One of the most exciting things about life post-dissertation is the freedom to embark on new and interesting research. Of course this is also a little frightening (if I’m honest more than a little…). After all, so many things excite interest and I also need to think about what type of rhetorician I wish to be so that I can attract the interest of the types of institutions and academic programs I want to join. However, sifting and sorting the scraps of paper and digital notations that reflect my interests, questions, and random thoughts I do find that there is some method to my madness and definite trends and links. I am relieved to note that I do actually have a research agenda even if at this point in my career it is more agenda than action. I am interested in agency and efficacy, communities of practice and learning, and digital digital rhetoric.
While my dissertation research focused on agency and efficacy, I still have many research avenues and questions to pursue in that area. However, even as I continue to collect data related to this project, my immediate research focus is going to focus on other areas. I have always been fascinated by the ideas of collaboration and negotiation in communities of practice and learning communities. I want to study these issues in terms of technical communication and pedagogy. I think this is my number one priority right now and I’m pretty excited about it.
My interest in digital digital rhetoric continues. This interests me as a technical communicator as well as a teacher. The TC-geek part of me is always enamored by new tools and tricks. Also, as an administrator I am always seeking new ways to facilitate communication with my various constituencies. Of course, as an online teacher I also want to facilitate communication with my students as well as prepare them to negotiate those channels and prepare them to face the ever-changing digital communication frontier. Currently, my interest in this area overlaps with my interest in community. How does digital communication help and hinder the development and work of communities?
There. I feel so much better to have a research agenda and plan. Now I better go do something about it...