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

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

The Office Hour, “Fixing the Academic Conference”

Is the academic conference an important place for sharing and developing knowledge or an increasingly boring relic of a bygone era? Given the cost of attending, the increasingly precarious market for academic jobs, and the psychic toll graduate school takes on early scholars, these questions are more important than ever. In… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 20: “Britt History II (The Present)”

In this episode, the second of a three-part series on the history of the Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship, Toby and I talk to former Brittain Fellow and current Associate Director of the Writing and Communication Program, Andy Frazee, about where the fellowship is now, where it’s going, and where… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 18: “Britt History 1 (The Future)”

Toby takes over the podcast this week, in the first installment of a three-part series in which we address the past, present, and future of the Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellowship. In this episode, he interviews Brittain Fellow Halcyon Lawrence about her background and research in information design and experiences… Continue reading

TECHStyle 3.0: Goals for 2013-2014

The editors of TECHStyle welcome new and returning Brittain Fellows to a new semester! We want to share with you our goals and objectives for the continuing development of the site. New Britts will contribute regularly to TECHStyle through their participation in weekly Digital Pedagogy seminars (see a sample post… Continue reading

Britt Fellow Goes Bibliophile

It always seems self-contradictory to proffer sage career advice to fellow teachers and academics. I am not too far removed from the realm of the Brittain Fellows, having been one from 2007-2008. Like you, I walked among the hallowed halls of Skiles and watched the ever-fluctuating stream of students, many… Continue reading

A New Podcast, Featuring Colonel Hall!

  We are pleased to present the second podcast in TechStyle’s podcast series! Our second episode features Colonel Stephen C. Hall, USAF Retired, 1967 Graduate of Georgia Tech, and the namesake of our new home, the Stephen C. Hall Writing and Communication Building, on the Georgia Tech campus.  The podcast… Continue reading

Anticipating THATCamp

I’ve been a member of the digital humanities community here at Georgia Tech for the past year and a half (+!) and yet here I am, THATCamp-less.  It’s a shame.  I’m ashamed!  THATCamp is one of the hallmarks of what we at the Brittain Fellowship try to do on a… Continue reading

Ellis Presents Paper at 1st Int’l Philip K. Dick Conference

First-year Brittain Fellow Jason W. Ellis delivered his paper, “Philip K. Dick as Pioneer of the Brain Revolution,” at the first international Philip K. Dick conference held at the Technische Universität Dortmund, Germany on 15-18 November 2012. The conference brought together scholars from Australia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the… Continue reading

“Tech Gets Medieval” and Other Ways We Teach the Past

For many instructors, teaching about the past can be problematic, especially to Georgia Tech students who may have little interest in any time period that predates their existence, or who may have the interest, but don’t see how such topics can aid them in their pursuit of a STEM degree…. Continue reading

Harkey edits new edition of poems

John Harkey, a second-year Brittain Fellow in Georgia Tech’s Writing and Communication Program, recently served as editor for a facsimile edition of Lorine Niedecker’s handmade book of poems from 1964, Homemade Poems. The edition has just been published through The City University of New York’s (CUNY) Center for the Humanities,… Continue reading

Dean-Ruzicka on combating hate through YA literature

Brittian Fellow in the Writing and Communication Program, Rachel Dean-Ruzicka, gave an invited talk at a special symposium held at American University – Washington College of Law on September 27th. The symposium was held in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the Journal of Hate Studies and was organized around… Continue reading

Early Modernism and Multimedia

Brittain Fellow Diane Jakacki’s book chapter, “The Roman de la rose in Text and Image: A Multimedia Research and Teaching Tool” (co-authored with Christine McWebb) has just been published in Digitizing Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture (Brent Nelson and Melissa Terras, eds. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2012). This chapter presents… Continue reading

Kashtan Publishes Article on Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home

Second-year Brittain Fellow Aaron Kashtan’s article “My mother was a typewriter: Fun Home and the importance of materiality in comics studies” is now available as an online preprint from the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics and should be available in print form in 2014. Based on a close reading… Continue reading

Hybrid Pedagogies: Platforms and Tools for Virtual Learning

This week, in our weekly Brittain Fellow Research Methodology seminar on Hybrid Pedagogy, we discussed using Twitter as a tool for creating a “back-channel” of conversation at conferences, lectures, and in the classroom. Our conversation constituted the “face-to-face” component of our own hybrid classroom; our session technically began last week when we all attended the Emory DISC lecture “Seeing Time” by Edward L. Ayers during which we used a twitter back-channel (#discayers) to have a synchronous discussion about the talk. We then continued our conversation asynchronously on TECHStyle by commenting on Robin Wharton’s write up of the event “What Should a Hybrid Classroom Look like?” during the week leading up to our Wednesday evening Research Methodology seminar.

In our “face-to-face” discussion, we shared our experience using the Twitter back-channel during the talk, and many of us expressed feeling distracted by the effort to listen to the speaker … Continue reading

What Should A Hybrid “Classroom” Look Like?

Well, last night our hybrid classroom looked very much like the Jones Room and the new Research Commons at Emory’s Woodruff Library. Every spring, a number of Brittain Fellows choose to participate in an optional postdoctoral seminar on research methodologies. This semester, because the Writing and Communication Program is piloting hybrid pedagogy in our first-year composition and technical communication classes, we are using the design and assessment of hybrid pedagogies as a lens through which our examination of method is focused.

For those of you who may be wondering, hybrid pedagogy (also known as blended learning) combines face-to-face and distance or virtual learning strategies. Some thought-provoking recent studies have suggested hybrid instruction may–at least in some situations, for some students–create a more optimal learning environment than either traditional or wholly-online classes. Continue reading

Shed some light on conspiracies!

Bob Blaskiewicz’s article “Engineering Truth” was published in the magazine, Skeptical Inquirer, in September 2011. An expanded version, “You Can’t Handle the Truthiness: A Night Out with the 9/11 Truth Community” appears on their website. Also read Bob’s new regular column — “The Conspiracy Guy” — for Skeptical Inquirer‘s website…. Continue reading

The creativity on display is not just student work!

Congratulations to our colleagues who designed and taught the classes in which students developed the artifacts selected for the Student View exhibition, now in the Ferst Center for the Arts (until January 31) and then moving to the Woodruff Art Center (1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309) for one… Continue reading

Celebrating Students: Student View Reception and Film Screening at the Ferst Center for the Arts

The Student View exhibition currently on display at the Ferst Center for the Arts is entering its final week. Last Wednesday, January 18th, students whose work was selected for the exhibition were honored in a private reception followed by a public screening of student films. We had an impressive turnout: More than 50 people attended the reception, and more than 100 came to the screening!
As a collaboration between the Writing and Communication Program and the Ferst Center for the Arts, Student View is, to our knowledge, the first exhibition of its kind in the country, displaying student works produced in composition and English studies classrooms in a professional art gallery that’s open to the public. The exhibition features a wide variety of artifacts displayed in five categories: Collage, Mosaic, Digital Media, Poster Art, and Film. Continue reading

Stommel and Champion Produce Georgia Tech It Gets Better Video

The Georgia Tech Pride Alliance and the Writing and Communication Program have joined the community, corporate, and collegiate movement across the country by co-producing a Georgia Tech It Gets Better video. It Gets Better is a national movement to reduce bullying and suicides among LGBTQ youth. The video was produced and directed by Jesse Stommel, Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow and Julie Champion, Student and President of Georgia Tech Pride Alliance, with a musical score by Matt Morris.
Stommel and Champion were inspired to work on this project after seeing the wonderful video produced recently at NC State. Like the NC State video, the Georgia Tech It Gets Better video features personal interviews in recognizable campus locations with nearly 50 students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni of varying sexualities and backgrounds. Continue reading

Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow Makes Bestseller List

Second-year Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Andy Frazee’s first book of poetry, The Body, The Rooms, ranked #17 on Small Press Distribution’s (SPD) poetry bestseller list for October. Founded in 1969, SPD is currently the only distributor in the country dedicated exclusively to independently published literature, serving over 400 small and… Continue reading

Harkey Composes ‘Verbal Score’ for Artist’s Film at MOCA GA

John Harkey, a first-year Brittain Fellow in Georgia Tech’s Writing and Communication Program, recently collaborated with artist and filmmaker Micah Stansell, whose work “The Water and the Blood” is currently on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Georgia (MOCA GA). Drawing equally from his own and from others’ writings,… Continue reading