Excerpt From: Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society
Technical Rhetorics: Making Specialized Persuasion Apparent to Public Audiences
As rhetoric and technical communication researchers and teachers, we’re often faced with defining exactly what we mean when we use the term technical communication. Current perspectives on what the term technical communication encompasses are broadening well beyond documentation and user manuals that come with technological artifacts (Haas; Grabill and Simmons; Scott, Longo, and Wills; Slack, Miller, and Doak).1 However, defining technical communication more broadly for ourselves or even others in our disciplines doesn’t always change publics’ (e.g., users/stakeholders/lay audiences) perceptions of this information and how it affects their lives and the decisions they make.
In this essay, we argue that “technical rhetorics” is a concept that has affordances for thinking about how to critically communicate with public audiences about specialized information.
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North Carolina Literary Review explores literature and film
GREENVILLE, N.C. – The North Carolina Literary Review is marking its second decade of publication with a special feature section on North Carolina literature into film.
The issue includes essays by “Cold Mountain” author Charles Frazier, eastern North Carolina’s Jim Grimsley, and Timothy Tyson, author of the provocative “Blood Done Sign My Name.”
“But don’t expect to read of these writers’ frustration over filmmakers ‘ruining’ their work,” writes Editor Margaret Bauer in her introduction to the special feature section. “Rather, you will read of their appreciation of the hard work involved in creating this other medium for their stories.”
Also in the issue: an article by William Hart on James Patterson’s North Carolina-set Alex Cross novel and film “Kiss the Girls” and an interview with Lois Duncan, the author of popular young adult suspense novels including “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” which was adapted into a film by ECU alumnus Kevin Williamson. Also interviewed is Ellyn Bache, who describes the experience of having her novel “Safe Passage” adapted into a feature film and of its resurgence on cable after 9/11.
A North Carolina-focused discussion of film adaptations would not be complete without a discussion of Thomas Dixon, a native of Shelby, whose novels were the inspiration for D.W. Griffith’s infamous but influential “Birth of a Nation.” Film historian Anthony Slide writes about Dixon’s subsequent efforts in developing his own film-directing career following the phenomenal success of “Birth of a Nation.”
Also explored is the screenwriting career of North Carolina’s preeminent playwright, Paul Green, in an essay by UNC Emeritus Professor Laurence Avery. And Larry Tise and Tom Whiteside write about a 1921 movie referred to by those who remember it as “the first Lost Colony film.” Tise notes that this early educational film probably led to commissioning Paul Green to write “The Lost Colony,” now in its 75th year of performances in Manteo.
Other content in the film section of the issue includes Terry Roberts’ essay on novels by John Ehle that have been adapted into film and the ones that should be. George Hovis argues for “Ten North Carolina Stories that Ought to Be Films,” and Duke University lecturer Elisabeth Benfey writes about a film production class in which her students adapted North Carolina stories, including Randall Kenan’s “The Foundations of the Earth,” into film.
N.C. Literary Hall of Fame poet James Applewhite’s work appears in both the film section and the “Flashbacks” section of the issue. The “North Carolina Miscellany” section includes the first winner of NCLR’s new James Applewhite Poetry Prize competition, John Thomas York’s poem “Lamp,” along with several of the finalists in the competition.
Former North Carolina Poet Laureate Fred Chappell writes about ECU’s new Stuart Wright Collection of books, letters, photographs, and other materials, which Chappell calls “the definitive collection of Southern literature from World War I to the mid-1980s.” From that collection’s content, NCLR 2012 includes a never-before-published poem by Robert Penn Warren, author of the novel “All the King’s Men” and the only person to receive the Pulitzer Prize in both poetry and fiction.
The issue also includes the winners of the 2011 Doris Betts Fiction Prize competition, sponsored by the North Carolina Writers Network: Thomas Wolf’s first place and Joseph Francis Cavano’s second place stories; an interview with former Piedmont Laureate Zelda Lockhart; an essay by Paul Crenshaw hearkening back to the 2011 issue’s environmental theme; and an essay by the 2005 North Carolina Award for Literature recipient Michael Parker about his latest novel, “The Watery Part of the World.”
Published by East Carolina University and the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association, NCLR has won numerous awards in its 21 years of publication—most recently from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals in 2010 for Best Journal Design.
The cover art for the 2012 issue is by Mary Shannon Johnstone and Dana Ezzell Gay, both on the faculty at Meredith College in Raleigh. Gay, NCLR’s Art Director, also designed the cover and much of the content. Other content designers include Pamela Cox of Five to Ten Design in Washington, N.C.; Pitt Community College instructor Stephanie Whitlock Dicken of Greenville; ECU alumnus Brandie Knox, founder of knox design strategy in New York; and Mary Thiesen, former NCLR Art Director, who now designs for PETA in Virginia.
NCLR 2012 is being distributed now to subscribers and will be available in independent bookstores across North Carolina. The official launch of the issue will take place Sept. 21-22 during the Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming, hosted by J.Y. Joyner Library at ECU. Keynote speaker Charles Frazier and several other writers featured in this issue will be in Greenville for this event.
For a complete table of contents for this issue, subscription and purchase information, and the complete program for the 2012 Eastern North Carolina Literary Homecoming, go to www.nclr.ecu.edu.