writing, research, & tech, fall 2011

Course Description

You will come away from this section of Writing, Research, and Technology with an understanding of the process and what it means rhetorically to create and publish that ultimate object (or, as we will see, technology) that all writers strive to publish: a book. You will conceive, compose, design, layout, proof, and publish a book via the print-on-demand publishing service, Blurb.

Through our readings and projects you will learn about the history of book publishing (dating back to ancient China); about the different parts of books; about fonts and their meanings; how books are selected for print, printed, distributed, and sold; about layout out books to make them visually appealing; and you will make draft of your book using paper, glue, and string. You will also learn about the complexities of copyright and the burgeoning composing method of remix. You will think visually and textually, as your books will have visual and textual components. You will interview people (online or in person) at various stages of the book publishing process, from authors to the managers of bookstores. While doing all this you will be Tumbling and Tweeting, and as a result sharing your ideas and what you learn with whomever is fortunate enough to find you and your writings.

Your books will be designed with the goal of raising money for a particular charity, and you will work with that charity to ensure that they know about the book and approve of you using their name. The books will be published and vetted by a non-profit press, Composing with Images Press. This press publishes on-demand photo and art books that bring together image and text to engage creative, social, and cultural issues within a particular theme. All proceeds are donated to charity. Your books will be the first in their Student Books Series.

And through all of the course activities you will come to realize that contemporary technologies provide writers of all genres of books with significant and important opportunities to compose, create, and publish in exciting ways for older and newer media.

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