“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

Introduction to Tools and Methods

Welcome to a new section in Techstyle. 21 Century students need 21 Century teachers that can prepare them; this means different things to different people. IN this section, we will take the time to explore the tools and methods that work to achieve these goals. You might ask, why pair tools and methods. The answer is straightforward. Tools give us many affordances; they can save us time, they can save us effort, sometimes they can … 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 to get a quick idea of what interactive fiction (or “IF”) is, the fastest way might be to go here and play a tutorial game … Continue reading

Marty Fink’s Spring ENGL 1102 course, Queer New Media


Britts, help spread the word about the Marty Fink’s Spring ENGL 1102 course, Queer New Media. The course will be the first of its kind at Georgia Tech, and will engage questions of digital media through an investigation of queer fiction and cultural production. There will also be a heavy emphasis on video games. Queer New Media will create an excellent opportunity for queer/transgender community building at Tech. Check out Dr. Fink’s Tumblr site with … Continue reading

Mapping Jacob’s Room


In my English 1102 “Digital Woolf” class at Georgia Tech this fall, we began with Howards End (1910), by Virginia Woolf’s contemporary, E. M. Forster, which we followed with Woolf’s novels, Jacob’s Room (1922), Mrs. Dalloway (1925), and To the Lighthouse (1927).[1] We will be concluding the course with her essay, A Room of One’s Own (1929). Along the way, the class viewed and blogged about the film of Michael Cunningham’s The Hours (2002), an … Continue reading

John Harkey, Rachel Dean-Ruzicka and Aaron Kashtan Teach the 20th Century

Colloquium Flyer Final

  The Special Events Committee of the Writing and Communication program invites all LMC faculty and administrators to the first of our Fall 2013 events: “Teaching the 20th Century: A Colloquium on Digital Pedagogy and 20th Century Literature and Culture.” On Tuesday, October 29th, from 11AM to 12PM, in Hall 102, three third-year Marion Brittain Postdoctoral Fellows will present on their 1101 and 1102 courses, their work in digital pedagogy, and their students’ work on 20th Century literature, … Continue reading

Teaching Composition with Interactive Fiction, Part Two

Plotkin's tutorial game

In an earlier post, I explained why I think interactive fiction (IF) computer games can drive valuable experiments in the multimodal composition classroom.  You can check out Part One for an overview of what IF is and what I think it can do for students.  In the present post, I’ll lay out a few more specific suggestions and resources for teachers thinking of exploring this rich genre. Using Interactive Fiction in Your Classroom, the Easy … 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 here). All Britts are invited to publish content to other featured categories: Teachable Moments, Reflections, Digital Humanities, Further Reading and more. (You can visit the … Continue reading

Teaching Composition with Interactive Fiction

Note, in this excerpt from Plotkin's tutorial game, how the player-character and the narrative voice take turns typing to each other.

Regular readers of TECHStyle may remember my mentioning, back in September, my plans to use interactive fiction (“IF”) computer games in my multimodal composition classes.  After two semesters of teaching students to read, play, and write IF games, I can say that the experiment was mostly a success.  While we faced a few frustrations (largely coding-related) along the way, we ended up gaining some invaluable rhetorical perspectives and practices, and producing a number of fun, … Continue reading

Anticipating THATCamp

Register » THATCamp Southeast 2013

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 regular basis: to get smart people together, learn about the intersections of technology and humanities research, share ideas, and learn how to better communicate them.  … Continue reading