Reading together

Perusall logoWe’ll use Perusall to annotate and read together.

Instructions for joining on the Assignments page.




Time photoOur course invites you to work with data collection and analysis, readings, and discussion around the field of literacy studies

Author: kjaxon

Resources for Class tonight (11/13)

Resources for Class tonight (11/13)

Shared google doc for brainstorming

Description and analysis

Data from a homework assignment:

While this may seem ridiculous, I would like to explore this inquiry through an exploration of technology screens. For example, a computer monitor or television can only depict the colors red, green, and blue in each pixel; however, we are clearly able to see each color on the monitor. This is created through proximity of pixels (like a painting by Seurat!) The rainbow may in fact be like a giant pointillism canvas filled with an infinite number of dots.

–THIS! THIS IS A QUESTION! Your group started looking at iPhone screens today, right? I’d love to see you do more with this. Like: why red/green/blue? How does a TV screen show a rainbow if it’s only using red/green/blue?

Analysis of instructor feedback:

There are many ways to respond to Cassandra’s writing. The assignment did not ask for such speculation, and instead called for students to make and defend a claim regarding color. The phrasing “while this may seem ridiculous…” and the exclamation point in her parenthetical comment are not typical of scientific texts, and an instructor could identify for the student that this kind of language is not appropriate for science assignments. The redundancy in the first sentence (“explore…through an exploration”) is also not the focus of Leslie’s comment. The idea Cassandra offers—that a rainbow may be a “pointillism canvas” that gives the illusion of colors not actually present—is, in fact, the opposite of what a rainbow is doing (separating white light into its constituent wavelengths); the instructor could address this and discourage the student from pursuing this line of reasoning. Alternatively, the instructor could suggest recommended readings that address the students’ misconception or provide a template for writing that would have avoided such idiosyncratic writing and ideas. All of these possible responses, Brannon and Knoblauch argue, “[tend] to show students that the teacher’s agenda is more important than their own, that what they wanted to say is less relevant than the teacher’s impression of what they should have said” (158). Instead of “fixing” Cassandra’s ideas and writing, the instructor shows enthusiasm for this student’s ideas, attending to the nascent attempts to model color. The comment shows that the idea is indeed not ridiculous at all. The instructor recognizes that the idea is one that the students have already (since submitting the assignment) begun to pursue and she can imagine the variety of questions that their pursuit raises.

example ethnography


James Gee

Dr. Sparks’ Talk tonight (Nov 6)

Dr. Sparks’ Talk tonight (Nov 6)

Howdy nice people,

Here are the details for Dr. Sparks’ talk tonight as part of the Digital Humanities series:

“Scrolling is Inevitable, Like Falling”: Digital Rhetoric in Human Rights Activism

Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019, 5–6 p.m.

Meriam Library, Room 252

From human trafficking to police brutality, in our contemporary global landscape it seems atrocities of one kind or another are a constant. This presentation explores the role of non-humans, or objects, in promoting human rights activism. Using the digital outreach of Amnesty International as a case study, I sketch a re-orientation that asks us to consider rhetorical delivery beyond the speaker. What does our growing understanding of human-digital interaction mean for activism? How are human rights issues “delivered” across digital networks? What roles might humans and non-humans play in network flows of information and activism?

If you want, we can meet outside our classroom (ARTS 105) at 4:45 and walk over together. Look forward to going to this talk with y’all.


Reminders week 3

Reminders week 3

Hello nice people,
First of all, thank you so much for the really smart work you did with Brandt in last night’s class. I look forward to continuing to look at those sections of Brandt on Monday. I’ll give you a couple minutes to regroup and I’ll bring back the posters.
  • Sunday night, you have a post due about Brandt. Look for the category “Brandt (Sept 15)” in our G+ community. Remember that the prompts are linked on the calendar, but feel free to riff off any of the ideas in Brandt that are interesting to you or you want to sort out through writing about the ideas.
  • We’ll look over Monday’s readings that are listed on the calendar together, but you might peak at them before class. The readings for the next two weeks are previews for the “article group assignment” so that you can make an informed decision about your article group choice. (The article groups will lead a 60 minute workshop with our class based on the ideas in a focused subfield of literacy studies: Gaming & Literacy, Digital Literacies & Ethics, Make/Hack/Play Literacies, or Social Justice & Media Literacies)
  • Oh, and one heads up in case you never had a chance to read the syllabus: you can only miss class 3 times total this semester. You can see the full policy here. Since we were missing a couple of people last night (and it is so early in the semester to start missing), I just wanted to highlight this.
Have a great weekend and see you Monday.
Reminders for Week 2

Reminders for Week 2

Hello nice people of English 332,
As promised, your friendly reminders as we head into the weekend and week 2:
  • POST: you have a discussion post due by Monday night in our G+ community. Links to the G+ and the prompts are on our site and the calendar.
    • respond to a peer’s post. Always: write one, then respond to one.
  • BOOK CLUB: Think about the book club choice (check our syllabus page). Let me know which book you want to read (and get it ordered) here.
  • SELF STUDY: track your literacies for a couple of days. Bring the data to class Wednesday. You can find the assignment here.
  • For Wednesday, read chapter 1 in the New Literacies Sampler (1-22). This frame will help us think about what makes something a “new literacy.” image of the book New LIteracies Sampler
Have a great weekend!
Friendly reminders for Aug 28

Friendly reminders for Aug 28

Hi nice people,
Really enjoyed meeting everyone last night. Here are some friendly reminders for tomorrow:
  • Come having read Szwed. Link on calendar and here too. Have the reading available on a laptop, tablet, whatever, so we can refer to it.
    • If it’s helpful, here is what we’ll do with the reading so you can think about this as you read: How does Szwed understand literacy practices (what does he mean by the social meaning of literacy) (422-423)? How does he say others define literacy? Why is this narrow definition a problem according to Szwed? Point us to a passage to consider as a class: What does it say, what does it mean, why does this matter?
  • Bring a laptop/tablet so we can get set up on G+. Your first response is due Monday night.
  • We’ll talk about your literacy self study too (you’ll track your literacies for a couple of days)
Looking forward to our work together.