The Center for Writing Studies

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Navigation: Quick Links

Rafters and skylights in the English Building




Colloquium Archive

Jeff Rice

Name: Jeff Rice, Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Digital Studies, University of Kentucky.

Presentation Title: "Craft Identities"

Date: January 28, 2016

Abstract

Anecdotes. Narratives. Repeated anectodal narratives. These items, as social media logics, enact a rhetorical sense of engagement as they network across a variety of print and digital spaces. These items rhetorically engage writers with subject matter. They also enact what I call “craft identity,” the networked construction of meaning out of small things, or what de Certeau called spatial stories and Lyotard championed as small stories. Craft identity, I argue, is also a series of small story networked disruptions whose overall narrative joins the personal with the object of study. In this particular case, the object of study is craft beer, beer produced by breweries whose production is fewer than 6 million barrels annually and which only use adjuncts for flavoring, not cost savings. In this talk, craft identity is not a demonstration of what is craft beer, but rather, as grand narratives of identity are disrupted by smaller narratives and anecdotes, the talk asks: what do we learn about networked meanings in general? And what do we learn about our positions within such narratives?