The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Rafters and skylights in the English Building

Colloquium Archive

John Swales

Name: John Swales, University of Michigan

Presentation Title: "It is as Perfect a Representation of Its Genre as can be Presented to the Botanical Public"

Date: February 15, 1996


In this talk, Professor Swales first discusses writing in systematic botany, concentrating on one text, the Flora Novo-Galiciana, a multi-decade enterprise. It turns out that the genres of systematic botany are unlike those discussed in other studies of biological writing (Myers, Selzer, Samraj, Stockton, etc.). Secondly, Swales frames this and other case studies within an evolving textography of a small university building, and reflects on what such an inquiry may tell us about the troubled concept of "discourse community."