C&W 2015 Conference

On a whim in November (the night of November 7, 2014 to be exact), I had a moment of temporary insanity in which I submitted a proposal to present at the Computers and Writing 2015 conference in May of 2015.  Well, I submitted it with the understandable idea and thought process that the proposal was not going to be accepted, so I would not have to worry.

Fast forward to the beginning of February when I chanced upon opening my e-mail, an action I do weekly…daily…hourly…oh, god don’t make me admit it, minutely at times (shame upon me, shame, shame).  As I was saying, I opened my e-mails at the Write Place where I was just done with a tutorial (For I am a writing tutor, you see) and saw that I had an e-mail from the Computers and Writing conference.

Upon opening it, I read with equal parts terror and excitement that my proposal was accepted and I would be presenting at Computers and Writing.  I had to stand up and begin pacing back and forth with equal parts nerves and excitement.  I called up my parents and let them know that I was going to be presenting at this conference, which was a national conference.

Fast forward to today, I am now at UW Stout and presenting in about 11 hours for the preconference.  Then, I will be doing another presentation on Friday.  The second presentation will be a combination/smorgasbord of the two conferences I presented at in the last year (Great Plains Alliance in Computers and Writing & Student Research Colloquium).

So, it is going to start with how is identity formed in people with autism and move on to much of my research on theory of mind.  I point out that Melanie Yergeau (Who I will be meeting tomorrow…OMG!  Okay, now I feel ashamed of myself, more than when I admitted to checking my e-mails minutely.  I should not have just said OMG, that was stupid…just stupid) addresses the first dehumanizing enthymeme: “Humans have theory of mind, people with autism do not have theory of mind, therefore people with autism are not human.”

I then move on to point out a second one that I have found.  “You need to have a theory of mind to develop an identity according to the leading psychological theory on identity (The psychosocial theory created by Erik Erikson), people with autism do not have a theory of mind, therefore people with autism can not develop an identity.”

Then, I go back to the premise made at the beginning that the written language of the internet helps people with autism develop an identity and point out that theory of mind has moved into fields other than psychology.  It has moved into literary and composition studies.

I close up with pointing out that the written language nature of the internet could very well bypass the dehumanizing enthymeme related to identity.

This was fun, hopefully, I will be able to get back to writing here.  I will…hopefully.


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