From the category archives:


Credibility in Video News

by Dr Davis on June 12, 2014

steampunk_archive_icon_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d5jsav0Cummins, R. Glenn and Todd Chambers. “How Production Value Impacts Perceived Technical Quality, Credibility, and Economic Value of Video News.” Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 88.4 (Winter 2011): 737-52.

production value = “technical aspects of content” (Cummins and Chambers 738)

n = 154 people
students, average age of 21
adults, average age of 50 (Cummins and Chambers 742)

The study found that viewers recognized higher production value and found it more credible, but did not see it as being worth paying for (Cummins and Chambers 745).

The authors recognized the potential limitations of the extreme differences in the production values of the texts. “Stories high in production value differed along multiple dimensions: resolution, aspect ratio, audio quality, and shot stability” (Cummins and Chambers 746).

“Student viewers also perceived the content to be less credible compared to adult viewers” (Cummins and Chambers 747). Which means there is hope for our students!


Juxtaposition Thinking

by Dr Davis on June 11, 2014

Rice, Jeff. “Juxtaposition.” The Rhetoric of Cool: Composition Studies and New Media.” Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois UP, 2007. 73-92. Print.

For my notes on chapter 4 from the book, I wrote:

As I was reading the highlights and notes I wrote in the book for this, I kept thinking of the digital presentations my second semester fyc course does. It seemed like juxtaposition would help make those more interesting. I may write about that more later…

Here’s what I was thinking:

I have the students make a list of the kind of images, sounds, and videos they think they will be looking for. I make my own list for a class I will be teaching in a year, just to give me something to do with them on this and to try out things on my own.

I am going to be teaching an Honors Class on Science Fiction and Fantasy (more specific than that, but let’s just go with that). So I wrote this list:

Images of the book covers
Werewolf pictures
Vampire pictures
Juxtaposition of pretty girl with tattoos and a coyote
Lamb necklace image
Scooby van
Scooby gang
Pictures related to wizards
–maybe that film clip from Jurassic Park
giant swords
Asian guy using a Western sword
Glowing swords
Churches (at least one, maybe one and one abandoned—ruins?)
“The Life of the Everyday Housewife” country song—old, who sang?
“this is the life of the everyday housewife, who gave up the good life for me”
nuclear family: father, mother, daughter (teenager)
Louisiana swamp town, bait store
Inside a convenience store type bar
Official government shield (which letter organization?)
Empty/ghost town (but modern)
One “typical” image of a Christian
One iconic image of Christ
Woman in black motorcycle gear—with helmet (or obviously American Indian)
Picture of the Church of Christ with the barbed wire around it

I mostly wrote these in the order they are in. (I did add Elvis later.) I knew I was looking for both images and sounds, so I could have some of both.

I thought of this list based on books. The first 7 are related to Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. The next 7 are related to Jim Butcher’s Dresden Series, especially book 3. The next 7 are related to John Ringo’s Princess of Wands. I didn’t intend to just have 7 for each, but that happened. I wonder if my subconscious thought that was sufficient.

The last 4 are actually related to Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series, which we are not going to read for the colloquium. Why did I add them? Originally her work was in the description for the course and I think that I may actually read a little of the book (the first page) to the students and give an overview of the permutations of faith that are presented in the series.

I have the students create their own lists. Some of these will, I hope, provide juxtapositions of ideas, especially when they are searching for images for them.

More thinking–what next?
How can this list help students/me discover juxtaposition?

Maybe I want to actually put together images from one of the books, what I think of as I read through the book?

Briggs already supplied an interesting juxtaposition of an ancient vampire having a Scooby van. Could I photoshop a vampire into a scene with a Scooby van? There’s an old, not updated mechanic’s shop here in town that I could take pictures of to be Zee and Mercy’s workplace.

Could I find an obviously ex-military, buff business man in a suit? Someone particularly handsome, but a little intimidating? (Only a little.)
Again, this is a juxtaposition Briggs has already created.

Now as I am thinking of these I wonder if that is how Briggs created the books herself. Did she take characters and twist, so they weren’t what you were expecting–as Brandon Sanderson recommends?

Could I find someone who looks like a slightly unkempt, borderline alcoholic in a leather full-length coat? That’s what I think of when I conceive of Butcher’s Harry Dresden. Why do I think that when he works with the police? Because I know he is a rebel and doesn’t fit in. … What else?

Anyway, that’s my list and thinking… What does that do for my students? It gives them a different direction to go. (Is this where the blackbirds and the clothesline from UT come in?–Several years ago I attended a presentation where someone was showcasing student work and they were particularly impressed by the images that accompanied a work on blackbirds, because instead of being images of blackbirds, the images were of clothes on a clothesline blowing in the wind. I thought it was particularly odd to think that those were imminently superior images.)

So students have lists and ideas. They start gathering these up. What does that do for them?

I first put in “housewife.” Instead of what I think of, I see lots of 1950s advertisements and drawings and some fine art nudes. Scrolling down I see a few that look like more what I was thinking about, though they are still mostly from the 1950s. And I note that I easily reject many of the pictures. The few that I like have additions like “Happy Anniversary.” Those won’t work.

I couldn’t find anything. Then I put in “homemaker.” The image I liked was from a home-health-care service, but it was closer to what I was thinking. I couldn’t get it to upload, so I found something else–a bit more discouraging than I had hoped for, but within the realm of realistic. Again it wouldn’t upload. I wonder why I am so set on this (housewife/homemaker) and I realize it is because I want to juxtapose it with vampires and werewolves.

So now I’m frustrated and I am wondering how my students will feel with this. Are they going to come to the digital presentation with firm ideas, if they write a list first? When they can’t find them, how will they feel?


Assessing Multimedia Rhetoric

by Dr Davis on June 10, 2014

steampunk_archive_icon_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d5jsav0Ball, Cheryl E. “Assessing Scholarly Multimedia: A Rhetorical Studies Approach.” Technical Communication Quarterly 21 (2012): 61-77.

“[F]orm and content are inseparable in authors’ scholarly multimedia” (Ball 61).

“Based on my editorial experience with Kairos, I teach students at Illinois State University to read, analyze, and assess authors’ schol- arly multimedia projects as well as to propose, compose, revise, and peer review their own webtexts, which they can submit to peer-reviewed venues such as Kairos, C&C Online, X=Changes, and The JUMP (Journal for Undergraduate Multimedia Projects)” (Ball 61).

Ball says that even though she coined the term “new media scholarship” (61), she is using “scholarly multimedia” to refer to multimodal scholarly presentations (62).

What is scholarly multimedia?

Scholarly multimedia are article- or book-length, digital pieces of scholarship designed using multimodal elements to enact authors’ arguments. They incorporate interactivity, digital media, and different argumentation strategies, such as visual juxtaposition and associational logic (see Purdy & Walker, in press), and are typically published in online, peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Kairos, C&C Online, Vectors) and presses (e.g., Computers and Composition Digital Press). Scholarly multimedia cannot be printed and still retain the author’s argument because such texts are composed of Web pages with links, animations, images, audio, video, scripting languages, databases, and other multimedia and interactive elements, including but not limited to written text. (Ball 62)

“As Kress (2010) has said, ‘Design is the servant of rhetoric—or, to put it differently: the political and social interests of the rhetor are the generative origin and shaping influence for the semiotic arrangements of the designer’ (p. 50)” (qtd in Ball 63).

Reading assignment:

This particular set of criteria has proven invaluable to my students, who have taken it up with unabashed enthusiasm after reading Kuhn’s (2008) webtext, which is one of the first webtexts that I usually ask students to analyze using the four parameters embedded within it. Students used these parameters to analyze existing, successful (already published) webtexts from the venues they are interested in submitting to, as well as non-peer-reviewed venues that publish digital media texts they liked, such as music videos on YouTube. (Ball 66)

Main assignment = webtext aimed at an academic audience, as if they would be submitting to journals such as Kairos (63)

In Ball’s class they discuss “the rhetorical, technological, ideological, institutional, professional, social, and other issues that arise” (64) when composing such a text.

“all developmental writers in the sense that they are not yet confident or do not yet have expert technological, multimodal, or rhetorical abilities” (Ball 64).

The cumulative assignments for the webtext project can include the following:
reading responses to published webtexts?
values-based analysis of digital media texts and webtexts?
audience and venue analyses?
genre analyses of webtexts?
review presentations of technologies available for composing webtexts
project pitches?
proposals to flesh out the project idea?
storyboards and scripts?
workable or rough drafts?
peer review of classmates’ rough drafts?
annotated versions of peer-review letters?
completed webtexts (Ball 64)

“the values-based analysis guides most of the assessment practices” (Ball 64)

“strike a balance between convention and innovation, even as the line between image and text, between orality and literacy, between art and critique and, indeed, between scholarship and pedagogy” (Kuhn, qtd in Ball 65)

Ball gives her students three different heuristics. Then she asked students to choose. They basically took Kuhn’s four and added two, so they called it Kuhn+2 (68).

Storyboard by Kelly Lawless, WC CC3

Storyboard by Kelly Lawless, WC CC3

Ball says that whatever medium students to begin to compose with will be the main medium, so they should not be using MSWord (72).
Perhaps mindmapping? It is still words, but more visual.
Instead of a script, she requires a storyboard (Ball 73).

Ball discusses a student’s work that was published in TechnoCulture: An Online Journal of Technology in Society (72-74).

Ball gives only one grade (participation) based on whether or not all the work was done on time and excellently (74).

Ball made “revise and resubmit” the standard for work within the classroom (75), a particularly apt plan for rhetoric and composition coursework.

Related Readings:
Susan Delagrange. Wunderkammer, Cornell, and the Visual Canon of Arrangement. Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy 13.2 (2009).
Bob Broad. What We Really Value: Beyond Rubrics in Teaching and Assessing Writing. Logan, UT: Utah State U, 2003.



Defining Visual Rhetorics: Rhetoric of Advertising

by Dr Davis on June 9, 2014

steampunk_archive_icon_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d5jsav0Hope, Diane S. “Gendered Environments: Gender and the Natural World in the Rhetoric of Advertising.” Defining Visual Rhetorics. Eds. Charles A. Hill and Marguerite Helmers. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004. 3125-3595. Ebook.

First, I want to say that Hope included NO statistical, quantitative data, even though her topic seemed to be screaming for this type of information.

Second, once again a section of the kindle book was repeated.

Third, leaving aside the point above, it seemed that Hope repeated herself a lot.

“Advertising endorses and legitimates consumerism” (Hope 3130 of 6169).

“[A]dvertising constitutes a dominant genre of visual rhetoric” (Hope 3132 of 6169).

Advertising is “separate promotions that collectively celebrate the righteousness of the consumer ethic” (Hope 3135 of 6169).

Advertising “depends on strategies of identification” (Hope 3135 of 6169).

Triscuit_1903_Advertisement WC pdIconographic images of nature form advertising’s “rhetoric of gender identification”(Hope 3137 of 6169).

Gendered rhetorics “contextualize fantasies of social role, power, status, and security as well as sexual attractiveness” (Hope 3148 of 6169).

“Advertisements that combine images of nature with narratives of gender offer … visualizations that cloak the impact of consumption…” (Hope 3156 of 6169).

“[A] rhetoric of gendered environments affirms two traditional ideologies at once: belief in distinct gender attributes as essential to sexual identity, and belief in an infinite, unchanging natural world” (Hope 3159 of 6169).
I would say that the gendered environments in advertising of which she writes may affirm that, but I am not sure a simple gendered environment does.

“[F]eminine passivity and masculine conquest are transferred to the earth” (Hope 3159 of 6169).

“rhetorical powers of music, narration, dialogue and motion” (Hope 3166 of 6169).
I liked that Hope recognized that sound/audio was important to television and internet ads–and important enough to differentiate between two types of sound used there.

“The masculine figure acts upon an awesome environment–literally shaping it to his control, while nature feminized is a seductive object of our gaze (Berger; Butler)” (Hope 3163 of 6169).

“[A]dvertising’s feminized environment is the action story of nature as passive–seductive woman, woman as fertile nature. … images are exotic and lush with icons of fertility and female sexuality” (Hope 3186 of 6169).

“signs of femininity and signs of exotic nature are frequently fused” (Hope 3216 of 6169).

“fruits, birds, butterflies, sunsets and moonlight” (Hope 3231 of 6169).
(may have) a woman’s image (Hope 3231 of 6169)
“Color palettes reflect the shades of the tropics” (Hope 3234 of 6169).
“Image focus is often soft” (Hope 3234 of 6169).
“no environmental problems” (Hope 3270 of 6169).
“Advertisements of feminized environments frequently appropriate the same stock images used by environmental organizations” (Hope 3307 of 6169).

“‘pristine’ wilderness” (Hope 3236 of 6169)
“place of action, risk, individualism and challenge for male prowess” (Hope 3236 of 6169)
“countless images of red rocks, canyons, deserts and sky” (Hope 3239 of 6169)
“[T]he male figure acts upon his environment…” (Hope 3248 of 6169).
“No one is seen working. Leisure, isolation and adventure mark the masculinized environment” (Hope 3258 of 6169).
Are they seen working in feminized ads?
“Nature is the object of conquest or background for demonstration of power” (Hope 3267 of 6169).
colors: “reds, browns, blues and whites of the west” (Hope 3270 of 6169)
“no environmental problems” (Hope 3270 of 6169)
“As realized in North America, the sublime is the genesis of a particularly American mythology of land, power and masculinity” (Hope 3330 of 6169).
“vastness of the land, explored, colonized, and imaged, was inseparable from capital and power” (Hope 3332 of 6169)

Appropriated iconography is the basic strategy of pictorial advertising” (Hope 3280 of 6169).

She talks about the “collective impact” (Hope 3343 of 6169).

She also says there is “an increasingly competitive production of visual symbols to the ‘cluttered landscape’ of advertising” (Goldman and Papson qtd in Hope 3349 of 6169).

“It is in their aggregate impact that advertising’s rhetorical force is experienced” (Hope 3370 of 6169).

“In the aggregate, the folklore of advertising’s gendered environments provides a fable of the natural world constrained only by essentialist gender identities” (Hope 3373 of 6169).

“[G]ender and nature remain static in constructions of reality negotiated in long-ago eras of human relationship to each other and to the land” (Hope 3470 of 6169).

She says that exceptions to her discussion of genderized environments are “offbeat” (Hope 3485 of 6169).

computer and glassesRelated Readings:
Goldman and Papson’s 1996 Sign Wars: The Cluttered Landscape of Advertising”


Defining Visual Rhetorics: Political Image Making

by Dr Davis on June 8, 2014

steampunk_archive_icon_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d5jsav0Strachan, J. Cherie and Kathleen E. Kendall. “Political Candidates’ Convention in Films: Finding the Perfect Image–An Overview of Political Image Making.” Defining Visual Rhetorics. Eds. Charles A. Hill and Marguerite Helmers. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004. 2712-3125 of 6169. Ebook.

political image refers to a carefully constructed condensation of all the attributes a candidate wants to convey to the voters into easily recalled, visual and verbal symbols” (Strachan and Kendall 2715 of 6169).

“[I]mages are often intended to symbolize far more than the candidates’ most attractive traits” (Strachan and Kendall 2715 of 61669), but also add mythical standing. “In these symbolic representations, the identity of the candidate and the nation are merged” (Strachan and Kendall 2726 of 6169).

“The emotional appeal of these images to patriotic values encourages unquestioned acceptance” (Strachan and Kendall 2734 of 6169).

“{W]ith advances in communication technology, the use of visual rhetoric has expanded as visual symbols that construct meaning can be readily conveyed to a mass audience” (Strachan and Kendall 2747 of 6169); thus politicians “are increasingly apt to use powerful visual symbols” (Strachan and Kendall 2750 of 6169).

They state that “a new rhetorical genre emerges” (Strachan and Kendall 2755 of 6169).

Photo of Eisenhower WC pdCompares Eisenhower and Stevenson films 2771-2785. Then looks at multiple convention films:
Reagan’s film 2785-2802,
Clinton’s 2829-2857,
Gore’s 2857-3011–including using schema theory,
and Bush’s 3011-3080.

Patterns of convention films:
1. a narrative style w/ archetypal images (2816 of 6169) and women shown in traditional roles (2818 of 6169),
2. play on themes of the American Dream (2821 of 6169),
3. “introduce a candidate’s vision for the future” (2824 of 6169),
4. Republicans use it better than Democrats (2827 of 6169)

Schema theory:
“people abstract information from their personal or vicarious experiences to create mental constructs that organize information about situations and individuals” (Strachan and Kendall 2954 of 6169).

“experiences used to develop these expectations and judgments [that people have and make] are not treated equally” (Strachan and Kendall 2967 of 6169).

“perceptual experiences have a more dramatic, lasting impact than being told even the most vivid story” (Strachan and Kendall 2972 of 6169).

They say television is persuasive because it combines visual and auditory (Strachan and Kendall 2978 of 6169).

“[W]hen people are exposed to information that contradicts existing judgments, they often reject it” (Strachan and Kendall 2986 of 6169).

Explaining why Gore’s film was unsuccessful, they say that “a convention film introduces and image that the candidate will be capable of conveying throughout the duration of the campaign” (Strachan and Kendall 2997 of 6169), but that the film’s focus on Gore as warm was not an image that Gore could project.

They mention that Bush’s convention film used “surging music and emotional visual clues” (Strachan and Kendall 3019 of 6169).

In the film, Bush “turns to speak to the audience, creating the feeling that each viewer is part of the scene” (Strachan and Kendall 3021 of 6169).

“facial closeups are ‘exceptionally powerful in attracting and holding the viewers’ attention.’ They also stir emotions and produce ‘feelings of positive or negative identification…’” (Graber 168 qtd in Strachan and Kendall 3024 of 6169).

Bush’s film “exalts the core value of a Texas cowboy, of a rugged individualist–the value of individual responsibility tempered with compassion” (Strachan and Kendall 3052 of 6169).

Bush’s convention film “celebrates values through emotional appeals, using pictures not only to document verbal assertions, but to construct independent meaning” (Strachan and Kendall 3078 of 6169).

Convention films not accepted unreservedly (Strachan and Kendall 3094 of 6169).
Emotional responses short-circuit critical responses. (Strachan and Kendall 3097 of 6169).

computer and glasses closerRelated Readings:
Doris Graber’s Processing the News: How People Tame the Information Tide.”

Joanne Morreale’s A New Beginning: A Textual Frame Analysis of the Political Campaign.



Defining Visual Rhetorics: Film Rhetoric

by Dr Davis on June 7, 2014

steampunk_archive_icon_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d5jsav0Blakesley, David. “Defining Film Rhetoric: The Case of Hitchcock’s Vertigo. Defining Visual Rhetorics. Eds. Charles A. Hill and Marguerite Helmers. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2004. 2270-2710 of 6169. Ebook.

Hitchcock “drew our attention to the power of the visual as an appeal to the audience’s desire and as a means of interrogating identification” (Blakesley 2274 of 6169).

“visual became more than just the primary medium or technique of cinema’s appeal, but additionally, and in modernist-fashion, cinema’s contested subject” (Blakesley 2279 of 6169).

Blakesley wrote that the end of the 20th century saw a desire to understand the “function of the image in its own right as well as the inter animation of the visual and the verbal in our means of (re)presentation” (Blakesley 2282 of 6169).

Films, such as The English Patient, The Matrix, and Memento, “that self-consciously contest the relationships among realism and identity make excellent subjects for the study of film rhetoric and thus for understanding the verbal and visual ingredients of identification” (Blakesley 2288 of 6169).

Blakesley said there was a “rhetorical or linguistic turn” in the 80s and a “visual turn” in the 90s (Blakesley 2290 of 6169).

“[V]erbal is [fundamentally] implicated in epistemology” (Blakesley 2290 of 6169).

“[T]he visual turn simply asserts that symbolic action entails visual representation in the inseparable and complex verbal, visual, and perceptual acts of making meaning” (Blakesley 2293 of 6169).

“interplay between visuality, apparatus, institutions, discourse, bodies, and figurality” (Blakesley 2300 of 6169).

Blakesley defines spectatorship as “the look, the gaze, the glance, the practices of observation, surveillance, and visual pleasure” (Blakesley 2303 of 6169).

The visual “might not be fully explicable on the model of textuality” (Blakesley 2303 of 6169).

Blakesley identifies his conclusion as discussing the “visual component of identification” and “how film rhetoric elaborates and exploits visual ambiguity to foster identification” (Blakesley 2308 of 6169).

describes 4 approaches to film rhetoric, saying they “share interests in identification and persuasion” but that they “reveal substantial disagreement about the nature of film rhetoric or about whether rhetoric itself is any more than a means of textual analysis” (Blakesley 2310 of 6169). He also cites himself in the introduction of the collection The Terministic Screen: Rhetorical Perspectives on Film.

The four approaches are film language, film ideology, film interpretation, and film identification.

Blakesley quotes Benson defines rhetoric “as the study of symbolic inducement” (qtd in Blakesley 2313 of 6169).

Examines Vertigo using identification as rhetoric’s key term (Blakesley 2329 of 6169).

Mentions Christian Metz’s work which attempted “to develop a sign system for film spectatorship” and his concept of “the mirror stage–the moment of self-recognition and distinction that marks the immersion into language” (Blakesley 2334 of 6169). Metz then ties this to “the imaginary (the realm of secondary identification)” (Blakesley 2327 of 6169).

If film can be approached as a language, then “there is a grammar of visual signs that operates predictably and that can be used to generate an infinite variety of meanings” (Blakesley 2339 of 6169).

“In the realm of the textual or the visual, the ideological apparatus has a determinative influence on what is read or seen at the moment of perception” (Blakesley 2347 of 6169).

“[T]he medium of the visual functions ideologically as well” (Blakesley 2350 of 6169).

Visual composition functions rhetorically” as “[t]he rhetorical operates at the moment of choice or neglect” (Blakesley 2353 of 6169).

“Metz helps us understand more fully the visual nature of identification” (Blakesley 2361 of 6169).

Identification rhetoric “manifest[s] as a desire for orientation” (Blakesley 2410 of 6169).

Hitchcock's_cameo_appearances._Vertigo btw 1923 and 1977 wout copyright notice WC pdHe then begins his discussion of Vertigo.

Modleski argues “Hitchcock allows that perspective to shift in unexpected but prominent ways and thus suggests the plasticity of identification” (Blakesley 2515 of 6169).

“identification and division are ambiguously contemporaneous” (Blakesley 2536 of 6169).

“Whether the means are verbal or visual, the rhetorical act involves imagining that such identity is possible and that its effects are real” (Blakesley 2539 of 6169).

“Identification is inherently an action-together of subject-object” (Blakesley 2554 of 6169).

At 2628 of 6169, Blakesley begins to speak specifically on visual rhetoric and identification.

“[T]he visual functions as an appeal” (Blakesley 2641 of 6169).

“rhetoric that elaborates and exploits visual ambiguity to foster identification” (Blakesley 2644 of 6169).

computer and glassesRelated Readings:
J. T. Mitchell’s Picture Theory: Essays on Verbal and Visual Representation

Blakesley’s edited collection The Terministic Screen: Rhetorical Perspectives on Film, specifically his introduction.

Tania Modleski’s The Women Who Knew Too Much


Digital Scholarship in T&P

by Dr Davis on June 6, 2014

steampunk_archive_icon_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d5jsav0Cheverie, Joan F., Jennifer Boettcher, and John Buschman. “Digital Scholarship in the University Tenure and Promotion Process: A Report on the Sixth Scholarly Communication Symposium at the Georgetown University Library.” Journal of Scholarly Publishing April 2009: 219-30. Web. 7 May 2012.

“the language used implies that digital scholarship is of significantly lesser value” (220)

“[W]hen scholarly communication depended on the physical movement of information, we dealt with information scarcity. Now, the digital movement of information has resulted in information abundance, causing a radical shift in how authority, significance, and even scholarly validity are established…” (223)

“What authority means is crucial…” (224)

“[W]hat does expertise mean, and how do we organize labour in these projects? Smith argued that human creativity must be put back at the centre” (224).

“Petrick [history professor at George Mason U] sees three issues for scholarship in the digital humanities: the ethos of traditional humanities scholarship, contrasted with the ethos of digital humanities scholarship; the ethos of parceling out credit (to whom and how much?); and the ethos of peer review –who will review, what criteria should be used, and what experience should the reviewer possess?” (224).

“Visual elements—design, images, colour, and proximity—are the guideposts in understanding that [digital] scholarly work” (224).

“Aesthetic design, that is, the visual look and feel and auditory components, is as important as the information design and architecture” (225).

wordpress-icon“[T]he humanities professions have not themselves provided blogs, wikis, and how-to sites for the new or young researcher who has (or wishes to acquire) the visual, content, and engineering skills to do such work, despite the inherent sharing mechanisms of networked scholarship” (226).


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CFP: Rhetoric in Victorian Sciences

by Dr Davis on June 5, 2014

The journal Critical Survey seeks submissions of completed 4000-5000 word articles exploring literary engagements with Victorian sciences. From Darwin, to physiology, to pre-Freudian psychology, to engineering and technology, and beyond, Victorian Britain experienced rapid change – but often seemed ambivalent about whether, as Robert Browning’s Andrea del Sarto puts it, “man’s reach should exceed his grasp.” This peer-reviewed, special issue of Critical Survey will explore the relationship between literature (all genres and forms acceptable) and science in Victorian Britain through:

rhetorical analysis of Victorian scientific texts (i.e. Darwin’s Plots)
examinations of science in Victorian critical discourses about literature (i.e. The Physiology of the Novel)
Victorian literary representations of science
historically invested deployments of more recent, scientifically-minded critical trends (i.e. affect theories, cognitive theories, etc.)
other interactions between science and literature relevant to Victorian studies

Scientific topics may include, but are not limited to: biology, physiology, anatomy, chemistry, physics, psychology, sociology, techniques of classification, technological developments.

Please send inquiries and completed 4000-5000 word essays to Peter Katz at [email protected] Articles are due by 1 October 2014, with the intent to publish in the first half of 2015.

From H-Net

This looks like it might be fun AND relevant to at least two of my myriad of interests.


CFP: Serendipity in Rhetoric Research

by Dr Davis on June 5, 2014

This CFP sounds particularly interesting to me, though right off hand I cannot think of anything I could contribute.

Peter Goggin & Maureen Daly Goggin, Arizona State University
[email protected]; [email protected]

Call for Chapter Proposals
Serendipity in Rhetoric, Writing, and Literacy Research
Maureen Daly Goggin and Peter N. Goggin, editors

Dans les champs de l’observation le hasard ne favorise que les esprits préparés.1
–Louis Pasteur (1854)

On December 7, 1854 at a lecture at the University of Lille, Louis Pasteur pointed out that “in the fields of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind.” This edited collection, Serendipity in Rhetoric, Writing, and Literacy Research, takes up two terms from Pasteur: “chance” as serendipity and “prepared mind” as the kinds of work a researcher needs to have done in order to recognize a serendipitous discovery. We invite proposals for essays from scholars and researchers that narrate a serendipitous time they experienced during a research project.

In describing her research project on Dr. Mary Bennett Ritter (1860-1949), Gesa Kirsch notes that it “helps to have serendipity on one’s side, but that, of course, is not something one can arrange purposefully, although I am convinced one can be open to the possibility” (20).2 We also believe that serendipity plays a role in lots of research but only when scholars are open to the possibility of chance discoveries and only if they have done enough research work to recognize those chance discoveries. Students, thus, need to be taught the hows and whys of doing thorough research in order to prepare them for those serendipitous instances. They need to learn how to review the scholarly literature so that they understand that scholars participate in an ongoing “unending conversation,” to use Kenneth Burke’s metaphor.3 Students also need grounded, sound, and tested research strategies to gather data, to ponder them, to rearrange and rethink them, to generate more questions about their project, and so on. The goal of this collection is to help students understand a variety of research practices and the reasons for staying open and “suspending belief” during a scholarly project as Alton Becker has argued. 4

We imagine Serendipity in Rhetoric, Writing, and Literacy Research as a powerful companion to the robust collection Beyond the Archives: Research as a Lived Process (2008) edited by Gesa E. Kirsch and Liz Rohan. While the latter presents tantalizing scenarios of how various researchers came to define a research project, Serendipity will present scenarios of serendipitous moments that can occur anytime during a scholarly project.

We look forward to proposals from a variety of disciplines as we want to present projects from multiple theoretical frames and methodologies that have benefitted from serendipitous moments, including, but not limited to, archival, oral histories, ethnographies, case studies, feminist practices, field work, theoretical work, qualitative and quantitative research, and rhetorical and discourse analysis. Essays will run between seven to twelve pages.

Please send as electronic attachments your 300-word proposal and a CV in MS-word or RTF format to Peter Goggin at [email protected] and Maureen Daly Goggin [email protected] by August 1, 2014.

1 “In the fields of observation, chance favors only the prepared mind.” Pasteur, Louis. “Inaugural Lecturer, University of Lille, Douai, France, December 7, 1854.” A Treasury of the World’s Great Speeches. Ed. Houston Peterson. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1954. 473.

2 Kirsch, Gesa E. “Being on Location: Serendipity, Place, and Archival Research.” Beyond the Archives: Research as a Lived Process. Eds. Gesa El. Kirsch and Liz Rohan. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2008. 3 Burke, Kenneth. The Philosophy of Literary Form: Studies in Symbolic Action 3rd ed. 1941. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1973. 20-27.

4 Becker, Alton. “A Pikean Way of Thinking.” Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. 25 September 1997.

From UPenn


Digital Scholarship

by Dr Davis on June 5, 2014

steampunk_archive_icon_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d5jsav0Friedberg, Anne. “On Digital Scholarship.” Cinema Journal 48.2 (Winter 2009): 150-54.

“we are now able to write with the very images and sounds that we have heen analyzing [italics in the original]” (Friedberg 150).

“one thin slice of digital scholarship’s thick potential: the translation of writing and reading to digital format, the material specificities of the paper-based book, and the potentials and liabilities of its translation to digital form” (Friedberg 151).

“The computer screen is both a “page” and a “window,” at once opaque and transparent; it commands a new posture for the practice of writing and reading—one that requires looking into the computer page as if through the frame of a window. And that window is simultaneously a scroll, a codex, a mechanically copied and mass-reproduced text” (Friedberg 151).

Note: She is talking about writing on the Kindle, so …

“[I]n the present—let us call it Writing in the Digital 2.0—we rely on new tools of access and creation for new forms of scholarship: composing with moving images, with sounds, with hyperlinks, and with online connectivity. Scholarship that is “born digital,” its digital form not a supplement or a translation but part and parcel from inception…” (Friedberg 152).

“As a book writer, I was stuck in that ekphrastic mode of having to describe images—still and moving—in language and with only limited illustration” (Friedberg 152).

“the creative and conceptual design skills necessary for Writing in the Digital may naturally select those who will venture to become adept scholar- practitioners—the learning curve with multimedia authoring tools like Macromedia Director and Flash, Adobe Illustrator is steep” (Friedberg 153).