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Reading Notes: 4/16

Reading Assignment:     Electronic  Journals


Computers and Composition Online




Some Thoughts:

When I first read that we would be looking at online journals, I thought I knew what I would find. I thought that I would be looking at digital versions of print journals. It was eye-opening to discover that these particular journals include so much more than just print articles online.

It was interesting to work through Technologies of Wonder by Delagrange around the same time I was looking through the journals. She advocates for the exact thing that I saw in the journals: the visual, non-linear, non-print based product made with technology. Delagrange argues that New Media scholars must not only write about technology, but they must also work with technology. They must produce something and be fluent in the creation of digital objects. Scholars must also make use of the digital platform, which has the power to make different rhetorical points than print alone.

For example, in "Television and the Yuletide Cult" by Ernest Mathijs published in Flow, the author utilizes embedded video and images that color the argument in ways that merely describing the films would not.

Screen Shot from "Television and the Yuletide Cult"
But perhaps even more to Delagrange's point is the following multi-modal presentation by Daniel Anderson published in Kairos. Unlike the article above, this presentation has no print equivalent. It is a highly visual experience. As Delagrange notes, these kinds of products emphasize the process over the finished publishable "Paper." It involves the body and allows the viewer to move through with a sense of wonder, letting the information wash over the body as opposed to digesting it through reading it in a linear form.

It comes down to the key concept of interactivity on many levels. The electronic journals allows more interactivity through greater access. They are not holed up in a library, or digitally secreted behind a library page log-in like JSTOR articles. The visual forms, the ability to link out to follow other thoughts as they occur to the viewer, not necessarily intended connections by the writer, create an interactive experience.

I am reminded of advice a fiction workshop teacher once gave me. She told me that I needed to leave the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. I shouldn't try so hard to tell them what I wanted them to think about the characters or events. It strikes me that these journals allow for the viewer/reader to follow his or her own path through the material. They are like Wunderkammers where we are free to physically occupy a space and pay attention to whatever captures our interest and sense of wonder.

I am left to ask myself how can I produce something for publication that is not print-based? It is a challenge both in my relative novice abilities in technology and in my creative ability to think it up. Do I have the kind of mind that can produce something like the Anderson presentation? I have serious doubts. I think in linear ways. I prefer the outline to the concept map (although I had a lot of fun making that poplet for the research project...). Maybe this is just the beginnings of my own paradigm shift. The digital work will only continue to grow in importance to scholarship, and I either get on the wagon now or be truly left in the dust.

It's a brave new world out there. I think I'll go join it.

Delagrange Presentation

_NP2G8 on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

Reading Notes: 4/9

Assignment #1: New Books Project
  • Delagrange, Susan H., Technologies of Wonder: Rhetorical Practice in a Digital World. Logan, UT: Utah State UP/Computers and Composition Digital Press, 2011. Web.
I finished chapters 3-5 this week. I was assigned this text somewhat by default, but I am really pleased with the content. Susan Delagrange has inspired me on many levels. First, she earned her PhD in 2005 after spending thirty five years as a Writing Center Director and earning her MA in 1971. After three decades of working in the discipline, she returned to school to earn a terminal degree and transition to scholarship on New Media. Talk about the non-traditional student. For someone like me, about a decade behind many of my peers, Dr. Delagrange proves that the length of one's education bears no weight on the quality of the person's intellect. She embodies the notion that we should never stop learning, and we can always make tremendous contributions no matter what road we take professionally and personally. As many of us who have children can understand, the work/life balance can sometimes cause our educational and professional paths to move more slowly, but Delagrange is proof that reaching the goal with speed is not what is important. Reaching the goal is.

I am also incredible inspired by Delagrange's approach to New Media studies that includes principles of feminism and with incredible attention placed on the role of wonder and inspiration.

Susan Delagrange argues four main points in her book.
  1. Approaching New Media studies with principles of feminism allows for issues of inclusion, heteroglossia (many voices), and embodiment to be raised, which she argues are integral to moving the discipline forward.
  2. Visual media and visually-driven digital objects should be granted the same privilege as print-based linear work in scholarship. With her background as a Writing Center Director, Delagrange argues that we need to teach and encourage more visual media production in the composition classroom as one way to destabilize the binary opposition between visual and text.
  3. Our sense of wonder should drive New Media scholarship as a point of inquiry, and wonder should allow us to focus more on the process of learning as opposed to a learning product, thus creating a modern day Wunderkammer (wonder-room).
  4. New Media scholars must not only focus on the critique of media objects, but must move toward a greater ability and desire to construct digital media objects. She advocates for more production-as-work and for more research into production theory.
Delagrange has contributed three important points to the field in this her first book because she calls for change, which is one of the most important roles for a scholar to play.
  • The first change is for the discipline as a whole to reconsider the usefulness of visual rhetoric. The construction of knowledge visually is a powerful and embodied practice with the ability to convey information in ways that text alone cannot - a space in which one can make his or her own connections and guide his or her own learning. This is the idea of the Wunderkammer and something I hope we each keep in mind next time we are faced with making something.
  • The second change is for the tenets of feminism to be applied to the discipline as an established theoretical stance for discussing disenfranchisement of women and other groups from Media Studies, for incorporating multiple subjects' perspectives in the creation and analysis of media projects, and the egalitarianism needed to equate visual with textual forms.
  • The last change is in scholars and critics working in the field of New Media to abandon the solely negative analyses that pick apart a product for its flaws and instead to follow their own senses of wonder in the creation and building of digital products. She calls for a discipline "in which we and our students become active producers rather than passive consumers of visual digital rhetoric...that results in more generous, thoughtful rhetorical action" (19).
Perhaps because she comes from a pedagogical background, the themes in the book have clear applications within the discipline in terms of scholarship and pedagogy. 
  • First, the value in Delagrange's work is most readily helpful as an approach to production. The word production itself invites the image of a finished product. However, Delagrange and her wonder-driven inquiry suggests that, much like our Individual Research Projects, the value in production is the working process. The explorations and tutorials and reflections and analyses are all part of that exploration and as important as reaching a finished conclusion. She urges each of us to let the curiosity guide us in the projects we choose, the decisions about what form in which we choose to present our knowledge, and the way in which we experience the scholarship of others.
  • Second, be liberated. Emancipate yourself from the traditional forms you have been taught. Push the envelope on presentation and engage the non-linear, visual nature of the Wunderkammer. Create your own wonder rooms where embodied connections can be made.
  • Third, there is value in this book if you are a teacher of composition and seeking help with how to produce your curriculum. There are specific details about pedagogical strategies that incorporate the visual and digital possibilities such as a photo essay requiring research of both primary and secondary sources. The students were able to make presentations using Power Point or video.
I have really responded to the idea of the Wunderkammer - a space where free associations can be made and the objects within are connected by the collector's own sense of wonder. It is truly the theory behind how I came to study the Underground Press; it was a project that continues to be driven by my interest, passion, and sense of wonder that are engaged by the topic.

I also took her words about the role of the visual in scholarship and that the visual creations can create meaning in ways that text alone cannot. In order to make my plan for the Individual Research Project, I decided to return to the Popplet site I used for my mindmap. The visual representation shows flow of ideas and connections between the various tasks in a way that a textual narrative of my plans and experiences would not, or at least be a bulky and lengthy attempt. Placing the ideas in a non-linear space allows for a new perspective that can lead to new ideas.

I think I will continue to be inspired and drawn to Delagrange's ideas about creating an embodied space for interacting with information through the visual, to incorporate a feminist perspective, to be fearless  in production despite the anxiety, focus on quality processes rather than quality products, and to allow my wonder to drive my work.

I want to create my own physical Wunderkammer, perhaps convert a bookshelf to a space from which inspiration and wonder can be drawn, where association otherwise not apparent can be stimulated by the embodied experience.

Reading Notes: 4/2

Assignment #1: New Books Project
  • Delagrange, Susan H., Technologies of Wonder: Rhetorical Practice in a Digital World. Logan, UT: Utah State UP/Computers and Composition Digital Press, 2011. Web.

Chapter Two: (Re)Vision & Remediation

Academic Representation & Digital Media:
"Bolter and Grusin (2000) describe an underlying tension between hypermediacy and immediacy, between opacity and transparency; and this tension often becomes explicit when digital media scholars attempt to give an account of their professional lives, but find themselves stuck between the felt need to observe the conventions of traditional curriculum vitae and institutional websites, and the desire to foreground their embodied, multimodal digital work and hypermediated digital selves." (29)
This opening comment resonates with me. It reminds me of our class discussions between the traditional forms of scholarship and the products of digital and New Media studies. The older forms seem to be privileged, but as more New Media courses are demanded by the students and the work place, I think it will slowly change.
"It becomes obvious that changing the medium changes the message, and therefore content cannot be understood except in relation to its form, its material substrate." (32).

I think that Delagrange hits on another point of class discussion, and that is the idea that in order to fully understand digital media (the message), one must be able to understand the technology that created it (the medium). It has become increasingly more apparent that the ability to use technology is not enough to evaluate it. One must also have a working knowledge.


"Techné is a "making," a productive oscillation between knowledge in the head and knowledge in the hand" (35).
For Delagrange, this section of the chapter can easily be connected with the idea of proairesis. Technology or "techne" must be understood as not just knowledge of using it (in the head), but also knowledge in the production and creation of it (in the hand). A clear picture of Delgrange's attitude toward New Media is emerging as one of advocating for greater incorporation in the traditional forms of scholarship, professional representation, and the knowledge/praxis binary.

Her focus on the idea of techne as production is relevant to the definitions of digital literacy or digital fluency, which not only emphasize a person's ability to use technology but also to create it. The graphic below demonstrates this difference. A digitally literate person may be able to produce something of a very basic nature, but not equal to what the person knows is possible based on other examples he or she has seen. The digitally fluent person is able to create something that matches what he or she knows is possible; it connotes a level of mastery or expertise that the literate person lacks.

Image from the blog SociaLens


"Techne is enabled by wonder, an attitude toward the world and our experience of it that both predisposes us to be amazed and prepares us to desire to learn more about the source of our amazement" (40).

This is my favorite part of the book so far. Delagrange writes eloquently about the role of wonder in our drive to learn about technology. We should not discount those initial moments of amazement when viewing a piece of technology, and we should use that amazement to drive us to ask questions about how it came to be. In my project, I was so inspired by the database of Great Speckled Bird that the wonder I experienced is driving my desire to recreate something similar. It's an exciting way to think about approaching knowledge - for the wonder!

The following presentation connects digital literacy to passion, which is another way of saying techne and wonder. This connection has been asserted in pedagogy before, but is emerging as a powerful strategy for approaching digital learning.

"[Ours is a] discipline that vigorously critiques visual products while at the same time may engage in uncritical digital visual production, or no visual production at all. We need instead a more constructive conversation between theory and practice that restores authority and integrity to embodied visual texts, tempers the overemphasis of cultural critiques on the negative aspects of visual representation, and provokes a theoretical grounding for production of embodied visual rhetoric with our students and in our own work" (49).

Delagrange argues that sighted people privilege the visual. Technology provides a highly visual and interactive product that has been studied theoretically as a pedagogical tool, but not looking at the benefits of producing visual technology. She furthers her call for more scholarship aimed not just at the critique of digital objects, but at aspects of its production.

The Persistence of Vision, Visual Pleasure, Seeing Bodies, Seeing Bodies in Space, Embodied Arrangement:

These sections of the chapter, along with Chapter Three, deal with the importance of the visual, and thereby the body, in relation to understanding. Delagrange asks, "What does it mean to be a technological body, to engage physically with digital hardware and software, and to represent our selves through those media" (17)? She points out, for example, that prior to the development of the scientific method and rationality of the Enlightenment, visual elements such as illuminated manuscripts were commonplace. With low literacy rates, people would gather to listen in a physical space like a church or town square - the space itself enhanced by visual elements of architecture, paintings, sculpture and one another. She argues that this kind of physical interaction (the embodiment) allowed for a stronger and deeper connection to the material. However, with the arrival of rational thinking and the scientific method, these bodily connections were considered immaterial and subjective so thus excluded. The result is the kind of business model for scholarship which prizes speed and clarity of a finished marketable product over "reflective inquiry and generative ambiguity" made possible by embodied interactions. She argues that by reintroducing the visual through various digital interface models, we can reincorporate the visual and also the physical. 

The discussion correlates to the arguments made by Baudrillard in his explanation of simulation and simulacra. He explains that simulacra are objects so far removed from the organic original version that no authentic understanding can be gleaned from it. Delagrange clearly argues for the superiority of learning through visual rhetoric in the same way that the gathering of people in a visually stimulating environment allowed for authentic human connection through the physical body. The disembodied nature of non-visual, non-physical experiences leads to a mere simulation of actual connectivity and understanding. 
So I started thinking about her reference to church as having a significant role in understanding because it provides a space which can be physically occupied. I have never really thought about the importance of being in a physically in order to enhance the mental processes. As a distance student, and I negatively impacted by embodying the physical space of the classroom? Would I make stronger connections, or at least be inspired to make new connections, if I were sharing a space with other learners influenced by the tangible and visible space?

It makes me feel about my own experiences as a Catholic. Strange and unexpected connection to be sure, but when she mentioned churches and how the architecture can inspire an embodied connection something resonated with me. While I disagree with the politics of the Catholic Church, I am undeniably a cultural Catholic. I mean that as a third generation Italian-Portuguese American, religion is a huge part of my life's experiences. I still find solace in the rituals, if not always spiritual connections. However, since moving to the south in 1996, I found that I was not inspired in the same way. It has a lot to do with what Delagrange is saying here about the importance of how we experience something physically, as perceived by our senses - especially visual.
Image from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Here is a picture of the church I attended growing up in RI. The arch above the altar draws the eye up, there is enhanced lighting, aged woodwork, wooden pews and marble. In the back of the church not pictured is a pipe organ, and the side walls are filled with stained glass windows, statues, and columns. There is an air of solemnity here, a slightly dark space that invites reflection, connects those to the past and history with the church dating back to 1917.

Below is a photo of the interior of the church here in SC. There are no pews, just fabric covered metal chairs. The space is also used as a multipurpose parish center for other events, so the chairs can be removed and tables brought in; the projection screen to the right can be used as well. The only color on the walls is the stained glass cross. There is no organ, no windows, no columns. Classrooms flank the chairs. A commercial kitchen waits behind a door to the right. I never feel inspired by being in this space physically.

Now that I have read this, I have begin to consider all my physical spaces, seeing them not just as background to the mental process but as an integral part of it.

4/21: New Books Assignment Peer Review

New Books Assignment Peer Review:

What a great week. Our class is really inspiring in our collective creativity and ability to further one another's knowledge. I am so pleased to be part of this intellectual community.

I read about the role of wonder in inspiring learning and production. This played out for me in this assignment in the sense that each applied a creative and dynamic experience that had me making connections and inspiring me to deepen my own experiences with my own technology processes.

I reviewed:

  • Cognitive Surplus
    • I really love the section on Chapter Two: Means. So often we see only the negative comments on how the nature of ease of access and production degrades quality. After reading my book where the author calls for a decrease in negativity surrounding digital media critique, this seemed a great connection and theme to carry forward. We need to see not only the social problems but also the social benefits. This reminded me of how negative Baudrillard was about how the immediacy of access fueled the growth a great void and emptiness of our souls. The positive spin on acknowledging the potential for degradation while acknowledging that that means there is an inherent opposite reaction, a positive net benefit, is exactly what Delagrange says needs to happen if we are ever to remove the stigma of visual New Media in scholarship when compared to the traditionally accepted text-based work.

  • The Filter Bubble
    • Well, aside from the utter and complete mind-blow that was being put in a filter bubble to learn about being in a filter bubble, the site will have me thinking for awhile. Now that I have a better understanding of how and why data is mined and the isolation it creates, I want to discuss the implications. As we become more and more highly individualized, filtered, and compartmentalized, will we end up like the lone word in an empty circle of the graphic image? What actions should we take? Then immediately I wonder where that action takes place. Is it a grassroots movement where we just leave Facebook slowly en masse? Do we legislate against this like some sort of FCC bureaucracy? Is it even possible to replace the DOMINANCE of Google with a search engine like Duck Duck Go? With such deep integration, how would even begin to tease ourselves out? And if we did, wouldn't we be isolated in some other ways? Do we even have privacy at all, or just an illusion of it? This needs to be its own course. It reminds me of this:

I was reviewed helpfully by:

What I Learned from Reading:

  • I was not surprised at all by the comments I received. I have struggled in this, my first New Media, class with the vestiges of my literary/composition text-based, linear, print modes of rhetoric that are so deeply embedded in my proairesis process. I took away that the text needs to broken up with more visual elements (which I know and feel is ironic since I reviewed a books all about privileging the visual equally with the text - so sorry Dr. Delagrange!) and to take more advantage of the medium, like adding functionality not available to simply a print style delivered in a digital one.
  • I suppose it is easier for me to get it out in the form I know then try to enhance it with digital tricks; however, I want to have a paradigm shift in how I think and approach work products. I want to conceive of and think in terms of these New Media forms. But here is what I know to be true: Complex thought requires complex language from which the thoughts can be constructed. Without language fluency, or limited language skills, the thinking is also restricted. It is not a stretch to assume that as my digital literacy increases so will the complexity of the products I am able to conceive. (By the way, I really like how this language has a very feminist/female connotation. "Conceiving" ideas is a very maternal idea in contrast to the typically masculine language associated with technology like "construct." And that Delagrange would approve of.)

4/21: Wunderkammer Survey

To prepare for the presentation on Technologies of Wonder by Susan Delagrange, I have prepared a brief survey of sorts.

Spend a few moments examining as many of the following images as you feel compelled to look at for whatever images engage your sense of wonder.

These are images of Wunderkammer. This German word is translated literally as "wonder-room." It is the term applied to any collection of curiosities, oddities, or rare items generally stored in a cabinet or room. But we'll talk more about that Monday...

For now, let's check out the images:

Image from Wikipedia Curiosity Cabinet

Image from Wikipedia Curiosity Cabinet

Image from Jere Smith

Great! Now, spend another minute or two allowing yourself to wonder.

What do you want to know more about?

Survey Process:

  1. Think of a question or two you would want to ask about Wunderkammer.
  2. Google it to see what you can find out.
  3. Find a graphic that represents the answer.
  4. Send an email to with your question and image.
  5. Try to relax while you wait for the thrilling results on Monday.
Thanks for participating!

Reading Notes: 3/26

Assignment #1: A Look at a Canonical Wiki

The Medium is the Massage

In the introduction to the page, the wiki authors write:

In McLuhan’s view, the media used to communicate a message is more significant than the message itself. The media profoundly shape how we perceive the message, how we think about and structure the world, how we function as a society, and how we operate as a culture. Next to this influence, the message itself is irrelevant.
The power of this assertion struck me hard. Is the way our communications received truly more important that the information contained within? I find this frightening in some way. It seems borne out by the way we privilege certain content because of the medium through which it is communicated. For example, Delagrange argues that the word is privileged over the image, regardless of the knowledge constructed by either. I see it in my students who have trouble reading and staying focused without some visual or better yet an interactive element.

I can't help but wonder: What are the implications for our future if we care not for content?

Assignment #2: New Books Project
  • Delagrange, Susan H., Technologies of Wonder: Rhetorical Practice in a Digital World. Logan, UT: Utah State UP/Computers and Composition Digital Press, 2011. Web.
I have begun reading an ebook titled Technologies of Wonder: Rhetorical Practice in a Digital World by Susan H. Delagrange. Before I explore the content of the first two chapters, I want to take a moment to comment on the form in which I am reading this text.

The book is accessible through a website where the table of contents can be opened and links to pdf files of the chapters is available. I can save the chapters to my desktop as well, or I can read them online. Both options allow for the text to be copied and pasted into a Word document, which saves a lot of time in the addition of quotes to the blog. That's a great bonus for this kind of scholarly reading. As a result, I am trying a new approach. I am going all digital - taking notes in a Word doc, saving quotes there, and blogging. Adding notes to the pdf is only an option if Adobe is purchased.

So far, I like the ebook. I can read it easily (although sometimes the scroll jumps to the next page when I don't want it to), and I don't have the problem of holding a book open while my hand cramps. I don't like that I can't just tuck the book in my purse and pull it out while waiting in the doctor's office or steal a few minutes with it between classes, but I could print the pdf pages if I really wanted to. It would just require a little pre-planning and would revert me back to print. I could probably download the pdf files to my Kindle Fire and read them on the go... Something to look into for sure, but I'd lose the copy and paste function.

One thing I really like is the multi-modal approach. The book is much more interactive with embedded videos and images. Like reading a website, the ebook allows for a new form of discourse that equally privileges the text and the visual/audio rhetorics. Here is a screen shot from the text, showing a link to a video:

Overall, my initial reaction has been positive.

Some Thoughts:
Chapter One: Reading Pictures, Seeing Words


Delagrange is a highly readable, concise, and articulate writer. Her promise to incorporate feminist thinking into her exploration of media studies is highly intriguing.

This chapter discusses the implications of moving from traditional print scholarship to digital forms and the questions that this raises.
"Yet this seemingly irreversible movement from print toward digital, and from words toward interactive multimedia, is accompanied by important questions, some old and some new: old questions about visual representation and argument and about the social and cultural effects of technology; new questions about production and publishing and evaluation of unfamiliar scholarly performances, and about the effects of this shift toward the digital on social justice, equity, and access. How do we strike a balance, continuing to value and maintain the quality and craftsmanship of print scholarship, while making room for new and vibrant methods of scholarly invention and production?" (1)
One aspect of Delagrange's argument I find compelling is her view of new media as a "canvas for new forms of rhetorical production that value process over product, and wonder-induced inquiry over proof" (1). I love the idea that traditional written products produce traditional linear thought while new media provides a space for a new kind of scholarship where the process - however messy (my Individual Tutorial project for example - can be emphasized over a finished piece of scholarship. We can be led through the scholarship by wonder - the true research question that derives from curiosity over conformity. Brilliant!

Delagrange observes a reluctance to work toward this kind of research. She writes, "Nevertheless, while important new media scholarship is already being produced by researchers and students in rhetoric and composition, there is still significant reluctance in English Studies to move beyond the historical privileging of the Word" (2). She calls on us to change these stereotypes that keep new media scholarship and production as a sub-standard mode of discourse.

Here, the author sees a place where a feminist perspective can be useful. As a point of view that has experience discussing the privileging of certain contributions over others, there are many parallels between feminism and new media studies' place in the discipline.
"My perspective is feminist, not because I claim that women in particular are differentially affected by digital technologies, but because feminist optics, feminist ways of seeing that focus on social justice and equity, seem well suited to identify points at which any underrepresented group or individual might be disadvantaged, or left out entirely, by technological change, and to formulate principles and practices of digital media use that are more inclusive and fair." (3)

Technological Anxiety:
I loved this section of the chapter. I exclaimed "Yes!" so many times that I lost track. Delagrange eloquently expresses ideas that have seemed almost taboo for me to speak about, but have so often felt and experienced in my own professional work in this field. She is addressing head on the reasons for having such an anxiety about participating in the field as a woman. She writes,

"Technology is one area that creates anxiety not only among feminists...but also among humanities scholars in general, who are usually most comfortable using words as their tools" (4).

One reason for this is that the language surrounding technology is inherently masculine. The narrative surrounding technology's expansion is filled with terms like "a new frontier," with leaders often labelled "heroes" who use "tools" of technology to solve great social problems. It then becomes easy for the field to "disproportionately empower members of the already dominant discourse community—which in technological fields in the U.S. consists primarily of white males" (5).


I was excited to see here how Delagrange builds on the arguments in Remediation, which I explored as part of the wiki projects we did in class - the language is the same, and I am grateful to my collegaues in class for explaining it as it has enhanced my understanding of the text. She sees remediation as a potentially liberating discipline and one in which diversity can blossom.
"Furthermore, re-mediating traditional print-based academic performances—moving them into new (electronic) writing spaces and experimenting with innovative verbal and visual forms—might literally open our eyes to diversity and difference, making inequities visible and therefore available for ethical rhetorical intervention." (7)
Later she revisits this claim, writing, "[through] images and sound,multilinear associative arrangement...we can steer toward new, potentially emancipatory performances made possible in new media" (10).

This is an empowering view - that I can help emancipate scholarly performances is thoroughly exciting. 

Seeing Argument:
In this section, the author focuses on the visual nature of many new media applications and the presentation of most forms of information surrounding us today. She explains, "Places, events, objects, and related beliefs and values are represented by images more often than by words. It also raises the question of the relationship between images and words as sources and means of academic authority, and it focuses attention on the “visuality” of all texts, even those composed entirely of words" (8).
Yet, Delagrange asserts that in scholarship, these visual representations are not as respected in scholarship. She observes, "The demonstrations of knowledge that “count” in the academy are overwhelmingly books and articles in refereed print-based journals that develop linear arguments and rely primarily on logos-based evidence. Images, if any, are simply illustrations: pictures or tables or graphs that merely show what the words have already told. Using images as a substantive component of an argument is suspect" (9). In other words, we tend to only accept images as an appendix to the word, not a replacement or even a corollary.
And if we do choose to present a more visual product, we run the risk of losing authority and legitimacy. She explains that there is a visual reticence.
"Unadorned text, written in plain style and organized in a way that can readily be outlined, has long been the paradigm for scholarly performances, and it has been presumed to fit all “legitimate” academic scholarship. Legitimacy, however, is a conservative, hereditary principle that protects the interests of those who claim it." (10)
How do we move new media into legitimacy? I suppose through the production of new media projects and explorations, submission to the discipline with confidence, and continuing to explore the theoretical underpinnings of new media studies.

She addresses the CRAP guidelines we used in class and categorizes them as an effort to force visual rhetoric into a more legitimate form by imitating the page.
"The mistrust of images, and the emphasis elsewhere on alphabetic text as the most legitimate form of scholarly production, is evident in the ubiquity of the design principles of contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity for web pages (Williams and Tollett, 2005). While these principles provide an initial framework for the novice designer of new media, they are in effect design’s version of the five-paragraph essay. Contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity construct an artificial efficiency and unity of text and image that are a function of form, but not necessarily content, and that make complex visual invention and argument impossible. Like the print conventions of academic journals and monographs, these design principles also assert a claim for a 'culture of no culture.'" (11)
She concludes that in order for "English Studies, which still privileges the Word as its preferred mode of performance, and linear argument as its preferred change, more scholars must move beyond critical verbal analysis of visual texts and become active architects of intellectually engaged (and engaging) multimediated visual rhetoric. Until we and our students see ourselves as producers rather than just consumers of visual rhetoric, we are ceding the authority to speak and intervene in an increasingly multimediated world" (11).

It makes being enrolled in this class, with the kind of fearlessness I've been talking about in my other posts, all the more critically important.

Feminist Epistemology:

I took from this section that we need to more actively advocate for and include elements of visual rhetoric in the classroom.
"Writing instructors can—and should—take advantage of new forms of digital media for creating texts, and assign web pages and other demonstrations of multimodal argument, thus encouraging a rich, diverse rhetoric that responds to contemporary multimediated contexts and incorporates ethical ap­proaches to invention, arrangement, and style. Creating such assignments, producing our own multimodal pedagogical performances, and scaffolding them theoretically are essential if the shift from page to screen, and from alphabetic linear print to multimodal, multi-perspectival images and text, is to be understood and rewarded by our tenure-granting departments." (12)

Chapter Two: (Re)Vision & Remediation


Delagrange argues that a new emphasis on visual rhetoric necessitates a newly developed set of criteria on which it can be evaluated, different from the the traditional, linear, print criteria. She also contends that there is the possibility to create modes of scholarly inquiry that have no equivalent in print, but that are no less significant than the print. 


In this section, the author explores the idea of remediation - the recycling of previous forms into new ones. She uses visual images heavily here - supporting her own argument for the validity of such a presentation - to show examples of remediation from painting to photography, stage to film, and internet and television. She echoes her call for strategies for consuming visual media and for English studies to stop fearing the power of the visual.

For next time:

Academic  Representation & Digital Media:
The Persistance of Vision:
Visual Pleasure:
Seeing Bodies:
Seeing Bodies in Space:
Embodied Arrangement: