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

Under the Overpass

Growing up in the suburbs of Houston, I didn’t really encounter a lot of people who were homeless. After moving to Austin to begin my academic studies, I became much more exposed to this section of the community’s demographic. It’s almost impossible to walk around without passing by someone who is homeless. Which caused me to question: How do so many people get to the point where they are living without basic necessities of food, water, and shelter?

As a Rhetoric and Writing major, students are required to enroll in at least one course that analyzes digital literacies. When I signed up for Digital Storytelling, I didn’t realize how much that course would truly influence my future academic goals. Our professor gave us one job –– to tell a story using digital media. For a series of assignments, I began interviewing people in Austin who were experiencing homelessness to ultimately have a better understanding of this seemingly overlooked and forgotten issue. Almost a year later, this project has expanded in many ways.

I have since begun researching how homelessness impacts the entire city of Austin in order to address the presence of this issue from a multitude of perspectives. Previously, I attended a public health forum that discussed the conditions at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) and interviewed one of the Mayor’s staff members to discuss Mayor Steve Adler’s plans and initiatives to combat homelessness. Currently, I am in the process of researching the strained relationship between Red River businesses and those seeking assistance at the ARCH, conducting interviews with nonprofits working to end homelessness, and creating a social advocacy group to spread awareness about hostile architectural designs that can appear offensive to individuals within the homeless community. Altogether, these interviews and research have created the podcast titled, Under the Overpass.

Flash Fellowships 2018: Analyzing

A flashbulb filled with magnesium foil,

Flash Fellowships give staffers and assistant instructors in the DWRL the time, techniques, and technical resources they need to accomplish projects related to their own research and scholarship. Assistant instructors and staffers fill out a form that helps them articulate their project’s theoretical and pedagogical rationale, and think through any resources that they’ll need to … Read more

Flash Fellowships 2018: Gathering

A small flashbulb with coiled magnesium filament.

Flash Fellowships give staffers and assistant instructors in the DWRL the time, techniques, and technical resources they need to accomplish projects related to their own research and scholarship. Assistant instructors and staffers fill out a form that helps them articulate their project’s theoretical and pedagogical rationale, and think through any resources that they’ll need to … Read more

Flash Fellowships 2018: Building

A flashbulb with magnesium filament.

Flash Fellowships give staffers and assistant instructors in the DWRL the time, techniques, and technical resources they need to accomplish projects related to their own research and scholarship. Assistant instructors and staffers fill out a form that helps them articulate their project’s theoretical and pedagogical rationale, and think through any resources that they’ll need to … 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

Accessible Data Visualizations

Are you reading this blog post from computer screen or an screen reader? Did you need to adjust the font or text size, screen brightness, or filter the interface through a browser extension or rely on an app like Accessibility to access this information? In her entry on “Access” in Keywords for Disability Studies, Bess Williamson … 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