Issue #4:  From Digital to Print

Edited by K. A. Wisniewski

At the 2005 annual meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Gregory L. Ulmer reminded conference-goers of the importance of understanding our relationships to writing and print, the apparatus from which our identities, perspectives, theories and practices emerge.  Over the course of thirty years and eight books, Ulmer has called for us not only to be aware of the emerging apparatus he dubbed “electracy” but also to help invent and shape it.

This issue of Textshop Experiments asks contributors to respond to Ulmer’s call to interrogate print culture (its works, technologies, and operations) and respond to Ulmer’s call to participate in the definition and activities in electracy.  This is a call for scholarship on the history of print, books, literacy, publishing, and policy from the future.  The issue will publish video essays up to 15 minutes in length and accompanying Author Statements (which theoretically frame and contextualize their respective videos) no more than 1000 words.  

Contributors will then be asked to contribute full essays (about 5,000-7,000 words) based on these videos.  These essays will be compiled into a printed anthology.  Topics should specifically address the relationship between print and electracy.  Some possible topics and questions for this issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Electracy in the K-12 and university classroom and curriculum
  • Electracy, participatory culture, and politics
  • Electrate love letters to print
  • Celebrations, commemorations, and mourning for print
  • Oral traditions, manuscript and writing practices & print / paper crafts
  • Storage, Preservation, & Erasure
  • Lessons learned from the failures or oppressive nature of print
  • Visions for the future of electronic publishing, publishers, platforms, and formats
  • Criticism on individual authors, illustrators, creators, editors, and publishers or their work(s)
  • Changes in authorship, readership, the submission/editorial process, consumerism, production
  • Law and public policy, copyright, and censorship,
  • Marketing, promotion, publicity, controlling costs and prices
  • Understanding and shaping the Fifth Estate
  • Analysis of specific platforms/tools, etc. (broadly defined)
  • Electracy and the augmentation and/or obsolescence of print
  • Reflections and forecasts of theory, scholarship, creative writing, and media history

Topics and formats are open, and artists, scholars, and writers alike can address a range of ideas in history, museum and memory studies, composition & rhetoric, literary studies, digital culture, art and graphic design, electronic media, and experimental pedagogy.

Completed work is due October 1, 2017.  If you wish to be considered for the printed anthology of this issue, please contact the editor before the final deadline.  You will be asked for an abstract proposal (250-300 words, in English), a short bibliography of 3-5 key works in your video/essay, a list of 3-5 key terms, and a short biography.  Submissions should be sent via email to the issue editor, K. A. Wisniewski, at ulmertextshop@gmail.com.


Issue #5:  Flash Reason(eon): Finding, Making, and Experiencing Meanings & Ethics

Co-edited by S. Andrew Stowe and Sergio C. Figueiredo

The theme of this issue, Flash Reason(eon), takes up Gregory Ulmer’s concept of flash reason (cf. “Flash Reason”) with an eye toward extending this work at a time when the fourth estate is becoming consumed with reports of fake news, post-truth arguments, alternative facts, and other challenges concerning a healthy public sphere (cf. Stanford Education Group, Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civic Online Reasoning; 2016). However, it seems that critique has “run out of steam” (cf. Latour, “Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern”; 2004) at the end of the second decade of the new millennium. With the heightened discussion of these new epistemologies (and ontologies), considerations of social, cultural, and political values are especially important. Thus, the guest editors of this special issue are interested in work that takes up and updates theoretical approaches to the virtues of prudence and decorum in the whirlwind of current media practices to develop a fully electrate society capable of attending to questions of judgment in a scattered media ecology.

Our interest in this topic has less to do with ideology and evaluation, and more to do with developing methods and practices to push back against ideologies that employ techniques of misinformation and distraction. Contributors are especially encouraged to submit post-critical work. The special issue will be loosely designed using a readymade model (a bachelor machine, perhaps), Mad Magazine, a publication that has been an overt and explicit work of post-criticism since 1952 (with 540+ issues published to date). We encourage submissions that take up the task of developing an updated approach to thinking about prudence and decorum in the middle voice (contemplative, meditative, reflective judgment) in an age when facts (inartistic proofs) are giving way to figures (artistic proofs).

Some possible genres, topics, and questions for this issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Letters to the editor (can be made up) and “(Fake) Quarrels” (among editors of various journals)
  • Progymnasmata experiments (see Gideon Burton’s Silvae Rhetorica, “Progymnasmata” and Declamations)
  • Performative critiques demonstrating prudence and decorum in action (e.g., documentaries, video remixes, songs, comics, spoof ads, etc.)
  • Instructions or heuristics on the ethics of responding to news, fake or otherwise (or, as a collaboration, heuristics followed by a counter-argument for aleatory responses to news)
  • Scholarship in the “internet vernacular” addressing the relationship between the fourth and fifth estates (think: Buzzademia)
  • Horoscopes / quizzes / clickbait / Public Service Announcements / “Hive Mind” conversations
  • Variations on a theme (think: Erasmus’s ‘variations on a sentence” exercise in On Copia; or MAD Magazine’s “Serge-In General Department” series)
  • Other forms of serious-play and/or tragicomic experiments with the virtues of prudence and decorum that open new ways of thinking about ethics in the 21st century.

We also invite proposals for reviews of scholarly works, films, podcasts, web creations, art, and other forms of composition, including more “traditional” scholarship.

For inquiries, questions, and submissions, please contact Sergio Figueiredo (revfigueiredo@gmail.com) and S. Andrew Stowe (drewstowe@gmail.com). Please submit proposal of 250-500 words via email to the guest editors by Aug. 15, 2017 at flashreasonexperiment@gmail.com.

Upcoming Issues & How to Get Involved

We have an exciting line-up of themed and open issues coming up, including

  • Flash Reason(eon): Finding, Making, and Experiencing Meanings and Ethics
  • Textshop Tissues 2.0
  • STAND-UP: The Comedy Issue
  • Anti-Method: Cats or CATTts

More information will be provided soon . . . Textshop Experiments is always seeking ideas for upcoming issues.  If you have a suggestion or are interested in serving as a guest editor, please contact the editors via the Contact page. 

We are also interested in producing/publishing/collaborating in longer digital works and are in the early stages of an original pamphlet/chapbook series.  Individuals interested in learning more should contact the editors directly.

Finally, we also accept artwork, book and exhibition reviews, and conference reports for future issues.  If you would like to be considered for future reviews, please send an email, including your name; academic/professional affiliation, department and position; publications, current research, and areas of interest; and your contact information, including mailing address, to the editors at ulmertextshop@gmail.com.  While we do accept unsolicited reviews and artwork, artists and reviewers are encouraged to query the editors before submission.