A Good Marriage Is a WOVEN Marriage: Multimodal Communication in and out of the Classroom

Brighton writes that "A Good Marriage is a WOVEN Marriage." Photograph courtesy of the author.

My English 1102 class, “Odd Victorian Bodies,” uses the lens of nineteenth-century British literature to study the concepts of multimodal–or WOVEN (written, oral, visual, electronic, and nonverbal)–communication. The class reads Victorian novels, short stories, and poetry that deal explicitly with bodies. In addition to learning about a historical time period,… Continue reading

Talking as Artists: Oral Communication in the Gallery Space

Student signatures on the gallery wall.

In July 2015, The Chronicle of Higher Education ran an article entitled “Final Exams or Epic Finales.” In it, Anthony Crider, an associate professor of Physics at Elon University, describes how and why he ends his courses not with exams, but with “epic finales.” These epic finales can take many… Continue reading

Brittain Fellow Posters from Celebrating Teaching Day 2016


  On Tuesday, March 15, a number of Brittain Fellows and Writing and Communication Program Lecturers showcased their work at Georgia Tech’s Celebrating Teaching Day celebration. Brittain Fellows and Lecturers use a wide range of multimodal activities and assignments in their classes, as their posters demonstrate. The posters can be viewed… Continue reading

Mapping Burroughs’s Junky


While Jack Kerouac’s On the Road (1957) is usually remembered as the quintessential American road novel, the slightly earlier debut novel of Kerouac’s friend and fellow Beat William S. Burroughs, Junky (1953), is equally expansive in its exploration of the North American continent. Kerouac’s roman à clef—first mapped by the… Continue reading

Archiving Other Worlds: Science Fiction Magazines as Multimodal Artifacts


When first designing my English 1102 course, Multimodal Mars, I wanted to integrate the Georgia Tech Science Fiction Collection, which contains a large number of magazines such as Planet Stories, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Astounding Stories (among others). My reason for this was twofold: I felt that students would better… Continue reading

Attaining the Text?: Teaching Annotated Video Essays in the Multimodal Classroom


Writing in 1975, the French film theorist Raymond Bellour characterized film analysis as a writing activity “carr[ied] out in fear and trembling, threatened continually with dispossession of the object” (19). Much of this owed to the technological limitations that then made it all but impossible for critics and scholars (save the… Continue reading

Teaching Composition with Interactive Fiction, Part Three

In two earlier posts in this series, I gave an overview of why I use interactive fiction games in my composition classes, and described an “easy way” to do this: that is, using these games as “the reading” for a course unit.  If you’re just joining us and you want… Continue reading

Taking on the Trivial in English 1102


When this school year began, everyone was talking about the GT convocation video that went viral. “You can do that!” was the theme of the speech, where “that” meant things like changing the world, crushing the shoulders of giants, and building the Iron Man Suit. Big ideas! Big risks! Epic… Continue reading

Theatrical Training in the Multimodal Composition Classroom

Students including Ethan Telila (L) help me demonstrate how a tension-relieving physical and vocal warmup frees our bodies for expressive performance.  Photo: Josh Ortman.

I run my first-year composition seminar as an acting class several times per semester.  What does that mean?  If you were to visit us, here are some of the things you might witness: physical and vocal warm-ups movement and dance experiments improvisation games observation exercises imagination training scene study discussion… Continue reading