Overview• The underlife of an essay• What is delivery? A (very) brief explanation• Group activity: delivering writing• Wrap-up
Once upon a time I wrote an essay…• Context/Venue: Malea Powell’s History and Theory of Rhetoric course at MSU, 2008• Audience: Malea and my peers• Purpose: Final project demonstrating my learning
I decided propose it to a conference… • Context/Venue: Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference 2009 at MSU • Audience: Colleagues, grad students, other rhetoricians • Purpose: To present findings to the field
To do that, I had to do many things…• Research the conference• Write a proposal abstract• Submit the abstract• Wait• Receive my acceptance• Prepare the essay for presentation
I presented my essay…• Context/Venue: Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference 2009 at MSU• Audience: Colleagues, grad students, other rhetoricians• Purpose: To present findings to the field And someone asked to publish it!
I decided to publish it! • Context/Venue: Moon City Review, a journal of poetry, stories, art, and criticism • Audience: Colleagues in many different fields of English studies including creative writers • Purpose: Sharing ideas about race and performance; expression…and a publication!
I had some work to do…• Research the journal• Do a formal submission (write a cover letter, navigate the Submittable site, etc.)• Wait• Receive comments from the editors• Revise and re-send the essay• Wait
And my essay was finally published…• Platt, Julie. “When I Played Indian.” Moon City Review 2010 (Fall 2010).• But is this the end of the story of this essay? Or is it only the beginning?
• Like the canon of style, delivery refers to how you write/say/do something.• In antiquity, it was mainly associated with oratory.• Once considered the most important canon, it fell out of favor and has been “recovered” several times.• Its evolution has tended to follow patterns of technological change.
• Today, delivery is more than gesture or intonation. It concerns both the medium and the circulation of discourse.• Media: alphabetic text, video, audio, graffiti, etc. What form discourse takes.• Circulation: letters, blogs, YouTube, billboards, etc. How discourse moves.
• Many steps were involved in delivering my writing outside of its original classroom context.• In order to circulate it (make it move), I had to change its medium (change its form).• I had to consider changes in things like context/venue, audience, and purpose.
• Many steps are required to bring a piece of writing out into the world, but this is often invisible.• This “underlife” of writing is what we can make visible by paying attention to delivery.