Critical Power Tools

Technical Communication and Cultural Studies

Edited by J. Blake Scott, Katherine V. Wills, and Bernadette Longo

Subjects: Technical Communication, Composition And Rhetoric Studies
Series: SUNY series, Studies in Scientific and Technical Communication
Paperback : 9780791467763, 306 pages, June 2007
Hardcover : 9780791467756, 306 pages, July 2006

Table of contents

Alan Nadel
Introduction: Why Cultural Studies? Expanding Technical Communication’s Critical Toolbox
J. Blake Scott, Bernadette Longo, and Katherine Wills
1. The Technical Communicator as Author: Meaning, Power, Authority
Jennifer Daryl Slack, David James Miller, and Jeffrey Doak
2. Extreme Usability and Technical Communication
Bradley Dilger
3. The Phantom Machine: The Invisible Ideology of Email (A Cultural Critique)
Myra G. Moses and Steven B. Katz
4. An Approach for Applying Cultural Studies Theory to Technical Writing Research
Bernadette Longo
5. The Rhetorical Work of Institutions
Elizabeth C. Britt
6. The Study of Writing in the Social Factory: Methodology and Rhetorical Agency
Jeffrey T. Grabill
7. Living Documents: Liability versus the Need to Archive, or, Why (Sometimes) History Should Be Expunged
Beverly Sauer
8. Writing Workplace Cultures—Technically Speaking
Jim Henry
9. Rhetoric as Productive Technology: Cultural Studies in/as Technical Communication Methodology
Michael J. Salvo
10. Extending Service-Learning’s Critical Reflection and Action: Contributions of Cultural Studies
J. Blake Scott
11. Designing Students: Teaching Technical Writing with Cultural Studies Approaches
Katherine V. Wills
Diana George
About the Contributors

The first sourcebook for rethinking technical communication theory, practice, pedagogy, and research through a cultural studies lens.


Winner of the 2007 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Award for Best Collection of Essays on Technical and Scientific Communication

The first book to focus on the intersection of cultural studies and technical communication, Critical Power Tools draws on various traditions of cultural studies to develop new or expanded theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical approaches to technical communication. Offered as a sourcebook for the field, the book is organized into three parts. The first section, emphasizing theory building, reconceptualizes key concepts or practices, such as usability, through a cultural studies lens. The second section illustrates alternative research methods through several case studies. The third section offers critical and productive pedagogical approaches, including specific assignments, applicable to both undergraduate and graduate courses.

J. Blake Scott is Associate Professor of English at the University of Central Florida, the author of Risky Rhetoric: AIDS and the Cultural Practices of HIV Testing, and coauthor (with Melody Bowdon) of Service Learning in Technical and Professional Communication. Bernadette Longo is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric at the University of Minnesota and the author of Spurious Coin: A History of Science, Management, and Technical Writing, also published by SUNY Press. Katherine V. Wills is Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University–Purdue University at Columbus and coeditor (with Marc Bousquet) of the eBook The Politics of Information: Electronic Mediation of Social Change.