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Matrix Account (40%, 40 points)

For this project, begin by reconsidering the productive tension we've already discussed between generalists and specialists. The tension has been long-contemplated, long-discussed. The best-known treatment of the issue in contemporary philosophy is Isaiah Berlin's extension of Archilochus' adage about the fox and the hedgehog, "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." Your matrix account invites you to be both fox and hedgehog, as you develop an episodic account, a series of sketches of key people, keywords, threshold concepts, journals, and research methods that for reasons you will discuss appeal to you, pique your interests, anchor your basis for pursuing an MA in Written Communication, or otherwise blinker at the edges of your emerging curiosities.

Each sketch should introduce the figure, keyword, concept, journal, or research method, and examine the choice as one you have made deliberately, with intellectual care. As it builds, the account will function as a kind of map, plotting out your disciplinary footing and supplying you and readers with a complex matrix representative of the juncture between your intellectual priorities and the ways you (for now) identify your work.

A completed matrix account will, at a minimum, include the following sixteen sketches:

By October 19, submit a draft of the matrix cover sheet (a table with sixteen cells filled in) along with evidence of a start on at least two of the sketches. I will collect check-in drafts (at least 50% completed on November 16. The completed matrix account will be due with your portfolio on Monday, December 14.

Use the completed grid as the cover page for your matrix account. The matrix account should be no longer than 20 pages, typed and double-spaced, adhering to either APA or MLA format.

Contact Information

Derek N. Mueller, PhD
Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Writing
Director of Composition
Department of English
Virginia Tech
Office: 315 Shanks Hall
Spring 2019 Office Hours: T, 12-3
Phone: +1-734-985-0485

"[I]n order to constitute the space of a habitable house and a home, you also need an opening, a door and windows, you have to give up a passage to the outside world [l'etranger]. There is no house or interior without a door or windows. The monad of home has to be hospitable in order to be ipse, itself at home, habitable at-home in the relation of the self to itself. But what has always been structured like this is nowadays multiplying both the home and the accessibility of home in proportions and modalities that are absolutely unprecedented" (61). Jacques Derrida, Of Hospitality

"I've said before that every craftsman searches for what's not there to practice his (sic) craft. A builder looks for the rotten hole where the roof caved in. A water-carrier picks the empty pot. A carpenter stops at the house with no door" (4). Rumi qtd. in Lynda Barry, Syllabus

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