CFP: Special Issue on “Re-Considering and Re-Framing Ideas of Power and Legitimacy in Technical Communication”

Special Issue on “Re-considering Power and Legitimacy in Technical Communication”

The Journal of Technical Writing and Communication is soliciting article proposals for an upcoming special issue that will reconsider and reframe the concepts of power and legitimacy in the field in light of the continually changing social, economic, and technical contexts in which technical communicators work. This special issue will be published in the Spring of 2015, and the guest editors are Kirk St.Amant of East Carolina University and Lisa Meloncon of the University of Cincinnati.

SPECIAL ISSUE DESCRIPTION

The 2003-2004 publication of the two-volume edited work Power and Legitimacy in Technical Communication prompted members of the field to consider the nature of everything from research foci to teaching approaches to industry practices. In so doing, these books helped create a framework for how members of the field thought about aspects of identity, professionalism and professionalization practices, knowledge making, and the nature of work.  In the decade since, however, a number of factors and forces have emerged and have changed – and are changing – perspectives and practices in the field.  And within this context, the question becomes

What factors are affecting the nature of power and legitimacy in the field of technical communication today?

The purpose of this special issue is to examine this question.  We hope contributors can provide insights into the ideas and practices related to establishing, maintaining, and conveying power and legitimacy in technical communication in the context of the modern world.  To this end, the guest editors of this special issue invite proposals for articles that seek to address this question.

POSSIBLE TOPICS FOR THIS SPECIAL ISSUE

The guest editors invite proposals for papers on applied research or theory, case histories/studies, commentaries, teaching approaches, and annotated bibliographies that address issues and questions including

  • How are ideas of power and legitimacy defined by and discussed within the field of technical communication today?
  • How do the academy and the industry areas of the field parallel and differ in their perspectives on and understandings of ideas of power and legitimacy within technical communication?
  • What factors are connected to creating and maintaining power and legitimacy in the field of technical communication today?  How have those factors changed over time?  For how long will they be major aspects to consider in relation to this topic?
  • What role can and should academic programs and/or certification play in establishing and maintaining ideas of power and legitimacy in the field today and in the future?
  • What are the greatest threats to power and legitimacy in the field of technical communication today?  What steps can members of the field take to address or avoid such threats?
  • How is the increasingly global nature of the field changing how members of the field think about and act in relation to creating and maintaining power and legitimacy within the field and with parties outside of the field (e.g., clients, subject matter experts, managers, etc.)?
  • How are technological developments such as the rise of social media and the spread of online education changing the dynamics associated with the field today?  What steps should members of the field take to address such developments and why?
  • What theoretical perspectives or approaches can we use to better understand and address factors affecting understandings of and practices related to power and legitimacy in the field today?
  • What kinds of research are, can, or should we be doing to effectively address and to better understand aspects affecting power and legitimacy in the field today?  What role can research play in establishing power and legitimacy in the field – and with parties outside of the field?
  • How might we need to re-think research practices, approaches, and foci to better establish and/or maintain power and authority within the field and with parties outside of the field?

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Proposals should be between 500-1,000 words in length and should be sent to jtwc.pltc@gmail.com   All proposals should include the submitter’s name, affiliation, and email address as well as a working title for the proposed article.

PRODUCTION SCHEDULE

The schedule for the special issue is as follows:

  • 15 January 2014 –Proposals due
  • 1 February 2014 – Decisions on proposals sent to proposal submitters
  • 1 May 2014 – Initial manuscripts due
  • 15 June 2014 – Reviewer comments to authors
  • 1 August 2014 – Revised manuscripts due
  • Spring 2015 – Publication of special issue

CONTACT INFORMATION

Completed proposals or questions about either proposal topics or this special issue should be sent to Kirk St.Amant and Lisa Meloncon at jtwc.pltc@gmail.com