Response to Kristen Seas’ Essay

In the essay “Writing Ecologies, Rhetorical Epidemics,” Kristen Seas presents a great deal of insight about rhetorical theory that I believe is related to our class and the various projects each group is researching. Each group is discussing a different issue and proposing various solutions; for that reason, how each group approaches their target stakeholders with these issues and solutions varies. Although we all are trying to help the student body, we are doing it from very different angles, which means that what might work for one group in terms of delivery might not work for another group. Like Seas explains, “what is ‘effective’ at one scale or location … may utterly fail in another context” (Seas 52). That is why I think it is important for every group to think critically and keep their options open because it is important that they find the approach that works best for them so that they can deliver their issue and solutions in the best way possible.

Furthermore, I think Seas touches on another key point when she discusses contingent uncertainty and how rhetoric is not one time occurrence (Seas 52). Rhetoric, like Seas, illustrates does not stop; a rhetorical act does not stop once a rhetor completes one delivery, writes/publishes a paper, etc. Seas describes “rhetoric as an art … is best understood not as an isolated exercise but ‘both as a process of undisturbed emergence and as an ongoing circulation of process'” Seas 53). In other words, rhetoric is an ongoing evolution. We are constantly performing a rhetoric act. I think this is important to keep in mind this May Term because once we present our project to our target stakeholders that does not mean the rhetorical act is over. Hopefully, if our target stakeholder likes our proposal, then perhaps they will initiate some major changes, such as training, workshops, revised classes, etc. Our part may be over after our presentation, but if the target stakeholder wants to implement changes we suggested, then the rhetorical act is theirs now.

Another part of Seas’ essay I enjoyed is the idea of the rhetorical frame as a virus. A virus is what gets people sick (Seas 56). In our case, the virus is the issue we are attempting to fix. In order to intervene and make positive changes, we must undesrtand the virus—or in our case, the issue that is effecting Transy students. For the virus (or a change) to become contagious, it must be infectious. The ideas and solutions that we propose to our target stakeholder must not only be will planned and presented but also memorable and plausible. If it is not memorable or plausible, then our target stakeholder will not take us very serious nor will they attempt to put our proposals into action. To make our solutions proposal, we must deliver our ideas and solutions; in addition, we must provide solid background information to support why we think this issue is important and why it should be fixed.


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