New Media Scholarship and Teaching

steampunk_archive_icon_by_yereverluvinuncleber-d5jsav0Cushman, Ellen. “New Media Scholarship and Teaching: Challenging the Hierarchy of Signs.” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition, and Culture 11.1 (2010): 63-79.

“considering the role of the public intellectual in English studies and the ways in which English studies has promoted or discouraged these roles” (Cushman 64)

“the intellectual activities centered on a “production of meaning” might include film and digital video produc- tion and composition and rhetoric—any discipline of English studies that, in other words, explores and reveals how individuals use multiple media to teach and create meaning” (Cushman 64)

Film, public and student writing, video are not taken as seriously as print and/or painting. This means that they tend to be excluded from the discipline (Cushman 65).

dominance of monomodality seen in English departments (66)

“In The Rise and Fall of English, Robert Scholes describes the four intellectual activities that take place in English studies: theorizing, historicizing, producing, and consuming texts” (Cushman 67).

W. J. T. Mitchell (1995) follows a similar path in his insistence on image/text as chang- ing the ways textuality structures intellectual activities in English studies. Mitchell discusses the need to change the discipline but offers little in terms of possibility: “The pictorial turn is not just about the new significance of visual culture; it has implications for the acts of reading, literature, and lit- eracy. This means that literary studies cannot simply ‘add on’ the study of film, television, and mass culture to its lists of courses without changing the whole map of the discipline” (418). (Cushman 67)

“Jay Bolter and Richard Grusin (2000: 30) find that Mitchell’s ‘picture theory finally assimilates images to words more than the reverse'” (Cushman 68).

“[T]he resistance to print’s prominence as premiere sign technology for meaning making lays the groundwork for new media composing as a scholarly and teaching endeavor” (Cushman 68).

questioning“What might a multimodal digital essay look like, and how could it work to destabilize the hierarchy of signs in knowledge-making practices? In what ways might new media technologies untidy the neat lines of print?” (Cushman 69).

Calling not necessarily for more scholarship on new media, instead calling for more new media scholarship–creating the scholarship with new media (Cushman 69).

“scholarship based on interpretation of new media as objects is not the same as production of new media scholarship” (Cushman 70).

New media scholarship rests on textuality, because it develops work with multiple sign technologies that reflects theorizing, historicizing, producing, and interpreting meaning. New media scholarship involves untold numbers of rhetorical decisions concerning the form and content of various sign technologies at every point of the creative process and makes knowledge that is subject to peer review. (Cushman 70)

“Michael Wesch (2007) uses screen captures, stills, and text to illustrate the ways in which the collaboratively authored Web 2.0 connects data by seamlessly, invisibly, tagging users’ moves” (Cushman 71).

“New media essays have the potential to treat all sign technologies equally” (Cushman 73).

“Skills and knowledge are intricately connected and enable learning and retention” (Cushman 74).

“Because new media reproduce, comment on, and replace each other, this process mitigates against the supremacy of print because it reforms the real- ity produced by the old media of letter and delivery vehicle of print” (Cushman 75).

“When we ask our students to produce and teach them how to produce these new media compositions, they begin to engage in precisely the kinds of intellectual activities that textuality demands” (Cushman 76).

“[N]ew media might allow literary humanists another way to enter the Web 2.0 era, to make knowledge with and for publics using a plurality of media” (Cushman 77).

WC CC3 by Twice25
WC CC3 by Twice25
Related readings:
Mary Hocks’s “Understanding Visual Rhetoric in Digital Writing Environments” (2003)

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (2003: 57) Standard XI: “accomplished Adolescence and Young Adulthood/English Language Arts teachers enable students to critically read, evaluate, and produce messages in a variety of media.”

Wysocki, Anne Frances. 1998. “Monitoring Order: Visual Desire, the Organization of Web
Pages, and Teaching the Rules of Design.” Kairos 3.2.


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