Justin Lewis & Alice Daer
Organizational and Meta-Communicative Tagging: Rhetorical-Generic Investigations into Annotation of the Short Form. Computers and Writing. Pullman WA. June 4, 2014.
Publication year: 2014


In this mini-workshop conducted with Dr. Alice Daer (Assistant Professor of English, Arizona State University), we expand the relative dearth of rhetorical genre studies scholarship on textual activity in social networks. By focusing on the literacy practice of hashtagging, we offer our own formula for understanding and tracing one form of symbolic activity that moves across multiple social media contexts and applications. First, we’ll introduce a theorization of digital rhetorical genre as form + substance + medium. This orientation recognizes not only the structural and functional nature of digital rhetorical genres, it also highlights the technological affordances made possible through social media interfaces. Next, we introduce hashtags as an emergent literary practice that is substantively divided between organizational and meta-communicative functions. We’ll also focus on the metacommunicative nature of hashtags, providing an initial coding scheme for categorizing meta-communicative moves associated with this emergent literacy practice. Finally, we’ll invite our audience to participate in the coding process to evaluate the viability of the current coding scheme and to establish new directions for future schema development.