Posts Tagged ‘comics’

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And Now a Word about Seeing Differently

posted: 5.14.15 by Andrea Lunsford

Last week I wrote about the urgent necessity to teach students to listen rhetorically, that is, to try as hard as possible to hear what the other person or group is saying—from their point of view. Listening has dropped out of the curriculum in most college classes, but it seems to me we have never been in more urgent need of people who can listen openly and fairmindedly.

Then this week I picked up a book I’ve been looking forward to for some time, the published version of Nick Sousanis’s Columbia dissertation, the first done entirely in comic book format. The book is called Unflattening and it is just out from Harvard University Press. [read more]

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Communicating to Non-Literate Audiences with Comics

posted: 2.2.15 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

In the United States comics generally appeal to those who already know how to read and write, but in other contexts sequences of images with relatable characters and stories convey important information to the illiterate about how to avoid danger or pursue opportunities.

For example, Mudita Tiwari and Deepti KC of India’s Institute for Financial Management and Research are distributing comic books about financial literacy in the slum of Dharavi in Mumbai to discourage women from relying on vulnerable hiding places in their homes to squirrel away cash. [read more]

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Categories: Assignment Idea, Audience, Elizabeth Losh, Genre, Purpose, Rhetorical Situation, Visual Argument, Visual Rhetoric
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Talking about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion with Comics

posted: 11.17.14 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

Many campuses now have general education requirements that require students to take courses that incorporate sensitivity training designed to reduce incidents of racism or sexism on campus.  The problem with these courses is that they may often be too short in duration, too large in enrollment, or too superficial in content to effect real behavioral change, particularly among students imbued with false confidence that they live in a postracial society in which Obama is president, they don’t know any racists, and they can adopt completely color-blind attitudes. [read more]

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Teaching about Free Speech with Comics

posted: 11.3.14 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

Last month Alison Bechdel received a prestigious MacArthur Fellows Program Award.  Known for her comic strip work Dykes to Watch Out For and the acclaimed graphic memoir Fun Home, which is about her experiences growing up in a funeral home fearful of coming out as a lesbian to her closeted gay father, Bechdel was lauded by the foundation for  “redefining paradigms” in autobiographical writing.  Achieving this recognition was particularly notable, because Bechdel had been at the center of a firestorm of controversy after her work had been designated for inclusion in all-college assigned reading at state-funded campuses.  Conservative legislatures objected to subsidizing material that they deemed supposedly promoting “gay lifestyles” and tried to use the power of the purse to block teaching the book.  Particularly vociferous in condemning Bechdel’s work was Representative Garry R. Smith, who used committee procedures to withdraw $52,000 in funding from the College of Charleston, which had arranged to highlight Bechdel’s Fun Home in its summer reading program. [read more]

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Categories: Critical Thinking, Elizabeth Losh, Visual Rhetoric
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Multimodal Mondays: Day in the Life: A DIY Assignment Using Immediate Media, Archives, and Animation to Engage Student-Scholars in Digital, Public Writing

posted: 11.3.14 by Andrea Lunsford

Students encounter public writing every day of their lives. While they are often critical consumers of such multimodal rhetorics, they more often need their teachers to guide them towards critical production of everyday public rhetorics. They need us to help them to decide invention—what it is they want to say; to discern arrangement and style—how are they going to say it; and to revise—prepare it for an audience who, like them, consumes more digital than printed texts.

If your students are like mine, they have a general distaste for “Dear Teacher” essays, preferring instead to produce critical compositions that carry meaning for them and their peers in popular culture. At SPSU, I have further found that students like to create performative texts on cultural topics of their choosing. While I understand, and usually agree, that self-choice of writing topics develops student stakeholders, in a first-year, first-semester composition course, students often need some structure while exploring cultural identities. The assignment I am writing about this week provides a DIY-packaged compromise that gives students opportunities to curate media from a specific cultural experience while maintaining the consistency that is sometimes necessary for first-year writing instruction. For this assignment, students will tweet, archive their tweets, then produce a 30-second expository animation that describes a “day in the life” of an identity they embody. [read more]

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Categories: Activity Idea, Assignment Idea, Guest Bloggers, Multimodal Mondays, Uncategorized
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Getting your comic Zen on…

posted: 7.10.14 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

Jonathan recently sat down digitally to catch up with his former student, David Lumb, now a full-time journalist and aspiring comics author in NYC. In this interview, David shares more thoughts on comics, composing, computers, crowdfunding…and hesitation sandtraps! [read more]

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Making Comics in the Classroom: Success as Process

posted: 6.23.14 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

 

Guest blogger Keith McCleary has an MFA in Creative Writing from UCSD and is the recipient of the Barbara and Paul Saltman Excellent Teaching Award for Graduate Students and a UCIRA Open Classroom Challenge Grant. He is the author of two graphic novels, Killing Tree Quarterly and Top of the Heap, from Terminal Press. 

The past two springs I have taught a course called ComiCraft, which combines an upper-division composition seminar with a hands-on practicum in which students create and then write about their own comics, making for a unique experience that’s both generative and reflexive. [read more]

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How Comics Can Be an Entry Point to Prose Novels

posted: 5.30.14 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

Today’s guest blogger is Daniel Jose Ruiz, assistant professor and Vice-Chair of English/ESL at Los Angeles City College. Daniel teaches a wide range of courses, from basic skills to literature, but his emphasis is always on fostering a student’s engagement with a text. Daniel is also known for using a variety of materials ranging from YA literature and SF/Fantasy to canonical works.

Imagine that you learned two languages primarily aurally and visually. You did not receive much, if any, formal education in literacy in either language. You were taught to read, but only to the extent that you can navigate the world. [read more]

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Categories: Guest Bloggers
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We Are All Metamorphs

posted: 4.14.14 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

Today’s guest blogger, Paula Mathieu, teaches courses at Boston College in composition pedagogy, nonfiction writing, rhetoric, cultural studies, and homeless literature, while also directing the First-Year Writing Program and the Writing Fellows Program.  She is author of Tactics of Hope: The Public Turn in English Composition and co-editor of three essay collections, including Circulating Communities, (2012) co-edited by Stephen Parks and Tiffany Roscoulp.   

Why am I writing this blog entry? While this is either a painfully obvious or deeply philosophical question, it is also deeply rhetorical. [read more]

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MOOCs and Comics

posted: 3.14.14 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

In the composition community, there has been a lot of discussion about the efficacy and difficult of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that may enroll tens of thousands of students in courses designed around video lectures, online quizzes, and peer grading of assignments. [read more]

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