Writing for the Web: Rhetorical Publics
Salisbury University | Fall 2015 | M,W 12-1.15 | Eng 307 | dr. campbell
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dr. trisha n. campbell
office: HH 362
office hours: M,W 3-5pm
or happily by appointment
"All the practices used to conduct schooling are relative to the apparatus of literacy. In the history of human culture there are but three apparatuses: orality, literacy, and now electracy. We live in the moment of the emergence of electracy, comparable to the two principal moments of literacy (the Greece of Plato, and the Europe of Galileo).
--Gregory Ulmer, "What is Electracy?
W R I T I N G for the WEB
We take to heart this courses' title, "writing for the web," where "writing" is broadly defined as composing the kinds of documents that can be read and circulated in "the web," which is a system of Internet servers that support specially formatted documents. These particular documents are formatted in a markup language called HTML (HyperText Markup Language) that supports links to other documents, as well as images, audio, text, and video files. To this end, we will read, investigate, analyze and produce these new kinds of written "documents"--html/css, video, audio, and text-- all while interrogating what it means to "write" or compose in these new contexts, and how that changes, pushes, or extends our notions of writing.
We will explore both the theory and practice of what it means to write for the web. Writing for the web is crucial in the nonprofit, entertainment, and government sector, serving every kind of cause: safety and health, political activism, the environment, policy education, animal and human rights, and the arts. Increasingly, these sectors rely on digital communication to get their messages out to the public. You will have the opportunity to create a number of different web documents, reflect on them, post about them and discuss them. You can expect to interview people, and identify and regularly read many sources of information about writing for the web.
We will spend much of our class time discussing the theory about writing for the web or what we will call "digital rhetoric," and learning how to rhetorically compose different documents for digital and public contexts. We will delve into very theoretical concepts concerning how the web has changed writing and persuasion and we will constantly ask ourselves: what does it mean to write in digital contexts and what is digital rhetoric? How has "writing" and our idea of a "text" changed or not changed? Much of our in-class time will either be discussion-based or practice-based, actual hands-on making, talking, and learning. Your final project will be a self-built website portfolio of your own making that includes the audio, visual, textual and social media elements you created in our class.
An important note on technology and DIY
Digital technologies have made new forms of culture and communication. These forms rely on software, computation, and design. In this course, I aim to help you become producers of web content and not merely consumers. This means you have to acquire digital literacy, which takes practice, intense thought, and long hours outside of our class. This also means you have to master the ability to problem solve and debug as part of your practice. In this way, students not only learn to write for the web, but they learn how to learn web writing and the logic of this new literacy.
In terms of hardware: either an Apple or a Windows-based computer will work fine– by the way, I use a Mac. SU seems to have plenty of access to computers that will work fine for our course.
In terms of software: we will use the Adobe Creative Suite, including software like Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Adobe Premiere Pro. See "materials" for more information.
The idea of practice-based research, long integrated into the sciences, is relatively new to the humanities. the work of making--producing something that requires long hours, intense thought, and considerable technical skill--has significant implications that go beyond the crafting of words. Involved are embodied interactions with digital technologies, frequent testing of code and other functionalities that results in reworking and correcting, and dynamic, ongoing discussions with collaborators to get it right."
-- N. Katherine Hayles, how we think: digital media and contemporary technogenesis
1) Become fluent in the practices and theories of writing for the web. To this end, you will learn to read and write in the language of the web. This means becoming fluent in image, sound, moving images, html, css, animations and word-image relationships. We will ask not only what does this media mean, but how does it work, persuade, and evoke.
2) Begin thinking about the web and its media from a rhetorical perspective. This class will teach you about the rhetorical situation, available means of persuasion, exigence, kairos, and how to analyze a media text rhetorically, while also producing a media text using the productive framework of rhetoric. Along with rhetoric, we will also consider the affect of media--that is, what emotions, both subtle and overt--do different media attempt to make its audience feel, and how does it work to accomplish this feeling.
3) Learn to learn. Digital media and the web are dynamic and constantly changing, so we must learn to learn its logics and methods. This is the DIY aspect of the course. As media changes, we must learn to change with it, advancing our literacy as it advances. This requires hours of time and focused concentration outside of our class. We must be constantly looking for ways to speak fluidly with our machines.
Required--Sarah J. Arroyo, Participatory Composition: Video Culture, Writing, and Electracy
Optional--Collin Gifford Brooke, Lingua Fracta: Toward a Rhetoric of New Media (New Dimensions in Computers and Composition).
Additionally, we will be reading a combination of articles (both academic and popular), book chapters, podcasts, videos, websites, etc, to help us think about different aspects of writing for the web. Readings will be posted online or handed out in class. You are responsible for obtaining these readings (even and especially of you are absent).
We will also spend a great deal of time discussing and analyzing examples of the "texts" and media you are producing. Some of the "texts" we discuss will be examples from outside of our class, but others will be the "texts" of your classmates. When we workshop your writing/media in class, it will be with an eye toward how the text in question takes up the principles of rhetoric (as we learn them in class), and we will discuss potential areas for revision along these lines. Just know in advance that we will be looking as a class at everyone’s writing/media at some point during the semester, and that I expect criticism to be careful (full of care) and constructive—that is, we must be be critical, but respectful.
Web Accounts & Technology
You will need access to the Adobe Creative Suite. I guarantee that we will use the following applications: Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Soundbooth, or Audition, Audacity (free and open source), Premiere Pro, and Media Encoder. If you (1) would like increased flexibility in your workflow, or (2) you plan to continue doing digital production in the future, I would recommend you consider purchasing this software through the new creative cloud. For $19.99/month, you can "rent" the software for our class and all the design software you could ever want. Otherwise, our classroom lab, as well as these labs on campus have the software:
USB DRIVE / PORTABLE EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE (16G)
This USB drive should be used exclusively for this course for backing up project files, working from the computers during class and lab hours, and handing in midterm and final projects. Please rename the drive with your last name.
You are required to provide your own set of headphones or earbuds for use with the computers during in-class workshops and screenings. Please bring these to every class.
ACCESS TO A MICROPHONE / DIGITAL AUDIO RECORDING DEVICE/ DIGITAL AND STILL CAMERAS
You will need access to a basic microphone and video camera for digital recording. Radio Shack sells a very inexpensive clip-on mic that works well, and many iPod earbuds can also be used as microphones. You may use cell phones or the built-in microphone available on most computers, but they will produce poor sound and video quality and are not recommended. Whatever you choose, make sure it is compatible with your recording device. The Integrated Media Center on campus has video and audio equipment for you to checkout. For quality production, I strongly urge you to do so.
In order to participate in course communication and post your media projects to the web, you will need to sign up for free accounts with Twitter,WordPress, SoundCloud, and Vimeo.
You will also need a website host. I use bluehost.com. but x10hosting is free and will work fine for our class. I would recommend using Bluehost if you plan to continue updating and using your website or if you want to pursue a job in digital media or web production. Additionally, maintaining a well-designed website will be key for each of you as you advance in your careers and schooling.
ASSIGNMENTS + GRADING
Blogs: 10 total | (graded for quality, thoughtfulness, and polish): 2pts per post = 20 points
Twitter: 20 total | 5 points
Video Personality and Youtube channel + individual reflection | Group project: 20 points
Formal Discussion paper (1000-1500 words): 10 points
Issues Audio documentary + reflection: 10 points
Final video artist statement: 10 points
Final Website (as portfolio): 10 points
DIY tutorial presentation: 5 points
In-class participation (including peer review): 10 points
TOTAL: 100 points
A = 92 – 100 points
A = 90 – 92 points
B = 88 – 89 points
B = 83 – 87 points
B = 80 – 82 points
C = 78 – 79 points
C = 73 – 77 points
C = 70 – 72 points
D = 60 – 69 points
F = below 60 points
**I will give reading quizzes from time-to-time on the class readings. Do the reading!
YOU MUST TURN IN EVERY ASSIGNMENT TO PASS THIS CLASS
Your attendance is mandatory.
Regular attendance in this course is required. If you miss more than 3 class meetings, you will not pass the course.
It is your responsibility to get the assignments, class notes, and course changes from a classmate if you do miss a class. It is also your responsibility to complete the missing work. In-class work cannot be made up.
I understand that things happen and you may need to miss a class because you’re sick, you’ve missed your flight back to campus, or you have pressing personal or family issues. The policy above allows for such absences without penalty. If you need to be absent for some extraordinary reason—because of a severe accident or illness, a family emergency or death, a religious holiday or jury duty—please let me know, and we will work something out. For such absences, either prior notification or subsequent documentation will be required.
I will not accept late work. The class moves quickly and involves a lot of work. It's important you maintain pace and do not get behind. For this reason, I do not accept late work.
Technology Etiquette Policy
This class is dedicated to thinking critically, creatively and productively about technology. This is not a heralding of a consumer relationship to technology, but a critical and intellectual relationship with our technology. Therefore, I ask that on our designated "discussion" days (or if I indicate we are having a discussion), you don't even touch the computer--no logging in, no plying its tempting keyboard, etc. If I do see you on the computer (or your iphone or ipad) without express indication, I will mark you absent for the day. I won't say anything, I will just simply mark you absent. It is imperative for you to be fully present in each moment of our course. If you're finding this difficult, you might think about why technology is so tempting and see if you can give it up for a week!
There will be much designated time for you to engage the machine--not to worry.
No phones or other itechnology either unless I specify otherwise.
I take participation very seriously. You make this class what it is; you are integral to our discussions, ideas, and progress.
That said, there are many ways to participate in class. The most obvious one is to contribute substantially to discussion every day, and I do expect that for most people in class, this will be the case. I expect you to speak at least once each class and to respectfully listen to me and your classmates during discussions. Your phones will be off. It might help you to think of this as a casual business meeting where you’re hoping to network with colleagues and impress your boss. I reserve the right to mark you absent if you don’t follow these guidelines. Participating in class also means speaking up in small group discussions and workshops, listening and taking notes attentively, and so on. If you are a quiet student and would like to talk to me about strategies for speaking up in class, please do so! I’m happy to help however I can.
Simply being present in class does not guarantee a strong participation grade (in fact, attending and occasionally contributing to discussion is equivalent to a C participation grade), but attentively contributing to our class in the ways I mentioned above, both in-person and online, does. Similarly, being inattentive or disruptive (doing other work or texting in class) or tardy will hurt your participation grade. If I see you doing other work or using your cell phone in class, I will make a note of this and your participation for that day will be marked down and you may be marked absent. I will not call you out on this in class (as I mentioned above)—it is your responsibility to pay attention to the work we are doing together every Monday and Wednesday.
All work must be composed in accordance with course instruction and guidelines regarding copyright, educational Fair Use, and Creative Commons licensing practices.
Plagiarism will not be tolerated. All instances of plagiarism will result in an automatic “0” on the assignment, a full revision without credit, and a report to the Dean.
Special Assistance: Salisbury University offers support services for students with disabilities. If you have a physical, learning, or emotional impairment that has an effect on your grades, please call Disability Support Services at 410-543-6080.
Week 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | finals
WEEK 1: Rhetorical Theory
31 Aug | Course Introduction
2 Sept | Introduction to Rhetoric
- Register: for the class blog (you will receive an email from Wordpress) and post an introductory BLOG post telling us about yourself. Make sure you have the right section. Feel free to use the medium as it's meant to be used (i.e. pictures, sound, links)
- Read: Bowdon, Melody and J. Blake Scott. "Chapter 3: A Rhetorical Toolbox for Technical and Professional Communication." Service Learning in Technical and Professional Communication. Longman, 2003.
- Bring: A printed brochure or a website for a public interest organization at SU or local public interest organization
BRING TO CLASS: A printed brochure OR a website for a public interest organization at SU or a local public interest organization. You will discuss this in groups. BE PREPARED TO discuss rhetorical terms from Bowden & Scott: kairos (Gorgias), exigence (Bitzer), audience, discourse community, “available means of persuasion” (Aristotle), genres as social action (C. Miller), ethos, pathos, logos (Aristotle). How do these rhetorical contexts change in digital contexts?
WEEK 2 | What is Digital Rhetoric?
7 Sept | No class | Labor Day
9 Sept | Defining Digital Rhetoric
- BLOG -- Post an answer to Prof. Campbell’s question on the blog or post your own question or answer a peer’s question. Due by midnight before class.
- Read: "Defining and Locating Digital Rhetoric" by Douglas Eyman (PDF on myclasses)
Be prepared to discuss and talk through working definitions of digital rhetoric, new media, technorhetoric, computational rhetoric.
WEEK 3 | What is Digital Rhetoric? cont.
14 Sept | Digitial Rhetoric/New Media: A Theory
- Read: "Interface" by Collin Brooke
- BLOG--Respond to Prof. Campbell’s question on the blog
- Bring three items from home that have meaning to you
Discuss "text," "interface," and "remediation" and our available means of persuasion
Take picture of creations and post to class blog
16 Sept | Composing for re-delivery and circulation
- Read: - Ridolfo & DeVoss, “Composing for Recomposition: Rhetorical Velocity and Delivery, Kairos
- Read: The Real Life Social Network
- Launch: a twitter account (use a pseudonym or your name), follow me (@campbellprof) and tweet at me. Once I get everyone’s usernames, I’ll send out an email with them so that you can follow everyone else in the class. Then begin tweeting about digital rhetoric issues you’re interested in and/or issues in the Salisbury community! Think toward your Audio Documentary(hashtag #eng307)
- Formal + Creative Written paper (800-1000 Words) discussing, defining, representing, imagining, and theorizing digital rhetoric due by Monday 9/21 at 11:59pm.
WEEK 4 | Composing with Audio
21 Sept | Audio + Storytelling
- Read "Record Your Own Audio Documentary" (David Isay)
- Listen: Ira Glass on Storytelling, Part 1
- Read + Listen: Ira Glass on Audio Documentary
- Read: Radio, an illustrated guide (pdf)
- Discuss: on class BLOG your ideas for your audio documentary. Remember, it needs to center on your community and a 1-word or 1-phrase issue
WEEK 5 | Composing with Audio
28 Sept | Writing for the Ear
- Read about "Writing for the Ear": Basic Tips and Geoffrey Nunberg's Principles
- LISTEN: Radiolab: Behind the Scenes
- LISTEN: This American Life--Superpowers!
- LISTEN: Blame
- BLOG rhetorical analysis of one of the audio documentaries
Discussion and analysis of audio
30 Sept | Sonic Rhetorics + Begin collecting and assembling your audio interviews and stories
- Read: "Re-educating the Senses" by Steph Ceraso
- Write: Proposal for audio documentary due (Due to myclasses, re-read assignment here.)
- Watch: Why we tell stories
- Read: "How Training Citizen Journalists Made a Difference"
- Read: "Training a New Generation of Citizen Journalists"
- Read: "How can Disadvantaged Citizens learn to be Journalists"
- Write: Audio documentary script--written for the EAR! (Bring 2 hard copies to class!)
Creepy soundtracks, layering & writing for the erar
WEEK 6 | Composing with Audio
5 Oct | DIY Audio
- BLOG Post: DIY Audio Editing
- DIY In-class Presenters: Emmanuel, Elijah, and Naomi ++ Miranda, Zach & Alison
7 Oct | Audio workshop
- Studio Day
WEEK 7 | Finalizing Audio documentaries
12 Oct | Audio Workshop
- Workshopping Audio Documentary--Roughcuts. BE PREPARED to workshop!!
- Studio day
14 Oct | Studio Audio
WEEK 8 | Web Design | HTML/CSS
19 Oct | HTML
- Do/read/interact with Dreamweaver tutorials:
- Complete: HTMLDog HTML Beginner Tutorial and W3Schools: HTML Basic Tutorial and HTML5 Tutorial
- Read: "9 Essential Principles for Good Web Design"
- Blog: Post beautiful webpages you've found. What makes them beautiful?
- Purchase or find a host: x10hosting.com or bluehost.com What is HTML?
Stages of Web Design
Understand HTML structure elements
Insert HTML Structural Elements
21 Oct | CSS
WEEK 9 | Web Design
26 Oct | Web Design
- Website- Preliminary design concepts (hand sketches for 3 possible designs). Bring to class!
- Watch the entire chapter on Typography on Lynda.com
- Blog Post due: Website Analysis (See prompt)--due by midnight before class
Workshop designs, discuss websites you've found and typography
28 Oct | Web Design | NO CLASS
- Website – First two (ugly) fully-functional pages ONLINE (index and Audio doc. page) with text, link, and images, complete with external CSS.
- Review: color theory to find complimentary colors for your site
- DIY WEB/Dreamweaver tutorial due to class BLOG
WEEK 10 | Youtube personalities + Digital Video or Videocy
2 Nov | Participatory Composition + Electracy + Videocy
- Read: Sarah Arroyo's Participatory Composition, Introduction, pg 1-28.
- Respond: to Prof. Campbell's question on the BLOG
- Find: a favorite Youtube personality. You can refer to this list, but it is by no means exhaustive. Come prepared to share it and discuss it.
Assign youtube personality groups, discuss and analyze youtube videos and personalities, discuss Arroyo
4 Nov | Participatory Composition + Electracy + Videocy
- Read: Sarah Arroyo's Patricipatory Composition, Ch. 2: "Recasting Subjectivity," pg 29-48.
- Watch: Kid President's 20 Things We Should Say More Often
- Watch: Kid President's Pep talk to teachers and students
- Interact/read: Soul Pancake youtube channel
WEEK 11 | Videocy
9 Nov | How to shoot video
- Youtube personality group-written proposal due
- Watch: tutorials Shooting Basics / Framing and Composition / Visual Grammar
- Read: with an eye toward video capture: Read: "Top 10 Photography Composition Rules" and "The Photo Essay: Give It Your Best Shot"
11 Nov | Videocy | Advanced Adobe Premiere Pro
- Watch: Overview
- Watch: Import Media
- Watch: Select shots
- Watch: Edit to the timeline
- Watch: Add transitions
- Watch: Export
- Do ~1 hour: Bald Eagle Video Story (due to the class blog when finished).
Studio Adobe Premiere Pro
Time to meet with video group
WEEK 12 | Videocy
16 Nov | Video Planning
- Read: about Storyboards - (Click here for a storyboard template - optional
Watch: How to create a storyboard
- Outline: of your group's storyboard and script--written also for the ear and eyes!
18 Nov | Studio + Discussion
- Read: Sarah Arroyo's Participatory Composition, Ch. 3 "The Question of Definition," pg 49-76.
- Reading Quiz--Be prepared!
WEEK 13 | Videocy
23 Nov | Studio Time
- BLOG: DIY Video Editing
- DIY In class presenters:
25 Nov | No class
WEEK 14 | Videocy
30 Nov | Studio Video
- ROUGH drafts due. Come prepared to workshop. Youtube personality video rough draft due
Export your video-in-progress and upload to Vimeo (put link on class blog/twitter) . These are rough drafts for workshopping.
2 Dec | Videocy
- Read: Sarah Arroyo's Participatory Composition, Ch 4 "Who Speaks when Something is Spoken"
- Reading quiz in class--BE PREPARED!
WEEK 15 | Last week | Reflection
7 Dec | Videocy
- Read: Sarah Arroyo's Participatory Composition "Afterword"
Final BLOG post: stick a spork in it (bring your post to class).
9 Dec | Last Day of classes!
First Youtube Personality video due (IN CLASS!) + Reflections | Put links on Twitter and circulate in social media
16 Dec | Final youtube video's due + reflection to myclasses, Video Artist statement due and final version of website due. Everything made for our class should be on your website by midnight | It should be polished and pretty
Thank you for the semester! You were all so lovely during my first semester at SU <3
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Course Projects in detail
Written Assignments | Audio Doc. | Youtube Personality | Website Project | Artist Statement
Throughout the term, you will be asked to compose several different kinds of blog posts—mainly critical blog posts and DIY blog posts. Critical blog posts are thoughtful, sometimes theoretical, posts in response to my questions or just of your own invention. DIY blog posts are pedagogical tutorials meant for the class. The requirements are different for each of them.
These are always due by 11pm the night before our class.
Critical Blog Posts: should engage with one or more of the media objects we are viewing / listening to / interacting with for the assigned class period, providing a detailed “reading” of the object’s specific compositional elements and how you see them working toward particular rhetorical or aesthetic ends.
- 1) Take up the prompt loosely as a point of departure.
- 2) Refer to specific examples from the text under examination. Do "close-reading."
- 3) Pose at least one question for class discussion.
- 4) Be a minimum of 300 words.
- 5) Include a descriptive title and relevant tags for navigation and indexing.
- 6) Must be proofread and spell-checked.
DIY Blog Posts: (no prompts provided) should provide practical instruction on a particular skill or technique that is not covered by the in-class studio instruction or assigned tutorials but that might be useful for other students in the course. DIY posts should include relevant images (screenshots, etc.) and links to additional web resources or tutorials, as needed.
Blog posts are due by 11pm the night before we discuss the text in class. Before coming to class, I expect you to review the blog and post a brief response to at least one other student’s post.
Please note: We will also be using the blog as a space to submit and share course projects.
In addition to your weekly posts, you will be commenting on your classmates’ posts. These comments are not "due" per se, but they are vehemently encouraged and will be counted toward your particiaption grade at the end of the semester. Comments should be substantive, and indicate that you’ve read and considered the writer’s post carefully. Ask questions. Further the discussion. Politely disagree with the writer. The goal with the comments is to engage in conversation. Only nitpick the person’s writing if it is unclear, typo-ridden, or in some way distracting to the writer’s message. Ditto the design, or unless otherwise instructed.
You can also respond to comments on your posts. These response comments should likewise be considerate and inquisitive.
If you are engaged by a particular comment discussion, you may continue commenting beyond the initial deadline. In other words, if you and a classmate get into a rousing debate, it’s okay to continue it.
I will be reading and keeping track of your posts and comments each week, but I will only sporadically comment on them at midterm and at the final. I am happy to spend individual time with each of you, however, if you are interested in improving your writing.
You’re required to launch a Twitter account as part of the course. If you already have a personal Twitter account, you should launch a new account specifically for this course. You’ll follow @campbellprof and all other students in the course and you can use your Twitter account to communicate with @campbellprof or other students about the course. In the beginning of the course, you’ll learn to write for Twitter: in concise, 140 character bits, often with links. As the course progresses, you should be tweeting about your chosen audio documentary issue, youtube personality, and DIY helpful links. You should have at least 20 tweets by the end of the semester, but you’ll be more successful using Twitter if you don’t think about it in terms of quantity. Integrate it into your research habits on your issue, tweet when you encounter a good web source, when you’re on the bus and think about something related to your issue, etc. There are no due dates for tweets, but you should post at least on at least a weekly basis.
WRITTEN REFLECTION(S) (DUE FOR EACH PROJECT):
500 words or longer
• standard margins
• standard 12 pt. Times New Roman font
• Polished and thoughtful
• Should take up the key terms and concepts of the course
• works cited list, if applicable (does not count towards page length)
You should always be prepared to discuss your reflection papers in class.
Blog rhetorical analyses (2 total) | 500-700 words
These are to be critical and intellectual blog posts analyzing an object or "text" using the rhetorical concepts we have discussed and read in our class. Please do not perform a rhetorical analysis using ethos, pathos, and logos. Our class is asking you to move beyond the heuristic of ethos, pathos, and logos in pursuit of the ever-evolving concept of rhetoric and its digital outgrowth. Your task in these posts is to use the terms and concepts we've discussed in class to understand, extend, or otherwise engage a rhetorical object or text. See if you can teach us all something in your writing by using the generative terms of our class to delve past the "interface" of an object or text. You can use "I," and have a little fun (because writing is fun), but be sure to also use your rhetorical terms--whatever they may be--thoughtfully, analytically, reflectively, and critically.
Formal + Creative Discussion paper (1 total) | 800-1000 words
This paper is more formal than the blog posts and asks you to both synthesize and think aloud or have a conversation with yourself or me on the page about digital rhetoric. This paper can be creative and fun; it can take any form you'd like, but do finally get to some working idea--either explicitly or implicitly--of digital rhetoric by the end. You must in some way quote, extend, and wrestle with the works and ideas we've already come across in our class, use and synthesize key terms, and show a depth of understanding about digital rhetoric. Don't feel pressued to know THE answer or to settle on any one thing or definition. Explore, inquire, and push against the concepts, but help us, your readers, get somewhere--with you!--by the end. Again, this can be creative and weird or more formal and academic. I will leave the format up to you.
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DIGITAL PROJECT 1: Public Issue Audio DocumentaryTechnology used: Audactiy
This project asks you to pitch, research, interview, draft, and edit an original 10-minute audio documentary exporing a public or community issue in Salisbury circulating around 1 inventive key word or theme (see the BLAME audio piece for ideas). Your documentary should weave together a range of sonic elements (oral interviews, voiceover commentary, field recordings, music, sound effects, etc.) that you have produced and collected to tell and original nonfiction narrative. You may use archive.org or freesound.org to find sound effects and music, but original productions are encouraged whenever possible.
You will need to collect the sound and then edit it, making it flow, giving it a beginning, middle and end, using suspense, adding effects, etc. This piece needs to have a "so what" or what Ira Glass calls, "reflection," which we will talk about in class.
Before beginning your project, you will compose a 250-word proposal for your audio documentary piece, providing a rationale for: the questions your project will raise, the individual(s)your project will involve, the methods you will employ, the audience you will target, the word you wish to explore, and the significance of telling this story. Also layout what you imagine this project to look like at this stage--the different parts, content, etc.
After collecting your interviews and recordings, you will produce a detailed outline of your project, laying out the sequence, arrangement, and transitions of your narrative. For all sections that will feature your own authorial voice as voice-over (i.e. setting the scene, providing commentary, etc.), write out a verbatim script for your oral performance, with attention to principles of “writing for the ear.” You may use your own voice and the voice of actors or other volunteers, but you must write the script.
Finally, you will compose a 500-word reflection on your audio composition process, discussing (1) your rhetorical, aesthetic and affective aims in selecting, layering, and arranging your audio content and (2) how your project responds to and expands upon the approaches to digital rhetoric and writing for the web that we discussed in class.
The final version will be titled and uploaded to Soundcloud and embedded in your website.
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DIGITAL PROJECT 2: YOUTUBE PERSONALITY | GROUP PROJECT
Technology used: Youtube + Adobe Premier Pro
In groups of 3-4, this project invites you to propose, research, draft and edit your own youtube personality video series. You will produce 2-4 small youtube videos featuring this personality and you will be responsible for ciruclating and spreading this personality throughout the web using social media.
We will spend time looking at and thinking about other popular youtube personalities and then your group will collectively create their own youtube channel and personality thinking about "participatory composition" and the rhetoric of the personality.
You will plan, storyboard, shoot, and edit 2-4 short (2- to 3-minute) digital videos. Drawing upon the models of youtube personalities we have discussed in class, your personality should revolve around a central theme relevant to our cultural values, but you should also be critical intellectuals as you compose this personality. Consider Arroyo's concepts and arguments about videocy, and the rhetorical, aesthetic, and affective decisions you are making in the process.
Before beginning your project, you will compose a 250-word group proposal for your youtube personality. Your proposal should provide a rationale for: the individual(s) you will involve, the questions your project will raise, the methods you will employ, the audience you will target, and the significance of the personality you will take up.
Also in the planning stages, you will produce a detailed storyboard for your first video, laying out sketches of at least 4 scenes with written annotations for set direction, camera movement, resources needed, etc.
While the bulk of the materials you use should be shot by you for the purposes of this assignment, you may, if you choose, source and use additional audio (music, etc.) and archival materials (photographs, etc), provided that you do so in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine.
Finally, you will each compose a 500-word reflection on your video composition process, discussing (1) your rhetorical, aesthetic and affective aims in selecting, layering, and arranging your video content and (2) how your project responds to and expands upon the approaches to videocy detailed by Arroyo that we discussed in class. (3) Consider whether your rhetorical and affective decisions and consequences. Discuss successes as well as failures.
Title and Upload videos to your Vimeo account and embed them in our blog and eventually your website.
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DIGITAL PROJECT 3: WEBSITE (SEMESTER LONG)Technology used: Dreamweaver, HTML5, CSS3
For this project, you will create a fully designed, formatted, and styled website that will serve as a creative portfolio and archive for housing all of your projects for the course and any other professional projects you'd like to preview.
This project requires you to:
- Purchase a host: (this one is free and easy to use: https://x10hosting.com/ or biz.nf).
- Draft and present your design concept—informed by research on relevant examples—including three preliminary sketches, a final design mock-up, and a navigational plan.
- Author your site from scratch in HTML5 (Hypertext Mark-up Language) and CSS / CSS3 (Cascading Style Sheets). Please note: While you are encouraged to use a web-authoring editor, such as Adobe Dreamweaver, you may not use pre-made templates or “sand-box” web tools to produce your site.)
- Compose and edit relevant informational text and images for the site and employ a consistent design conceptualization and navigation system throughout.
- Update your website throughout the term, integrating feedback from in-class workshops and maintaining an up-to-date portfolio of all assignments and course projects.
You are expected to revise and refine your website design throughout the semester and for your Final Portfolio at the end of the term. For full credit, your site should have some kind of dynamic design element (think CSS 3).
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VIDEO ARTIST STATEMENT
Technology used: open choice!
Go wild. This video artist statement can look and feel however you want. Do be creative and weird or don't--it is your artist statement.
Typically an artist's statement is a short piece that offers insight into artist’s body of work by describing the artist's creative process, philosophy, vision, and motivation. Its goal is to enlighten and engage. Therefore an artist's statement should be easy to watch, be informative, and pique the audience's interest. You may find it helpful to consider the following as you prepare your video artist statement.
- What your work (all of it--text and written work along with the digital projects) in this class has been about and what motivates that:
- What issues are you exploring and why?
- What concepts, themes or convictions underpin your work?
- How do your life experiences influence your work?
- How does your personality influence your work?
- How have your ideas developed?
- The techniques and materials you use:
- How and why did you choose them?
- Do you have a particular process of working? Does that process contribute or participate in the work’s content?
- Do you intend to explore other techniques or materials in the future?
- Your goals and aspirations and to what extent you have realized them.