Christine Hoffmann
Christine Hoffmann (PhD University of Arkansas, MFA Art Institute of Chicago) studies the shifting standards for credibility and utility that develop inside post-Gutenberg and post-digital rhetorical environments. Her scholarly work has been published in College Literature, the CEA Critic, PLL, the CEA Forum and, somewhat randomly, Slayage: the Online Journal of Buffy Studies. A few short stories can be found in Make magazine, Eclectica and Loose Change. She also blogs regularly on TECHStyle, the forum for digital pedagogy and research by the Georgia Tech Brittain Fellows. Christine looks forward to connecting the teaching of multimodal composition to her research into rhetorics of struggle, cultures of collecting, and the advantages of copious expression.

Leah Haught Co-Authors Research Guide

First-year Brittain Fellow Leah Haught’s co-authored article (with Thomas Hahn, University of Rochester) “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”(SGGK) is now available online from Oxford Bibliographies in “British and Irish Literature.” Designed as a research guide for students and scholars alike, the article combines features of an annotated bibliography with… Continue reading

Who’s Chasing Whom? Utility, Metamorphosis & the Humanities

An article showed up on my facebook feed recently: “College Tuition Should Vary By Degree, Florida State Task Force Says.” The gist of it is this: “Tuition would be lower for students pursuing degrees most needed for Florida’s job market, including ones in science, technology, engineering and math, collectively known… Continue reading

Are You Nobody, Too? Getting Dialogic in English 1101

In the first weeks of my 1101 course, The Allure of the Unreliable Utterance, I introduced my students to Socratic irony and to Bakhtin’s theory of dialogism. We watched snippets of The Colbert Report and The Daily Show—programs which rely on irony for their satirical humor—and we read Plato’s Symposium—a… Continue reading

Blake and Cooper publish multimodal textbook

Look out for MONSTERS, a new composition textbook co-edited by third-year Brittain fellow Brandy Blake and former assistant director of the Writing & Communication Program Andrew Cooper. The textbook is part of the Fountainhead Press V Series, each of which focuses on a single, specific topic and its relevance to… Continue reading

Katy Crowther Punks the Victorians

An article by former Brittain Fellow Katy Crowther, now an Assistant Professor of English at Georgia Perimeter College, is featured in the current issue of the Journal of Victorian Culture Online: Punking the Victorians, Punking Pedagogy: Steampunk and Creative Assignments in the Composition Classroom | Journal of Victorian Culture Online…. Continue reading

Harkey reads from “Homemade Poems”

During this year’s Decatur Book Festival, second-year Brittain Fellow John Harkey read from a book he recently edited: “Homemade Poems,” Lorine Niedecker’s handmade book of poems from 1964. Lorine Niedecker was an American “objectivist” poet who explored conjunctions between plain, vernacular language and experimental techniques such as disjunction, wordplay, and… Continue reading

Former Britt Blaskiewicz discusses conspiracies in the GT Alumni Magazine

Former Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow, Robert Blaskiewicz, now in the Department of English at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, is featured in an article in the most recent issue of Georgia Tech’s Alumni Magazine, “The Article They Don’t Want You to Read.” As a Brittain Fellow, Bob Blaskiewicz taught courses about… Continue reading

Pieces of What?

About a thousand years after everyone else, I came across Feminist Ryan Gosling, and despite having seen only one Ryan Gosling movie—Drive, in which he “Hey’s” nary a girl, but does assault someone with a hammer—I enjoyed reading through the entries. But I knew I was late to the party when… Continue reading

Triviality as History in Political Campaign Ads

In the last unit of my course on copia, we’ve been looking at early modern pamphlets alongside 20- and 21st-century political campaign commercials. Oddly enough, students seem to enjoy the pamphlets more than the videos. The latter they’ve been quick to dismiss as simple-minded, pathos-driven exaggerations. They’re less eager to judge the pamphlets that, in their own heyday, were dismissed as “small, insignificant, ephemeral, disposable, untrustworthy, unruly, noisy, deceitful, poorly printed, addictive, a waste of time” (from Joad Raymond’s Pamphlets and Pamphleteering in Early Modern Britain, 10). It’s been more difficult for students to see how materials so loaded with elaborate, expressive and dexterous prose could be considered as insignificant and disposable as, well, this. Continue reading

Your Soundbite Pleased me Greatly: Commonplacing in the Classroom

For my third soundbite-related post, I’d like to talk some pedagogy. This semester I’m teaching a course on copia, which in some ways would seem to be the opposite of sound-biting.
Copia is about abundance, variety, superfluity, excess, accumulation—words not normally associated with soundbite culture. The latter conjures very different terms: truncation, abbreviation, superficiality, redundancy, speed, spin. Continue reading

Remix (D-Ped 11/30)

Welcome to Remix Culture Week! Readings/Videos Larry Lessig’s TED talk on Copyright Law Remix Theory’s definition of Remix  An excerpt from David Shields’ Reality Hunger Questions to Consider How might remix challenge traditional the structure of rhetoric?  Or is is not so much a challenge as another piece of the… Continue reading

The Rhetoric of “Occupy Wall Street”

For my second soundbite-focused post, I’m already deviating from the original plan by covering not so much a soundbite as the name of an entire movement. I’ve been wondering lately about the awkward resonance of “Occupy Wall Street,” the way that first word “Occupy” provokes so many distinctive interpretations: it can suggest invasion, colonization, aggressive seizure of territory; less aggressively, it can simply mean occupying a position, both in the sense of physical space and a mental perspective; and of course it echoes occupation as work, employment, along with the work we do at work (on our best days), when we are intensely engaged in (occupied with) a task.

So what does it really mean to “Occupy Wall Street?” For a variety of reasons (all of them lame), I have yet to attend an OWS event in Atlanta, and certainly not in New York. I have occupied neither park nor street nor quad nor sidewalk, which makes me wonder if I can really say that I’m part of the movement, and not just an observer of its viral video. Continue reading

On Soundbites and other Forbidden Fruits

I hope this will be the first of a series of posts on a running theme: the unintentional eloquence of soundbite culture. For several years now I’ve been interested in the communicative potential of inarticulate speech and writing. It’s part guilty pleasure (I look for Sarah Palin in the news for nearly the same reasons I watch America’s Next Top Model); but a hopefully bigger part of my interest derives from a genuine fascination with the ways in which gaffes can be translated into eloquence, gibberish into poetry, nonsense into social commentary.
Such translations are already easy to find in the form of parody: here are William Shatner reading a Palin speech as beat poetry, John Lithgow performing a Newt Gingrich press release, Obama supporters combining hyperbole and understatement via a Joe Biden gaffe, and my personal favorite Twitter meme, ShakesPalin. Continue reading

Postmodern Theory in Multimodal Composition

Ever since Baudrillard found his way into my dissertation (I have no memory of inviting him—suddenly he was there, like Jack Nicholson in that picture at the end of The Shining), I’ve been curious about how he’d fare in an undergraduate classroom. His postmodern and Nietzschean sympathies make him entertaining… Continue reading