RHE 379C Multimedia Scholarship
In this course, we will explore how the changing multimedia landscape is opening the possibilities for rhetorical communication and how those changes impact critical scholarship.
Particularly, we will focus on how the changes associated with the emerging digital culture, changes intricately linked with digital communication technologies, radically alter how we come to and come to understand rhetorical discourse. From this perspective, we will consider the production/creation, distribution/dissemination, and assessment/evaluation of multimedia, and critically/creatively examine potential methodologies, heuristics, and heuretics for examining these areas.
With our focus being on digital communication technologies and rhetorical discourse, 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 communication, but also is one of the key advantages of working in digital culture where making, not knowing, takes center stage. As such, students will be required to complete several digital productions.
By the end of the course students will have learned how to:
– communicate/create rhetorically in a variety of digital communication technologies;
– analyze, interpret, and invent (with) images, sounds, texts, and their integrations;
– critically/creatively navigate medium/message dynamics;
– consider the role of experience design in the multimedia paradigm;
-approach intellectual property right regulations (and plagiarism) as well as understand how these issues manifest in murky areas of digital environs; and
– express themselves and their ideas through multivocality, approaching digital rhetorical discourse in terms of choice and mediums (utilizing oral, textual, visual, and multimedia methods of communication [and their integrations]).
We have spent the first 3 weeks discussing remediation and learning to work in static image (Photoshop), sound and sound mixes (GarageBand), and video (iMovie). The point of these things is not only to give you tools by which you can compose in other media, but also to expose you to a process of growing scholarly practice: taking an argument idea created in one medium and rendering it in another, i.e., remediation. As such, for the first assignment in this course, I want you to engage in a project of remediation.
To do so, you will first need to find/identify a creation that you want to remediate and have that selection approved. For our purposes, our remediations will focus on moving a piece of textual scholarship into another medium, rendering them in image(s), sounds, and/or video. You will need to choose a scholarly article (from a credible, peer-reviewed resource) or chapter (from a recognizable work) that address or responds to matters pertaining to:
– Multimedia Scholarship
– Electronic Discourse
– Media & Culture
– Digital Rhetoric
– Technologies and Composition/Communication
Once you have located a creation to remediate, and once it is approved, your task will then be to figure out how to render that argument, those ideas, the key and crucial contributions of that creation in another form. Or, better yet, how to better render them by moving them into another medium. As such, you will need to decide if a single, large-scale image will work best. Or a series of images. Or an audio remix. Or a video. Or a video with an audio remix. Or a video that is really a series of static images you created, which then are displayed over time, and which have an accompanying audio track or audio remix. Note, however, that these remediations do not preclude the use of text (i.e., written, alphabetic text), but rather that text, if used, will need to be part of some larger integrated whole, i.e., just another element among the many.
Here are your loose guidelines:
Static Image (i.e., a single image creation): must be 10 x 13in. in size, and must be printed to be turned in.
Series of Static Images: must include at least three image panes/panels, all 3 must be placed onto an 11 x 17in. sheet, and must be printed to be turned in.
Audio Project: must be between 120-240 seconds in duration (no exceptions) and must include audio tracks/elements from at least 3 different sources (e.g., Your voice, GarageBand elements, additional audio component [i.e, music].
Video Project: must be between 150-270 seconds in duration (no exceptions) and must composite together elements/segments of at least 2 different videos.
This assignment is designed to get you to start thinking not only about critical content, but about how that content can be conveyed. Or rather, how different mediations of that content can radically change the what and how of that content. Meaning, this assignment will help you not only better understand the remediation that Bolter and Grusin are developing, but also should help you start to think about how different discourses might be more or less rhetorically effective if rendered in different media.
This assignment is also designed to get you to think reflectively on this process and to situate that generative/exploratory process somewhat critically. As such, in addition to the creation of the image itself, you will need to write a Design Rationale Paper (See below for guidelines on this part of the assignment). This component not only follows standard industry practices, but also forces you to explain the choices you have made and how those elements/decisions impact the overall production.
Your tasks then include a creating a Remediation Project and a Design Rationale for that Remediation.
PLEASE NOTE that any images, sounds, videos borrowed from other locations must not violate copyright regulations. Thus, they either need to be sampled or altered significantly enough so that you are not violating the original creator’s copyrights, and/or credit must be given in the production.
REMEDIATION PROJECT RATIONALE
For this assignment, you will need to write a design rationale for your remediation project. But this will also be slightly more than a design rationale as I am also asking that you include a section where you evaluate yourself based on your own evaluative criteria.
The Design Rationale needs to be 500 – 1000 words in length, should include a description of what you tried to accomplish with the remediation, how the parts are supposed to interrelate or how the design functions, and why you feel the overall design works rhetorically. It might help if you set up what the main focus was of the article, in terms of what you were trying to convey/remediate, and then to talk about your choices/decisions for how you tried to remediate that. Also, be sure to spend some time talking about the medium you chose: why was it the best mode for this remediation? For you? How did the medium you chose impact the project? What might this have looked like or how might it have worked in another medium?
You don’t have to address all of those questions, they are merely listed to help you start thinking about ways you might respond in this design rationale.
The Evaluation section of this assignment can be on a separate page and it has no minimum or maximum length. It can be formatted in any number of ways, but you must be sure to determine evaluative criteria for your project and evaluate yourself in relation to the criteria you determine (and to explain, in brief, the reasons for your evaluating yourself as such).
We spent the first four weeks of class in a split approach. Half our courses were devoted to discussing selections from Bolter and Gruisin’s Remediation as well as Bolter and Gromala’s Windows and Mirrors. The other half of the courses were studio type spaces where I provided instruction on image editing software (Photoshop), audio editing software (Garageband and Audacity), and video editing software (iMovie and Windows Movie Maker). At the end of Week 4, I assigned the Remediation Project (REM).
Tuesday: REM Workshop 1: Idea Generation and Design.
Thursday: REM Workshop 2: Building, Flow, and Storyboarding
[Initially, the projects were due at the beginning of Week 6, but the students needed more time, so I pushed the project due date back one class period]
Tuesday: REM Workshop 3: Finish Builds and Peer Review
Thursday: REM Showcase: 1st Half – Finish/Polish Projects; 2nd Half – Show projects.