Archive for 2020

[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]

[Commlist] Call: Technical Communication for Environmental Action

Mon Apr 13 21:53:15 GMT 2020

*Call for Proposals: Technical Communication for Environmental Action*
A collected edition under contract with SUNY Press
Editor: Sean D. Williams, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs

Climate change is one of the most significant challenges facing the global
community in the 21st century, and with its position at the border of people,
technology, science, and communication, Technical Communication has a
significant role to play in helping to solve these complex environmental
problems. Curiously, however, Technical Communication (TC) research has
remained relatively quiet on the contributions of our field to environmental
action. This collection of essays seeks to redress this dearth of published
research on environmental concerns in TC by engaging scholars and
practitioners in a deep conversation about the ways that our field has
contributed to pragmatic and democratic action to address climate change.
This collection seeks to explore the actual practice of international
technical communicators participating in government projects, corporate
processes, nonprofit programs, and international agency work that shapes
global environmental action.

/The editor welcomes 500-word abstracts of projects that address the theme
outlined above (and possible topics below) by June 15, 2020./

/The editor will provide feedback to abstract authors by July 15, 2020, with
the first draft of accepted chapters due January 15, 2021. Revisions of
chapters will be due March 15, 2021 and final manuscripts will be due May 15,
2021 The collection is scheduled to be published in late 2021./

/Please send abstracts and questions to // (sean.williams /at/ [1] //./

*Possible Topics*
Contributors might submit chapters on the sample topics listed below (or
those that are similar) and which generally favor case studies and other
empirical research investigating how technical communicators have

 * Collaborated with teams to construct complex environmental policies or
   programs by actively engaging with local “users” of the environment
* Designed and/or tested environmental documentation and other communication
 * Contributed to the design, implementation, and testing of sophisticated
   digital tools for visualizing climate-based data
 * Participated in environmental action outside of the Global North,
especially in disenfranchised communities most impacted by global climate
 * Created partnerships with other scientific or technical professionals
   working on the environment, including how those teams formed, operated,
   and created environmental actions
 * Engaged with grass roots and local activism to pursue positive
   environmental outcomes
 * Promoted “citizen science” and related programs aimed at environmental
 * Challenged local workplace practices to spur environmental action among
   fellow employees and how those practices became institutionalized
 * Employed or influenced “radical sharing” or “tactical Technical
   Communication,” a type of citizen science and engineering, to influence
   environmental action
 * Required students to engage in environmental action (such as
   service-learning experiences)
 * Challenged students to consider issues of social justice and its
   relationship to environmental action
 * Developed environmental initiatives at their workplaces outside their
   regular job requirements by employing participatory design practices.

As a collection centered on praxis, the chapters should focus on concrete
practice but should nonetheless be carefully grounded in Technical
Communication and related theories. Additionally, the chapters should engage
with the notion of phronesis, and how the actions described contributed to
improving communities. Finally, the chapters should assume a participatory,
dialogic orientation that sidesteps the “deficit model” and shows how
diverse voices were integrated into environmental actions.

The topics proposed above are only suggestive; authors should feel free to
contact the editor to explore other possible ideas for chapters.

In comparison to prior work in Technical Communication concerning the
environment which almost exclusively considers North American perspectives,
this collection explicitly seeks to engage a global audience. This global
audience can be divided among subgroups including

 * Scholars in TC who want to stay informed about progress in the field on
   this important topic
 * Teachers at both the graduate and undergraduate levels who integrate
   environmental issues into their classes or focus entire classes on
   environmental issues
 * Practicing technical communicators currently working in positions that
require them to participate in environmental action or communication about
   environmental topics.

Please contact the editor, Sean D. Williams, with expressions of interest or
any questions:
(sean.williams /at/ [2]

This mailing list is a free service offered by Nico Carpentier. Please use it responsibly and wisely.
To subscribe or unsubscribe, please visit
Before sending a posting request, please always read the guidelines at
To contact the mailing list manager:
Email: (nico.carpentier /at/

[Previous message][Next message][Back to index]