Lesson Plan: Analyzing and (Re)Performing Vocality

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 … Read more

Lesson Plan: Soundscape Narration

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. … Read more

Lesson Plan: Genre and Music

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.” … Read more

Sounding Images and Imaging Sound

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. … Read more

Lesson Plan: Failure Interviews

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 … Read more

Lesson Plan: PlayStation VR

This lesson plan is an easy one to conduct: let your students play with the PlayStation 4 VR suite from the DWRL, and then encourage them to talk about the experience! Sounds simple, right? It is! But the scholarship the lesson produces is anything BUT simple. Interacting with this lesson allows students to engage with … Read more

Wearables Lesson Plan: Yelp

This is a picture of the Yelp logo with a symbolic scale in the background indicating the lawsuits against Yelp. The picture is mostly in red, the scale in the background is in black. The letters and the Yelp logo are mostly in white.

Yelp is a virtual marketplace that has been shaping our spatial orientation for many years, since it was founded in 2004 and has increasingly expanded worldwide since 2009. Despite its vast impact on our daily life, its digital rhetoric has hardly been researched and is usually taken for granted without further critical awareness. In a … Read more

Lesson Plan: Filter Bubbles

We constantly consume media — whether television, internet, or radio. According to Pew, a whopping 62% of adults get their news from social media. This is troubling, considering the pervasive filter bubble; depending on our interests, social media and search engines filter their results to match our preferences. Hence the bubble. The Wall Street Journal … Read more