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    Rogue Scholars Roundtable III:
    The Rogue Scholar Strikes Back

    Panel Proposal submitted to the Communication Theory Division for the 1998 annual meeting of the Southern Speech Communication Association, San Antonio, April.

    Purpose: "Rogue Scholars III" is the third in a series of panels and other forums designed to bring scholarship out of the insular academic community and into the larger community in which academic research is embedded. In other words, our goal with this panel (and other endeavors) is to make scholarship accessible to those whom we study. This particular panel will focus on defining rogue scholarship, identifying the purpose of such scholarship, and discussing issues associated with rogue scholarship. Specifically, the panel will focus on how the concepts of rogue scholarship can be theoretically framed in order to form unifying concept for scholars and non-scholars to follow and access. The panel is bracketed Jim Kuypers discussing activist and traditional scholarship and the media and Ted Coopman's guidelines for Rogue Scholarship. The other presenters/roundtable discussants will address research areas such as organizational communication, community building, and rhetoric.

    Format: This panel is meant to be a public discussion of scholarly research. Presenters will write a 2500 word (or less) papers on how their research could be used and/or disseminated in a manner the general public can access and understand. An interviewer/moderator will question the panelists and serve to facilitate the discussion. These papers will be available on a Web page one month before SSCA for all presenters and potential audience members to read at Thus, the format for the panel will be BRIEF presentations (no more than 5 minutes) by panel member, followed by MUCH discussion among panelists and audience members.


    Kim White-Mills; Rollins College;; moderator

    Jim A. Kuypers, Dartmouth College;; paper presenter/roundtable panelist.

    Michael Leitao, Texas A&M University; paper presenter/roundtable panelist.

    Joy Hart, University of Lousiville;; paper presenter/roundtable panelist.

    Shirley Willihnganz; University of Lousiville,; paper presenter/roundtable panelist.

    David Sutton;, paper presenter/roundtable panelist.

    Ted M. Coopman, Rogue Communication Consultants;; paper presenter/roundtable panelist, panel coordinator



    "Issues of Scholarly and Media Bias in Public Consumption of Elite Knowledge"
    Jim A. Kuypers

    The important question to be considered in this paper is: "How do academic researchers better transmit our research finding to the general public?" Before answering this question, however, we must consider two forms of scholarship: traditional and activist. Depending upon which form of scholarship one pursues, the answer to the question given above will change. Thus, this paper will briefly explore the differences between traditional and activist notions of scholarship, and then describe how the knowledge produced by either method is disseminated to the general public. It is my contention that research finding are filtered through the media. Therefore the role of the media in shaping the final interpretation of research results must be explored.

    "Creating Spaces for Public Conversation: The Public Dialog Consortium and the Cupertino Project"
    Michael Leitao

    From its start, the goal of the PDC in developing the Cupertino Community Project has been to create the "space" for open dialogue to occur, and for this dialogue to assert a positive influence on shaping the future of this community. This on-going project, which now has spanned over two years, has afforded us the opportunity to take our communication practices and theories directly into the community in order to bring about more productive and less polarized forms of public discourse. Based on systemic practices, this program of "action research" has created the real desire and commitment within the community to not only to continue these conversations, but to explore, with us, new ways in which this dialogue can continue to be an instrument for positive change. Phase Four of our plan is to conduct workshops for the city officials and citizen leaders of this community as well as work with the community schools in creating an interdisciplinary approach to dialogue with the aim of assuring that this conversation will keep going.

    "The Needs of the Many" and "The Needs of the Few "
    Joy Hart and Shirley Willihnganz

    Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock may debate the logic (or lack thereof) in the facets of our title. We, however, are going to argue (as all fans of the Enterprise know and Kirk and Spock implicitly recognize) that an integration of these perspectives is often the best position. In this vein, we believe that the study of communication in organizations has much to gain from many open dialogues with practitioners and that we as researchers can learn much from such interaction. For example, many of our theories still rest in such "rational" logics that it is little wonder that the few of us some practitioners ever meet do seem alien. So, one goal of our participation here is an on-going conversation with real people in real organizations with real concerns.

    Lest we appear too critical, however, let us stress that we do believe that organizational science does have much to contribute to daily work life. But the bulk of it is published in journals read by few people or presented at conferences like this one (again, attended by relatively few people). And so, often, our messages reach only a few and/or are written in forms accessible by few. What Rogue Scholars tries to do is disseminate the messages wider (via the Web site, etc.).

    In short, we see much science which needs to reach many more than the current few and many possibilities for how a few more (or especially many more) "conversations" between practitioners and researchers could benefit us all. And Rogue Scholars' overarching goal of boldly going where the knowledge we produce can be applied and where we can continue learning in new ways seems at least one vehicle capable of transport.

    The Goldfish Dialogues: Plato's Format in the Age of the Internet
    David Sutton

    Being an untenured assistant professor, people repeatedly tell me that I should play it safe and package my ideas in a conventional format--introduction, literature review, methodology, analysis, discussion, conclusion, bibliography--and mail them off to conventional paper journals to await the judgment of a group of anonymous reviewers. This long-established and well-worn process has plenty of seriousness, but where, may I ask, is the playfulness, the bitterness, the irony, the fairness, and the basic freedom to use one's stock of poetic imagery?

    So I began to listen to a persona that lurks somewhere in the nether regions of my psyche, the entity called Rogue Scholar. This rascal, this scamp, urged me to try something different. "Go on, write a dialogue." it said, "If it was good enough for Plato, it should be good enough for the likes of you. Don't be such a wimp. Push a few limits. Publish your ideas on electrons instead of pulp wood. Where's your spirit of adventure?"

    There is another voice that speaks to me, and it issues from the pages of that ponderous volume I bought so many years ago. In the "Phaedrus", Socrates issues a warning about putting one's thoughts down in writing. Once we write something, he said, our "composition, whatever it may be, drifts all over the place, getting into the hands not only of those who understand it, but equally of those who have no business with it" (275e). With the advent of the Internet, our compositions can now drift at the speed of light, and they are instantly accessible to anyone with a modem. This development would probably cause Socrates to experience shortness of breath, or at least a mild headache.

    The voice of the impish Rogue Scholar is much louder. It says to me, "On this issue, Socrates is so very wrong. Accessibility of ideas is what scholarship should be all about."

    A Rogue Scholarship Manifesto (version 1.0)
    Ted M. Coopman

    Over the course of the first two Rogue Scholar panels, we attempted to define rogue scholarship and identify goals, ethics, and the means of conducting such endeavors. In this paper, I will define the rogue scholar ethic and the basic elements and guidelines to producing scholarship accessible to all. For this I will utilize what has been presented and discussed by past rogue scholar panel participants as well my own perspectives as a participant and the organizer of these panels. This will include the discussion of the social underpinnings and historical precedents that form the "deep" background of rogue scholarship and its relationship to the foundations of liberal thought and modern democracy. This, in turn, will be related to the guidelines, styles, philosophies that have developed over the previous panels.