Resilience and Environmental Justice in a time of Crisis

A burned field with the fire still burning in the background

My English 1102 class this semester, “Sovereignty, Energy, and Settler-Colonialism,” examined the historical relationship between Native Americans, American politics, and the demand for energy through the lenses of settler-colonialism and environmental justice. In other words, we investigated the ways energy and fuel have been a rationale for the marginalization, removal,… Continue reading

“ethical issues that may arise…”: Scaffolded Ethics in CS 3311/LMC 3432 & ENGL 1102

This article is a collaboration with Dr. Dori Coblentz, third-year Brittain Fellow in the Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Tech. It is the third part in a series on the development and implementation of an interactive ethics training module for Georgia Tech’s first-year composition and computer science students. See the… Continue reading

Nine Questions on Identity, Multimodality, and Poetry with Caroline Dowell-Esquivel

This article is supported by a 2020 Poetry@Tech Pedagogy Grant. In my introductory writing and communication course “On Becoming a Writer,” students read Alexander Chee’s 2018 essay “The Autobiography of My Novel.” The central concept of the essay is what Chee calls a “prosthetic voice.” Unable to write the autobiographical… Continue reading

Multimodal English Class: Elements of Eighteenth-Century Science

When asked if I would incorporate the Periodic Table into my classes as part of an institute-wide celebration of the International Year of the Periodic Table, I eagerly undertook the challenge of designing an ENGL 1102 course considering 18th-century rhetorics of science for Summer 2019. I also decided to include… Continue reading

What Do You See?—Making Podcasts About Visual Art

Making podcasts about visual art presents a challenging multimodal question: How can a podcast, an entirely oral medium, account for all of the complexity, subtly, and abstraction in a painting or sculpture, an entirely visual medium? Producing a podcast about a single piece of visual art—this was my students’ task—would… Continue reading

Multimodal Assignment Design Series: Comics Creation

This is the first post in an ongoing series on multimodal assignment design created by the lecturers and postdoctoral fellows in the Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Tech. Several committees have come together to work on this project: Professional Development, Curriculum Innovation, and TECHStyle. Our goal is to produce… Continue reading

Toward a Scaffolded Ethics in the Writing Classroom

This article is a collaboration with Dr. Dori Coblentz, third-year Brittain Fellow in the Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Tech. It is the second part in a series on the development and implementation of an interactive ethics training module for Georgia Tech’s first-year composition and computer science students. See the… Continue reading

Supporting English Language Learning Students at Georgia Tech

This article is a collaboration, edited by Jeff Howard, featuring Dongho Cha, Hyerhung Hwang, Alok Amatya, and Ben Bergholtz. For more information on World Englishes at Georgia Tech, visit the World Englishes Committee website, World Englishes: Linguistic Variety, Global Society. Howard’s introductory Prezi on World Englishes is a meaningful resource… Continue reading

Rethinking Instructional Scaffolding

This article is a collaboration with Dr. Dori Coblentz, third-year Brittain Fellow in the Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Tech. It is the first part in a series on the development and implementation of an interactive ethics training module for Georgia Tech’s first-year composition and computer science students. When… Continue reading

7 Brittain Fellows Reflect on Summer Pedagogical Experiments in First-Year Writing

Frankenstein in alternative genres, freshly redesigned periodic tables, poetry and digital archives, feminist editorial interventions in Wikipedia, sustainable futures, pop culture, and crisis—these are the Writing and Communication course topics that Brittain Fellows experimented with in the 2019 summer semester at Georgia Tech. The compressed six-week course schedule and opportunities… Continue reading

Learning to Teach in the Anthropocene

How do I teach while the world burns? How can I teach in the Anthropocene? I thought one night while washing dishes. In the face of the Anthropocene and its harbinger, climate change, teaching seemed futile. At the time, I was also listening to a video essay by Oliver Thorn… Continue reading

The Office Hour: MetaPod

In this episode of the Office Hour, Tobias Wilson-Bates and Jonathan Shelley discuss their experiences of integrating podcasting inside and outside of the classroom. Has the revolutionary energy of podcasts dissipated with the influx of corporate projects like Mark Zuckerberg’s Tech & Society Podcast? Or do they still serve unique… Continue reading

Picture This: Infographics in English Class–Part Four: Visualizing the Writing Process

This post is the fourth in a series about our class project in “Teaching Composition.” Read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.   In addition to learning about theories of rhetoric and writing, the future English teachers in this fall’s “Teaching Composition” course needed to think about how to apply… Continue reading

Picture This: Infographics in English Class–Part Three: Teaching the Teachers

This post is the third in a series about our class project in “Teaching Composition.” Read Part One and Part Two.  When I designed an infographic assignment for students in my “Teaching Composition” class last semester, I hoped it would be directly applicable to the careers of the students in… Continue reading

Mapping the Maximalist Novel: A Dialogue Between Students and Teachers

This article and interview are a collaboration between Dr. Benjamin Bergholtz and Dr. Alok Amatya, first-year Brittain Fellows in the Writing and Communication Program at Georgia Tech, and FYC students Gabriel Wang, Harsimran Minhas, Simrill Smith, Justin Coleman, and Kartik Sarangmath. I didn’t think I would be able to to… Continue reading

From First Year Comp to Tech Comm (and Beyond): an Interview with Dori Coblentz

Inside a studio a group of people in fencing attire stand around a lecturer who is describing a fencing technique.

This is the fifth part in a series on the intersections of technical communication in the tech industry and the academy. Read the series introduction here. As former Brittain Fellow Kate Holterhoff has detailed in this post on her move from teaching to software development (and as my own career… Continue reading

Picture This: Infographics in English Class, Part Two

This post is the second in a series about an infographic project in “Teaching Composition,” a course led by former Brittain Fellow Dr. Anna Ioanes at the University of St. Francis. Read Part One here. Part Two: Writing is a Beast; or, Visualizing Metaphors When we teach students to write, is it best… Continue reading

BTS (방탄소년단) in an English Composition Course

As my students chatted, I situated the camera onto the computer screen. They seemed excited about the class activity: filming a reaction video and posting it to YouTube. Opposite the students, on the screen at the front of the classroom, a music video was paused at a blank white frame…. Continue reading

(Re)designing the Instructional Artifact: The Poetry Machine Project

In the 2017-18 academic year I executed a lively experiment integrating poetry into LMC 3403, a traditional technical communication course at Georgia Tech as the direct result of receiving a Poetry@Tech pedagogy development grant. Technical communication is defined by Elizabeth Tebeaux and Sam Dragga as writing “that occurs in a… Continue reading

Agile Composition: Promoting Fairness and Efficiency in Group Work

The Group Problem A cursory scroll through the Facebook group, GT Memes for Buzzed Teams, turns up a number of meme gems related to group projects. Take, for instance, the image below of a red-faced man (labeled “me”) straining to pick up a giant boulder (labeled “group project”) while a… Continue reading

Letter from a New York City Jail: Reacting to the Past in First-year Composition

When my student Patrice was arrested, I was amused. We were in my English 1101 seminar, “Romantic Revolutions,” and Patrice had been assigned the role of an indebted farmer in 1770s New York. My class was using Patriots, Loyalists & Revolution in New York City, 1775-76 to revive the independence… Continue reading

Against Argument; or, 25 Notes Toward a Descriptive Pedagogy by Way of Stephen King and Jacques Rancière

  1) Twitter can be a pretty disingenuous place. The tricky thing is that to call attention to any one tweet, however atrocious, risks making a mountain out of a molehill. But as a teacher of writing, literature, and communication, I’ve found myself returning again and again to one particular… Continue reading

How Poetry Saved My Pedagogy

Most of my students did not like poetry. I don’t remember what prompted the realization—probably something banal like analyzing a poem by Dickinson, Keats, or Frost—but I remember the crushing sensation of disappointment and dismay, even despair, that settled over me. Many of them actively disliked it, a few of… Continue reading

Teaching in All Seasons: Poetics, Ideal Tendencies, and Food Literacy

SUMMER   “Once I remember looking into the freezer can the next morning and finding the leftover ice cream had all returned to milk. It was like the disappearance of Cinderella’s new clothes.” (Lewis 53) Midway through my Spring composition course, “Food Literacy of Atlanta,” my students and I had… Continue reading

Sonnets @ Tech: The Pedagogy of Writing as Making

When modernist poet William Carlos Williams antagonistically announced, “To me all sonnets say the same thing of no importance. What does it matter what the line ‘says’?”, I wonder whether or not he’d approve of poet and punk rock singer Matt Hart playfully directing students to arrange and rearrange pieces… Continue reading