tishaturk: (pen)
I recently applied for, and received, a $1500 grant to launch a new research project related to vids and vidding. The money's for books, and I'm having a great time purchasing all sorts of texts that I've been wanting to read for a while now: books on fan studies and new media and cultural studies, but also on narrative and composition and literacy studies.

And I'm in the process of applying for a single-semester leave--a paid leave in which I'd take a semester off from teaching in order to write and do research. (I'll need at least two months just to read all the books I'm ordering!) It'll be a while before I know the results, but I live in hope.

So why this LJ? )

I'm writing within as well as about the fannish community--but I will also ultimately be writing for an academic community. When I do write about vids and vidding for an academic audience, my goal is not to come in and carve up fandom and its creative practices with the power tools of academic analysis. I'm guided by a couple of examples that I might as well explain here.

bell hooks )

James Gee )

And what am I actually writing about? Here's an overview:

I'm interested in vids in three academic capacities: as a teacher and scholar of writing, as a rhetorical theorist, and as a narrative theorist. I'm fascinated by vidding partly because of the ways it is both like and unlike writing, and especially unlike the school-writing that composition scholars often study. Vidding is something that vidders do voluntarily, and on which they often expend quite extraordinary amounts of time and thought, and in this sense, despite being amateurs, vidders are much more like professional writers than like student writers. A vid is "a visual essay that stages an argument," as Francesca Coppa puts it, but it's also a very specific kind of narrative, a narrative that responds to and transforms other narratives. One of the many things I love about vids is that they're both of those things at the same time, which is a possibility that most theories either of rhetoric or of narrative fail to account for.

I'm also interested in the vidding community's collective insightfulness about making and watching vids; many vidders write extensively about vidding, either in posts of their own or in comments to other people's posts. There has been quite a lot of homegrown theorizing (about the creative process, about genre, about audience) that I think has the potential to illuminate academic conversations about the processes of composing and revising, about giving and responding to feedback on works-in-progress, about developing the authority needed to enter an academic conversation--or, in this case, to talk back to TV.

I'm interested in using academic theories to illuminate aspects of vidding, but, like Gee, I'm also interested in the relationship the other way around: What can scholars in narratology and rhetoric and composition learn from the processes and strategies of vidders? How do vids and vidders complicate existing theories?

I think that's it for now; I'll write more about my specific areas of interest in future posts.

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Tisha Turk

November 2016

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