CFP: From A to <A>: Keywords in HTML and Writing (8/1/06; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
Bradley Dilger
contact email: 

Call for Papers:
 From A to <A>: Keywords in HTML and Writing

A proposed collection edited by Bradley Dilger and Jeff Rice

In cultural and writing studies, the relationship between new media and
writing has become an important area of inquiry, as online forms such as
web pages, content management systems, social software, and weblogs
continue to grow in popularity. Too much scholarship, however, focuses
on the instruments of technology at the expense of cultural,
ideological, and rhetorical forces. In From A to <A>: Keywords in HTML
and Writing, we engage these areas of English studies by considering the
complex relationships between writing and the markup and scripting
languages which make up the web—such as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). By foregrounding the influences of
markup which are less directly "technological," our proposed collection
will address the many ways both novices and advanced users of technology
create, consume, and shape writing and new media.

 From A to <A>: Keywords in HTML and Writing takes an innovative
approach to the "keywords" genre by using markup tags as keywords.
Following the keywords genre, essays should focus on a single tag or
unit of markup, and break down that tag's etymological, historical,
social, and cultural meanings. For example, while the tag <table> is
often used to organize data in rows and columns, its role in web design
cannot be ignored. Tables bring the grids of modernist graphic design to
the web, with its underlying demands for rationalism, order, and
regularity. For this and other tags or units of markup, the editors
invite essays which engage similar inquiries. The resulting collection
of essays will illustrate how the markup tags present in all web writing
influence, shape, and affect the ways we read and write.

Essays can consider these and related questions:

     * What rhetorical issues are raised by individual tags? How does
writing influence markup? How do markup languages and tags influence
writing? How do markup languages produce or influence rhetorics? As
theorists of writing, do we yet understand the relationship between
composing and the code underlying documents we compose?
     * What ideological issues are raised by markup and writing? How
does markup influence culture, and how are cultures reflected in the
technologies of markup, scripting, and encoding?
     * What is the pedagogy of markup? How has markup changed,
re-enforced, or problematized the various theoretical and pedagogical
goals associated with writing studies? How does markup inject cultural
and ideological forces into educational contexts?
     * As a discipline, is rhetoric and composition equipped to confront
the issues which arise from the technologizing of writing?
     * How do content management systems, from weblogs to web
application development platforms, change the relationship of writers
and writing culture to markup and encoding?

Please email the editors a 500 word abstract which indicates the markup
tag you wish to work with and outlines the issues you plan to consider.
For a list of essays which have already been accepted to the collection,
visit We welcome your questions
and comments.


Abstracts: Aug 1, 2006
Acceptances: Aug 15, 2006
Drafts: Nov 1, 2006
Return drafts: Dec 1, 2006
Final essay: Feb 1, 2007

Contact information

Bradley Dilger, Assistant Professor of English, Western Illinois University
cb-dilger at wiu dot edu *

Jeff Rice, Assistant Professor of English, Wayne State University
jrice at wayne dot edu *

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham:
Received on Mon May 15 2006 - 13:21:03 EDT