Thesis: Writing center design should encompass multiple and diverse spaces to accommodate the personal preferences and writerly contexts of the student; however, the writing center staff should serve as guides to helping students gain the most meaning from the space … Continue reading →
My digital life may have begun as a kid in the 1970s in attempting to draw cartoons (and doing it poorly) from step-by-step books found at the library. The 1980s popularized the Atari 2600, and I remember my fingers nearly … Continue reading →
My research interests have revolved around writing centers, specifically as they are partnered with libraries and librarians. This Pinterest board reflects what we call the Writing Studio, located at the Clearwater campus. As you will see, one large desk is at the center, and normally on one side, the librarians are seated and on the other are writing specialists. The idea is for a collaborative space that provides individual instruction in research and writing in a seamless way.
As I think about visual rhetorics, I consider the space of the Writing Studio: its design and its meaning. Questions arise, such as: How does the design affect identity within the space, both for students and personnel? What subjectivity is found in the space? What ideologies and assumptions stem from the space? What image do students have of this type of space if they have no previous reference point for writing centers?
According to Hill and Helmers (2004), Gerard Genette argues for the term transtextuality over the more commonly used intertextuality (p. 14). Genette’s definition of transtextuality is defined as “all that sets the texts in a relationship, whether obvious or concealed, with other texts” (as cited in Hill and Helmers, 2004, p. 14).
This idea reminds me of an artifact of an assignment I often used in a first-year composition course when discussing visual literacy and visual rhetoric. This assignment is actually what I might refer to as a forced transtextuality as I would ask students to compare analysis of two images in separate weeks of the course. The two assignments are below:
Based on your readings, describe, in one paragraph, the composition elements of the image, paying attention to its concrete nature (description). You may consider using the spatial approach under the “Analyzing Order” section.
Now, view this image and read this passage from Pale Blue Dotby Carl Sagan. The images may be different between NASA’s Apollo 17 and its Voyager 1, but they are both about planet earth.
Explain the differences and similarities between how you analyzed the world and how Sagan analyzes its existence in his text. Is his writing more about the composition of the photo or its context? What stands out or draws you in to his writing? After reading Sagan’s text, is there anything you would change regarding your own analysis?
Hill, C. A., & Helmers, M. H. (2004). Defining visual rhetorics. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Lenses come in convex and concave forms. This comic, like the concave lens itself, diverges a bit to deliver a visual wordplay as a reminder of the term. Note: the cave opening is actually more convex than concave, however.