Wiki Writing


List of Active Wikis that I have Created and Managed:

Course Management Systems

These wiki spaces function as a hub of information that anyone enrolled in the class can edit.  It also provides me with a platform that enables us to co-architect the class together as we deem necessary.  For instance, students are able to compose free-writes and homework, comment on peers’ writing, and upload materials.  It also allows me to transcribe class notes, comment on student work, as well as make speedy revisions to the syllabus, assignment sheets, and homework schedules.

Spelman Writers 193:  Course Management System for ENG 193: Honors Composition at Spelman College (Fall 2015 and Spring 2016).

Spelman Writers 103:  Course Management System for ENG 103: First-Year Composition at Spelman College (Fall 2014 and Spring 2015).

Spelman Writes 384aCourse Management System for ENG 384a: Rhetoric of Advertising at Spelman College (Spring 2015).

Spelman Writers 390:  Course Management System for ENG 390: Writing New Media at Spelman College (Fall 2015).

Spelman Writers 287:  Course Management System for ENG 287: Argumentation at Spelman College (Fall 2014).

Leap Comp Creations 233Course Management System for ENG 15.233, First-Year Composition at Penn State University (Summer 2013) 

Comp ScheduleCourse Management System for First-Year Composition at Penn State University (Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Summer 2011, and Summer 2012) 

Leap Comp Creations 244Course Management System for ENG 15.244, First-Year Composition at Penn State University (Summer 2010) 

Humanities Resources for PhDsA Private Wiki that I created as a Course Management System for Professor Kit Hume’s ENG 586.

Personal Research Archive

Anova’s List:  Archives Major Graduate School Milestones such as the last semester of my PhD coursework, comprehensive examinations, and dissertation planning/writing. 

Mentoring, Tutoring, and Resource Hubs

Spelman FYCThis private wiki includes a repository of resources for Spelman College teaching English 103 and English 193 courses.  Handouts, links, meeting notes, assessment initiatives, and other relevant resources will be accessible here.

Penn State English Summer Program Feasibility Research:  This private, collaborative workspace offers a significant body of research for planning a feasibility report about a prospective summer program.  The folders on the right side demonstrate the methods of research being utilized to develop this report, which includes the researcher’s data collection methods, brainstorming, observations, findings, interpretations, and analysis.  

The Write Resources:  This wiki serves as a mentoring hub for writing specialists, especially graduate teaching assistants in Rhetoric and Composition, or any writing instructor seeking additional ways to conceptualize and practice empowering writing pedagogy.

Rhetoric and Writing Resources:  This private wiki consists of resources and tutoring meeting notes for the McNair Summer Research Program 2013 and 2014.  (The space is private because it contains research that is being revised for publication or patent applications)

What is My Philosophy of Wiki Writing?

The wiki is the most sustainable mode of composition for attempting to resolve and pose problems about human consciousness and language. 


The wiki frees the writer from constraints that could easily be resolved by the features available to the writer via wiki.

1.  Writers are able to complete the maximum number of composing tasks in one central location.

a.  Writers can compose documents, group documents into folders, and organize their own system for navigating the data.

b.  Writers can add meta-tags to these documents in order to increase the probability that themselves and those who have access to the wiki can access data more quickly

c.  Writers can use hyperlinks on any page of the wiki so that users, including the writer of course, may access pages within the wiki as well as webpages anywhere on the World Wide Web

d.  Writers can insert media on any page of the wiki, including images, film, and powerpoint presentations.

e.  Writers can edit documents as often as they wish and it will not disrupt the publication process of the data.  Data is instantly published the moment it is saved without the use of production costs associated with printing data such as paper, ink, binding, printing devices, and the labor resources necessary to create each of these objects.

f.  Writers can invite as many or as few individuals to view and contribute to or edit their data.

g.  Writers can access and edit the wiki with hardware and access to the Internet.  Their backs do not have to be burdened with heavy objects such as backpacks bursting at the seams with books, folders, notebooks, and so on.  As noted in subpoint e, the wiki reduces the need for the production costs associated with the creation of these items marketed for the purposes of writing.  I make no claims that those objects should be obsolete or that they are not useful to certain people who choose to use them for certain tasks.

2.  Writers are free from the cognitive constraints of being bound to physical space and folklore

      h.  Both print-based and electronic composition programs such as word processors, and depending on the writing task, blogs, are writing technologies that I consider to be insufficient methods of composition for large-scale, complex research tasks and will result in a number of unnecessary frustrations for the writer.  Among the first, is that the writer is temporally and spatially bound by these objects.  Not only does the writer have to have physical space to store these items, but they are also burdened with the cognitive task of organizing the data within these objects when they attempt to assemble them into one coherent document.

Although in the previous subpoint I argued that certain physical writing objects and the apparati necessary for housing these objects can be useful to certain people, I do believe that for individuals tasked with a complex writing activity that will not and cannot ever be fully completed, such as research of any type.  When people consider that the purpose of research is to solve a problem, they must acknowledge that problem-solving activities of this type are building upon ongoing conversations involving contestation of the nature of a phenomena of all sorts.  Not only has print created more problems for solving phenomena, but it has built entire industries and fields of study for the purposes of solving the problems created by the problem of the cognitive constraints of solving problems.

I believe that the direct source of these cognitive constraints are mediums by which we deliver communication, as well as the methods we use to create knowledge.  One of the most important contributions research can actually make is offering a detailed record/archive of the process the researcher used to create the research.  

The wiki, for the researcher in Rhetoric and Composition, becomes almost necessary for our survival because this composition medium empiricizes our research methods.  No one will have to pick up loose unorganized papers from our homes and try to resurrect them through graduate students in an archive.  Rhet/Comp students who end up rockstars in the field can save many people the time, energy, and money needed to solve YOU because people want to understand how you came to your brilliant conclusions, who you corresponded with, and fetishize your earliest copy of some book that was probably much better in the version that was in circulation.

The wiki helps us address the very unhealthy fetish we have developed for print materials written by someone we admire.

As we may acknowledge social issues and even give post-colonial thought a half-hearted listen, our dirty little secret is that we profit from the commodification of books, as we are slave to this commodification.  Books are androgynous trickster poppets and are a symbiosis of masculine and feminine energies.  They are, therefore, mysterious.  Their mystery and design makes them sexyobjects–they are objects of desire, obsession, and admiration.  The book.  Our belief in it.  The authority it inscribes into us when we read them upon the commanding hand of an educator we wish to please so that they may appreciate us places it on a pedestal comparable to God.   The author is and was alive–daring, flawed, and full of desire (enough to create the book considering its incredibly messy, unorganized, and costly enterprise).  The author’s tremendous desire to create the book, no matter how much it may have sucked, and the sacrifices s/he made to create that book lives in the content. That sacrifice and the authors’ will to create a book guarantees that the book will not die so long as people read them with the purposes of actually connecting with rather than tearing apart its creator.  Once we confront the ways in which our attitude toward the book influences the types of ideas and writing we generate, it may be possible to compose research that can be productive and useful rather than a site for psychic torture and some lame attempt to be recognized for kissing ass.

The wiki ensures that research is not assumed to ever be a finished project and defies the physical and spatial limitations placed upon us by print-based methods of composition and offline and single-author electronic composing environments.  The wiki enables the process of research to simultaneously be the site of investigation as well as a site that investigates through its archiving and publishing features (mention pedagogy, as well).  It defies fetishization and obsession because its features encourage you to problem-solve rather than dwell in the land of unsolved mysteries.

Perhaps, I should be more sympathetic also.  Educational institutions socialize us into believing that the method by which we acquire formal knowledge is natural when the entire process of knowledge acquisition is chaotic and futile so long as we depend on print communication for it.  Through “tradition,” certain texts have been selected as sources of knowledge at some point in time and we have great anxiety over tradition, progeny, and heritage.  It justifies all pursuits of knowledge in the Humanities in institutions of higher learning because whether texts are being dismissed, reclaimed, or valorized, everyone is both obsessed and frustrated with making these texts relevant to us in some way.  For the even half-conscious researcher in the Humanities, it becomes painfully obvious that the pursuit of knowledge and their ability to document and share their understandings of knowledge is thwarted even before it begins.  Let’s assume that we have the most ideal, ethical, and well-meaning researcher in the old/new field of Rhetoric and Composition.  They desire to solve an unresolved tension in their field and make a contribution to that field by sharing their findings.  They, of all researchers, should not be bound to the following constraints.  Any scholar in this field must admit that it is characterized by interdisciplinarity.  It’s lack of “definable subject matter” perplexes and intrigues any researcher because regardless of the research task they remain aware that they are pressured even more intensely to justify their purpose and their methods for research.  The effect of disciplinarity on this field has created “subfields” that have developed, in certain institutions and among certain groups of individuals who have singular and overlapping affiliation obligations, as well as “bodies of knowledge” that serve to clarify the “issues and problems” that the field has always been attempting to solve.  The glaringly obvious problem is that not only will certain groups privilege some bodies of knowledge over others, but becoming a specialist requires your submission and devotion to accepting, even if begrudgingly, that at this point in time, as a result of historical struggles and disputes over what gets to count for your field, these bodies of knowledge most accurately represent the discipline in some type of way that requires preservation and pedagogy.  As such, these researchers are:

i.   Constrained by sources available to begin pursuit of knowledge.

This point is crucial because they have to filter the knowledge they bring to the text, regardless of how powerful and trustworthy, through these sources.  If you cannot find sources that enable you to give voice to that knowledge, you have the added burden of making a case for sources that should be included in this pursuit of knowledge.  I propose that among the myriad of problems Rhetoric and Composition scholars have, is the problem of:  making cases for the inclusion of more sources that enable them to make claims to other members of the field in such a way that these members can understand what they are saying.  Unfortunately, each generation in their effort to exhaustively rebel against the limitations involved in the works they have been indoctrinated into accepting as representative of the field, have a difficult time realizing that this is always the case, in each generation of scholars.  In the process of transforming, cutting, carving, competing, and remixing, we lose much flavor.  More importantly, we lose knowledge.  Failure to track changes equals the failure to account for knowledge.  Failure to account for knowledge equals the failure to confidently make claims about knowledge.  All the way around…Epic fails.

ii.  Constrained by the methods available to them, which they learn from the sources available to them through the individuals who are training them to study and work in the field

iii.  Constrained by the publication/tenure process that demands for them to submit a “finished product” of their contribution to the field

iv.  Constrained by the small circulation of their contribution that has the potential of influencing few people in the field unless the item has been approved by and is circulated by the most well-known figures in the discipline

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