Bringing Techne Front and Center: Examining the Materials of the Art of Writing
J.13, Friday, 3:30–4:45 p.m., Salon 2, Third Floor
Chair: Janice Lauer, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
- Pender Kelly, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, “Writing inLate Postmodernity: Contradictions of the Art”
- Shaun Slattery, DePaul University, Chicago, IL, “The Tool Side of Techne: ‘Habits of Mind’ vs. ‘Habits of Mediation’”
- Karl Stolley, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, “A Techne for Artful Choices in Digital Writing”
In a further investigation of the role of materials in an art of writing, I argue that most modern treatments of techne (usually translated as art or craft) focus solely on the writer’s “habits of mind.” Recent research into mediation, however, suggests a new approach to theorizing techne. Complex activity, such as writing, can also be influenced by immediate environmental conditions, such as the texts writers surround themselves with as they write. This researcher’s recent study of writers’ use of texts and technologies while composing suggest techne is as much a way of doing as a way of thinking. This view is consistent with classical articulations of techne, which included examples of such material production as shipbuilding. This view is also consistent with Activity Theory which undergirds recent studies of mediation and argues that internal ways of thinking and external tool-use are mutually constitutive. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this view suggests that teachers of writing should be attentive to mediated composing processes including the use of information technologies.In particular, I'll focus on how techne offers some attempt at control over contingency in complex information environments.