From the Editor's Notepad

This issue of Inkshed connects to various parts of the ongoing conversation among Inkshedders. Theresa Hyland's piece reflects her presentation at last year's conference, Margaret Proctor's book reviews were prodded by a number of conversations held at that conference, and Carl Leggo's piece hooks up to our online conversation and the thread started by Rick Coe with his question on grammar and terminology that describes what we do. The ongoing conversation is fundamental to the Inkshed community and is alive and well on the listserve, but not quite so active in the newsletter. I don't think the listserve replaces the newsletter because the postings there tend to be short and have an immediacy about them that may not occur in the newsletter pieces. Because of the length of time between issues, the newsletter allows for more carefully worked pieces and is an important venue for such pieces. However, I would like to encourage Inkshedders to reconsider the role of the Newsletter, and re-introduce the notion of conversation here. Jim Reither, the first editor of Inkshed, wrote in Inkshed 5.6 (December 1986):

My idea of Inkshed has been, from the first issue (though I didn't have the language back then), that this newsletter should be a "parlour" in which people carry on their conversations about writing and reading theory and practice. It is not a journal, privileging text over discourse, monologue over dialogue. It never should be. It's a place where people talk with other people, collaborating with one another in the search for meaning in their fields and their worlds. It's a place for exploration, not domination. . . .

Anthony Paré, in the piece that leads off this issue ["I would like to collaborate with Doug Brent by disagreeing with him"] calls both his agreements and his disagreements with Doug Brent "a collaboration" - and it surely is that. As we read his piece we see Anthony and Doug and you and me all making meaning together -- different meanings, no doubt, but made-together meanings nevertheless, meanings we could not have come to alone, without one another's probes and provocations.

This is an accurate description of what happens in our conferences, and I'd like to see more of it in the newsletter. So if you have questions about or responses to any of the pieces in this issue, please send them along and we'll have a conversation. Or perhaps you'd like to say something about this idea of conversation and "made-together meanings." I thank Kenna Manos for sliding Jim Reither's words under my nose.

We also look forward to the next conference on "Literacies, Technologies, and Pedagogies" in Stanhope-by-the-Sea, P.E.I. I can say with confidence that the conversation there will be rich and animated. You'll find here links to the programme and the hotel, and a registration form. And while I'm reminding you of business matters, please remember that Inkshed dues cover the calendar year and this year's must be paid. The details on how much to send whom and where appear later in this issue.

Looking forward to hearing from you, or perhaps seeing you in May,

Jane Milton


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