Sonnets @ Tech: The Pedagogy of Writing as Making

When modernist poet William Carlos Williams antagonistically announced, “To me all sonnets say the same thing of no importance. What does it matter what the line ‘says’?”, I wonder whether or not he’d approve of poet and punk rock singer Matt Hart playfully directing students to arrange and rearrange pieces… Continue reading

Teaching with Twitter: Social Media in the Composition Classroom

When I mention that I use Twitter in my first-year writing courses, I am often met with both intrigue and skepticism by students and faculty alike. If writing courses are supposed to be focused on nuanced thinking, careful research, and rhetorically sophisticated arguments, what can students possibly learn from writing… Continue reading

Bodies and Body Language: How Poetry Can Teach Us to Communicate

Bodies, a personal yet strangely distant subject matter for most students to discuss, provide a ripe lens through which to hone the skills that composition classrooms aim to foster. As mediums of communication, bodies afford us multiple ways to express ourselves: through gestures, facial expressions, vocal tone, and body language… Continue reading

Putting Lux in the Darkness: Remembering Poet and Professor Thomas Lux

Editor’s Note: When I first had the idea to teach an English 1102 course about the The New Yorker magazine, I had hoped that Thomas Lux, who has published five poems in the magazine, would come speak to my students. Vijay Seshadri, former editor at The New Yorker and frequent contributor to the… Continue reading

The Doubleplusgoodspeak of Newspeak: Poetry and Orwell’s 1984

Two days after President Trump’s inauguration, on January 22, 2017, the newly-minted Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press with Chuck Todd. She discussed White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s first press briefing the night before, in which he claimed, despite the existence of much… Continue reading

Strategies for Teaching Non-Native English Speakers: A Roundtable Review

On March 30, 2017, the Writing and Communication Program’s World Englishes Committee hosted the faculty roundtable “Instructing Non-Native English Speakers: Practical Tools.” This event drew Georgia Tech teaching faculty and staff interested in sharing ideas and learning new strategies for better serving the needs of the diverse population of English… Continue reading

The Office Hour, Chapter 19: “April Is the Cruellest Month”

In honor of National Poetry Month, Brittain Fellow Jeff Fallis returns to the podcast to discuss what may be literature’s most ill-defined, misunderstood, and maligned genre. As recipients of 2016-2017 Poetry@Tech Pedagogy Grants, Jeff and I talk about some of the ways that we have integrated poetry into our composition classrooms,… Continue reading

Brittain Fellows Celebrate Teaching with Posters about Pedagogy

 On March 14, 2017, the Georgia Tech teaching community gathered for Celebrating Teaching Day, a demonstration of the innovative pedagogies that feature in courses across Tech, put on by the Center for Teaching and Learning. The inventive work of Brittain Fellows was on prominent display during the day’s events via a series… Continue reading

Collision Course: Using Visual Art and Poetry as Composition Pedagogy

Last fall, I led students through a writing and communication course titled “One World is Not Enough.” This class investigated cultural values and ideologies as exhibited in the narratives that societies construct and consume. The course focused on two contemporary novels, Stephen Graham Jones’s Ledfeather and Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on… Continue reading

The Censorship Files: Using Digital Media to Teach Censored Media

When teaching the art of research writing, I aim to help my students learn the tools of the communication trade through assignments that challenge them to see the world with more conscientious eyes. I strive to help my students recognize not only that the forms of their words matter but that… Continue reading

The Texts of Tech: Students Transform Public Science

This fall, I have been teaching a section of first-year composition I call “Science in Public.” The course’s thematic focus—public-facing science communication—prompts students to consider how journalists, artists, activists, researchers, and other communicators compose texts about the sciences that engage and move to action a broad, nonspecialist audience. Students adapt… Continue reading

From Print Culture to Digital Archive: Teaching Modernism through Little Magazines

Modernism, they say, began in the magazines. Long before internet streaming and wireless television, newspapers and periodicals were the first mass media, offering authors, intellectuals, and social activists a dramatically wider domain for their artwork and ideals. These print media provided a vital outlet—and at times a much-needed sanctuary—for modernist… Continue reading

A Good Marriage Is a WOVEN Marriage: Multimodal Communication in and out of the Classroom

My English 1102 class, “Odd Victorian Bodies,” uses the lens of nineteenth-century British literature to study the concepts of multimodal–or WOVEN (written, oral, visual, electronic, and nonverbal)–communication. The class reads Victorian novels, short stories, and poetry that deal explicitly with bodies. In addition to learning about a historical time period,… Continue reading

Talking as Artists: Oral Communication in the Gallery Space

In July 2015, The Chronicle of Higher Education ran an article entitled “Final Exams or Epic Finales.” In it, Anthony Crider, an associate professor of Physics at Elon University, describes how and why he ends his courses not with exams, but with “epic finales.” These epic finales can take many… Continue reading

Brittain Fellow Posters from Celebrating Teaching Day 2016

  On Tuesday, March 15, a number of Brittain Fellows and Writing and Communication Program Lecturers showcased their work at Georgia Tech’s Celebrating Teaching Day celebration. Brittain Fellows and Lecturers use a wide range of multimodal activities and assignments in their classes, as their posters demonstrate. The posters can be viewed… Continue reading

Mapping Burroughs’s Junky

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… Continue reading

Archiving Other Worlds: Science Fiction Magazines as Multimodal Artifacts

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… Continue reading

Attaining the Text?: Teaching Annotated Video Essays in the Multimodal Classroom

Writing in 1975, the French film theorist Raymond Bellour characterized film analysis as a writing activity “carr[ied] out in fear and trembling, threatened continually with dispossession of the object” (19). Much of this owed to the technological limitations that then made it all but impossible for critics and scholars (save the… 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… Continue reading

Taking on the Trivial in English 1102

When this school year began, everyone was talking about the GT convocation video that went viral. “You can do that!” was the theme of the speech, where “that” meant things like changing the world, crushing the shoulders of giants, and building the Iron Man Suit. Big ideas! Big risks! Epic… Continue reading

Theatrical Training in the Multimodal Composition Classroom

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… Continue reading

Framing Media Studies, Part II: Cinematography

By Clint Stivers and Phoebe Bronstein In the last post, we discussed mise en scene–everything that is put/placed in the scene–and so for this post, we are moving on to cinematography. Cinematography refers to what the camera does from framing, to focus, and movement. In early filmmaking cameras were heavier,… Continue reading

Framing Media Studies: Teaching Cinematic Style, Part I

By Phoebe Bronstein and Clint Stivers As teachers of multimodal/WOVEN artifacts, we naturally understand how to teach students how to arrange images for effective designs in posters, presentations, infographics, and other visual mediums. Despite having experience in visual rhetoric, some teachers express difficulty in how to approach teaching film. In… Continue reading