Identifying Web 2.0: Remixing Institutional Identities

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Byron Hawk

Byron Hawk

George Mason University
MITH Conference Room
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
12:30 pm

Established e-portfolio and CMS systems such as Blackboard and WebCT are based on storing, commenting on, and chatting about documents. They are closed to integration with other administrative, scholarly, and social networking systems on the web. These systems lack the ability to develop identities in relation to various systems, texts, and institutions. As new systems such as Zotero (GMU) and Digital Notebook (Georgetown) are being developed to take advantage of Web 2.0 capabilities such as citing, tagging, and cross referencing content across systems, the issue of identity is still in flux. On the one hand, Gregory Ulmer’s work provides the theoretical grounds and pedagogical model for seeing identity formation as the basis of research. On the other hand, Hardt and Negri recognize that the modernist institutions that produce identities are breaking down. The newer CMS systems are centered on the production of a university or scholarly identity. This paper will examine the possibility of accepting the personal and subcultural identities that will inevitably emerge with the development of Web 2.0 research tools.

Byron Hawk is an Associate Professor of English at George Mason University. His research interests are histories and theories of composition, rhetorical theory and technology, and rhetorics of popular music. He is the author of A Counter-History of Composition: Toward Methodologies of Complexity (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007), which won JAC’s W. Ross Winterowd Award.

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