Mapping Burroughs’s Junky

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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 author himself–ends in what Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari call a “return to the native land” (133): the protagonist Sal Paradise goes to live with … Continue reading

H. Rider Haggard’s Adventure Novel and Multimodal Composition

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One of the challenges of teaching literature in a multimodal communication course is to keep students focused on the task at hand—becoming effective communicators—while also teaching the literary work as an artifact with all its history, cultural significance, and metaphorical complexities.  While I think nearly any cultural artifact from an ancient drum to a Romantic painting to a Dan O’Brien poem could be useful in a multimodal communication course, some artifacts are perhaps more naturally … Continue reading

Engineering English: Writing Lessons from English 1101 and 1102

The banner image for Lakshmi's blog in ENGL 1101.

by Lakshmi Raju, introduced by Phoebe Bronstein (Brittain Fellow 2013-2016) Introduction Lakshmi took my 1101 and 1102 courses her freshman year at Georgia Tech. Currently, she is finishing up her junior year at Tech as an Electrical Engineering major and she is an Associate Editor for Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering at the Journal of Young Investigators. During and after our classes, we stayed in touch and then last Fall during a visit, Dr. Rebecca … Continue reading

“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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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