I was pleased to present at CCCC some research I’ve been doing on crowdfunding and grant writing. I delivered “Proposal Networks: An Activity Theory Analysis of Crowdfunding and Grant Writing” on a panel with Jason Swarts and Kristyne Bradford, who was sadly unable to attend. The talk featured a theoretical arm about activity theory and the topic’s case study.
When compared using the Bitzer’s rhetorical situation model, crowdfunding and grant writing may look similar in their exigence and constraints. However, activity theory allows for looking at exigence and constraints in a systematic way. When I analyzed crowdfunding and grant writing from an activity theory standpoint, differences appeared. The rules, tools, communities, and divisions of labor in the two activities were different. Thus, I argued that researchers should investigate crowdfunding as a distinct activity system of its own.