English 3360: Issues in Composition explores principles and practices in rhetoric and writing
Current composition curricula privilege verbal literacy, and the teaching of reading and writing of word-based texts as gateway skills. Students learn to develop written arguments and to critically analyze written forms. Even in computer-mediated classrooms, writing, imaging, and various forms of multimedia authoring are usually taught as discrete skills. Yet K-16 students live in an undeniably multimediated world, a world where image and sound are at least as important as the written word. Concerned that we not lock our students into single modes of expression, limiting their learning by constraining the tools they use and the media in which they deliver information, this course is designed to encourage students to imagine composing in less-than-familiar ways, combining media to create multiple, empowering modes of expression and information delivery. The medium AND the message is the message. However, this multimediation brings its own issues, such as questions of individual authorship/genius, plagiarism, and “borrowing” and remixing. This course is also designed to explore these complications, critically thinking about and mediating (or exploiting) their effects on composition and education.