a research statement
As a scholar, I am primarily invested in examining everyday textual production as a material practice.
Painting with broad strokes, my research has examined how people draw on their past experiences and current resources to produce texts. I am especially interested in how writers come to understand—and misunderstand—mundane digital tools as well as other materials when working to meet their composing goals.
In pursuit of this agenda, my research has fallen into two buckets.
1 my research examines how discourse informs how people make meaning in and through texts. For example, to examine how information literacies are shaped and practiced, I considered how two contrasting spheres of discourse—school-based and black hat entrepreneurship—inform how users conceptualize and employ digital environments.
2 Another thread examines how the material features of texts and tools (e.g. paper thickness, platform features, file type) shape writers’ processes and goals. Included in this thread are qualitative studies like “Affective Materialities” and case example-based discussions like “Technologies.”
In the sections below, I have provided summaries/abstracts of a selection of publications. I have also included links to individual publications where possible.
A selection of published research
“Jacob Craig takes up issues of materiality of everyday texts both analogue and digital in “The Technologies, Environments, and Materials of Everyday Writing.”
For both print and digital texts, he argues, everyday writing is a material practice participating in a complex economic system, one that can undermine or compete with the writer’s purposes, perhaps most often when the writer’s funds are short. Using a handmade booklet and the everyday writer’s account of its composing process as a first example, Craig considers the multiple motives and costs of an everyday print text.
He then uses the same framework to consider costs and competing kinds of value of everyday digital writing, particularly when made and shared online with free-to-use technologies like Google and social networks. Focusing especially on Twitter, Craig calls on the Burkean rhetoric of the pentad as a frame for analysis.
In addition, he points out that composers of everyday texts often need to do more with less, an important factor in the writing of such texts that previous scholarship on everyday writing has been reluctant to acknowledge.
“Jacob W. Craig’s ‘Affective Materialities: Places, Places, Technologies, and the Development of Writing Processes’ examines how writers’ preferences for particular materials—places, technologies, objects—develop over time.
Craig’s study suggests that writers’ material practices register both materially and affectively and are echoed in writers’ processes years later and shape how processes evolve as writers learn to write in new contexts.”
In this book chapter, we examine the delivery policies that writing instructors often hold their students to following. In doing so, we consider how instructors’ requirements, guidelines, and technology bans limit students’ agency as learners.
By limiting students’ agency to research, write, and learn in ways that they prefer, they limit students opportunities to live productively with their preferred technologies.
In this article, we offer a history of Florida State’s (FSU) Digital Symposium, a celebration of student work that supports FSU’s first-year, undergraduate, and graduate writing programs as well as FSU’s Digital Studio.
In recounting the history of FSU’s Digital Symposium, we show how events like FSU’s Symposium can be a powerful means of institutional change to cultivate a departmental and programmatic culture that values digital writing and multimodal composition.
Scholarly Reception and Related Media
YouTube Interview: 5 Minutes with Jacob W. Craig, Rory Lee, and David Bedsole
“Craig takes note of the rhetorical skills of the Macedonian teenagers who compose fake news stories to profit from click-bait ads[…] As Craig discusses, such efforts to teach civic reasoning can be enhanced by attending to how the rhetorical dynamics of network literacies complicate print-centric assumptions that close reading teaches students to be reasonable.
As Craig’s article notes, such conceptions of information literacy do not attend to the rhetorical complexities involved in surfing across diverse platforms, media, and genres.”
This chapter explores the relationship between digital devices, the texts they display, and meaning-making. In it we focus on the designs that are created by device-specific displays and how such designs might shape or otherwise impact the act of reading. Additionally, we offer two pedagogical recommendations for helping students make good choices about technologies commonly used to read and research: mobile phones, tablets, laptop, ereaders, and printed texts.
Scholarly Reception and Related Media
- 2020 CCCC Outstanding Book Award, Edited Collection Category
- Blewett, Kelly. “In Defense of Unruliness: Five Books on Reading.” College English, vol. 80, no. 3, pp. 297-307. 2018.
- Gildersleeve, Jessica. Review of Deep reading: teaching reading in the writing classroom. Higher Education Research & Development, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 198-200. 2018. (review of five books including Deep Reading.)
- Callopy, Trisha. “Deep Reading: Making a Case for the Pleasures of Difficult Reading at the College Level.” Council Chronicle, 27.3, 2018, pp. 10-14.
“Craig’s chapter ‘Print Made Fluid’ also deals creatively with the form of the e-book. His chapter reflects upon the role of the code ‘behind the page’ of the e-book in creating meaning for the content. The code behind e-book formats is on the one hand designed to make the e-book adaptable to different devices. However, Craig also explores the idea that, on the other hand, in aiming to make the text fluid over platforms, e-book formats also fix the e-book in the semblance of a printed book.
In his exploration of these parallel impulses – in which the pursuit of an adaptable e-format simulates print – Craig allows an approach to what seems to lie behind, or beyond the surface of the object.”