Private Writing: Privacy as theme, privacy as process
Project #: 13
Name: Warfield, Marshall (firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-246-0301)
Department: English and Philosophy
Academic Area: Communication/English/History & Political Science/Philosophy/Science, Technology, and Society/Sociology/Information Systems/Science
Title: Private Writing: Privacy as theme, privacy as process
I first became interested in the concept of privacy in graduate school when I spent a summer working for the Data Privacy Lab at Carnegie Mellon. The research being done in that lab helped me to see that privacy--as a concept and practice--was a tremendously important topic to lawyers and computer scientists. For me as a writer and reader, the topic seemed to be limited to news stories about data breaches and hackers. / / Outside of Orwell's 1984, I was at a loss for works of literature that addressed privacy as a theme--and for 1984, it could be argued that totalitarianism or "lack of privacy" is actually the theme. As a writer, I find privacy is also an important part of my process--is it for the students I teach? Since that summer in the Privacy Lab, I have been interested in compiling a list--an annotated bibliography--that would serve as an initial and valuable resource for future research projects. / / I see this resource as critical for writers, teachers, and researchers interested in answering questions such as: Which works of literature have privacy as a theme? Where does privacy fit into the writing process? Where does it fit into the teaching of writing? Can it be used as a tool in writing instruction? How do different types of privacy complicate this research? As world-wide digital communication becomes faster, cheaper, and more accessible--consequently changing our attitudes about privacy--are those attitude changes being reflected in literature? / / These are a few of the questions that matter to me--questions that I hope can be explored once this annotated bibliography is created. I actually envision this bibliography as a "living" annotated bibliography--a database almost--that I (and perhaps others) can add to as needed.
Associated Independent Study:
Having been interested in this for some years now, I have six crucial books covering privacy in U.S. culture, society, and writing that I would expect a student assisting me on this project to read. Those six books would be stepping stones to other books and articles on privacy related to his or her major or discipline. Through short response papers and discussion, the student would gain a better understanding of privacy and the roles it plays in his or her discipline. I would work with the student to help him or her write shorter reflective essays or a longer article suitable for publication.
The student would gain a better understanding of (1) privacy in our culture and society, (2) privacy and the roles it plays in his or her discipline, (3) a knowledge of literary works and books about writing that use privacy as a theme, and (4) information systems--setting up this annotated bibliography will take some planning, (5) experience on a large research project and a chance to take this concept--privacy--into work in his or her area of professional interest (privacy matters in every professional arena).
The database/annotated bibliography of works about privacy in literature and writing would be the initial product. Once the database is robust, I will write an article that explores the intersection of privacy and composition instruction. Subsequent articles might continue to focus on that topic, or they might branch off to explore privacy as a theme in literature, or privacy as part of the literary-writing process.
The student's work would mirror my own: (1) sifting through search results in various databases looking for texts that may rest at the intersections of writing and privacy, literature and privacy, and privacy as a concept, (2) InterLibraryLoan requests for texts not at Drexel, (3) evaluating texts to see if they warrant further reading or summary for the database, (4) summarizing texts and building the annotated bibliography, and (5) discussing findings and the annotated bibliography
Drexel Library would be a frequent stop, but much of the work could be done wherever the student had an internet connection. I would also expect the student to be able to meet on or near the University City campus at least weekly.
I am flexible at this point as per the day(s) of the week, but weekly meetings would be a necessity. Initial meetings in Weeks 1, 2, and 3 would occur three times per week for two hours each as we plan, set protocols, work, and analyze progress, but meetings in Weeks 4 through 10 might only be once a week for two to three hours as we discuss findings and review progress on the database and writing projects.
Interview Availability: March 5, March 6, March 7