Not Your Mother’s Argument


As we sat in one of the sessions at the 2008 Watson Conference, a question was posed about writing with video or video arguments: after viewing a particular series of video examples, we’re asked, do these examples constitute scholarly argument? The sense of our room was yes, these are scholarly arguments, but the question remained, are these considered scholarly arguments by our disciplinary colleagues? The ensuing discussion haunts me. Our disciplinary colleagues want to see how we have built our argument; want to have their own entrance into the texts we create. Implicit in this argument is a protestant approach; I cannot believe you until you show me your parts. If this is true, and we agree that it is a true claim for much of our discipline, then we as scholar/authors must consider building meta-frameworks for the new digital compositions we create. Our digital arguments are not persuasive, are not scholarly enough, to stand on their own. Instead, we should compose the argument in our chosen medium, and then after we have done that, we should postmodernly deconstruct the argument into its component parts so that our colleagues can see that the digital composition was structurally sound. How's that again? Build and un-build it so that I can see if I would build it the same way? 

We, however, have a choice: argument or invitation.

We believe that knowledge is created though interaction, for these authors--Morgan and Roxanne--that interaction is usually in the form of conversation. We invite you to interact with our ideas by exploring this site however you like. We did not choose create a linear argument. Rather, we collected representations of the conversation(s) we have with each other in an effort to capture the real work of theorizing that happens daily.

It is therefore not uncommon for innovative rhetorics to be characterized as less than “rigorous”--though, in fact, boundary rhetorics may help us define “rigor” by interrogating conventions that have gone unchallenged for decades.” ~ Journet

The Second Shift and the New Work of Feminist Composing

in a Digital World

Morgan Gresham

Roxanne Kirkwood Aftanas