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Introduction to commentaries on Spurious Coin: A History of Science, Management, and Technical Writing by Bernadette Longo

Introduction to commentaries on Spurious Coin: A History of Science, Management, and Technical... Introduction 47 Introduction to Commentaries on œSpurious Coin: A History of Science, Management, and Technical Writing  by Bernadette Longo Bob Johnson Michigan Technological University In past issues of JCD, we have employed graduate students in rhetoric and technical communication to provide their point of view on new books in the field. In this issue ™s book commentary, I have taken this opportunity one more time as students in a graduate seminar at Michigan Tech - Histories and Theories of Technical Communication - read, discussed, and then responded to Bernadette ™s Longo ™s Spurious Coin, A History of Science. Management, and Technical Writing (SUNY Press, 2000). At the end of the term, I selected two of the student ™s commentaries for publication - commentaries that have quite different formats and perspectives on the book. The first commentary is an extended œvirtual conversation  of the book fostered by one of the students in the seminar, David Gaskill. In a somewhat different approach to the commentary, Gaskill contacted three scholars and teachers of technical communication who agreed to take part in the conversation about Spurious Coin, Mary Been, Pete Praetorius, and Margaret Hundleby. The result of the on-line conversation by these three technical communicators is compelling in a number of ways. For example, they begin the commentary by enacting a Greek chorus - a method that not only is creative, but that situates their discussion immediately in one of the same historical contexts that Longo herself investigates in the book. Further, they discuss the text from several vantage points: theoretical, historical, pedagogical, and practical. The result is a thorough analysis of the book, and one that is stimulating reading to boot. The second commentary is a œsolo  piece by Michelle Trim, a Ph.D. student in the Michigan Tech Rhetoric and Technical Communication program. Coming at the text as a social critic, Trim considers the gaps that Longo ™s text leaves in its wake. That is, she looks at a number of instances in the book where other directions or turns might have been taken. Her approach is not one that is unduly critical, however. Instead, she uses these openings to pose questions for future research that might be spawned from the rich text that Longo has provided. Spurious Coin is a book that contributes much to the field of technical communication. We are certainly lacking in enough history of the profession, and Longo ™s book is a welcome addition. I hope that you will enjoy both Longo ™s forays into our past, and the conversations that these five writers have had over this important scholarly text. Bob Johnson, Michigan Technological University ACM Journal of Computer Documentation, 2001,25:47 © 2001 by the Association for Computing Machinery. All rights reserved. ISSN 1527-6805 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png ACM Journal of Computer Documentation (JCD) Association for Computing Machinery

Introduction to commentaries on Spurious Coin: A History of Science, Management, and Technical Writing by Bernadette Longo

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Publisher
Association for Computing Machinery
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 by ACM Inc.
ISSN
1527-6805
DOI
10.1145/504776.504782
Publisher site
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Abstract

Introduction 47 Introduction to Commentaries on œSpurious Coin: A History of Science, Management, and Technical Writing  by Bernadette Longo Bob Johnson Michigan Technological University In past issues of JCD, we have employed graduate students in rhetoric and technical communication to provide their point of view on new books in the field. In this issue ™s book commentary, I have taken this opportunity one more time as students in a graduate seminar at Michigan Tech - Histories and Theories of Technical Communication - read, discussed, and then responded to Bernadette ™s Longo ™s Spurious Coin, A History of Science. Management, and Technical Writing (SUNY Press, 2000). At the end of the term, I selected two of the student ™s commentaries for publication - commentaries that have quite different formats and perspectives on the book. The first commentary is an extended œvirtual conversation  of the book fostered by one of the students in the seminar, David Gaskill. In a somewhat different approach to the commentary, Gaskill contacted three scholars and teachers of technical communication who agreed to take part in the conversation about Spurious Coin, Mary Been, Pete Praetorius, and Margaret Hundleby. The result of the on-line conversation by these three technical communicators is compelling in a number of ways. For example, they begin the commentary by enacting a Greek chorus - a method that not only is creative, but that situates their discussion immediately in one of the same historical contexts that Longo herself investigates in the book. Further, they discuss the text from several vantage points: theoretical, historical, pedagogical, and practical. The result is a thorough analysis of the book, and one that is stimulating reading to boot. The second commentary is a œsolo  piece by Michelle Trim, a Ph.D. student in the Michigan Tech Rhetoric and Technical Communication program. Coming at the text as a social critic, Trim considers the gaps that Longo ™s text leaves in its wake. That is, she looks at a number of instances in the book where other directions or turns might have been taken. Her approach is not one that is unduly critical, however. Instead, she uses these openings to pose questions for future research that might be spawned from the rich text that Longo has provided. Spurious Coin is a book that contributes much to the field of technical communication. We are certainly lacking in enough history of the profession, and Longo ™s book is a welcome addition. I hope that you will enjoy both Longo ™s forays into our past, and the conversations that these five writers have had over this important scholarly text. Bob Johnson, Michigan Technological University ACM Journal of Computer Documentation, 2001,25:47 © 2001 by the Association for Computing Machinery. All rights reserved. ISSN 1527-6805

Journal

ACM Journal of Computer Documentation (JCD)Association for Computing Machinery

Published: May 1, 2001

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