“There is No Delight and No Mathematics”: Teaching the Multimodal Avant-garde

A portion of Jenny Holzer's "Inflammatory Essays." Photograph by Damian Entwhistle, via a Creative Commons license. Original image available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/damiavos/12686078413/in/photolist-5QJvSR-5QJw46-5QJwg2-awweZz-awwgHP-awwgL6-awzbdu-awwnbB-wjXnUS-wk5voM-kk2t8T-kk1DjP-kk2o68-kk1Ev6-kk1yfk-kk2etP-5MEnh8-kk1BXF-kk1AWc-kk47Tb-kk2h1H.

Before coming to Georgia Tech, my approach to teaching writing and communication through fictional work could be summed up like this: students will learn how to analyze novels and short stories and then write arguments explaining their analysis. They will support those arguments by close reading passages and quoting academic articles they find on JSTOR or Project MUSE. Sound familiar? This semester, I tried a different approach in my English 1102 class, “What is an … Continue reading

Becoming a Guide to Knowledge: The World of Academic Librarianship


In a previous article, I described practical but also subjective reasons I switched from the traditional professor route to the library field. I also pointed out facts and figures related to job placement rates for tenure-track positions and alternatives to academic careers. I don’t quite fit the mold of leaving academia, as I am now employed at a major research institution, nor do I offer my journey as a prescription for others, but I do … Continue reading

Redesigning TECHStyle for 2015-2016


Welcome to a new year of TECHStyle. In 2015-2016, the TECHStyle committee is looking forward to bringing together an exciting lineup of posts from Brittain Fellows past and present. This year we will be coordinating a series of themed clusters that reflect the range of teaching we do at Georgia Tech and that promise to contribute to larger conversations in multimodal pedagogy, digital pedagogy, and the digital humanities. Our first themed cluster, “Designing Multimodal Assignments,” co-edited by Eric Rettberg … Continue reading

Flash Readings Podcast: “Laughter Worth Reading”


You are about to listen to “Laughter Worth Reading.” It’s the inaugural episode in the Brittain Fellows’ first regular podcast, Flash Readings, created and produced by Lauren Neefe. Every month the podcast will feature one of the fellows performing a close reading of an exemplary textual moment from their current research. Organized into five brief segments—the Subject, the Object, the Logic, the Project, Where to Check It Out—each episode will document a conversation between two … Continue reading

Behind Brittain Fellow Podcasts at Tech


In the past year, Brittain Fellow Lauren Neefe (2014-present), librarian Alison Valk, and a cohort of Georgia Tech undergraduates have been working on a podcast called 4:33@Tech. Inspired at once by WNYC’s Radiolab, Lauren Neefe’s multimodal composition class on sound, and the Georgia Tech community, the podcast focuses on the soundscape of Georgia Tech. The 4:33 in the title references John Cage’s famous silent musical piece, in which a pianist sits at a piano and does not play music for … Continue reading

A Thousand Hamlets

Fan and Dun

By Sarah Higinbotham, Fan Geng, and Dun Cao What does Shakespeare offer aerospace engineering majors, who often take eighteen hours of computational science, physics, and biochemistry in a typical semester? How does Twelfth Night — Shakespeare’s comedy about the flexibility of language and love — contribute to Georgia Tech students’ analytical skills? And how does King Lear, a tragedy about children who betray and humiliate their fathers, relate to Asian students raised in a culture committed … Continue reading

Semiotic Domains and System Design in The Classroom

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Abstract: The creative student in the Digital Humanities classroom. What does it mean to be a “creative” person in a digital era? Standard practice in the humanities is to divide “critical” activities from “creative” ones. This post is the first in a possible series on the creative student in a digital humanities classroom, wherein I discuss approaches to multimodal projects available in a digital humanities course, as well as the varieties of creative experience available … Continue reading

Podcast With Poet Patricia Smith


Last year, during her visit to read in the Poetry@Tech series, I got to speak with poet Patricia Smith.  Due to some technical issues, we had to delay posting until now.  It was a very fun and fascinating conversation.  We talked about multi-modality, teaching, code-switching, and performance; the ridiculousness of the chasm between “spoken word” (she dislikes that term) and “academic” poets; building community  between different kinds of poetry; and the importance of continuing to … Continue reading