This course will familiarize students with the emerging academic field of digital rhetoric. Digital technologies have profoundly affected the ways in which we produce and circulate writing, and digital networks create new possibilities and obstacles for writing that require new theories, methods, and rhetorical practices. This course will examine the history of writing as a technology, looking to contemporary scholarship on digital rhetoric and multimodal composition in order to theorize and invent new methods for networked writing. Readings will challenge students to consider how digital media reshape the ways we research, compose, and distribute knowledge. Course readings will tap a variety of media, including linear text, video essays, podcasts, and videogames (all of which will be available for free online).
Students will study and use emerging writing technologies as they address the new ethical challenges facing contemporary writers in digital media environments. Students will learn digital research methods and create critical multimedia projects as they consider how new media affect the rhetorical frameworks through which we communicate and think. Assignments will follow a project-based learning model and include print media writings, a digital image-tracking project, and a location-based augmented reality installation. Students will learn digital rhetoric practices that bolster their ability to better describe the effects of digital media as they familiarize themselves with emerging tools for digital writing.