What are the best books on technical writing and professional writing of 2012? We’re excited to share this year’s list of favorites:
- Ralph Cintron’s Angels’ Town. Though the book was published over a decade ago, it was the most inspiring read of 2012 for me. Most memorable moment from the text: How do we offer respect to those living under conditions of little to no respect?
- Transforming Places: Lessons from Appalachia. This newly published book was the first on my dissertation reading list. After all that crammed reading for courses and then for prelim exams, I sat down and cozied up with this book for the slowest, most patient, happy read I’ve experienced in two years. A powerful interdisciplinary gaze at activism in Appalachia.
- Thomas Rickert’s Cultural Studies course at Purdue University’s Rhetoric and Composition program. It was fate that my final coursework in RhetComp would be a weekly feast of cultural studies, from the Birmingham School to English punk rock, with my future diss. director. Favorite readings included: De Certeau’s The Practice of Everyday Life, Nealon’s Foucault Beyond Foucault, and Ingold’s Being Alive: Essays on Movement, Knowledge, and Description.
- Believe it or not, a grammar is on the list this year: Martha Kolln’s Rhetorical Grammar (new 7th edition out this year). This wasn’t necessarily a cozy, happy read, but it’s on the list because it was an absolutely essential read. For all the times I couldn’t explain exactly why a grammar rule worked the way it did… I should’ve read this book a long time ago.
- Don’t know how it didn’t end up on the list last year, but Internal Drive Technology Camp has to be the best summer experience for rhetcompers interested in game studies, digital literacies, and public rhetorics. I’ve had the great luck of directing and teaching at iD Tech’s Purdue campus during my grad school summers, and couldn’t recommend the experience more highly. If you love tech, kids, camp, fun, video games, and teaching, this is the perfect summer job. Watch the YouTube video I created two summers ago, and you’ll be a believer:
Happy New Year, Everyone! Read our 2011 Best Rhetoric and Composition Books list.