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Institutional LiteraciesEngaging Academic IT Contexts for Writing and Communication$
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Stuart A. Selber

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226699202

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226699486.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Situating Academic IT

Situating Academic IT

(p.1) 1 Situating Academic IT
Institutional Literacies

Stuart A. Selber

University of Chicago Press

This chapter begins with the overall argument of the book: Because academic information technology (IT) is so central to the work of writing and communication, students and teachers should engage more directly and ambitiously with academic IT units, which condition the possibilities for education in the twenty-first century. Next, the chapter reviews the fieldwork that has been done in this vital area, particularly the work on computer labs and classrooms, networked pedagogies, electronic portfolios, tenure and promotion policies, and copyrights and intellectual property rights. Although work in these areas has demonstrated a sensitivity to institutional issues, it does not pursue the types of encounters with academic IT units that the book proposes. The chapter, next, considers the constitutive and regulative contexts in which academic IT units operate: institutional, educational, and commercial. These contexts are particularly salient to the development and use of academic IT by students and teachers. Finally, the chapter introduces the heuristic that organizes the book, which provides a framework teachers can use to analyze their own institutional settings and make action plans for engagement. The heuristic reflects the reality that all academic IT units are complex, multilayered units with historical, spatial, and textual dimensions.

Keywords:   institutions, university IT, heuristics, writing studies, technical communication, digital communication, infrastructure

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