How Technical Communication Intersects with Technology and Civic Engagement

Room 42 is recorded before a live studio audience

In this episode, Isidore Dorpenyo discusses how technical communicators can use discipline-in-practice to reach beyond organizations and strictly technical spaces. We talk about how TPC professionals can expand the horizon and affect issues such as social justice, public engagement, user experience, usability, document design, data, visualization, algorithms, localization, and more.

Wednesday 11 May 2022 @ 8:30 AM Pacific/US

In this episode

Isidore K. Dorpenyo is an  Assistant Professor of Professional Writing and Rhetoric at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He received BA in English at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana (2008) and the MS in Rhetoric and Technical Communication at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI (2013) and his PhD in Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture at Michigan Technological University (2016). His research focuses on election technology, international technical communication, social justice, user experience, public (civic) engagement, and localization. He is the author of the book: User-localization Strategies in the Face of Technological Breakdown. Isidore has co-guest edited two special issues: technical communication, election technology and civic engagement for Technical Communication and enacting social justice in technical communication for IEEE. He has published in Technical Communication Quarterly, Community Literacy Journal, the Journal of Business and Technical Communication, and the Journal of Technical Writing and Communication.

In this episode, we look at how electoral spaces serve as one avenue for TPC professionals to demonstrate discipline-in-practice. A conversation about the intersections among technical communication, election technology, and civic (public) engagement will reveal most of the issues that technical communicators are interested in, namely, social justice, public engagement, user experience, usability, document design, data, visualization, algorithms, localization, etc. This topic remains relevant because our electoral spaces have proven to be the breeding ground for social injustice. If you are in the US, think about the 2020 elections and its many issues; if you are in Ghana, think about the electoral space since 1992. A conversation like this helps to expand the scope of technical communication beyond organizations. Technical communicators in the field can expand the horizon.

Resources

Faculty page: https://english.gmu.edu/people/idorpeny 

His book: User Localization Strategies in the Face of Technological Breakdown: Biometric in Ghana’s Elections https://www.amazon.com/User-Localization-Strategies-Technological-Breakdown-ebook/dp/B07WRPK8BY 

The book announcement: https://blogs.mtu.edu/humanities/2019/10/03/rtc-alumnus-dr-isidore-kafui-dorpenyo-publishes-book/ 

He edited the IEEE ProComm Special Issue on Social Justice in March 2022:

The Issue: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/tocresult.jsp?isnumber=9733798

His article: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9674862

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