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

Meditations in an Emergency: Teaching After Trump

The outcome of the 2016 presidential election has thrown a number of institutions into crisis––or at least deep soul-searching: the news media, the Electoral College, the Democratic Party, libraries, humanities departments, and the university more broadly. The first-year composition classroom, in particular, faces newly urgent pedagogical challenges in the wake… 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

The Office Hour, Chapter 9: “One Week Out”

On this week’s podcast, Toby and I are joined by Brittain Fellows Anna Ioanes and Jennifer Forsthoefel to discuss our experiences, realizations, thoughts, and fears as teachers and scholars in the week since Donald J. Trump was elected President of the United States. We begin by discussing Daveena Tauber’s “Post-Election… 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

The Office Hour, Chapter 6: Academic Dad

In this brief episode, Toby attempts to comment on academic parenting (and fatherhood in particular) . . . while academic parenting. His comments are drawn from Aviva Shen’s article on student perception and gender bias, Apoorva Mandavilli’s New York Times piece on representation in academia, Dale Edwin Murray’s Times Higher Education essay on the impossibility… Continue reading

Selfish Researchers, Neglectful Educators: Student Misconceptions of What We Do

By Jennifer Forsthoefel Here is an example of a popular meme depicting how different groups might understand the role of the professor. Friends may believe professors have summers off; parents may liken them to a school teacher; society may assume they show students movies to pass the time. Although I… 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

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

H. Rider Haggard’s Adventure Novel and Multimodal Composition

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… Continue reading

Engineering English: Writing Lessons from English 1101 and 1102

Introduction Lakshmi Raju 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… Continue reading

“There is No Delight and No Mathematics”: Teaching the Multimodal Avant-garde

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… Continue reading

A Thousand Hamlets

By Sarah Higinbotham, Fan Geng, and Dun Cao What does Shakespeare offer aerospace engineering majors, who often take eighteen hours of computational science, physics, and biochemistry in a typical semester? How does Twelfth Night—Shakespeare’s comedy about the flexibility of language and love—contribute to Georgia Tech students’ analytical skills? And how… Continue reading

Offseason Musings: Football, Pedagogy, and the Multimodal Composition Classroom

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… Continue reading

Framing Media Studies, Part II: Cinematography

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, and… Continue reading

Framing Media Studies: Teaching Cinematic Style, Part I

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 this… Continue reading

Untouchable E-Books: Mulk Raj Anand, Modernism, and Technology

My English 1102 “Modernism: Technology and Communication” course last spring asked how people around the world communicated before the internet. Starting with the advent of the telegraph, we addressed written, oral, visual, electronic, and nonverbal forms of communication through the nineteen thirties. We began the course with Tom Standage’s The… Continue reading

Go Make Yourself Un-useful

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,… Continue reading

Hate Studies and the Holocaust Memorial Museum

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… Continue reading

Tech, No to Tech, Yes: How a Former Technophobe Becomes a Digital Teaching Fellow

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… 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… Continue reading