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ERIC Number: ED458635
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Electronic Discourses in a Graduate Seminar: MOO Conferences as Liminal Discursive Spaces.
Rouzie, Albert
Power relations between professors and graduate students are fluid, in many ways under continuous negotiation. This is especially true in electronically mediated interchanges. Although a professor's power and authority far from disappear in a MOO (multi-user object-oriented domain) session, the power and influence of the students rise to challenge it. MOO discourse releases liminal energies, a disorder that is productive because it allows for pushing the boundaries of academic discoursing. MOO conferencing produces a situation that encourages the expression of multiple personas and multiple, often controversial perspectives. This paper uses the anthropologist Victor Turner's concept of liminality (defined as a state of being in between two stable positions) to discuss the synchronous MOO discourse between an instructor and 12 graduate students in a computers and writing seminar in the English department at Ohio University. A number of contextual elements of this seminar contributed to making liminality a useful frame for viewing the MOO discourse. The mix of students, the course topics, and the intensity of conversation in the MOO created a situation conducive to the playful exploration of liminal personas and issues, issues germane to the transition from graduate student to professional. It explains that these issues included the conflict between rhetoric/composition and literary studies, the goals of composition instruction, the desirability of academic discourse, and tenure. In discussing Turner's concept of liminality, the course itself was in a sense about liminal literacies and the current hybrid stage of rhetoric and textuality, the liminal zone between print and digitally based media and teaching. The full range of discourse practiced in the seminar, from face-to-face through e-mail listserv, MOO, formal essay, and hypertext, foregrounds the liminal nature of current literacies. (NKA)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A