By Andrew Stowe, Anderson University
ENG 340 is a major course in the Writing and Digital Studies Concentration in English at Anderson University in South Carolina. This course is geared toward challenging students to consider the rhetorical nature of created things and consider the rhetorics of design and multimedia. In this course, students work with and create a variety of visual artifacts (business cards, videos, images, and books) and consider them through a variety of theoretical and disciplinary lenses.
Favoring the lens of an experimental approach, I welcome students to subvert portions of an assignment so long as the assignment is attempted in good faith and engages with the goals of the assignment. Further, I encourage students to create artifacts that they are pleased to include in their own professional portfolios or materials that they are pleased to have attached to their name and professional brand identity.
In this example, by Salvatore Fontana, a literal advertisement was avoided in favor of a video of the Omega Mart installation by the art collective Meow Wolf. Throughout this project, Fontana unpacks and analyzes the film provided about Omega Mart in keeping with the required elements of the assignment.
This project was/is an especially clear demonstration of skillful production. Using engaging clips and images, this video is carried clearly by voice-over and informed periodically by text on the screen. Fontana analyses the video in an academic manner while using design elements that complement the aesthetic of the artifact under consideration. Additionally, this assignment engages meaningfully with the theoretical requirements of the assignment sheet.