Memoir, Blog and Selfie: Genre as Social Action in Self-Representation
Free Public Lecture
Kathleen Fitzpatrick Theatre
Genres structure social expectations and relationships: they are cultural patterns of getting things done together. Beyond the highly structured genres of the classroom, the professions and the workplace, we also find genres embedded in our everyday lives as consumers and citizens, as spiritual and hedonic beings, as creatures of both action and reflection.
This lecture explores several familiar genres of self-representation, starting with old-media genres of memoir and autobiography and moving to new-media genres such as personal blogs and selfies. What do we (in different times and places) expect from such works? By what recurrent social exigences are they motivated? What social actions do they perform? Why and how do they appeal to us?
Addressing these questions will show how genre analysis can illuminate contemporary social life, how the past is sedimented within present practices, and how new digital and visual genres reinvigorate and extend traditional theories of genre derived from print culture.
Professor Emeritus Carolyn R Miller, North Carolina State University
Professor Emeritus Carolyn R Miller
North Carolina State University
Carolyn R Miller is SAS Institute Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Technical Communication, Emerita, at North Carolina State University. Her research interests include genre studies, digital rhetoric, rhetorical theory, and rhetoric of science and technology. This work has explored rhetorical concepts of invention, agency, kairos, ethos, and community, and her work in genre has been foundational to North American genre studies. She has recently coedited *Emerging Genres in New Media Environments* (Palgrave, 2017) and *Landmark Essays in Rhetorical Genre Studies* (2018). She is a Fellow of the Rhetoric Society of America and Fellow of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing. Her professional service includes terms as president of the Rhetoric Society of America and editor of its journal, Rhetoric Society Quarterly. She has lectured and taught in Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Italy, Norway and South Korea.