Blog Post

Some thoughts on Composition Courses

"Pinterest. Instagram. Steampunk. Cosplay. Food trucks. Mumblecore. Anti-perfumes. World of Warcraft. Plus, typography goes shopping; Apple and value; True Blood and queer brand communities; and place-making and food ways at a Filipino restaurant near you (or not)."

What an opener, no?! Julia Lupton continues the blog post about her design and marketing courses here: http://www.digitalrhetoriccollaborative.org/2012/09/29/design-writing-and-marketing-fictions/

She really got me thinking about the connection between how and why I've been hoping to integrate new technologies into my own classroom.

I came to medieval literature through medieval architecture (thank you, Annabel Wharton), and I've maintained an interest in teaching my students about how we interact with texts as well as in space. In fact, I recently learned about a fascinating social sciences taught by some of my colleagues in first-year composition. During a few class visits to the Chapel Hill cemetery, students take notes on the gravestones and focus on desciptive writing. They later research social science journals and ultimately write a conference paper on their "reading" of the cemetery as cultural record. 

Professor Lupton's courses focus on the newest technologies with which we interact;  the cemetery unit uses old stones and epitaphs as the objects of study. But is there a way to do both? If so, it seems that would involve more than just following an archaeologist on Twitter. But what would it look like for freshmen in college to conduct field research, engage in secondary readings, and join interdisciplinary (or at least multimedia) communities-- all for an English class?

Like Lubpton, I "believe that courses in the writing and the humanities that engage with the designed world can matter immediately to how all of us make our livings, in the broadest possible sense."

And at this stage, I'm wondering what I can do about it. 

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