This course introduces students to critical traditions and techniques in the analysis of a wide variety of texts, including those produced in professional, academic, and domestic settings. Central to this analysis will be consideration of the historical contexts in which these texts are created and experienced, and the people and tools involved in these processes. Students enrolled in the course will gain insights to the rhetorical dimension of communication by examining how texts composed in various media – oral, written, visual, blended – are produced, responded to, circulated, and adapted to new purposes. Students will be required to produce texts using various sorts of media.
This course challenges students to think through issues of culture, ideology, race, class, and gender through the lens of sonic studies. Students will be introduced to histories of sound reproduction, emerging sound technologies, music, and the presence of sound in various forms of media. In conjunction with covering a diverse array of current scholarship, this course will explore the intersection between communication, culture, and technology. More specifically, students will have the opportunity to build competencies in sound aesthetics as a historical and political object of inquiry and, most importantly, put those competencies into practice. Students will collect, create, and analyze sound in addition to images and texts.
ENGL 493/635 Graduate Seminar in Communication and Technology
Black Culture in the Digital Age
This course explores the intersections of race, ethnicity, discourse, media, and communication systems. In addition to introducing students to social theories, cybercultures, and other aspects of digital communication, students will explore issues of representation, identity, education, justice, inequality, and power. Students will also grapple with the impact of digital media on social movements, such as Black Lives Matter, as well as its impact on more traditional African-American rhetorical themes (racial uplift, the African-American Jeremiad, etc.) and rhetorical practices (call and response, signifying, African-American Vernacular English, etc.) in conjunction with online networking activity (Black Twitter) and the creation and maintenance of Black public spheres. Students will engage and compose a variety of multimodal texts with attention to the evaluation and application of rhetorical theory to digital media and communication technologies.