I plan to present the findings of a research I conducted examining the genre features of and stylistic variations in grants proposal writing in Nepal and the USA and analyzing how or whether those variations reflect the socio-cultural imprints and/or communicative/discourse conventions of practitioners/technical writers in the regions.
This case study presentation will build on and extend the ongoing disciplinary conversation about the indispensability of intercultural technical communication in the era of economic, political, cultural and technological globalization. Recent scholarship in intercultural technical communication is echoing the inevitability of technical communication across borders. For instance, Dragga Sam claims that “today’s technical communicator…is often a multicultural, intercultural communicator engaging issues of translation, interpretation, and localization,” but regrets that so “little research or guidance is available [for Technical Communicator] to identify the practices of ethical intercultural technical communication.” Similarly, Doreen Starke-Meyerring, Ann Hill Duin, and Talene Palvetzian contend that “technical communication (TC) in both the workplace and higher education is undergoing powerful change as a result of globalization.” And Jan M Ulijn and Kirk St. Amant state that “if professional communicators wish to achieve effective intercultural communication, they first need to understand how these cultural factors can affect professional interactions.” These scholars among many others are pointing at the fact that technical communication now is transborder phenomenon increasingly informed by the forces of globalization. Therefore, more research into more genres of technical writing/communication across cultures, borders and spaces is absolutely necessary in order to provide technical communicator with resources to turn to in case s/he faces challenge of communicating effectively and successfully in changed working environment. My presentation tries to respond to that need (or call) and contribute to build up such a much needed research corpus. As Sam also highlights, my presentation takes into consideration the fact that the existing research corpus on intercultural technical genres and practices is mostly about major/popular genres (of TC) like e-mail or memo and dominant cultures like Chinese and American therefore not adequate to prepare the technical communicators to go to global market place.
Contextualizing my case study with a brief literature review on intercultural technical communication, I will closely look at and analyze the genre and stylistic features of a small sample of grants proposal writing from Nepal and the USA. After observing and highlighting the genre or stylistic variations or uniformity, I will dwell on the major question: what underlie the variations or similarities in them? Is it cultural/ discursive conventions or socio-economic factors or something else? And potential implications of the findings for curriculum design and pedagogical approaches to technical communication both in Nepal and the USA will wrap up my presentation.