Running from 2014-15, Excitable Media pushed the rhetorical limits of social media platforms, researching and practicing inventive uses of these composing technologies. Rather than positioning social media as antithetical to critical thinking and attentive rhetorical practice–as is common in mainstream discourse–members of Excitable Media explored ways that scholars, teachers, and students of rhetoric and writing can use social media to encourage and enact rhetorical and critical reflection. You can check out their work here.
Since its inaugural issue in 2010, TheJUMP has supported growing interest in multimedia composition, including critical reflection on digital literacy practices and their associated pedagogies. The journal puts undergraduates in conversation with established scholars to provide in-depth feedback on their work and promote rhetorical thinking and revision. DWRL staffers serving as co-managing editors of TheJUMP from its founding through 2015. Check out issues and other materials here.
The DWRL’s award-winning visual rhetoric research and publishing project. Viz. ranks among the most widely-read of all publications produced at UT and won the Kairos 2010 John Lovas Memorial Weblog Award. Although it is often referred to as a blog, the project’s scope is much broader than that. It contains a robust body of texts on visual theory and semiotics, multimodal pedagogical materials designed for visual rhetoric instruction, and interviews with important figures in rhetoric and communication who focus on the interdisciplinary field of visual studies.
Over the past decade, video-game players, critics, fans, and creators have integrated games and digital video in a variety of remarkably inventive ways. Video/Games built upon this inventiveness, exploring the ways that digital video can function in tandem with video games in order to advance and contribute to rhetoric and writing pedagogy and scholarship. The videos that Video/Games produced are available on the group’s YouTube channel.
Zeugma is a podcast that investigates the intersections of rhetoric and technology. As of spring 2015, the podcast has run for three seasons. Its 26 episodes feature interviews with rhetoric and composition scholars; forays into the culture of Austin, Texas; and other takes on technology’s relationship to rhetoric and vice versa. You can find out more by visiting the podcast’s website.
Machinic Invention was an explicitly experimental research group that ran 2013-2014. MI was primarily focused on working with Arduino microcontrollers, but the group also did experiments with Raspberry Pis and 3d printing. Throughout the year group members familiarized themselves with these devices and figured how, if at all, they might be mobilized in both scholarship and pedagogy. The group presented their findings at the Compupters and Writing Conference in June 2014.
In 2012-2013, members of the lab’s ebooks group researched the potential utility of ebooks in the DWRL.
The group published their findings in an ebook entitled Digital Writing: Ebooks in the DWRL, which is available via iTunes.
The 2011-12 Audio/Video Research group (AVRG) pursued a range of multimedia projects. In addition to recording and producing video footage of DWRL events, the group collaborated with UT’s University Writing Center to create the WRITE video series.
For more on AVRG’s work, check out this video of their presentation at the DWRL’s 2012 final showcase.
The DWRL’s Immersive Environments (IE) group explored the intersections of pedagogy, gaming, and virtual worlds.
The 2010-11 IE group developed Battle Lines, an alternate reality game for teaching rhetoric, research, and digital literacy skills to undergraduates. The 2011-12 IE group went on to implement Battle Lines in a section of an undergraduate course entitled Writing in Digital Environments, then published their findings in the journal Kairos. “Crossing Battle Lines” won the Kairos award for Best Webtext in 2014.
Engaged Networks researched and sustained the DWRL’s social media presence and developed collaborative relationships with partners outside the lab. The group set out to make popular digital humanities websites more accessible and useful to DWRL members by researching and distilling such sites’ offerings.
Engaged Networks also collaborated with the Voices of Marlin Project, working with Marlin ISD students to developed both traditional and non-traditional teaching tools that could be shared with other teachers.
From 2009-2010, the Geo Everything group explored the relationship between geo-everything and emerging trends in writing. Specifically, the group engaged with recent developments in Google Earth, Google Maps, and other applications; and offered rich opportunities for interactive and collaborative writing. The group further researched how geolocation technologies embedded into mobile devices open up possibilities for undergraduate pedagogy and graduate research.
Originally designed by the Game Design/Virtual Communities Workgroup in what was then called the CWRL, Rhetorical Peaks is a video game designed for first-year rhetoric and writing classes. The game puts its player in the role of a student whose rhetoric professor died mysteriously. The player’s tasks are to explore the town of Rhetorical Peaks, interact with various characters, and gather evidence to be used in a argument about the death of the professor. Rhetorical Peaks is one of our best-documented projects; you can read more about it here and play it here.