October 19: “Access Designed,” a Pedagogy Talk with Casey Boyle

Matt Breece


The DWRL is excited to host a Pedagogy Talk with Casey Boyle on Friday, October 19 from 12-1:30 pm in Par 102. As part of an ongoing pedagogy series in coordination with the Department of Rhetoric and Writing, Dr. Boyle will be discussing an undergraduate course he is developing for the Spring 2019 semester. Access Designed is a course that will instruct students to communicate ethically by considering how to design communication using technology to address the needs of audiences with different abilities.


Data Visualization: On and Off the Screen

Mac Scott

Blog Post

It’s easy to consider digital rhetoric and writing in terms of always-advancing computer technologies. This isn’t inaccurate, and keeping our fingers on the pulse regarding the rhetorical affordances of new software makes for innovative digital writing, research, and pedagogy. At the same time, however, it’s helpful to remember that digital rhetoric is more than what’s possible through recently released products. In “Wampum as Hypertext,” Angela Haas expands our digital scope beyond the computer screen by reminding us that “[a]ll writing

Lesson Plan: Teaching Context with Video Creation

Justin Hatch

Lesson Plans

Undergraduate students sometimes have trouble leveraging historical context to the end of persuasion. Reasons for this include that they may not see contextualizing (including the use of historical context) as a discrete and substantial task worthy of the same creative intellectual effort given the construction of arguments. That contextualizing is sometimes taught as just one of several tasks to accomplish in an introduction that precedes the real rhetorical work of argumentation can exacerbate the problem. This assignment attempts to remedy

Lesson Plan: Analyzing and (Re)Performing Vocality

Matt Breece

Lesson Plans

As rhetoric and composition instructors, we typically have students work with written texts, both in analysis and in production. While we might ask students to answer questions about tone and prosody in written texts, often their analyses remained confined to stylistic concerns without attending to questions of delivery. What gets overlooked in this assignment mainstay is the possibility of analyzing oral texts for delivery, affect, and vocality. Yet Erin Anderson notes that with contemporary mediated technologies, “this notion of voice-as-effect becomes

Lesson Plan: Visualizing The News As A Timeline

Ansley Colclough

Lesson Plans

In today’s information economy, the abundance and production pace of information can make it difficult to follow news coverage of any given topic or event. Whether you are comparing different coverage of the same topic by more than one news source, tracking coverage of a topic in a single source over a period of time, or following a single news source in order to track popularity of topics, data visualization can help identify and neatly summarize trends and patterns, or

Lesson Plan: Soundscape Narration

Michael O'Brien

Lesson Plans

With audio technology becoming both more advanced and also more affordable, the options for understanding and exploring the ways in which sound and image interact with one another are becoming ever more practically available. Historically, many film directors have been fascinated with the possibilities of different approaches to the use of sound in their work. Famed Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein saw the possibility of a sound-film conflict, one that could create new meanings not inherent to either component individually. French

Lesson Plan: Genre and Music

Kevin Schaeffner

Lesson Plans

In Carolyn Miller’s foundational text in Rhetorical Genre Studies, “Genre as Social Action,” (1984) she asserts the utility in studying “homely discourses.” Examining the quotidian genres we interact with on a daily basis does not “trivialize the study of genres,” Miller states, but it actually “take[s] seriously the rhetoric in which we find ourselves immersed.” This assignment encourages students to take seriously the rhetorical considerations of a non-literary genre that they often encounter: popular music. Music critic and historian David

Sounding Images and Imaging Sound

Justin Hatch

Lesson Plans

Image and code from wired.com Ferdinand Saussure provided a framework and vocabulary that can be applied in composition classrooms to understand the “arbitrary” nature of representational forms including sound and image. He famously gave us the vocabulary of semiotics including the “signifier” and “signified” within a framework that leaves meaning as a function of context. By having students explore image and sound as both signified and signifier, this lesson plan demonstrates for students the complexity of representation and meaning-making when

Lesson Plan: Failure Interviews

Marnie Ritchie

Lesson Plans

Image Public Domain, Flickr The goal of this lesson is for students to interview someone who has failed at something—in a small or large, invisible or spectacular way. Typically, when we conduct interviews, we target experts within a field who can dispense some knowledge for our imagined audience. For this lesson plan, students collapse the hierarchy of knowing-subject-to-unknowing-audience. Failure is often hidden from others; it does not show up in our resumes, and it is difficult to disclose in public