Final Assignment Part 2

Formal Research Proposal

Now that you have chosen your topic, I would like you to get a little more specific on what you will be researching by creating a formal research proposal. In 200 words, propose your project as a chapter in our edited collection Strange but Simple: The Rhetoric of the Everyday Technological Change. Where much recent scholarship on technology has focused on cutting edge technological communities, in this collection we wish to explore “trailing edge” technological change, those techno-cultural trends that remain ubiquitous, ignored, simply there. As technology theorist Marc Wiser claimed more than 25 years ago, “the most profound technologies are those that disappear.” More specifically, we’re interested in how new technologies slowly leak into old communities, cultures, and spaces, leisurely changing the actions, values, and ways of thinking that go on there—the recent uptake of knitting by 20-something hipsters, the elderly joining Facebook, the constant presence of cellphones in college classrooms, the way Facebook has changed the way we mourn the dead. Your proposal should be written as if I don’t know anything up your topic, so make sure you give a good description, you can use bits of Part 1 to do this.


  • Include a catch title (use a colon)
  • An interesting example that illustrates why your project is important and why it is particularly important to look at now (exigency)
  • Some kind of quote or citation of others doing work on similar subjects
  • At least three research questions you are looking to answer
  • A description of your method: what interviews and texts you will be looking at in order to answer your primary questions
  • Method justification: Why interview and examine these people and texts and not others?
  • Link to the call for proposals: How does your topic relate to the description of Strange but Simple I mention above?
  • If you’d like, you may use images/infographics/embedded videos/links to help explain your topic

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