On Monday, October 21, WRD students and faculty gathered to hear University of Kentucky Associate Professor Jeff Rice present “Craft Identity,” a wide-ranging lecture in which Rice used his experiences with craft beer to explore questions about meaning-making in the age of social networks.
In attendance at the lecture were MA in WRD and MA in NMS students, including those in Assistant Professor Sarah Read’s WRD 500: Proseminar class. Read’s students had read Rice’s previous book, Digital Detroit: Rhetoric and Space in the Age of the Network, in this quarter’s proseminar.
“Craft Identity” left MA in WRD student Marianne Boeckenstedt considering the connections Rice made between social media, rhetorical networks, and the ways in which community and personal identity are interrelated. Though she is a reluctant user of social media, Boeckenstedt said Rice’s lecture made a strong case for “craft identity” and for participating more fully in these networks.
After reflecting on Rice’s talk, MA in WRD student LaTonya Taylor said, “I look to rhetoric as a way of grounding my work–basically, of making sure it can have relevance and connectedness beyond my own interests and observations. Rice’s talk provided a model of how to do that in one’s work.”
Rice is the Martha B. Reynolds Endowed Professor in Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Media at the University of Kentucky. He is also the Co-Director of UK’s Wired Residential College. His research explores rhetoric and composition, new media, network theory, and critical theory. Among his many publications are The Rhetoric of Cool: Composition Studies and New Media and New Media/New Methods: The Academic Turn from Electracy to Literacy.