Meandering Pathways, Strange Turns: Visualization Methods for Heuretical Discipliniography
Derek Mueller, Eastern Michigan University,
Plate from geologist Harold Fisk's Ancient Courses Mississippi River Meander Belt (1944).

"Writing fills; writing overflows. Like a river that carves its path over time while engulfing all within its path, flowing over, in, around, and through that which it encounters, reacting to every presence, even retreating and abandoning at times, writing overwhelms the network, saturating every part of the network" (183).

Sid Dobrin, "The Edge of Chaos," Postcomposition


Within the disciplinary corpus of Writing Studies, words rise and fall in frequency of usage. Although attending to this rising and falling has been aided by ready-to-hand computational processes and visualization methods, recent efforts to define threshold concepts and disciplinary keywords tend to hitch studies of semiotic patterns to disciplinary doxa. However, selected visualization techniques also allow us to play in the field's terminology, thought-experimentally shuffling keywords, and thereby renewing a sense of possibility for co-shaping the field as it continues to develop. This presentation and workshop will introduce a series of visualization projects, discuss the methods involved in their making, and invite attendees to hack a digital installation by altering the keywords that populate it.

Presentation - 10:30 a.m. in HBC227

  1. Infographic: Night and Day (handout)
  2. Infographic: Vague Threats (handout)
  3. Canada-U.S. Career Activity Graph: Aggregate locations among respondents
  4. Canada-U.S. PhD Histogram: Survey respondents, Year of PhD
  5. Canada-U.S. Career Paths Map (Mapbox)
  6. Canada-U.S. Career Footprints Map (Mapbox)
  7. Canada-U.S. Geolocative Networks Map (Mapbox)
  8. Google Motion Chart (early): Twenty Terms, Twenty Years
  9. Turn Types
  10. Keywords in Threshold Concepts (handout)

Workshop - 1 p.m. in HBC227