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

Archiving Other Worlds: Science Fiction Magazines as Multimodal Artifacts

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When first designing my English 1102 course, Multimodal Mars, I wanted to integrate the Georgia Tech Science Fiction Collection, which contains a large number of magazines such as Planet Stories, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and Astounding Stories (among others). My reason for this was twofold: I felt that students would better understand science fiction of the mid-twentieth century by having firsthand experience with short stories, cover art, and illustrations, and I planned to have students digitize … 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

Theatrical Training in the Multimodal Composition Classroom

Students including Ethan Telila (L) help me demonstrate how a tension-relieving physical and vocal warmup frees our bodies for expressive performance.  Photo: Josh Ortman.

I run my first-year composition seminar as an acting class several times per semester.  What does that mean?  If you were to visit us, here are some of the things you might witness: physical and vocal warm-ups movement and dance experiments improvisation games observation exercises imagination training scene study discussion of characters’ motivations and actions other performance work Below, I’d like to explain to interested TECHStyle readers some of the exercises my students and I … Continue reading

The V in WOVEN: Student Posters and the Rhetoric of Waste

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 In this post, I’d like to write about student posters and start/continue a conversation about the importance of the V in WOVEN. The Rhetoric of Waste and Sustainability: Teaching writing at Georgia Tech, an institution that prides itself with training problem-solvers, I invite my students to use multimodal communication as a tool to identify and propose solutions to problems of sustainability and resource waste. In a sequence of three major assignments—rhetorical analysis, visual artifact, and … Continue reading

Infinite 1102: A Collective Romp Through Infinite Jest, Part I

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  1079 pages. 388 footnotes.  2 lbs 10 oz (and that’s the paperback). David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest is nothing if not formidable. It languishes on many a “to-read” shelf alongside Joyce’s Ulysses and Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. Despite its intimidation factor, Infinite Jest can be a pretty accessible read, and it is absolutely a rewarding one. Infinite Jest deftly critiques politics, entertainment, cavalier abuse of the environment, and the advertising industry; hauntingly captures the nature (and process) of … Continue reading

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

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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. While this article focuses on my specialty, the medieval era (roughly 500AD-1500AD), this issue is pertinent to anyone who teaches an historical period. To that … 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 the early development stages of the imageMAT image annotation tool project for which Diane is the interface designer. The project is funded by the Andrew W. … Continue reading

D-Ped 9/12: New Media

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In this seminar session devoted to new media, we (Jason W. Ellis, Peter A. Fontaine, James R. Gregory, and Patrick McHenry) will discuss  forms of writing online and writing across/within networks. Specifically, we will discuss theoretical approaches and practical uses of Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogging. We will share our ideas about using these technologies in the writing classroom, and we encourage you to share your plans and concerns about using new media for achieving appropriate … Continue reading

Blake and Cooper publish multimodal textbook

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Look out for MONSTERS, a new composition textbook co-edited by third-year Brittain fellow Brandy Blake and former assistant director of the Writing & Communication Program Andrew Cooper. The textbook is part of the Fountainhead Press V Series, each of which focuses on a single, specific topic and its relevance to today’s world.  Dr. Blake and Dr. Cooper offer definitions and examples of monstrosity that have arisen from the Gothic tradition. Through the readings and assignments, … Continue reading