visual rhetoric & multimodal composition, spring ’12

Course Description

Writing, in our highly mediated, highly visual culture, is no longer just about using a keyboard to put words on a screen nor about using a pen to put words on paper. Writing is composing—in all the forms, media, modes, and genres we can think of. It is multimodal. That is, it brings together images (still and moving), words, and music. When composing such visual texts to make an argument, a host of rhetorical strategies are used, ranging from placement of texts on page to consideration of audience to the media used to write and present the text.

In this course we will consider the impact of the pervasiveness of the visual in contemporary society by reading theoretical texts in the areas of visual rhetoric and multimodal composition, including the topics of mapping, semiotics, photography, comics, remix, and mashup. We will compose multimodal narratives in the form of a collection of maps (or atlas), a photo essay, and a video remix/mashup, as well as blog and tweet throughout the semester.

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