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Food fights: Cookbook rhetorics, monolithic constructions of womanhood, and field narratives in technical communication.

Moeller, M. E. & Erin A. Frost  (2016). “Food fights: Cookbook rhetorics, monolithic constructions of womanhood, and field narratives in technical communication.” Technical Communication Quarterly, 25(1), 1-11.

Abstract: Field narratives that (re)classify technical genres as liberating for women risk supporting the notion that feminism is a completed project in technical communication scholarship. This article suggests that technical communicators reexamine the impact of past approaches to critical engagement at the intersections of gender studies and technical communication; cookbooks provide a material example. The authors illustrate how a feminist approach to cookbooks as technical/cultural artifacts can productively revise field narratives in technical communication.

“Technical Rhetorics: Making Specialized Persuasion Apparent to Public Audiences”

gastric bypass image

In this essay, Assistant Professor Erin Frost and Associate Professor Michelle Eble argue that “technical rhetorics” is a concept that has affordances for thinking about how to critically communicate with public audiences about specialized information. Invoking specialized information and persuasion in combination can help remind us—technical communication researchers, teachers, practitioners—that we have an obligation to emphasize the persuasive nature of the work that we do and study when interfacing with public audiences. The authors use gastric bypass surgery as an example to apply their argument. Read the article here.

Frost coedits special issue on rhetorics of health and medicine

Congratulations to Dr. Erin A. Frost, Assistant Professor, who co-edited a special issue of Communication Design Quarterly on the rhetorics of health and medicine with Lisa Meloncon from University of Cincinnati. Their lead article, “Charting an Emerging Field: The Rhetorics of Health and Medicine and Its Importance in Communication Design,” provides a comprehensive essay that surveys prior work as well as situates the special issue’s contributions to the field of medical and health rhetorics.

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Apparent feminist pedagogies: Embodying feminist pedagogical practices at East Carolina University.

Erin A. Frost (2015). “Apparent feminist pedagogies: Embodying feminist pedagogical practices at East Carolina University.” Programmatic Perspectives, 7(2), 110-131.

http://www.cptsc.org/pp/vol7-2/frost.pdf

Abstract: This curriculum showcase reports on the adaptation of apparent feminist pedagogies (which have been previously featured in a curriculum showcase) to a distance education course. I seek an answer to the question of how apparent feminist pedagogies work differently when the embodiedment of the instructor is not apparent by default. After drawing on cyberfeminist theories to adapt apparent feminist pedagogies to a digital learning environment, I describe and reflect on the work done by students in this course across several platforms, including a public website. This article can help readers to better understand the effects of the instructor’s embodied presence on students and the ways that those effects might change in and across educational contexts. It explains how apparent feminism works in digital contexts; how this pedagogical approach might look in an online graduate seminar; how it affected specific student learning in this specific case; and how these results differed from those I found in face-to-face contexts.

Collaborative course design in scientific writing: Experimentation and productive failure.

Michelle F. Eble with D. Shane Combs and Erin A. Frost “Collaborative course design in scientific writing: Experimentation and productive failure.” Composition Studies , 43 (2) (2015).

Abstract: While this challenge was productive, we also want to ensure the course has time to achieve all its learning outcomes. […]we have discussed several possibilities for revisions of the course to emphasize both scientific writing within the disciplines and communicating science to public audiences. […]we plan to change the process journal assignment to a required social media account dedicated to science writing.

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Special Issue of Communication Design Quarterly on Rhetorics of Health and Medicine

Dr. Erin A. Frost co-edited a special issue of Communication Design Quarterly on the rhetorics of health and medicine with Lisa Meloncon from University of Cincinnati. Their lead article, “Charting an Emerging Field: The Rhetorics of Health and Medicine and Its Importance in Communication Design,” provides a comprehensive essay that surveys prior work as well as situates the special issue’s contributions to the field of medical and health rhetorics. See the full issue.

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Sea-Level Rise Risk Communication: Public Understanding, Risk Perception and Attitudes about Information.

Covi, Michelle and Donna J. Kain (2015). Sea-Level Rise Risk Communication: Public Understanding, Risk Perception and Attitudes about Information. Environmental Communication.

Abstract: We present the results of a study using a document-based evaluation method to better understand how residents in vulnerable coastal areas respond to risk communications about sea-level rise (SLR) and to determine whether communications localized for specific populations improve reception. Similar to climate change communication, SLR risk communication presents challenges involving complex science, uncertainty, invisibility, and politicization. To be comprehensible and persuasive, risk messages must be appropriately framed and visually compelling and must take into account risk perceptions and diverse viewpoints. Our approach involves assessing people’s encounters with actual risk messages to determine their reactions and responses. Participants in this study had difficulty understanding information and expressed attitudes including fear, fatalism, skepticism, and loss. SLR risks were also perceived as both temporally and spatially distant, creating a challenge for communicators trying to convey a sense of urgency. We conclude by considering the implications of audience-focused research for SLR risk communication.

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