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Digital Rhetoric

Advanced Exposition

Rhetorically, expository writing links to the Ancient Greek practice of ekphrasis, where writers sought to elucidate through the art of depiction. At that time, writing was a newly evolving technology, and it posed distinct problems and possibilities for rhetoricians. Similarly, the advent of digital networks calls into question the ways we define writing and rhetoric today. Mobile and wearable technologies present discrete opportunities and obstacles to distinctions of digital and non-digital spaces. With this ontological shift in mind, this course focuses on digital exposition as a rhetorical act. Through the tradition of exposition, students will define the exigencies facing writers in contemporary media environments by discussing and making digital texts.

Etymologically, exposition has roots in expōnĕre—meaning not only to explain and interpret but also to exhibit and display. Readings will challenge students to consider how digital publishing changes research, composition, and circulation of scholarship. Assignments follow a projectbased learning model. Students will track, collect, and visualize data on the circulation of digital artifacts; use emerging technologies and tools for composition; and describe the impacts that digital technologies have on the rhetorical acts of exposition.

Course Materials

    Open-Access eTexts
  • Digital Rhetoric. Douglas Eyman, (Online at University of Michigan Press), 2015.
  • Writing Spaces: Readings on Writing. Charles Lowe and Pavel Zemliansky (Eds.) Parlor Press, 2010 (Online at Writingspaces.org).
  • Web Writing Style Guide.. Matt Barton, James Kalmbach, and Charles Lowe (Eds.) Parlor Press, 2010 (Online at Writingspaces.org).
  • Daily access to your university email.

Course Outcomes

Content: Students demonstrate competence in the terminology, concepts, theories and methodologies used within rhetorical theory and the digital humanities.

Communication: Students communicate knowledge, ideas and reasoning clearly and effectively across modalities. Students will participate in classdiscussions throughout the semester to reflect on assigned readings.

Critical Thinking: Students analyze information carefully andlogically from multiple perspectives, using discipline-specificmethods, and develop reasoned solutions to problems.

Design: Students work individually and in groups to build, workshop, and usability test rhetorically compelling digital projects.

Research & Write: Students will write across modalities, learning versatile production skills for various contexts and audiences.

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Discussion Posts

Throughout the semester, students write analytical responses to readings, class discussions, or other relevant topics. Through discussion posts, students form networks of interests, conversations, and topics related to course content outside the classroom. Students are required to read and respond to classmates' posts.

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Unit 1: Remix

To understand remix, students produce an expository essay exploring the relationship between a poem and a contemporary advertisement featuring that poem. Students will identify one of the four typologies of transformation from D.W. Edwards’ essay and apply it to their poem and ad. Essays should draw from sources covered in class and additional research to explore the concepts of remix, copyright, and intellectual property.

Students will also produce a 2-3 minute remix video featuring a mashup of a poem and an advertisement.

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Unit 2: Iconographic Tracking

In this unit, we will discuss iconic images and how they circulate.Students will identify an iconic image and write a brief rhetorical analysis of that image. Then, they will will use Zotero to track the circulation of the image using Laurie Gries’ iconographic tracking method. Students will submit a paper describing their research, methodology, and analysis.

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Unit 3/4: Locative Media

The final project will have students contributing to the grant-funded project Ecotour: Using Mobile Technologies to Promote Local Environmental Engagement at Paynes Prairie.Students will research and propose augmentations at the park and will produce content based on this research.

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Discussion Leaders

In groups of three, students will lead a 30 minute discussion of one scheduled reading. Students will compose a group discussion plan which they will submit one week prior to discussion. Discussion plans include definitions of keywords/ideas, a summary of the reading, 10 discussion questions, and multimedia text(music, images, video, ect.) to pair with the reading. Students will individually submit a reflection after the discussion.