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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Writing in the Maker Movement
by Breaux, Chet, Ph.D., University of Louisiana at Lafayette, 2015, 207; 3712127
Abstract (Summary)

This project analyzes how individuals in the do-it-yourself movement are using technology and also suggests ways in which teachers of writing can adopt these methods for use in a classroom. I primarily critique discourses in computers and writing, and my work specifically seeks to complicate discourses that analyze technology through interaction with big-box hardware and software (Selfe “The Politics of Interface”, Carnegie “Interface as Exordium”, and Vie “Generation M”). I build on the work of these scholars by examining the ways users in the DIY movement exert powerful control over technology as opposed to the influence hardware and software can have on users. In my introduction, I define the scope of my work and present some important concepts in the maker movement. My second chapter argues for new approaches to technology integration and uses in the networked writing class. I use the Raspberry Pi, a $35 Linux microcomputer, as a case study to demonstrate the potential of low-cost, DIY approaches to teaching code languages, multimodal compositions, and digital literacy. My third chapter analyzes technological interface. Scholars in computers and writing have traditionally characterized interfaces as extensions of ideology. My work seeks to complement this research by revealing the flexibility of many consumer interfaces, and also open source initiatives started by individuals seeking greater control over their own devices. My fourth chapter explores crowdsourcing, specifically, the crowdsourcing of knowledge by way of Wikipedia. Much of the research completed on the relationship between writing, rhetoric, and Wikipedia has been overwhelmingly encouraging (Cummings Lazy Virtues). I critique this discourse by challenging some of this positivism with an assessment of Wikipedia based on its general use by the public and by its status as a wiki. My fifth chapter examines 3D printing, arguably the most popular and visible DIY technology, in relation to intellectual property. I present several high profile case studies of intellectual property theft in which designs created by individuals were patented by a large company. Finally, my conclusion charts out elements of a DIY pedagogy and identifies areas for future research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Dorwick, Keith
Commitee: Laudun, John, Ratliff, Clancy
School: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Louisiana
Source: DAI-A 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Rhetoric
Keywords: Do-it-yourself, Maker movement, Rhetoric of technology, Technology studies, Writing with technology
Publication Number: 3712127
ISBN: 978-1-321-88741-9
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