Making Future Matters

Making Future Matters logo.

Rick Wysocki

The University of Louisville’s Watson Conference is a prestigous conference on rhetoric, composition, and writing studies. Beyond the conference itself, it is tradition that an edited book of scholarly work is published focusing on the conference’s main themes. Dr. Mary P. Sheridan, the chair of the 2018 Watson Conference, asked me to co-edit the collection with a novel idea: a born-digital collection of experimental scholarship rather than a print-based book.

The field of rhetoric and composition studies has increasingly embraced scholarship in “new media” and digital formats. This project extended these trends and allowed me to use my expertise in editorial work, web design, and media studies scholarship.

Given my role as both a co-editor of the scholarly work and the sole designer of the website that housed the pieces, this collection involved extensive and iterative project management skills. My roles throughout this project included:

  • Reviewing submitted pieces with my co-editor and assessing their suitability for publication. This involved considering both scholarly merit and their use of digital affordances.
  • Designing the basic website layout, using HTML5/CSS, that would frame the authors’ born-digital work.
  • Regularly corresponding with authors to support their digital production and provide feedback.
  • Copyediting and proofreading authors’ work.
  • Editing the markup and metadata of authors’ pieces to simplify the syntax, ensure accessibility, and maintain coherence with the overall design of the website.
  • Employing version control through Git as I built elements of the site and received multiple drafts and revisions from each other.
  • Troubleshooting buggy HTML5/CSS markup and Javascript code.
  • Corresponding with our publishers at Computers and Composition Digital Press / Utah State University Press that would publish and host the final version of the collection.

Additionally, I created the promotional video for the collection, which involved recording video, editing using Adobe Premiere, and composing and recording music using Ableton Live.

This project took roughly a year and involved an extensive array of digital drafts and revisions from our eighteen authors.