“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

Nastygram: Faculty and Cyberbullying


Wading into the ongoing and lively discussion about the “Dear Student” series in Vitae, Corey Sparks noted on Twitter that “Working hard on behalf of students and complaining about them aren’t mutually exclusive categories.” The profession largely agrees, though our discourse on our work leads many of us to call The Chronicle of Higher Education the “Chronicle of Dire Education”and laugh when Google offers “chronic fatigue syndrome” and “Chronicles of Narnia” in its auto-complete search … Continue reading

Offseason Musings: Football, Pedagogy, and the Multimodal Composition Classroom


College football is increasingly in the news, and usually for all of the wrong reasons. One of the most concerning things for educators is the relationship between the academic and athletic programs at our nation’s colleges and universities. And it is a tenuous, problematic relationship, undoubtedly. Imagine my surprise then when I found myself thinking of my pedagogy and the subject I teach–multimodal composition–through the lens of football. Taking a multimodal approach to teaching composition … Continue reading

Go Make Yourself Un-useful


In a previous post, I reflected on the successes and failures of a project I assigned in my Spring 2012 course on copia, and assigned again with some minor changes this semester. Students spend the first month of the semester gathering an eclectic mix of material, organizing it into categories, and publishing it in a commonplace book or blog. As they collect videos, memes, quotations, music, text messages and photos, we read early modern texts … Continue reading

Hate Studies and the Holocaust Memorial Museum


What is hate, and how do we combat it?  Recently, I attended a symposium organized by Gonzaga University’s Institute for Hate Studies and American University’s Washington College of Law.  The symposium was on “Hate and Political Discourse” and was organized by John Shuford and Robert Tsai in honor of the Journal of Hate Studies 10th Anniversary issue that is forthcoming this October.  Additionally, I visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for the first time … Continue reading

Tech, No to Tech, Yes: How a Former Technophobe Becomes a Digital Teaching Fellow


An ongoing series by new Brittain Fellow, Rebecca Weaver I am a new Brittain Fellow in Digital Pedagogy at Georgia Institute of Technology, where I teach a 21st Century version of First-Year Writing. This class focuses on the WOVEN curriculum, a broader curriculum of communication than that of traditional writing classes, and heavily emphasizes technological tools to develop those communication skills. You might think by this disclosure that I am a digital native / well-adjusted digital … 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 I saw the second post on the front page of the blog doubling as an advertisement for Feminist Ryan Gosling the BOOK. It got me … Continue reading

Looking Back, Looking Forward

As the editor of TECHstyle this year, I’ve exhorted my colleagues on a regular basis to “bang out a post – it only takes 15 minutes”!  Yet here I sit, mulling on this “end-of-the-year” reflection post and I find I have nowhere to start and no idea how to write it.  Do I reflect on the successes and failures of my class this semester?  The bigger picture of how teaching a class on disability and … Continue reading

Everybody’s Got Something

Being a teacher can be incredibly rewarding. I feel fortunate to work in an environment where I can focus on becoming a better teacher and collaborate with other progressive pedagogues (couldn’t resist that). It is easy to get caught up in the prepping and marking and research and committee meetings and all the other aspects of being a practitioner of higher education. Then there’s the stress of the job search and the future and the … Continue reading

Myth BEYOND the Classroom


Two weeks ago, my students displayed their final projects in the third floor gallery space in Clough.  For the final installment of my “Myth in the Classroom” column, I thought I’d reflect back on what I learned, what I enjoyed, and what I struggled with in putting the exhibit together as we look ahead to next year. I’ll be frank: The first reason I considered having my students display their projects was because of peer … Continue reading