It’s here!

This morning, Writing Democracy arrived in my inbox, the fall 2012 special issue of Community Literacy Journal I am guest editing with regular collaborator Deborah Mutnick.  The Norris Community Club is on the cover. This is the group that inspired my use of “a clear channel” as both object of inquiry and useful metaphor for analysis. The complete title of my article in this issue is “A Clear Channel: Circulating Resistance in a Rural University Town.” Our remix A Clear Channel serves as a companion piece for this article.

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Today was a rather amazing day for this project.

1. At 5:00 am, as I’m wrapping up final edits for our last trailer ( A Clear Channel: Part I), the above special issue arrives in my inbox. I submitted the pic for the cover and I wrote the information about the cover image (excerpted above) that appears in the first pages of the issue. However this was my first opportunity to actually SEE the cover. It’s beautiful and very moving, especially given that I have been working with and writing about several of these individuals the last few years. One of my most regular collaborators is MacArthur Evans, pictured on the far left in the Norris Community decades ago. I cannot wait to show this to him. He’s read the article and given his thumbs up. He knows I submitted this image for the journal, as do a number of other founding members of NCC. But I imagine he’ll be just as moved at the sight of it. I’m excited to share it with him and other regular collaborators.

2. By 5:30 pm, I was making the hour’s drive from campus back to my home in McKinney. Sunchai joined me to help wrap up the final input on the above trailer. Kelly came up Friday to wrap up the input on the other trailer (Still Searching). With extensive help from the rest of our team, especially David Mosley, we’d build a really lovely and increasingly functional website to house the project, which I had decided late this afternoon was ready to share broadly (RRT). In short, I was feeling pretty darn good about this project we’ve spent the last two years developing. As we wind the grant period to a close, we cannot help but be tickled to find we have created something we think is pretty special that celebrates local heroes we know to be pretty special. We are eager to share it with the world. That the print-based version of these stories about local activism made itself available the very same day seems too good to be true.

3. By 6:45, I’m back at home. I let the dogs in and go out to check the mail. What do I find? A contract from University of Chicago Press for our contribution (with Sunchai and Jennifer) to Jim Ridolfo and Bill Hart-Davidson’s Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities. Whereas the article for CLJ features what this study has taught me about rhetoric’s past and civic engagement, the digital humanities project allows us to communicate those findings in new ways. With Kelly, I explored the tool itself and its implications for our discipline in an article invited for Jess Enoch and David Gold’s College English issue on the digital humanities. For this edited collection, we’ll be situating the project within the debates surrounding the DH.

In any case, it feels like a very good end to a very good year of projects. I have felt pretty overwhelmed a lot of the year but I have also felt energized. I clearly have the best job in the world, surrounded by the best people doing some of my very favorite things. –Shannon Carter

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