Department of English

Clay Spinuzzi


ProfessorPh.D., 1999, Iowa State University

Clay Spinuzzi

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Interests


Rhetoric; computers and English studies; genre theory; activity theory; computers and writing; workplace studies; research methods and methodologies.

Biography


Clay Spinuzzi is a professor of rhetoric and writing at The University of Texas at Austin. Spinuzzi's interests include research methods and methodology, workplace research, and computer-mediated activity. He has written four books: Tracing Genres through Organizations (MIT Press, 2003); Network (Cambridge University Press, 2008); Topsight (via Amazon CreateSpace, 2013); and All Edge (University of Chicago Press, 2015).

Spinuzzi teaches graduate courses in the Department of English and the School of Information, as well as in the Human Dimensions of Organizations MA program.

 

Courses


E 388M • Networked Writing

35640 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 6

Writing is perhaps our most flexible tool. Since its invention in 3200 BCE, this tool has been used for a remarkable range of activities—and has been combined with other technologies to shape what is possible in different societies and contexts. And current information and communication technologies—such as social media, instant messaging, and collaborative writing spaces—are also making their mark, changing how we read, write, compose, and argue.

In this class, we’ll examine writing as a tool that interacts with various information and communication technologies, and we’ll try out various information and communication technologies to better understand how they interact. We’ll draw on insights and theoretical perspectives from rhetorical theory and digital writing studies, but also from adjacent fields such as anthropology, sociology, communications, information science, and organization studies. By the end of the semester, students will have produced a seminar paper that can serve as a base for developing a publication in an appropriate journal.

E 388M • Sociocultl Approach To Tech

34890 • Spring 2016
Meets MW 930am-1100am PAR 6

In this class, we will examine sociocultural approaches to technology, especially activity theory (AT), a theoretical framework that is used widely in studies of digital writing, professional writing, and workplace writing as well as education, human-computer interaction, and affiliated fields. We will use this framework for critically understanding how people interact with technology. Although AT is a popular framework, it is often deployed loosely—sometimes too loosely.

To ensure that we deploy it properly, we will read works by activity theorists and affiliated scholars such as Lev Vygotsky, Yrjo Engestrom, Bonnie Nardi, and Victor Kaptelinin, as well as applications to digital writing research (Russell, Bazerman, Schryer, etc.). We will also discuss sociocultural critiques of AT. Based on those readings, students will develop an annotated bibliography around a particular AT concept, define that concept in a literature review, and develop a seminar paper that applies AT in depth to one or more digital texts.

Students are welcome to this course regardless of their level of familiarization with technologies.

E 388M • Actor-Network Theory

35060 • Spring 2015
Meets MW 1100am-1230pm PAR 6

Sociocultural approaches to technology: actor-network theory

In this class, we will examine sociocultural approaches to technology, especially actor-network theory (ANT), a theoretical framework most famously associated with French theorist Bruno Latour. We will examine ANT's possibilities for critically understanding how people interact with technology. ANT is a popular framework in some quarters, but it is also hotly contested by those who understand it and frequently derided by those who don't.

To ensure that we do understand it, we will read works by actor-network theorists and affiliated scholars such as Bruno Latour, Michel Callon, John Law, and Annemarie Mol, as well as various sociocultural critiques of ANT, including those by Nardi and Engestrom. Based on those readings, students will develop an annotated bibliography around a particular ANT concept, define that concept in a literature review, and develop a seminar paper that applies ANT in depth to one or more digital texts.

Students are welcome to this course regardless of their level of familiarization with technologies.

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