Course & Assignment Description – Sweet Interruption (1.1)

Rhetoric 330c: Advanced Studies in Digital Rhetoric (topics course)

University Course Catalog
An advanced course that examines the role of information technologies in communication.  Taught using networked computers.

Rhetoric 330c Course Topic: Multimedia – Remaking Invention

Instructor Syllabus Course Description
This course will explore the changing dynamic of rhetorical invention in relation to (emerging) multimodal/multimedia discourse–specifically, exploring the impacts of digital cultures and digital communicational technologies on the possibilities and potentialities of/for rhetorical invention.  We will focus on (1) how emerging digital ecologies have opened communicational possibilities beyond the singular limits of written (alphabetic) texts, and (2) how these changes in communicational technologies, specifically the media (and mediums) of digital communication, radically alter how we come to and come to understand rhetorical invention.

With our focus being on digital communication technologies and rhetorical invention, we will approach the course in terms of knowing (theoretical knowledge),doing (practical/pedagogical knowledge), and  making (productive knowledge)–placing an emphasis on making.  This emphasis is paramount as making not only opens a variety of ways to engage different types, kinds, processes, and practices of rhetorical invention, but also is one of the key advantages of working in digital culture where making, not knowing, takes center stage.

As part of this course, students will be introduced to varying classical rhetoric concepts and then be asked to consider and discuss the evolution of those concepts in light of a digital age: reconsidering not only audience, text, rhetorical situation, and authorship and authority, but also issues of ethics, of civic engagement, or even the unfolding possibilities for thought itself (unfolding via changes in the communicative apparatus).

Audio Project Assignment

For this assignment, you will need to create an audio mix/remix that attempts to make rhetorical commentary/critique on a significant historical moment, event, occurrence for your culture (or your cultural identity).  These can address civic moments, social incidents, pop culture events/occurrences; they can be local (relative to your own personal histories) or national; they can be funny, serious, symbolic.  The assignment is fairly wide open to allow you to explore something that is of specific importance/relevance to you.  The only set-in-stone guidelines are detailed below:

– Must be 90-150 seconds in length
– Must include a spoken (oral) component as well as aural (music/sound) components
– Must utilize 3 different audio elements

We will more explicitly discuss these issue in class, but be sure to ask questions about what may or may not work, may or may not count, in terms of meeting these requirements.

In addition to the project itself, you will have to compose a Medium Reflection Paper.  In 350-650 words, I would like you to detail how your writing and/or your process of invention occurred in relation to this project, and how that process relates to your experiences with traditional writing and with our first assignment (the Visual Rhetoric Creation).  What I am looking for here is a reflection on your experience of making this creation and how that experience relates to the experiences you have (and processes you use) in working in other communicational forms (i.e., text-based composition, and visual design)

In terms of grading criteria for these assignments, we will establish a general heuristic as a class (some basic considerations) to work from.  The written component will be evaluated like the other writing in the course, including quality of the writing, depth of engagement, etc.