samenwerking met An van. Dienderen (KASK - School of Arts) twee themanummers uitgewerkt voor het internationale A1-tijdschrift Critical Arts. South-North Cultural and Media Studies. De themanummers problematiseren de relatie tussen etnografie en hedendaagse kunsten met een bijzondere aandacht voor praktijkgebaseerd onderzoek. De bijdragen werden deels aangeleverd door onderzoekers van KASK-School of Arts en deels door internationale auteurs. In deze KASK-lezing worden de twee themanummers van Critical Arts voorgesteld. Tijdens de launch presenteren Kris Rutten en An van. Dienderen eerst het thema en daarna lichten de KASK-medewerkers Chokri ben Chikha, Hugo De Block, Mekhitar Garabedian en Elias Grootaers hun bijdragen toe. Vervolgens is er een gesprek met de kunstenaars dat gemodereerd zal worden door Ronald Soetaert.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Thursday February 27th 2014 17:34

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Retoriek als gereedschap: Perspectieven van en op Kenneth Burke

Filed under:   misc   retoriek   gereedschap   equipment         

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Professor Ronald Soetaert, hoofd van de onderzoeksgroep Cultuur & Educatie, is titularis van de binnenlandse Francqui leerstoel aan de VUB voor het academiejaar 2013-2014. Op dinsdag 25 februari vindt de inaugurale rede plaats. De titel van de openingslezing luidt “Cultuur & Educatie: Retoriek als Gereedschap“.

Ronald Soetaert zal een pleidooi houden voor het belang van retoriek voor cultuur in het algemeen en onderwijs in het bijzonder. Hij presenteert inzichten uit de Nieuwe Retoriek (met bijzondere aandacht voor het werk van de Amerikaanse retoricus Kenneth Burke). Verder bespreekt hij ook de rol van kunst als gereedschap en verdedigt hij het belang van de humane wetenschappen.

In de lessenreeks behandelt hij volgende onderwerpen:

Kunst als gereedschap en gezelschap (5 maart 2014)
Kunst als onderzoek (12 maart 2014)
De kunstenaar als etnograaf (18 maart 2014)
Representatie van politiek in fictie (2 april 2014)
Games en sociale media (23 april 2014)

De begeleidende tekst kan u hier onder downloaden.

Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Tuesday February 25th 2014 12:14

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Inaugurale Rede Francqui Leerstoel

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Prof. Ronald Soetaert is titularis van de binnenlandse Francqui leerstoel aan de VUB voor het academiejaar 2013-2014. Op dinsdag 25 februari vindt de inaugurale rede plaats. De titel van de openingslezing luidt "Cultuur & Educatie: Retoriek als Gereedschap".

Ronald Soetaert zal een pleidooi houden voor het belang van retoriek voor cultuur in het algemeen en onderwijs in het bijzonder. Hij presenteert inzichten uit de Nieuwe Retoriek (met bijzondere aandacht voor het werk van de Amerikaanse retoricus Kenneth Burke). Verder bespreekt hij ook de rol van kunst als gereedschap en verdedigt hij het belang van de humane wetenschappen. In de lessenreeks behandelt hij vanuit een retorisch perspectief: politiek en spinning, kunst als onderzoek, sociale media en computergames.

Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Friday February 21st 2014 10:15

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Lecture: Good Education in an Age of Rhetoric

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In January/February 2014 I was a visiting scholar at the Institute of Education and Society of the University of Luxemburg. On February 12th I gave a lecture entitled Good Education in an Age of Rhetoric.

Abstract:
In this presentation, I will discuss the rhetorical turn as a possible perspective for educational theory, research and practice. The new rhetoric – developed in the work of scholars such as Kenneth Burke, Wayne Booth, I.A. Richards and Chaim Perelman – refers to a body of work that moved away from ‘classical’ rhetoric in a number of different directions (Rutten and Soetaert, 2012). I will specifically explore how (new) rhetoric offers a framework to ‘reconnect with the question of purpose in education’.

Gert Biesta (2010) stresses that there is a need to reconnect with the question of ‘purpose’ in education. He argues that in deliberating about the purpose of education we should make a distinction between three functions of education: qualification, socialisation and subjectification. Based on this educational theory, Biesta (2012) addresses the question whether the rhetorical turn and, more specifically, the new rhetoric can contribute to forms of education that are not just about socialization – the insertion of ‘newcomers’ into existing cultural and socio-political orders – or if it can also contribute to subjectification, the process of becoming a subject of action and responsibility. For Biesta (2012), ‘rhetorical awareness’ can contribute to ‘empowerment’ (socialization) in a world that is viewed trough language and symbols but this does not necessarily lead to ‘emancipation’ (subjectification), a process that challenges particular orders so that new ways of speaking, acting, and being become possible. He argues that the rhetorical turn has the potential to bring something new to educational studies, but that the challenge is to explore this potential in a more radical manner.

In this presentation, I want to take up this challenge by exploring how rhetoric can create a meta-perspective on all of the different rationales for education, rather than looking at how rhetoric is part of one specific educational dimension. Firstly, I will broaden the idea of the rhetorical turn and explore how Kenneth Burke’s specific ‘recovery’ of rhetoric introduces a ‘new’ rhetoric. Secondly, I will explore how the continuous deliberation about the purpose of education can be approached from a rhetorical point of view. I will argue that the potential conflict and synergy between different rationales for education should lead to “teaching the pedagogies” (see also Simons, 2004). Thirdly, I will explore how Kenneth Burke’s ‘reconstructive rhetoric’ can be a possible basis for the ‘subjectification’ dimension of education. As Simons, (2004) argues, Burke’s “dialectical rhetoric” - has reconstructive potential: “both an awareness of human limitations and the possibility of a ‘recovered’ or ‘transcendent’ self, capable of acting effectively upon the world, as inquirer, interpreter, critic, activist” (p. 161).


Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Monday February 17th 2014 16:35

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New publication: Literacy Narratives as Ethnography

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The aim of this special issue is to revisit the ethnographic turn in contemporary art by exploring and critically assessing how art practices show significant similarities with anthropology and ethnography in their conceptualisations of cultural differences and in their representational practices. This contribution focuses on how narratives can be employed in the study of contemporary culture and society. It proceeds from the literary turn in ethnography to explore how literature and drama can be described as important sites for ethnographic research. This question, specifically, is approached from an educational perspective. That is, how can cultural narratives be introduced as a form of ethnography for education in general and – our field of study – literacy studies and literacy education in particular?

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Monday December 23rd 2013 14:45

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Special Issue: Critical Arts 27(6)

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Revisiting the Ethnographic Turn in Contemporary Art (Part II)

Guest editors: Kris Rutten, An van. Dienderen and Ronald Soetaert
Editorial consultants: Leora Farber and Eliane Van Alboom

This special themed issue, published over two consecutive issues of Critical Arts (October and December 2013), aims to revisit the ethnographic turn in contemporary art by inviting papers from theorists, artists and critics, to engage critically with the ethnographic perspective in their own work or in the work of other contemporary artists. The introductory article briefly recapitulates some of the issues explored in the first themed issue and introduces the second by situating the ethnographic turn as part of a larger rhetorical turn within the human and social sciences. The main argument is that the crisis of representation can be reframed as a focus on the inevitable rhetoricity of representation, implying that one cannot avoid rhetoric in the description and delegation of culture. This argument is related to the different contributions that constitute this issue.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Monday December 23rd 2013 14:42

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New publication: Revisiting the Ethnographic Turn in Contemporary Art

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Introductory article:

Our special issue will consist of two volumes (October and December, 2013). In this volume, we focus specifically on practice-led research. In contrast to the existing theoretical discourse and criticism that mainly focuses on finished art products, most of the articles in this issue start from the bottom up, comparing art and anthropological processes. We thus aim to offer a forum to artists and anthropologists to explore and counter this criticism with regards to their own practices. In this introductory article, we explore in more detail the issues at stake in the ethnographic turn in contemporary art.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Thursday November 28th 2013 09:08

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Special Issue: Critical Arts 27(5)

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Revisiting the Ethnographic Turn in Contemporary Art (Part I)

Guest editors: Kris Rutten, An van. Dienderen and Ronald Soetaert
Editorial consultants: Leora Farber and Eliane Van Alboom

An increasing wave of art events has occurred since the 1990s that have displayed significant similarities with anthropology and ethnography in its theorisations of cultural difference and representational practices. In this theme issue, we aim to revisit the ethnographic turn in contemporary art by focusing on practice-led research, exploring the work of Kutluğ Ataman, Walid Raad, Kendell Geers and many others. We collected papers from theorists, artists and researchers to engage critically with the ethnographic perspective in their work. Next to full research papers we also invited short statements and reflections by artists about their practice.

We approach ethnography from a thematic and/ or methodological perspective rather than looking for fixed categories to define ‘ethnographic art’. Our aim is to further the critical work on ethnography in relation to contemporary art by specifically looking at art practices and processes, thereby offering a bottom-up perspective from artists, critics and theorists addressing the question if, why and how an ethnographic perspective is indeed at work. In these practices we are focusing on to what extent contextualisation is relevant when dealing with the display of alterity and outsiderness. A large number of the contributions deal with southern-based art practices and/or representations of self and other in relation to the north-south nexus.

The special issue will consist of two volumes of Critical Arts. Part I is now published. Part II will be published in December 2013.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Thursday November 28th 2013 09:04

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Keynote lecture: The Rhetoric of Spin

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On November 8th Kris Rutten and Ronald Soetaert held a keynote lecture at the conference "Weapons of Mass Seduction. Rhetoric and Political Discourse in the United States. Historical, Contemporary and Theoretical Approaches to US Rhetoric"

Abstract:
Machiavelli has been described as the ‘original spin doctor’. In recent discussions of political discourse the metaphor of spinning has become a central perspective to discuss the ethics of politics. Our main research question will focus on how a ‘Machiavellian perspective’ has been thematized and problematized in recent fiction, thereby confronting American political discourse and rhetoric with European perspectives. More specifically we present a rhetorical analysis of movies and series in which the moral, amoral or immoral character of rhetoric is a major theme: in Wag the Dog (the Machiavellian Brean as the fixer), in the West Wing (in which the political leaders are portrayed as Machiavellian characters), in The Ides of March (described a Machiavellian portrait how politics work) and the Danish TV-series Borgen (in which politicians are confronted with Machiavelli’s timeless dilemmas). The paper presents (part) of the outcome of an educational research project conducted in teacher education courses at the Ghent University. A major aim of the project is to introduce a rhetorical analysis of literature/film as ‘teaching machine’ (Henry Giroux) and ‘equipment for living’ (Kennteh Burke) in education. We use the work of Kenneth Burke to analyze how popular narratives about rhetoric can be read as equipment for living, focusing on how the spin doctor has become a major character in fiction. We illustrate what we can learn from narratives about rhetoric and spinning.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Thursday November 28th 2013 08:40

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PhD: Literature Teaching: the Narrative Construction of a Discipline

Filed under:   book   narrative   literature            

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The full pdf-version of my PhD

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Tuesday November 12th 2013 13:16

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  • Attachment: Doctoraat.pdf
    Vandermeersche, Geert. Literature Teaching: the Narrative Construction of a Discipline. PhD


Doctoraatspresentatie (2 oktober 2013)

Filed under:   presentation   narrative   literature   education   bildung      

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Op woensdag 2 oktober, verdedigde ik mijn doctoraat met de titel "Literature Teaching: The Narrative Construction of a Discipline". De presentatie gebeurde in het Nederlands voor een jury met Prof. Ann Buysse, Prof. Antonia Aelterman, Prof. Willem Elias, Prof. Bart Keunen en Prof. Ronald Soetaert. U kan hieronder de presentatie in pdf-format vinden met begeleidende tekst.

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Sunday November 03rd 2013 22:54

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  • Attachment: Doctoraatspresentatie.pdf
    Vandermeersche, Geert. "Literature Teaching: The Narrative Construction of a Discipline"


New publication: Rhetoric, Citizenship, and Cultural Literacy

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In their article "Rhetoric, Citizenship, and Cultural Literacy" Kris Rutten and Ronald Soetaert start from concerns in contemporary educational debates about a growing lack of civic literacy. These complaints are raised both in the public sphere, in institutions of pedagogy, and in scholarship about the form, content, and function of civic literacy and civic education. Although there is an ongoing debate about the alleged decrease of political interest and the current state of civic literacy, it is clear that civic education has become an important focus of different governmental initiatives. Rutten and Soetaert aim to move away from a straightforward definition of citizenship in general and civic literacy in particular by developing a rhetorical framework for a broader and contextualized understanding of civic and cultural literacies by exploring what this implies for a contemporary humanist and liberal education.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday October 23rd 2013 20:56

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Thematic Issue: Literacy and Society, Culture, Media, and Education

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In an age of digitality and mass media, perceptions about and practices of culture, the production and consumption of culture and thus also pedagogy and educational systems are undergoing changes and debate. Among other issues and developments, the impact of digitality results in new perspectives on literacy(ies). In the thematic issue Literacy and Society, Culture, Media and Education of CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture 15.3 (2013) guest edited by Kris Rutten and Geert Vandermeersche, authors explore theories, practices, methodologies, and applications for the study of the interrelations of digitality and contemporary society, culture, and pedagogy including topics such as media and society, media and culture, media and education, digital humanities, and media and (information) literacy.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday October 23rd 2013 20:52

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Publication: Perspectives on Literary Reading and Book Culture

Filed under:   academic_paper   narrative   humanities   reading   literature      

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In september 2013, an article of myself and Ronald Soetaert appeared in CLCWeb on "Perspectives on Literary Reading and Book Culture".

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Tuesday October 15th 2013 14:29

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Laat mijn kop gerust

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Ronald Soetaert over verhalen in sociaal werk.

Het agentschap Jongerenwelzijn (VCO Oost en West-vlaanderen), Straathoekwerk en de Vakgroep Sociale Agogiek UGent nodigen u graag uit voor een SYMPOSIUM, rijk gevuld met zowel de voorstelling van het boek ‘Laat mijn kop met rust!’ als met de lezingen van 8 eminente sprekers.

Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Monday October 14th 2013 09:37

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Publication: Rhetorical Analysis of Literary Culture in Social Reading Platforms

Filed under:   academic_paper   social media   social reading   literary culture   literature   rhetoric   

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In "Rhetorical Analysis of Literary Culture in Social Reading Platforms" we present a case study of the discourse surrounding literary phenomena that are emerging within social media. The case study is part of a methodological exploration within literacy studies whereby the social media s transformative effects on literary literacies are studied by focusing on language as symbolic and situated action. We have identified 27 unique social reading platforms based on a prolonged study of the social media environment. The analysis of the developers discourse on social reading platforms shows how developers are formulating new instructions on how to talk and to act in relation to literature by changing the scope of concepts related to literary phenomena within the "social media" system.

Blog entry added by Joachim Vlieghe on Friday September 13th 2013 10:54

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Seminar: Rhetoric as a Theoretical and Methodological Framework for Cultural Studies

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At the 2nd Summer Institute of the Association for Cultural Studies (Klagenfurt, 22-26/07/2013) I gave seminars on Rhetoric as a Theoretical and Methodological Framework for Cultural Studies:

There is a small but growing body of work that explores the “intersection” between cultural studies and rhetoric by addressing related questions about culture, interpretation and critical practice (Rosteck, 1998; O’Donnel, 2007; Strecker & Tyler, 2009). Although rhetorical studies and cultural studies have very different institutional and historical pasts (O’ Donnel, 2007), they both aim at revealing how the symbols we use create a specific social order and focus on symbolic practices as forms of power and performance (Rosteck, 1998). In this seminar, we will specifically focus on ‘new rhetoric’, a body of work that sets rhetoric free from its confinement within the traditional fields of education, politics and literature, not by abandoning these fields but by refiguring them (Gaonkar, 1993).

Moving away from a focus on rhetoric as ‘mere’ persuasion or as ‘the icing to a cake’ (Booth 2004: x), new rhetoric focuses on ‘rhetoric as a means of understanding and living successfully in a world of symbols’ (Herrick 2004: 223). Scholars within the new rhetoric tradition describe rhetoric as a tool for identification (Burke, 1969a,b), as a tool to enable our understanding of contextualized reasoning or argumentation (Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca 1969) and as a tool to build community through a listening rhetoric (Booth 2004). The shift from ‘old’ to ‘new’ rhetoric broadens the outlook from an emphasis on persuasion to an interest in how language functions in the establishment of social relationships.

We will specifically focus on the theoretical and methodological framework developed by Kenneth Burke, one of the founders of this new rhetoric tradition. As a rhetorician and literary critic interested in how we use symbols, Burke described the human being as the symbol-making, symbol-using and symbol-misusing animal. He argued that our interpretations, perceptions, judgements and attitudes are all influenced and ‘deflected’ by the symbols that we make, use and misuse, and that we are at the same time used by these symbols. This implies that we can approach the world either symbol-wise or symbol-foolish. Burke focuses on language as the most fundamental tool by which people symbolically convey conceptions of reality to one another and he proposes the explicit study of language as the critical moment at which motives take form. From a methodological perspective, rhetorical criticism uses different tools to analyze the situated meaning and motive-generating functions that symbols perform in relation to specific contexts (Brummett, 2006).

This seminar will explore how rhetorical concepts can be used as tools to develop critical engagement with, as well as on behalf of, those symbols and we will explore what a “full” rhetorical perspective (Lanham, 2006) can imply for the project of cultural studies.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Monday July 29th 2013 11:07

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Keynote lecture: The ethics of teaching. A rhetorical turn.

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At the ISATT 2013 conference at Ghent University I gave a keynote lecture together with Ronald Soetaert on The ethics of teaching. A rhetorical turn.

The ISATT conference 2013 focuses on the topic "Excellence of Teachers?", with a question mark which indicates that it is an open question. So we don’t read the slogan of the conference as a rhetorical question and we would like to introduce a rhetorical reading of what "excellence" could imply for teacher training. In the CFP the organizers write that decision makers today put forward new requirements, new competency frameworks, quality indicators, etc... and they wonder: “do we need standards of excellence?” and “what logic or agenda does it speak for?”. We plead for the importance of rhetoric and narratology as the disciplines par excellence for thematizing and problematizing major issues in teacher training/education. We suggest that narratives (literature, film, drama) can be used as tools (equipment) in the teacher education curriculum by focusing on what they might tell us about aspects of education, on how these narratives problematise theoretical abstractions by dramatizing them, and on how we can analyse narratives from a rhetorical perspective as arguments about education. We argue that Burke’s concept of literature as a form of sociological criticism and his focus on literature as equipment for living can be inspiring for a rhetorical criticism of society in general and education in particular. We suggest that studying imaginative narratives can inspire our imagination in general and our rhetorical imagination in particular. Kenneth Burke summarizes this last perspective in his plea that the core business of education should be to make students ‘symbol wise’. Such a perspective implies a particular meta-perspective synthesized by Burke as: “a way of seeing is also a way of not seeing” (Burke 1935, 49).

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday July 10th 2013 20:57

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Paper: Education as rhetoric. Introducing a “perspective about perspectives” in teacher education.

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At the ISATT 2013 conference at Ghent University I presented a paper on Education as rhetoric: Introducing a “perspective about perspectives” in teacher education.

During the second half of the twentieth century we have been confronted with different but related turns in the humanities and social sciences: linguistic, cultural, anthropological/ ethnographic, interpretive, semiotic, narrative, ... All these turns recognize the importance of signs and symbols in our interpretations of reality and more specifically the cultural construction of meaning both through language and narratives. This paper introduces insights from contemporary rhetoric (or new rhetoric) to explore how an understanding of education as rhetoric can be integrated into the teacher education curriculum. The focus is on the work of the rhetorician and literary critic Kenneth Burke [1897-1993], specifically on his theory of dramatism and the concept of perspective by incongruity. The dramatistic pentad is introduced as a tool for a rhetorical analysis of educational practices. In a case study, the rhetoric of culture and arts education is analysed in a pre-service teaching course by applying the dramatistic pentad to study a fictional narrative. It is claimed that approaching education as rhetoric helps to understand the ambiguities and complexities that are at play in educational practices and that such a ‘perspective about perspectives’ can be a basis for exploring teacher education at the intersection of the semiotic, narrative and rhetorical turn.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday July 10th 2013 20:52

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Workshop: Qualitative Research Methodologies (Ecuador)

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From May 30th till June 2nd I facilitated a workshop on Qualitative Research Methodologies at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador. The workshop specifically focused on open source porgrammes for qualitative data analysis (Weft QDA and Transana). The workshops are part of a VLIR VVOB project on Optimizing Educational Research in Higher Education in Ecuador.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday July 10th 2013 20:35

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Plenary paper: Rhetoric as Equipment for Living

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At the conference Rhetoric as Equipment for Living. Kenneth Burke, Culture and Education I presented together with Ronald Soetaert a plenary paper on Rhetoric as Equipment for Living:

In Cosmopolis. The Hidden Agenda of Modernity, Stephen Toulmin (1990, p. 187) wrote: “Since the mid-1960s, rhetoric has begun to regain its respectability as a topic of literary and linguistic analysis, and it now shares with narrative an attention for which they both waited a long time.” In this session we will focus on the question: How can rhetoric and narrative function as equipment for living? We will discuss how Burke argues for the importance of literature by focusing on his major concepts as: ʻequipment for livingʼ, ʻeverything is medecineʼ and ʻproverbs writ largeʼ. We will discuss some ʻrepresentative anecdotesʼ from recent literature, films and TV to illustrate how these concepts are thematized and problematized in recent fiction. And last but not least we will discuss how rhetoric and narrative can be equipment for education.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday July 10th 2013 17:11

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Rhetorical perspective on culture, literacy and education

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In my presentation, I will start with a rhetorical analysis of the educational debate about literacy and culture and I will suggest a rhetorical perspective in teacher education as a meta-perspective for overcoming simple dichotomies.

Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Wednesday July 10th 2013 06:52

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ISATT conference 2013

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The Ethics of Teaching. A Rhetorical Turn

Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Wednesday July 10th 2013 06:44

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Literature teaching: Narrative, Bildung and the teacher’s role

Filed under:   presentation   narrative   teacher education   fiction         

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At the 16th Biennial Conference on Teachers and Teaching, I presented a paper on literature teaching. The central question of this paper is whether narrative representations of education (novels, movies, graphic novels, ...) can provide a complement to an "evidence-base about teacher quality", or in other words help us reflect on "good" education?

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Thursday July 04th 2013 12:58

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  • Attachment: ISATT_presentation.pdf
    Vandermeersche, G. (2013, July). Literature teaching: Narrative, Bildung and the teacher’s role. 16th Biennial Conference on Teachers and Teaching (Ghent, Belgium).


“How Literature and Gaming Can Change Your Life”: Comparing Narratives of Transformation across Media.

Filed under:   presentation   literature   video games   narrative   change   life   

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During the International Conference on Narrative 2013, Joachim Vlieghe, Geert Vandermeersche and me presented a paper in which we explore narratives of transformation as they appear on internet forums about literature and video gaming. The full paper is expected to be finished by the end of this month, but here you can find the abstract of our presentation already:

Every medium is justified through narratives of transformation (Zimmerman, 2011), i.e. stories of how this medium has changed or influenced the life of the user. Belfiore and Bennett (2006) state that these narratives on how “the arts change lives or define identity” can be considered “the product of widely and deeply held convictions” (11). In this paper, we analyze these stories of change as they appear in the digital conversation on internet fora, because these narratives can be read as "a form of social action which serves particular social purposes" (Buckingham, 1999: 175). The three main research questions of this paper are: (a) What are the tropes that constitute these narratives of transformation, (b) What are the similarities and differences between these tropes, and (c) How does the medium influence these tropes. For this study, we collected posts from the top literature and games fora (via Alexa.com), that focus on the question how literature and video games have influenced people’s lives. This resulted in 688 posts on literature and 1074 posts on video games. An iterative content analysis was performed, using a coding scheme based on a preliminary exploration of the data and the available literature (Belfiore & Bennett, 2006). The analysis of this real-life talk about the functions of literature and games will confront the largely theoretical claims that have been made in academic debates. The results provoke discussion about how these narratives are re-purposed by individuals, to celebrate or condemn the act of reading literature and playing video games.

Blog entry added by Jeroen Bourgonjon on Monday July 01st 2013 14:37

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Unwritten Narratives: Framing Literature in Graphic Novels

Filed under:   presentation   narrative   literature   graphic novels   literacy      

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At the 2013 International Conference on Narrative (Manchester, UK, 27th - 29th June), I presented a paper on graphic novels, & the representation of literature and literacy.

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Saturday June 29th 2013 00:01

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“Shall I Tell You What Is Wrong with Hector as a Teacher?”: The History Boys, Stereotypes of Popular and High Culture, and Teacher Education

Filed under:   academic_paper   narrative   popular culture   education         

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In June 2013, myself and colleagues Ronald Soetaert & Kris Rutten published an article in the Journal of Popular Film and Television. This is the abstract: The reluctance to introduce popular films in teacher education has often focused on the generic and stereotypical aspects of school movies. Stereotypes of education are said to misrepresent teaching and learning and are the basis for critical discussions in classes for preservice teachers. Rather than reject them, a narrative analysis will engage with these recurring patterns. School films can be described as equipment for living (Burke) and a company we keep (Booth) and provide narrative schemata. The British school film The History Boys is analyzed as a narrative that responds to a cultural tradition of representing teachers using stereotypes of different pedagogies, literature teaching, and popular culture.

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Friday June 21st 2013 11:46

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Introduction: Teaching Popular Film and Television: Critical Media Literacy and Narratives in (Teacher) Education

Filed under:   academic_paper   narrative   popular culture   education         

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In June 2013, myself and colleagues Ronald Soetaert & Kris Rutten were guest editors for the Journal of Popular Film and Television. The title of the theme issue is Teaching Popular Film and Television: Critical Media Literacy and Narratives in (Teacher) Education. We provided an introduction

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Friday June 21st 2013 11:43

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Dramatistic Analysis of Literacy Narratives in Social Media Environments

Filed under:   presentation   literacy narratives   equipment for living   rhetoric   teacher training      

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At Rhetoric as Equipment for Living Conference (Ghent, 23-03-2013) I presented a paper relating to teacher training and the use of new/social media in educational settings.

Human interaction is characterized by the creation, use and misuse of symbols (Burke, 1966, p. 16). Symbols gain meaning and become communicative means only through deliberationby the community in which they are circulated and tested as useful descriptions of the reality perceived and collectively constructs by that community (Walter, 2004). In addition, the use of symbols across different situations adds a certain level of ambiguity to their meaning as no two situations are every exactly alike (Burke, 1945/1969, p. xix). Therefore research within social sciences must consider “what is involved when we say what people are doing and why they are doing it?” (Ibid, p. xv).

Literacy studies and literacy education have relied on similar social constructivist considerations to define and redefine its core concept: literacy. The term literacy was originally derived from the word literature and was used to refer to “both an ability to read and a condition of being well-read” (Williams, 1983, p. 184). Since the concept was introduced its meaning has undergone several transformation as “each technological advance has seen a corresponding change in how literacy is practiced and its social role understood” (Snyder, 2003, p. 14). The most significant changes followed the vast increase of communications channels and media during the 20th century (e.g. radio, television and the world wide web). In light of these developments, the New London Group (1996) argued for use of the term literacy in plural form: (multi)literacies. This transformation accounted for the complex challenges faced by learners when dealing with the multitude of communicational means and representational forms, including, but not limited to printed texts alone.

An understanding of literacy as plural and contextually dependent allows policymakers and educational practitioners to create flexible curricula and learning opportunities that equip learners for full and equitable participation in socio-cultural and economic life (Ibid, p. 61). Despite greater opportunities for flexible design, broadening of the concept of literacy also complicates matters for educators and policymakers. By frequently incorporating new practices in the domain of literacy, the concept grows ever more ambiguous. It becomes a container for a myriad of conflicting and confusing meanings. For people who have been entrusted with the task of creating learning environments and providing educational support the increased ambiguity thwarts attempts to operationalize the goals and means of literacy education (Street, 2003). This is further intensified by the rapid succession of technological developments which continue to broaden the spectrum of media and literacy.

In this paper I explore how teachers and policymakers can learn to deal with a broad concept like literacies in today’s multi-mediated societies by taking a social constructivist approach to educational design processes. As suggested by Kris Rutten (2011) I consider how literacy narratives – particularly people’s reflective accounts about participation and experiences in informal sociocultural settings – can become ‘equipment for living’ for learners as well as teachers and policymakers. Based on a case study of literary practices within social media environments I examine the merits of immersion and reflection through participant observation (see: Heath & Street, 2008) and dramatistic analysis of literacy narratives (see: Rutten, 2011).

Blog entry added by Joachim Vlieghe on Monday June 10th 2013 16:39

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Exploring the rhetoric of change in (online) discussion about video games

Filed under:   presentation   video games   rhetoric   kenneth burke   change   equipment for living   

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Last week, the Culture & Education research group organised the Rhetoric as Equipment for Living Conference in Ghent. During this conference, I presented a paper discussing a research project I am conducting with Geert Vandermeersche and Joachim Vlieghe:

Ever since the classical era, people have argued about the social impact of arts. In our own work, we explore this tradition via the New Rhetoric in general and the work of Kenneth Burke in particular, who described literature as “equipment for living”. More recently, Martha Nussbaum put literature at the heart of liberal education, arguing that literature will makes us more empathic towards each other, thus creating a cosmopolitan identity. The question we have to ask ourselves today is whether these functions can be taken over by other media. People have become cultural omnivores, who not only read books, but also watch television, and play video games. In this paper, we explore whether video games can be described as “equipment for living” as well.

Burke emphasized the necessity of rhetorical criticism, by arguing that literature has sociological meaning because it helps the reader in strategically naming recurrent situations and by providing insight in how other people manage these patterns of experience. Similarly, video game scholars are building their field of study on a foundation that stresses the importance of gaming. The predominant argument is that video games can be described as “teaching tools”, which has led many to the belief that games should be used as instruments in education. While we indeed concur with James Paul Gee that video games possess a lot of qualities that align with contemporary learning theories, we argue that it is necessary to think about games from additional perspectives, that is, if we want to approach video games symbol wise.

We therefore decided to shift our analytical scope from the scholarly debate to the ongoing conversation about video games in online forums. There we can find many stories of how gaming has changed or influenced the life of the players. According to Buckingham, these narratives can be read as a form of social action. Therefore, we believe that these stories of change as they appear in the digital conversation can teach us something about how people make sense of their experiences with games, but also about what kind of “equipment for living” video games can be.

Blog entry added by Jeroen Bourgonjon on Wednesday May 29th 2013 21:58

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Stories Teachers Live by - Exploring Narrative and Rhetorical Concepts in Teacher Education

Filed under:   presentation   narrative   literature            

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In my paper at the Rhetoric as Equipment for Living conference (Ghent, 22-25 May, 2013), I explored how insights from David Herman's cognitive narratology (e.g. contextual anchoring, stories as tools for thinking) can be combined with Kenneth Burke's 'equipment for living' and Barry Brummett's 'rhetorical homologies'. All these concepts share an interest in the interplay between formal structures of narratives, on the one hand, and readers' interpretations and use of stories to organize their experiences and thoughts, on the other hand. As part of the research group Culture & Education, I continue the focus of my colleagues on this pragmatic use of fictional narratives to reflect on aspects of education and the role of narrative in learning and life: novels, movies, and graphic novels are at the center of our courses in teacher education. I will present a number of short examples from our lessons: (1) the use of school novels or movies to 'clarify' students' thinking about educational goals (Lloyd Jones' Mister Pip; Tom Wolfe's Old School; The History Boys); (2) the implementation of the television series The Wire to reflect on the place of education in society; (3) the analysis of the graphic novels to reflect on humans' uses of narrative in a multimedia world. I end with the claim that often these narratives themselves 'do' the conceptual and critical work of examining literary culture and education by how they (formally) organize and structure the events in the story. Or in less abstract terms, creators of narrative fiction perform critical work at the same conceptual level as academic scholars.

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Monday May 27th 2013 09:23

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  • Attachment: REFL_presentation_GVDM.pdf
    Vandermeersche, G. (2013). "Stories Teachers Live by - Exploring Narrative and Rhetorical Concepts in Teacher Education" Rhetoric as Equipment for Living (Ghent, 22-25 May, 2013)


Ik wordt

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Opening
Zaterdag 18.05.13 vanaf 20u
met boekvoorstelling ik wordt, inleiding door Prof. Dr. Ronald Soetaert & performance door Jens Brand

Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Wednesday May 15th 2013 22:51

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Edited volume: Verbal and Visual Rhetoric in a Media World.

Filed under:   book                  

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Van Belle, H., Gillaerts, P., Van Gorp, B., Van De Mierop, D., Rutten, K. (Eds.) (2013) Verbal and Visual Rhetoric in a Media World. Leiden: Leiden University Press. [Rhetoric in Society Series]

Since Aristotle, the study of rhetoric has focused on the persuasive aspect of verbal discourse in the political, forensic and ceremonial domains. Rhetoric deals with doxa, with public discourse and persuasion as they develop in a world with no absolute knowl- edge, certainty or fixity. Changing cultural and political conditions urge us to discuss the status, scope and value of rhetorical studies as a discipline. One of these conditions is the increasing influence of visual communication. This collection brings together work that examines how rhetoric functions at this moment and how it balances tradition and renewal. It discusses new theoretical perspectives and it proposes different rhetorical analyses of actual topics. A substantial part of the collection focuses specifically on the issue of (new) media discourse and visual rhetoric as it appears in pictures, graphics, cartoons, documentaries and videos.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Friday April 12th 2013 11:23

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Paper: The rhetorical and narrative turn. Explorations in education and management.

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At the 5th conference on Rhetoric and Narratives in Management Research (Barcelona, 25-27/03/2013) I presented a paper on "The rhetorical and narrative turn. Explorations in education and management."

Over the last few decades there has been an important narrative turn within the humanities and social sciences in general and educational studies in particular. Especially Jerome Bruner’s theory of narrative as a specific ‘mode of knowing’ was very important for this growing body of work. To understand how the narrative mode works Bruner proposes to study narratives ‘at their far reach’ – as an art form. In this paper we aim to take Bruner’s suggestion at hand and explore how his educational theory of narrative as a mode of knowing can indeed be enriched by Kenneth Burke’s theory and method of dramatism. We claim that specifically the rhetorical framework that is developed by dramatism offers an important perspective for education in a context that is increasingly confronted with a plurality of interpretive frameworks.

We argue that fictional narratives and dramas can be introduced in management education as test cases for insights into motives and for the analysis of human action. The way a narrative describes a strategy for encompassing a situation is not to be understood as a literal prescription, but as an orientation to a situation, providing assistance in adjusting to it. By opening up a narrative to multiple perspectives, the dramatistic pentad can focus on different orientations to a given situation and thus provide a perspective on perspectives. Based on the rhetorical frame of analysis that emerges from introducing dramatism as a tool to study narratives, the paper ends by discussing (new) rhetoric as a major perspective for management education.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Friday April 12th 2013 11:20

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Binnen en buiten spelen is leren (Dutch)

Filed under:   misc   video games   learning   het nieuwsblad   smart media   interview   

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A few weeks ago, I was interviewed by Sara Vercauteren for a theme supplement on Children, distributed with the national newspaper "Het Nieuwsblad". During the interview, I discussed the pros and cons of video gaming - paying special attention to how and what children learn from games.

Blog entry added by Jeroen Bourgonjon on Tuesday April 09th 2013 10:25

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  • Attachment: Themabijlage_Kind.pdf
    Vercauteren, S. (2013). Binnen en buiten spelen is leren. Themabijlage Kind: De generatie van dit moment, p. 8.


A Pedagogical Narratology? Exploring the Narrative Turn in Educational Studies and Philosophy

Filed under:   presentation   narrative   narratology   pedagogy         

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At the 3rd Conference of the European Narratology Network - Emerging Vectors of Narratology: Toward Consolidation or Diversification? (March 29 and 30, 2013 – Paris, France), I presented a paper "A Pedagogical Narratology? Exploring the Narrative Turn in Educational Studies and Philosophy"

Integrating the narrative paradigm in the discipline of educational studies and teacher education, one finds many publications allied to the narrative turn (e.g. Jerome Bruner, Kieran Egan, etc). However, specific insights from narratology are often missing. For instance, the work on the narrative structure of lesson preparations (Egan), reflection reports (Pauw), e-learning (Pachler and Daly), adult education (Clark and Rossiter) could benefit from key narratological concepts such as plot (plot-types and progression), ... . The vocabulary of narratology, when introduced (diversified) in the educational field is in need of consolidation. Vice versa, narratology can gain insights from educational studies and pedagogy, together with such field as communication, cultural and rhetorical studies, on a key ethical question confronting narrative scholars: how do we learn from stories? I will present a case-study, focussing on the implementation of narrative lesson preparations in teacher education, which highlights the consensus on the idea of the homo narrans, but also highlights the difficulty of understanding narrative cognition (planning as a narrative activity) and the need for narratological concepts to guide analysis and practice.

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Tuesday April 02nd 2013 10:54

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  • Attachment: ENN_presentation_(website).pdf
    Vandermeersche, Geert. "A Pedagogical Narratology? Exploring the Narrative Turn in Educational Studies and Philosophy" 3rd Conference of the European Narratology Network - Emerging Vectors of Narratology: Toward Consolidation or Diversification? (March 29 and 30, 2013 – Paris, France)


The Rhetoric of Social Reading Platforms

Filed under:   presentation   social reading   social media   rhetoric   literacy   literature   

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At the Northeast Modern Language Association 44th Annual Convention (March, 2013) I presented a paper about Literacy, Literature and Social Reading Platforms.

In our paper we will present our research in which we focus on how digital media transform literary culture (PhD project). We argue that with the emergence of new media there is need to study major shifts in modes of communication in general and literary culture in particular. Drawing on the concept of multiliteracies we implement a rhetorical/ anthropological meta-perspective to describe human beings as symbol using animals. In our paper we focus on the literary system (see Siegfried Schmidt (1980) as a combination of practices performed by particular agents. The different roles are defined in terms of these practices: producer (Produktion), mediator (Vermittlung), recipient (Rezeption), post-processor (Verarbeitung).

We explore the effects of the new social media environments on these patterns of roles and practice: What is enhanced or made possible by the new medium? What is pushed aside or obsolesced? What is pushed to the limits of its potential? Etc.

From a methodological perspective we introduce Burke’s model of the Dramatistic Pentad which builds on his theory of dramatism (1966). The pentadic analysis analyses the ratios between the following five elements: the act (what happens), agent (who does the act), scene (the setting in which an action takes place), agency (the means by which the act is carried out), and purpose (the goal or objective of the act).

For our case study we have identified 27 ‘literary’ social reading platforms. The data presented have been obtained through online participant observation in social media environments over a six-month period. We present the results of our rhetorical-pentadic analysis focusing on how a new scene (digital social media) changes roles and practices in the literary system.

Blog entry added by Joachim Vlieghe on Thursday March 28th 2013 16:02

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New publication:What is the meaning of a safety pin? critical literacies and the ethnographic turn in contemporary art

Filed under:   academic_paper                  

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Rutten, K. & Van Dienderen, A. (2013). “What is the meaning of a safety pin?” Critical literacies and the ethnographic turn in contemporary art. International Journal of Cultural Studies.

In this contribution we address the concept of critical literacies by analyzing how symbolic representations within subcultures can be understood as an engagement with specific literacy practices. For some time now, cultural studies researchers with an interest in literacy have depended upon ethnographic methods to document how members of subcultural communities mobilize literacy practices to achieve critical ends. But the extent to which ethnography actually grants researchers access to subcultural perspectives on literacy has come into question. In this article, we aim to problematize and thematize the ethnographic perspective on literacy in general – and subculture as a situated literacy practice in particular – by critically assessing contemporary art practices that focus on the representation of subcultural identities. We therefore specifically look at artwork by Nikki S. Lee, who focuses on subcultures in her work through ‘going native performances’.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Monday March 18th 2013 20:56

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Workshop: Qualitative Research Methodologies (South-Africa)

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From February 5th till February 8th I facilitated a workshop on Qualitative Research Methodologies at the University of Limpopo in South-Africa. The workshop specifically focused on open source porgrammes for qualitative data analysis (Weft QDA and Transana). The workshops are part of a VLIR UOS project on capacity building.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Monday March 18th 2013 20:34

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Acceptance of Game-Based Learning by Secondary School Teachers

Filed under:   academic_paper   acceptance   teachers   video games   commercial games   secondary school   

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New article in Computers & Education:

The adoption and the effectiveness of game-based learning depend largely on the acceptance by classroom teachers, as they can be considered the true change agents of the schools. Therefore, we need to
understand the perceptions of teachers and beliefs that underlie their decision-making processes. The present study focuses on the factors that influence the acceptance of commercial video games as learning tools in
the classroom. A model for describing the acceptance and predicting the uptake of commercial games by secondary school teachers is suggested. Based on data gathered from 505 teachers, the model is tested and evaluated. The results are then linked to previous research in the domains of technology acceptance and game-based learning.

Blog entry added by Jeroen Bourgonjon on Tuesday February 19th 2013 12:59

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CFP: Rhetoric as Equipment for Living

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CFP: Rhetoric as Equipment for Living. Kenneth Burke, Culture and Education.

Ghent University
22nd to 25th May 2013
Ghent, Belgium

Enquiries: kbconference@ugent.be
Web address: http://www.cultureeducation.ugent.be/kennethburke
Extended deadline (!) for proposal submissions: February 1st 2013

Confirmed keynote speakers

Barry Brummett (University of Texas at Austin - USA)
Steven Mailloux (Loyola Marymount University, Irvine - USA)
Jennifer Richards (Newcastle University - UK)

Theme

The second half of the twentieth century has witnessed a number of different but related turns in the humanities and social sciences: linguistic, cultural, anthropological/ ethnographic, interpretive, semiotic, narrative... All these turns recognise the importance of signs and symbols in our interpretations of reality and more specifically the cultural construction of meaning through both language and narrative. The aim of this conference is to introduce rhetoric as a major term for synthesizing all the above-mentioned turns by exploring how rhetoric can make us self-aware about language and culture. We will specifically focus on ‘new rhetoric’, a body of work that sets rhetoric free from its confinement within the traditional fields of education, politics and literature, not by abandoning these fields but by refiguring them.

Guiding source of inspiration in all this will be the international legacy of Kenneth Burke, one of the founders of this new rhetoric tradition together with scholars such as Wayne Booth, Richard McKeon, Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca. As a rhetorician and literary critic interested in how we use symbols, Burke described the human being as the symbol-making, symbol-using and symbol-misusing animal. He argued that our interpretations, perceptions, judgements and attitudes are all influenced and ‘deflected’ by the symbols that we make, use and misuse, and that we are at the same time used by these symbols. This implies that we can approach the world either symbol-wise or symbol-foolish. This conference wants to explore how rhetorical concepts can be used as tools – equipment – to make students, teachers, scholars and citizens symbol-wise: to understand the way linguistic, cultural, narrative… symbols work, and to develop critical engagement with, as well as on behalf of, those symbols. It furthermore wants to explore if and how rhetoric can still be relevant in a world that is becoming ever more complex and paradoxical by political, economic and cultural differences on a global scale.

In what will be the first major conference devoted to Kenneth Burke outside the United States, we aspire to introduce the ideas of this seminal thinker to disciplines that might benefit from them. We therefore welcome both paper abstracts as panel proposals that broadly explore the topic of Rhetoric as Equipment for Living from the perspective of education, citizenship, literature, literacy, technology, games, (new) media… and from the perspective of disciplines such as pedagogy, social work, psychology, cultural studies, management and communication. The committee especially welcomes contributions that examine the possible use of rhetoric for education or educators, as well as contributions that explore affinities between Burke and European scholars or scholarship, or that apply new rhetoric to political, economic or social issues.

Kenneth Burke Society

The conference is organized in close cooperation with the Kenneth Burke Society who will delegate a number of prominent US Burke scholars and rhetoricians: David Blakesley (Clemson University); Michael Feehan (Arkansas Legislative Council); Ann George (Texas Christian University); Mark Huglen (University of Minnesota); Clarke Rountree (University of Alabama in Huntsville); Herbert W. Simons (Temple University); Richard Thames (Duquesne University); Elizabeth Weiser (The Ohio State University); Robert Wess (Oregon State University); David Cratis Williams (Florida Atlantic University); James P. Zappen (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute). From the International Rhetoric Culture Project participation is confirmed by Ivo Strecker (Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz).

Details:
Conference dates: May 22-25th 2013
Deadline for submissions - February 1st 2013
Decision about submissions: by February 15th 2013
Registration starts: February 15th 2013

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday January 23rd 2013 11:53

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Acting like a good citizen

Filed under:   presentation   video games   rhetoric   citizenship   education   equipment for living   

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At the Rhetoric in Society 4 conference in Copenhagen (January, 2013) I presented a paper about Video Games, Rhetoric, Citizenship & Education.

Burke referred to humans as symbol-users that approach the world either symbol-wise or symbol-foolish (1955). To become symbol-wise, we need to “hesitate before making assessments, judgments, or moves to action” (Enoch, 2004). This approach helps us to overcome oversimplified approaches of identification and division that violate the ethical precepts of deliberative democracy (Robberts-Miller, 2005). Since rhetoric can be defined as the study and practice of human communication – with a focus on symbol use, persuasion, and misunderstandings – it can be considered an essential quality for democracy and citizenship.

In the tradition of Aristotle’s phronesis, Burke has referred to literature and drama as “equipment for living” (1973). The arts assist in building a habit, an ability to both achieve and reflect on certain goals in life. Brummett (1985), Foss (2004) and Ott (2007) have extended these ideas to include popular culture. From the perspective of citizenship, indeed “young people learn at least as much about democracy and citizenship from their participation in the range of different practices that make up their lives, as they learn from that which is officially prescribed and formally taught” (Biesta, 2006).

Given their intrinsically procedural and intermedial nature, video games can serve as a case for analyzing how democratic virtues are being developed when groups of individuals join together around common interests.

Blog entry added by Jeroen Bourgonjon on Monday January 21st 2013 11:21

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Rhetoric Society of Europe Founded!

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At the Rhetoric in Society 4 conference in Copenhagen (January, 2013) the Rhetoric Society of Europe was officially founded. The constitution has been adopted and the executive board elected.

About RSE:

The Rhetoric Society of Europe (RSE) is an organization for European researchers and teachers working on the art of rhetoric.

The purpose of RSE is to promote and advance the research, study and teaching of rhetoric in Europe, and to facilitate professional cooperation between its members. The society provides a forum where researchers and others involved in rhetorical research and teaching can meet and exchange ideas, information and documentation about their work.

Even though it is an important aim of the RSE to stimulate European research and teaching in rhetoric, we welcome members from all parts of the world. The RSE not only wishes to improve and enhance European research, but also to facilitate international cooperation in the research, study and teaching of rhetoric.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Monday January 21st 2013 09:39

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Panel: Rhetoric, Citizenship & Education

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At the Rhetoric in Society 4 conference in Copenhagen (January, 2013) I chaired a panel on Rhetoric, Citizenship & Education.

Panel description:

There has historically always been a strong relationship between rhetoric and education, specifically in relation to citizenship. However, despite its astounding contemporary revival, rhetoric remains largely unrevived as a coherent and attractive course of study and as a coherent and attractive curriculum. The type of rhetorical training that has survived in our time ‘usually justifies itself by arguing that you need to learn methods of argument to defend yourself against your opponents’ (Lanham 2006: 26). However, a rhetorical curriculum should not only teach how to find and arrange arguments but also how to revise “attitudes and human relationships” (Lanham, 2006, p. 26). We concur with Edwards et al. (2004) that, besides a few notable exceptions, little of the current work in educational studies ‘has been located specifically in relation to the “noble art” of rhetoric’ (p. 3). More specifically, the rhetorical aspects of education have been largely ignored: ‘one may still have had an education in rhetoric, but the analysis of education as rhetoric was positioned outside the boundary of legitimate concern’ (Edwards et al. 2004: 5 - our emphasis). In this panel we aim to revisit the relationship between rhetoric, education and citizenship by discussing new perspectives on education in rhetoric and at the same time exploring what it implies for educational research, theory, and practice to study education as rhetoric.

Contributions:

- Kris Rutten (Ghent University): Rhetorical Citizenship & Kenneth Burke’s Linguistic Approach to Problems of Education
- Jeroen Bourgonjon (Ghent University): Acting like a good citizen. Rhetorical citizenship and/in video games.
- Katherine Nicoll (TheoryLab, University of Stirling): ‘Shall I be governed like that?’ : Foucault, rhetoric and citizenship education
- Ronald Soetaert (Ghent University): Rhetoric & Spin in Fiction. An exploration in education.


Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Monday January 21st 2013 09:22

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Rhetoric in Society 4 - Copenhagen

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Rhetoric in Society 4 – University of Copenhagen
http://rhetoricinsociety.hum.ku.dk/

Rhetoric & Spin in Fiction.

"A prince should have no other aim or thought but war and its organisation and discipline." – Machiavelli (Borgen episode 2).
“Machiavelli is not Machiavellian” (Samuel Rushdie)

With the concept of rhetorical citizenship the conference focuses on citizenship as a discursive phenomenon. In my presentation I want to focus on how a rhetorical citizenship is presented in the work of Machiavelli. Machiavelli has been described as the ‘original spin doctor’. In recent discussion of political discourse the metaphor of spinning has become a central perspective to discuss the ethics of politics. My main research question will focus on how a ‘Machevillian perspective’ has been thematized and problematized in recent fiction. More specific I present a rhetorical analysis of movies in which the moral, amoral or immoral character of rhetoric is a major theme: in Wag the Dog (the Machiavellian Brean as the fixer), in the West Wing (in which the political leaders are portrayed as Machiavellian characters), in The Ides of March (described a Machiavellian portrait how politics work) and last but not least the Danish TV-series Borgen (in which politicians are confronted with Machiavelli’s timeless dilemmas).
The paper presents(part) of the outcome of an educational research project conducted in teacher education courses at the Ghent University. A major aim of the project is to introduce a rhetorical analysis of literature/film as ‘teaching machine’ (Henry Giroux) and ‘equipment for living’ (Kennteh Burke) in education in general, and – in this case study - for citizenship education in particular.

Ronald Soetaert



Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Monday January 14th 2013 20:10

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New publication: Revisiting the Rhetorical Curriculum

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Introductory article to the JCS special issue:

The aim of the special strand on ‘Revisiting the rhetorical curriculum’ is to explore the educational potential of a new rhetorical perspective, specifically in relation to different traditions within educational and rhetorical studies. This implies that we do not only look at education in rhetoric, but that we position education also as a rhetorical practice. In this introductory article, we introduce a broad perspective on rhetoric by exploring concepts from new rhetoric to set the scene for this special strand. We elaborate briefly on the relationship between rhetoric and education, which is reflected in the classical concept of paideia. We specifically relate the new rhetorical perspective to curricular issues and introduce the different contributions that are part of this special strand. The article ends by discussing what can be learned from (new) rhetoric about language, culture and education in a post- (or anti-) foundational world.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Friday December 07th 2012 13:58

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Special Issue Published

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Kris Rutten and Ronald Soetaert guest edited a special issue for the Journal of Curriculum studies entitled "Revisiting the Rhetorical Curriculum". The issue aims to explore new rhetoric as a theoretical and methodological framework for Curriculum Studies. The issue has been published (Volume 44, issue 6) and is now available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/tcus20/44/6

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Friday December 07th 2012 11:53

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Het Schoolvak Nederlands

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HSN. Een sessie over Argumenteren, retorica en verhalen.

In onze lezing presenteren we een retorische blik op ons vakgebied geïnspireerd door de Nieuwe Retoriek in het algemeen en het werk van Kenneth Burke in het bijzonder. Burke omschreef literatuur als ‘equipment for living’. Het leven als een verhaal of een toneel, met de mens als rollenspeler. We introduceren een dramatisch-narratieve benadering van fictie en realiteit. Tijdens onze presentatie illustreren we deze benadering met een bespreking van een aantal cases (van films tot games, van fictie tot politiek). Dit laatste als een onderdeel van een project waarin we het belang van verhalen onderzoeken binnen diverse kennis- en praktijkgebieden. Centraal staat de doelstelling onze studenten (en onszelf) retorisch bewust te maken van hoe we denken en praten: om “symbol wise” (Burke) te worden.
Ronald Soetaert

Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Saturday December 01st 2012 21:32

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De Manke Usurpator

Filed under:      taal   verkavelingsvlaams   dialect   usurpator   dutch   

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De manke usurpator (red. Absillis Kevin, Jaspers Jürgen, Van Hoof Sarah). Academia Press Wetenschappelijke Uitgeverij

Taalkundigen, literatuurwetenschappers, onderwijsdeskundigen, taaladviseurs en andere specialisten zoeken naar antwoorden.
Waarom spreken zoveel Vlamingen Verkavelingsvlaams? Waar komt het vandaan en hoe verhoudt het zich tot de dialecten en de standaardtaal? Zijn er goede redenen om het zo hartgrondig te haten?

In dit boek schreef ik een aantal brieven over het verkavelingsvlaams.

Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Saturday December 01st 2012 21:25

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Tools voor leraren (Dutch)

Filed under:      lerarenopleiding   dutch            

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Op deze ontmoetingsnamiddag blikken we terug naar de concrete realisaties binnen onze lerarenopleidingen. Via verschillende parallelsessies zoomen we in op de ontwikkelde tools van, voor en door onze lerarenopleidingen. Tot slot stellen we o.l.v. Prof. dr. Ronald Soetaert onze publicatie “Tools van, voor en door lerarenopleidingen” voor met de concrete projectresultaten en de nieuwe uitdagingen voor de toekomst.

Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Saturday December 01st 2012 21:21

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Literatuur en Taalonderwijs

Filed under:      literatuur   taal   onderwijs         

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Literatuur in het NVT-onderwijs. Didactische aspecten (Louvain-la-Neuve, 1 december 2012).
Het tweejaarlijkse colloquium van de ANBF plaats in Louvain-la-Neuve (Université catholique de Louvain).
10u – 10u40: Ronald Soetaert (Universiteit Gent): De retoriek van het taal- en literatuuronderwijs. Perspectieven op het NVT.

Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Saturday December 01st 2012 21:18

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Symposium: Philosophical Perspectives on the Future of Teacher Education

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From 5 to 6 November 2012 I took part in the 4th international symposium on Philosophical Perspectives on the Future of Teacher Education in Bristol, organized by the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain.

I presented a paper entitled: "Rhetorical Perspectives on the Future of Teacher Education".

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Tuesday November 27th 2012 09:18

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Panel: Unite in diversity! Communication and cultural studies as undisciplined disciplines

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At the 2012 ECREA conference I took part in a special ACS panel entitled "Unite in diversity! Communication and cultural studies as undisciplined disciplines".

Session abstract:

This panel offers a representative sample of the uses and validity of transgressing disciplinary divisions. Indeed, just like the field of communication studies whose boundaries have been unclear from the beginnings, cultural studies has often been described as an “anti-discipline”. By systematically moving beyond the scope of any single discipline, both these fuzzy areas of study – and more so, the merging of one and the other - has contributed to the expansion of the fields of research, theory and debate within the humanities and social sciences. The purpose of the three papers included in this session is to highlight the potential of “transportable approaches” (Turner 2012, 173) in influencing, transforming and/or redirecting knowledge and investigation.

Contributions:

- Side-spitting anarchism or comedy with an edge? Teasing out new ways of meaning in a Monty Python sketch. (Chantal Cornut-Gentille D’Arcy. University of Zaragoza. Spain)

- Mediawisdom as Symbolwisdom. A Rhetorical Approach to Culture, Media & Education. (Kris Rutten. Ghent University. Belgium)

- Movement, Borders, Knowledge" (Mikko L. Lehtonen. University of Tampere. Finland)

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Tuesday November 27th 2012 09:12

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Literatuuronderwijs en het belang van verhalen (HSN-bundel) (Dutch)

Filed under:   misc   narrative   literature   education         

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Voor de conferentiebundel van HSN 2012, schreef Geert Vandermeersche een bijdrage over "Literatuuronderwijs en het belang van verhalen"

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Monday November 19th 2012 10:29

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Literatuuronderwijs en het belang van verhalen (Dutch)

Filed under:   presentation   narrative   literature   education         

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Op vrijdag 16 november 2012, gaf Geert Vandermeersche een presentatie op Zesentwintigste Conferentie Het Schoolvak Nederlands (Brugge) over "Literatuuronderwijs en het belang van verhalen"

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Monday November 19th 2012 10:01

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Game over? Hoe games ons blijven(d) uitdagen tot leren… (Dutch)

Filed under:   academic_paper   video games   learning   stories   education   edutainment   

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We recently published an article in the (Dutch) online teacher journal "Leerrijk". Abstract: In de conceptnota ‘Mediawijsheid’ wijzen Vlaams minister van Jeugd en Onderwijs Pascal Smet en Vlaams minister van Media Ingrid Lieten op het belang van videogames voor de jeugdcultuur en het onderwijs. Sterker nog, ze noemen educatieve games een belangrijke uitdaging voor het onderwijsbeleid. Voor veel leerkrachten die niet vertrouwd zijn met het fenomeen videogames, roept deze boodschap een aantal vragen op. Waarom zouden games een plaats in het onderwijs verdienen? En hoe ziet een les met games er nu eigenlijk uit? In dit beschouwend artikel gaan we dieper in op de verschillende redenen waarom games aandacht verdienen vanuit een cultureel en pedagogisch perspectief. We geven voorbeelden hoe diverse types games gebruikt kunnen worden in de klaspraktijk en we doorprikken een aantal mythes.

Blog entry added by Jeroen Bourgonjon on Sunday November 11th 2012 21:33

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Landscape, Culture, and Education in Defoe's Robinson Crusoe

Filed under:   academic_paper   narrative   education   representation   robinson crusoe      

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In their article "Landscape, Culture, and Education in Defoe's Robinson Crusoe" Geert Vandermeersche and Ronald Soetaert discuss Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe as a narrative that translates nature and our dealings with it into a literary text. Vandeermeersche and Soetaert postulate that the novel can be read as a quintessential fable of humans' cultivation of nature and the creation of individuality, which, at the same time, provides its readers with strategies for describing processes such as education. Robinson Crusoe and its characters, metaphors, and scenarios function in the "auto-communication" of culture as an enduring equipment for living (Burke), a company readers keep (Booth), and a cognitive tool in modern Western culture.

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Sunday November 11th 2012 20:37

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Taal & Verhaal (Dutch)

Filed under:   presentation   narrative   rhetoric   literature   media      

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On September 20th, Ronald Soetaert and Geert Vandermeersche spoke at a session on literature education, held by the European Schools in Mol

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Friday September 21st 2012 15:06

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New Publication: Special Issue on Revisiting the Rhetorical Curriculum

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Kris Rutten and Ronald Soetaert guest edited a special issue for the Journal of Curriculum studies entitled "Revisiting the Rhetorical Curriculum". The issue has been accepted and its publication is forthcoming.


Contributions:

Kris Rutten & Ronald Soetaert - Revisiting the Rhetorical Curriculum

James P. Zappen - US and Russian Traditions in Rhetoric, Education, and Culture

Jessica Enoch- Claiming Access to Elite Curriculum: Identification and Division at the Harvard Annex

Peter Mortensen - The Work of Illiteracy in the Rhetorical Curriculum

Barry Brummett - Taking a Metaperspective on Rhetorical Education

Gert Biesta - Becoming World-Wise: An Educational Perspective on the Rhetorical Curriculum

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Friday September 07th 2012 15:08

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New Publication: Narrative and Rhetorical Approaches to Problems of Education. Jerome Bruner and Kenneth Burke Revisited

Filed under:   academic_paper   narrative   rhetoric   dramatism   jerome bruner   kenneth burke    

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Kris Rutten and Ronald Soetaert
Studies in Philosophy and Education, Online First, 23 August 2012

Over the last few decades there has been a strong narrative turn within the humanities and social sciences in general and educational studies in particular. Especially Jerome Bruner’s theory of narrative as a specific ‘mode of knowing’ was very important for this growing body of work. To understand how the narrative mode works Bruner proposes to study narratives ‘at their far reach’—as an art form—and on several occasions he refers to the dramatistic pentad as an important method for ‘unpacking’ narratives. The pentad proposed by Bruner to study narratives was developed by the American philosopher and rhetorician Kenneth Burke and is embedded in his general linguistic theory of dramatism. From an educational perspective Bruner’s reference to the work of Burke has not been elaborated upon thus far. In this paper we aim to take Bruner’s suggestion at hand and explore how his educational theory of narrative as a mode of knowing can indeed be enriched by Kenneth Burke’s theory and method of dramatism. We claim that specifically the rhetorical framework that is developed by dramatism offers an important perspective about perspectives for education in a context that is increasingly confronted with a plurality of interpretive frameworks.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Tuesday August 28th 2012 14:23

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Call for Papers: Revisiting the Ethnographic Turn in Contemporary Art

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Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies

Call for papers for a themed issue on
Revisiting the ethnographic turn in contemporary art
To be published December 2013


Guest editors: An van. Dienderen - Kris Rutten - Ronald Soetaert
Editorial consultant: Leora Farber

Theme:
Hal Foster introduced the concept ‘The ethnographic turn of contemporary art’ in a seminal article entitled: The Artist as Ethnographer? (Foster 1995). Since the 90s an increasing wave of challenging art events occurred that shows significant similarities with anthropology and ethnography in its theorisations of cultural difference and representational practices. In this theme issue, we aim to revisit the ethnographic turn in contemporary art by focusing on practice-led research. We invite papers from theorists, artists and critics to engage critically with the ethnographic perspective in their work. Next to full research papers we also invite short statements and reflections by artists about their practice.

In the issue, we approach ethnography from a thematic and/or methodological perspective rather than looking for fixed categories for defining ‘ethnographic art’. Our aim is to further the critical work on ethnography in relation to contemporary art by specifically looking at authorship in art practices and processes, thereby offering a bottom-up perspective from artists, critics and theorists addressing the question if, why and how an ethnographic perspective is indeed at work. In these practices we are equally interested in to what extent contextualisation is relevant when dealing with the display of alterity and outsiderness. We are specifically interested in papers dealing with southern-based art practices and/or representations of self and other in relation to the north-south nexus.

Submission guidelines
Deadline for abstracts: Please send your abstracts to Kris.Rutten@UGent.be by August 31st 2012.
Deadline for article submission: Please send your papers to Kris.Rutten@UGent.be by December 31st 2012.
Information and instructions for authors: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/RCRC


Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Tuesday August 07th 2012 14:06

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Panel: Cultural Studies and Rhetoric

Filed under:   presentation                  

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At the 9th International Crossroads in Cultural Studies conference that took place in Paris (July 2-6, 2012), I organized and chaired a panel on Cultural Studies and Rhetoric.

Session abstract: There is a small but growing body of work that explores the “intersection” between Cultural Studies and Rhetoric by addressing related questions about culture, interpretation and critical practice (Rosteck, 1998; O’Donnel, 2007; Strecker & Tyler, 2009). Although Rhetorical Studies and Cultural Studies have very different institutional and historical pasts (O’ Donnel, 2007), they both aim at revealing how the symbols we use create a specific social order and focus on symbolic practices as forms of power and performance (Rosteck, 1998). In this panel we will introduce concepts from both classical and contemporary rhetoric (new rhetoric) as tools for critique and we explore what a “full” rhetorical perspective (Lanham, 2006) can imply for the project of Cultural Studies.

Contributions:
- Kris Rutten and Ronald Soetaert: Cultural Studies in/as Pedagogy. Rhetorical Perspectives on Education.
- Dilip Gaonkar: From Representation to Circulation: Changing Nexus between Rhetoric and Cultural Studies.
- Ronald Greene: Rhetoric in/as Cultural Policy [cancelled due to unexpected circumstances]

Respondent: Ted Striphas

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Tuesday August 07th 2012 14:01

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Super Session: New Perspectives on Kenneth Burke

Filed under:   presentation                  

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At the 15th Biennial Conference of the Rhetoric Society of America that took place in Philadelphia (May 25-28, 2012), I participated together with Ronald Soetaert in a 'super session' on New Perspectives on Kenneth Burke invited by Professor Jack Selzer.

Session abstract: This session offers new insights on the work of Kenneth Burke by established and beginning scholars alike. Chaired by a prominent member of RSA, the session aims to further our collective understanding of Burke by offering new insights into how Burke was fashioning his writings in conversation with others, how he was addressing a number of key contemporary controversies, and how particularly vexing Burkean passages and concepts might be better understood. The session also aims to invigorate future scholarship by others: audience members will be introduced to heretofore unexplored resources (e.g., holding at the Burke family home in Andover; new archival findings at the New York Public Library and in the Kenneth Burke Papers; interviews); will observe innovative recent scholarly approaches; and will learn how Burke’s works are engaging with current theoretical issues, current approaches to rhetorical criticism, and current international educational issues.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Tuesday August 07th 2012 13:49

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Semiotics as Philosophy for Education, Seminar 2

Filed under:   presentation   semiotics   rhetoric   education         

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From May 7th to May 8th, I took part in the 2nd Semiotics as Philosophy for Education Seminar organized by the Semiosis + Education Network.

I presented a paper entitled ‘A fully rhetorical perspective on education. Revisiting Kenneth Burke’s Linguistic Approaches to Problems of Education’

Abstract: In our research and teaching we explore the value and the place of rhetoric in education. In our previous paper for the Semiotics and Education Network we introduced rhetoric as a major turn that offers a meta-perspective for the related linguistic, cultural, anthropological, narrative and semiotic... turns. We specifically want to confront the semiotic and rhetorical turn, embedded in the analysis of the rhetorical turn in Pierce’s later work as described by Colapietro (2007) and as elaborated upon by Pesce (2011).
In this paper we want to elaborate on what a ‘fully’ rhetorical perspective can imply for education. Specifically we will focus on ‘new rhetoric’ in general and the work of Kenneth Burke in particular to explore what can be learned from rhetoric about language, culture and education in a post- (or anti-) foundational world.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Tuesday August 07th 2012 11:46

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Social Reading: Re-revealing the Social Layer of Books

Filed under:   presentation   social media   social reading   literacy   rhetorical analysis   digital ethnography   

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On June 29th 2012, I spoke at the Revealing the Reader symposium at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia).

Developments in digital technology have supported the increasing convergence of media (Jenkins, 2006) also within the field of book publishing. Digital books like the Amplified Edition of On the Road (Penguin Group USA, 2011) are presented as augmented reading experiences featuring additional content and seamlessly integrated audiovisual material. In part, the development of media convergence in digital books is influenced by audience reception. Through sales and a myriad of social media platforms, readers indicate that they expect digital books to be more than “digital representation of the print experience, they need to find their own position in the market and in the eyes of readers.” (Gladiuk, 2010, p.22) One reader boldly states: “You should get all this extra stuff, it's possible now.” (Edwards, 2011) The features and services of social media platforms are also among the possibilities of digital technology. The aim of this paper is to explore the question of how the technological features of social media are affecting digital reading practices? This question is addressed by presenting a rhetorical exploration of the promotional material of currently active social eReading platforms. The exploration consists of a structural analysis based on the model of the Dramatistic Pentad (Burke, 1966) and content analysis based on thematic clustering. Observations from a participatory case study of reading practices enabled by the eReading platform Copia are presented as empirical validation. The paper shows how affinity spaces (Gee, 2005) surrounding books are incorporated as prominent elements of digital books. This represents the introduction of a social layer within digital books. As such, the social layer reveals the readers as “a community in the pages of a book” (Subtext Media, 2011) and stresses the interpersonal role of reading. Finally, the paper considers how this enables the development of new expectations among readers regarding digital reading experiences.

Blog entry added by Joachim Vlieghe on Monday July 09th 2012 16:13

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Reasons to Read: Borrowing from Psychology, Cognitive, and Evolutionary Theory

Filed under:   presentation   narrative   literature   academic discourse   cognition   evolution   

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On July 7th 2012, I spoke at the 29th International Psyart Conference: Psychology and the Arts at Ghent University.

Recent academic publications on the value and functions of (literary) reading, narrative and fiction have incorporated insights from various disciplines: psychology and psychoanalysis (Aubry 2011; Oatley 2011; Bruns 2011), theories of cognition (Hogan 2003; Zunshine 2006) and evolutionary theory (Carroll 2004; Boyd 2009; Austin 2010). Empirical studies on the effects of literature have explicitly modelled themselves on psychological experiments (Hakemulder 2000; Mar and Oatley 2008). In contrast, other publications (Coles 2010; Dreyfus and Kelley 2011; Weinstein 2011) rely on more humanistic arguments and a seemingly 'common-sense' vocabulary. This paper analyzes the similarities and differences between these defenses of reading. Do they in the end argue for the same kinds of effects: identity-formation, pleasure, ... ? We adopt a methodology using positioning theory (Harré and van Langenhove 1999) and narrative theory (MacIntyre's 'crisis' and 'enlarged narratives').

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Monday July 09th 2012 13:58

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  • Attachment: Reasons_to_Read.pdf
    Vandermeersche, Geert (2012, July). "Reasons to Read: Borrowing from Psychology, Cognitive, and Evolutionary Theory". Presentation at 29th International Psyart Conference, Ghent University.


Swipe the iPad (Dutch)

Filed under:   other   new media   education   ipad         

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On Radio 1, Ronald Soetaert made an appearance to talk about the introduction of new media (e.g. the iPad) in schools.

Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Tuesday June 19th 2012 09:41

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Vind ik leuk! De digitale receptie van literatuur (Dutch)

Filed under:   presentation   literature   media            

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Op 1 juni 2012 (Den Haag, Huygens ING), spraken Joachim Vlieghe en Geert Vandermeersche voor een groep van literatuurwetenschappers (oa. Thomas Vaessens, Yra van Dijk, Marc Verboord, Peter Boot & Karina van Dalen-Oskam) over hun onderzoek naar de veranderingen in het literaire veld onder invloed van digitale media. Geert Vandermeersche sprak eerst in algemene zin over het perspectief van de onderzoeksgroep Cultuur & Educatie (zie powerpoint in attachment). Joachim Vlieghe lichtte zijn onderzoek naar de verschuivende literaire rollen en social reading platforms toe (zie de link). In de discussie kwamen interessante punten over onderzoeksfoci aan bod.

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Monday June 04th 2012 09:34

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New Rhetoric as a post-foundational perspective for education.

Filed under:   presentation                  

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In January-Februari 2012 I was visiting scholar at at the School of Education/ Laboratory for Educational Theory of the University of Stirling. On January 31st I held a seminar on new rhetoric as a post-foundational perspective for education:

There is an increasing focus on the role of language and discourse in different areas of educational studies (Stronach and Maclure 1997, MacLure 2003). The linguistic, narrative and semiotic turns (amongst others) oriented educational research to a focus on the role of signs and symbols in the construction of reality and more specifically the cultural construction of meaning both through language and narratives. This implies a need to study and critically assess the role that language plays in our different interpretations of reality. As Edwards et al. (2004:3) have noted, ‘little of this work to date has been located specifically in relation to the “noble art” of rhetoric’. In this presentation I will discuss the rhetorical turn as a major perspective for educational theory, research and practice, exploring what we can learn from ‘new rhetoric’ about language, culture and education in a post- (or anti-?) foundational world (Bernard-Donals and Glejzer 1998). The new rhetoric – developed in the work of scholars such as Kenneth Burke, Wayne Booth, I.A. Richards and Chaim Perelman – refers to a body of work that moved away from ‘classical’ rhetoric in different directions. I will present a number of cases that explore the ‘educational potential’ of a new rhetorical perspective, specifically in relation to different traditions within curriculum theorizing. Furthermore, I will elaborate on how the discussion between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ rhetoric can be related to the discussion about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ education (Biesta 2009).

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday March 21st 2012 15:51

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Academic Discourse and Narratives of Literacy as 'Equipment for Living'

Filed under:   academic_paper                  

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In his article "Academic Discourse and Narratives of Literacy as 'Equipment for Living'" Kris Rutten discusses practices of academic discourse and argues that students entering higher education have to become part of a specific community of institutional discourse. Rutten claims that narratives of and about literacy — narratives that revolve around issues dealing with language and the acquisition of literacy — "dramatize" the tension of moving from one discourse community to another. By charting situations of "type," fictional literacy narratives can be used by students as "equipment for living" in order to reflect on confrontations and difficulties they experience in higher education. Kenneth Burke's "dramatistic pentad" is introduced as an analytical tool to study representations and interpretations of institutional discourse in fictional narratives. In a case study, the popular literacy narrative Educating Rita is analyzed and confronted with personal reflections of students. Further, Rutten discusses what can be learned from a rhetorical perspective on literacy about roles (identities) and language (institutional discourses) in higher education.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday March 21st 2012 15:39

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New Publication: The Rhetoric of Disability. A dramatistic-narrative perspective.

Filed under:   academic_paper                  

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In this article we introduce a rhetorical perspective into disability studies through exploring the work of Kenneth Burke (1969). Specifically, we focus on how Burke’s theory of dramatism can be used in disability research as well as in teaching disability studies, as it holds potential for the production of a diversity of social interpretations of the relationship between ‘impairment’,‘disability’, and disabling society. We focus on Burke’s dramatistic pentad and the concept of circumference, as possible tools for teaching social work students to deal with ambiguity in their prospective practice. We discuss how a rhetorical analysis of ‘mental health problems’ in the seminal movie One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest has been introduced in a Master’s degree course on Cultural Studies for social work students at Ghent University (Belgium). In conclusion, we discuss the relevance of a rhetorical perspective for social work students in order to orient and reorient their prospective practice, based on a diversity of social interpretations of ‘impairment’ and ‘disability’.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Wednesday March 21st 2012 14:51

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De Beschaving der Barbaren (Dutch)

Filed under:   presentation   soirée barbare   barrico   richard lanham   bam      

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April 18th, I will present a lecture at Soirée Barbare. This lecture will be in Dutch: "Baricco richt zijn aandacht op de komst van de barbaren in het algemeen en ook op de barbaar-in-ons in het bijzonder. ‘Aandacht’ blijkt trouwens zijn buzzword te zijn. En het is ook een modewoord, lees ik geregeld in de zoveelste brochure die me aanmaant wat meer mindfulness in mjn leven te brengen. Terug naar de aandacht in het hier en nu – aldus de slogan. En ook wat meer onthaasten en dus aandacht voor wat wezenlijk is in deze ratrace. Dit alles spoort ook wel wat met de oudere slogan ‘back to basics’ waaruit veel nostalgie spreekt. Vroeger was het immers beter.

Nostalgisch wil Baricco niet zijn, en toch getuigt hij in een interview : “Nee. Ik ben hoogstens een beetje moe. Die nieuwe beschaving is erg afmattend. Ik geloof niet dat je dat tempo eindeloos vol kunt houden. Fysiek niet, maar ook intellectueel niet”. Eigenlijk zou ik de raad van Baricco moeten opvolgen. Ook ik ben immers een beetje moe van ‘de nieuwe beschaving’ (van al die sociale media die me minder sociaal maken) maar ook van de oude beschaving (van al die ongelezen boeken, films, toneelstukken en concerten… ). Ik zou moeten onthaasten dus eigenlijk weigeren om tijd te besteden aan een debat over het gebrek aan tijd: het gebrek aan quality time (nog zo’n buzzword). Baricco heeft het over de kwaliteit van onze aandacht die te horizontaal (of oppervlakkig) en dus te weinig verticaal (of diep) zou zijn.

Aandacht voor aandacht dus. Dat laatste doet me denken aan het werk van Richard Lanham die een verschuiving constateerde van een industriële economie naar een informatie-economie en nu naar een aandachtseconomie. Economie draai rond schaarste, argumenteert Lanham, en informatie is helemaal niet schaars dus is het probleem niet. Wat wel schaars is, is (daar zijn we weer) aandacht. Stilte. Tijd. Diepgang. Dat impliceert dat er meer dan ooit behoefte is aan cultuur en kunst voor aandachtsvolle zingeving. De paradox draait rond het feit dat aandacht & verbeelding centraal staan en tegelijkertijd bedreigd worden.

Over dat alles hou ik een logboek bij op zoek naar de barbaar-in-ons. Of de barbaar-in-mij. Is er sowieso zoveel diepgang te vinden in de traditionele literaire cultuur? En is er ook diepgang bij de collega’s uit de film-, televisie-, muziek- en games-cultuur?

Trouwens, zeer vereerd dat ik geïnviteerd ben gezien ik mij realiseer dat ik eigenlijk uit een familie van barbaren kom. Thuis was er weinig of geen Cultuur. En nu is er misschien te veel? In elk geval ik schrijf dit omringd door duizenden boeken die me aanstaren met een blik van: barbaar, heb je ons allemaal wel gelezen - laat staan - goed gelezen?

Alle redenen dus voor een zelfonderzoek, om af te dalen (verticaal) in mijn ziel – wat dat ook moge zijn. Misschien veranderen mensen niet echt, misschien blijft alles hetzelfde maar anders. Misschien. Daar moet ik over nadenken. "

Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Tuesday March 20th 2012 16:32

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Soclale Media als Cultuureducatie (Dutch)

Filed under:   presentation   social media   social reading   anthropology   ethnography      

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I presented a lecture at the Flemish Parliament (Brussels). The lecture was in Dutch: "In mijn lezing zal ik aandacht besteden aan de rol die sociale media spelen in onze cultuur. Wat bedoelen we met ‘sociale’ media? Media zijn toch altijd al sociaal geweest? En wat bedoelen we met ‘social reading’? Lezen is toch per definitie een individuele bezigheid?

Ik reis naar digitale ‘omgevingen’ – als een antropoloog - en presenteer een verslag van mijn verblijf. Ik tweet dagelijks over mijn belevenissen en u kan mij volgen op als @RonSoetaert, onvermijdelijk ben ik ook ‘vriend’ op Facebook, ‘member’ op LinkedIn en uiteraard wordt mijn dagboek een blog. En ik ga in gesprek met Joachim Vlieghe – de echte ‘digital native’ (hoewel hij zich afvraagt of onderscheid wel bestaat) én onderzoeker van de sociale media. We gaan samen op zoek naar de retoriek van, in & rond de literaire cultuur. Uit onze tweets, mails, chats….halen we trends om samen met u verder te praten over de vraag: hoe veranderen sociale media ons schrijven, lezen, en… leven?

Kortom, de promotor (geboren in 1951) en de doctorandus (geboren in 1985) proberen een dialoog op gang te brengen tussen traditie & vernieuwing, tussen nostalgie & hype. Zijn sociale media hetzelde maar anders? Zo ja, hoe anders is hetzelfde?"

Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Tuesday March 20th 2012 15:46

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An introduction to Literacies

Filed under:   presentation   media literacy   information literacy   interliteracies   multiliteracies   literacy   

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On February 11th, Hadewijch Vanwynsberghe and I presented a paper at the Literacy and Society, Culture, Media, & Education 2012 conference at Ghent University. The paper we presented contained a brief overview of definitions and ideas related to the concepts literacy, media literacy and information literacy. The paper also stresses the interrelations between all kinds of literacies, as for instance media and information literacy. In other words, the paper focused on presenting a multi- and interliteracies perspective on Literacy Studies.

Blog entry added by Joachim Vlieghe on Tuesday February 14th 2012 11:43

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Media, literacy and the literary system: How social media are affecting literary professionals?

Filed under:   presentation   social media   literature   literacy   interliteracies   siegfried j. schmidt   

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On February 9th, I presented a paper at the Literacy and Society, Culture, Media, & Education 2012 conference at Ghent University. The paper I presented focuses on the effects of digital media on cultural institutions. The paper builds on the foundations of the New Literacy Studies that focus on culture and literacy from a multiliteracies perspective. I briefly outline these ideas and add the idea of interliteracies. I continue by relating these ideas to the role and functions of cultural institutions concerned with literature. The main aim of this paper is to establish a general framework to consider how institutions within the literary system are being affected by the rise of social media.

Blog entry added by Joachim Vlieghe on Monday February 13th 2012 11:17

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The Literary Field and New Media

Filed under:   presentation   narrative   literature   new media   uses of literature      

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On February 9th, I presented a paper at the Literacy and Society, Culture, Media, & Education 2012 at Ghent University. In this presentation I gave an overview and analysis of the (academic) discussion on the state of literary reading, the book, and literary criticism under the influence of new media, theoretical approaches and institutional developments

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Monday February 13th 2012 09:45

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  • Attachment: GVDM_LSCME2012.pdf
    Vandermeersche, G. (2012, February). The Literary Field and New Media. Paper presented at Literacy and Society, Culture, Media, & Education, Ghent, Belgium


Video Games in Education

Filed under:   presentation   video games   rhetoric   citizenship   martha nussbaum   equipment for living   

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On February 10th, I presented a paper at the Literacy and Society, Culture, Media, & Education Conference, organized by the Culture & Education research group. In this paper, I explore Martha Nussbaum's ideas about the narrative imagination, and Kenneth Burke's notion of literature as equipment for living. Could these qualities be attributed to video games as well? Thus, this paper is concerned with the social functions of video games. To study games as a part of culture, rather than apart from culture, a rhetorical approach is suggested for studying the different clusters of reasoning concerning the relationship between games and citizenship.

Blog entry added by Jeroen Bourgonjon on Sunday February 12th 2012 13:46

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What Happens off the Field? Proposing a Rhetorical Approach of the Affinity Spaces Surrounding Games.

Filed under:   presentation   video games   affinity spaces   rhetoric         

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This paper considers the relation between literacy, social media practices and rhetoric, by focusing on game-related spaces as sites for learning. Studies from various disciplinary research domains like anthropology (e.g. Ito and Bittanti 2010) and socio-linguistics (e.g. Gee 2003) connect games and learning. Gee (2003) provocatively claims that games can be considered more powerful learning environments than traditional education. He attributes several learning principles to gaming, thereby also calling attention to affinity groups "bonded primarily through shared endeavors, goals, and practices and not shared race, gender, nation, ethnicity, or culture" (Gee 2003: 197). These observations are supported by recent research that has provided evidence for the ubiquity of learning in the digital spaces where people form affinity groups, like games and the spaces surrounding them (e.g. Steinkuehler and Duncan 2008). Earlier explorations of communities and learning practices (e.g. Anderson 1983; Bey 1991; Pratt 1991) supports Gee's (2005) claim that the relationship between membership and learning should be approached cautiously. This paper claims that rhetorical theory can offer substantive insights in the world of gaming and learning. Based on the theoretical insights of game scholars like Frasca (1999), Bogost (2007), and Voorhees (2009), this paper proposes to broaden the scope of research to the affinity spaces outside of games and to analyze the interactions within those spaces from a rhetorical perspective. A small but growing body of research relates the study of video games to the theory of New Rhetoric. Here, rhetoric should not be defined merely as an act of persuasion through language, but a means for meaning making in a world of symbols and interactions (Herrick 2004: 223). Based on insights from New Rhetoric, and Kenneth Burke in particular, the concepts of circumference and identification are introduced as a means to widen the analytical lens (Kimberling 1982). Brief examples from discussion forums for Fifa 11 are used to illustrate the conceptualizations.

Blog entry added by Joachim Vlieghe on Thursday November 17th 2011 13:47

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  • Attachment: What_Happens_off_the_Field.pdf
    Vlieghe, J., Bourgonjon, J., Rutten, K. and Soetaert, R. (2011). What Happens off the Field? Proposing a Rhetorical Approach of the Affinity Spaces Surrounding Games. In: Proceedings of the European Conference on Games Based Learning, The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, 626-631.


What Does It Mean to Be a Game Literate Teacher? Interviews with Teachers Who Translate Games into Educational Practice.

Filed under:   presentation   video games   literacy   game-based learning   teachers      

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In this paper, two case studies are presented of teachers who translate video gaming into educational practice. These cases are situated within a broader framework of intermediality/multimodality and related to debates about (video game) literacy and the position of the teacher in education. The question of what it means to be a game literate teacher is explored. Although the results of this study are to be considered preliminary, they raise important issues, such as the role of expert video game knowledge for teachers involved in DGBL, the description of DGBL as an interplay between distinct but intermingling knowledge aspects, and the need for teachers to become anthropologists rather than gamers.

Blog entry added by Jeroen Bourgonjon on Thursday November 17th 2011 13:41

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  • Attachment: What_Does_It_Mean_to_Be_a_Game_Literate_Teacher.pdf
    Bourgonjon, J., and Hanghoj, T. (2011). What Does it Mean to be a Game Literate Teacher? Interviews With Teachers who Translate Games Into Educational Practice. In: Proceedings of the European Conference on Games Based Learning, The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, 67-73.


Video Games as Equipment for Living

Filed under:   academic_paper   intermediality   video games   equipment   rhetoric      

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In their article "Video Games as Equipment for Living" Ronald Soetaert, Jeroen Bourgonjon, and Kris Rutten postulate that with the emergence of new media there is need of a re-evaluation of all modes of communication and the ways in which literacy is conceptualized. Drawing on the concept of multi-literacy they suggest a rhetorical/anthropological meta-perspective to describe human beings as symbol using animals and focus on particular symbol systems: narrative, drama, and video games. Specifically, they focus on the perspective of drama as a tool to analyze cultural artifacts in general and video games - as a new art form - in particular. They implement Kenneth Burke's notion of the pentad to illustrate their perspective in two case studies, the video games Civilization and Heavy Rain . Soetaert, Bourgonjon, and Rutten illustrate how video games can be described as equipment for living because video game playing has become part of the many ways people create worlds and construct meaning and sense. Thus, they explore how new forms of media and art can be examined from the perspective of traditional disciplines such as rhetoric and anthropology and how rhetoric can transform itself in a digital world.

Blog entry added by Ronald Soetaert on Thursday November 17th 2011 13:32

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Intermediality as Cultural Literacy and Teaching the Graphic Novel

Filed under:   academic_paper   intermediality   cultural literacy   graphic novel         

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In their article "Intermediality as Cultural Literacy and Teaching the Graphic Novel" Geert Vandermeersche and Ronald Soetaert argue for the inclusion of the graphic novel for the teaching of cultural literacy and literature. As the printed book is no longer the sole carrier of cultural literacy, Vandermeersche and Soetaert postulate that literary culture must be repositioned in intermedial culture and practices. In order to do so, Vandermeersche and Soetaert apply Werner Wolf's typology of intermediality, aspects of narratology, and scholarship about comics. Following a theoretical discussion they analyze the graphic novel series The Unwritten, a text that thematizes the intermedial nature of (Western) culture today and mediates the function of literature and cultural literacy. Consequently, as Vandermeersche's and Soetaert's analysis suggests, narration incorporates references to and the thematization of other media and literary texts, which, in turn, creates embedded stories that try to link the entire fabric of literary culture together. As such, it changes the way we look at the transfer of cultural literacy to readers and students of literature and culture.

Blog entry added by Geert vandermeersche on Thursday November 17th 2011 13:28

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Intermediality, Rhetoric, and Pedagogy

Filed under:   academic_paper   intermediality   rhetoric   pedagogy         

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In their article "Intermediality, Rhetoric, and Pedagogy," Kris Rutten and Ronald Soetaert discuss how the notion of intermediality challenges the institutions that traditionally "mediate" culture and they discuss implications for pedagogy. First, they focus on how the museum as an institution is questioned and problematized by describing it as a "medium" that is increasingly influenced by cultural and technological developments. Second, they focus on the implications of new material culture and intermedial practice and how this requires new perspectives on pedagogy. Rutten and Soetaert elaborate on previous work on the curriculum as a "contact zone" (Pratt) by focusing on the rhetorical nature of curricula and by introducing (new) rhetoric as a theoretical and conceptual framework for discussing the relationship between intermediality, culture, and pedagogy.

Blog entry added by Kris Rutten on Thursday November 17th 2011 13:11

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From Counter-Strike to Counter-Statement: using Burke’s pentad as a tool for analysing video games

Filed under:   academic_paper   video games   rhetoric   kenneth burke   pentad      

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As video games increasingly become an important frame of reference and as they are more and more taken seriously in education and research, there is a growing need for a methodological tool for video game analysis. In this paper, rhetorical theory in general and pentadic analysis in particular are introduced as useful means to stimulate a critical approach of video games. A case study is presented in which a popular video game (Bioshock) is analysed using this rhetorical approach. It is argued that pentadic analysis can overcome a number of binary discussions within the contemporary field of video game criticism, thus offering interesting perspectives for research and education (e.g. as a reflection tool).

Blog entry added by Jeroen Bourgonjon on Wednesday November 16th 2011 17:31

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