Posts Tagged ‘Understanding Rhetoric’

Horizontal divider

Announcing a CCCC Event on Teaching with Understanding Rhetoric

posted: 3.11.15 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

Have you taught with Understanding Rhetoric by Liz Losh, Jonathan Alexander, Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon–or are you curious about teaching with it in the future?

Are you going to 4Cs in Tampa?

If you said yes to both questions, please consider joining us for a panel featuring instructors who have taught with Understanding Rhetoric–plus a chance to share your own ideas and gather some new assignments and teaching tips. [read more]

Comments Off on Announcing a CCCC Event on Teaching with Understanding Rhetoric
Categories: Elizabeth Losh, Jonathan Alexander, Professional Conferences, Professional Development & Service
Read All Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

Horizontal divider

Making Things Graphic as a Form of Interpretation

posted: 4.4.13 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

Liz and I recently presented about the process of writing Understanding Rhetoric at the Northeast MLA conference in Boston, where we had the chance to visit with other scholars and teachers who use graphic books to teach a variety of subjects, from literature to art to foreign languages.  We were reminded again of the power of the comics medium not just to interest and engage students but to challenge their thinking about the nature of representation.

One intriguing set of examples came from a professor of German who showed us different graphic renditions of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, a startling tale of a man who wakes up transformed into a bug and then has to deal with his transformation the rest of the day.  Rife with visual possibilities, The Metamorphosis as a graphic novel itself metamorphoses from an original print text into different visual versions that each show the artist’s interpretive decisions.  Indeed, artists make choices in rendering The Metamorphosis–What does the bug look like? From whose perspective is the story narrated? How does the visual representation differ from the print? These are interpretive choices because they reveal how the artists understand the original text.  In her classes, the German professor used a German-language comic version of The Metamorphosis not only to teach her students German but to teach them something about the interpretation of literary texts as they are transformed from one medium to another.  [read more]

Comments Off on Making Things Graphic as a Form of Interpretation
Categories: Jonathan Alexander
Read All Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

Horizontal divider

Teaching about Writing Instructions with Comics

posted: 3.18.13 by Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander

Instructions are obviously a nearly ubiquitous part of life in our visual culture and can be found everywhere from the emergency exit of an airplane to a tube of toothpaste. Unlike writing that is organized into prose paragraphs, instructions often take the form of an ordered list that may seem to be woefully lacking in sentence variety for lovers of intricate grammatical style.  However, encouraging students in composition classes to think about writing instructions can be a useful way to discuss audience and purpose and improve students’ understanding of different rhetorical situations.

Technical writing courses often include very interesting prompts about how to write clear, effective, and economical instructions.  My former colleague at UC Irvine, computer science faculty member David Kay, was fond of assigning the task of writing instructions for how to build a particular object from building toys, such as Legos or Tinker Toys.  Peer editing groups would need to try to follow the instructions to build the intended object (such as a specific house, vehicle, or animal) without illustrations and without verbal prompting from the instructor. [read more]

Comments: (1)
Categories: Elizabeth Losh
Read All Elizabeth Losh and Jonathan Alexander