Reviewing CCCC 2000: Revisualizing the Space of Electronic Writing Instruction: Words+Images+ Spaces+Sounds=The Writing Classroom 2000 (D.29)
This was an incredible panel. There wasn't an empty seat in the room and people were even sitting on the floor. Many, upon opening the door, turned away when they realized the room was full. They shouldn't have. Sitting on the floor was never so rewarding.
Geoffrey Sirc's piece, "Virtual Urbanism," was as poetic and inspiring as his work always is. He held the audience in rapt attention and was fully deserving of the round of applause he got upon finishing his reading.
Michele Shauf and Carolyn Handa dealt with ways we might recognize and teach visual rhetoric and literacy. Michele Shauf focused mostly on students' work, pointing out that students are finding it so easy to include images that they are failing to recognize that images have their own rhetoric in the logic of space, subordination, and proportion. She fears that the art of rhetoric, instead of shaping multimedia composition, is being subsumed by it. Thus, she makes her students justify their purpose in using a certain technology before they can use it in their composition.
Carolyn Handa echoed Shauf's concern about the over-mis-use of technology. Using Greg Ulmer's words from his book, Teletheory, she made her point that "It is time for the humanities disciplines to establish our cognitive jurisdiction over the communications revolution." She asserted that images and sounds cannot be used merely as decoration but must serve a rhetorical purpose. She modeled her ideas rather than expounding on them by juxtaposing sounds with words in exciting and moving ways that showed more effectively than a paper could ever tell how words, images and sounds can be effectively used in teaching and writing.
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