English 3XX: Digital Rhetoric

This course begins—and maybe even ends—with a question: what is digital rhetoric? Is digital rhetoric just rhetoric that happens to occur in digital settings, or is there something more to consider? Is there, or should there be, a separate theory of digital rhetoric? Rhetoric is an ancient discipline, but many things about the way we communicate have changed radically since classical times—and even in the past five years. Thus, we must consider how digital media (or new media) and rhetoric collide—how they influence each other mutually, and how best to communicate in rhetorically effective ways as we work in digital environments and with digital media. Because the discipline of rhetoric is inherently concerned with both the art of composing effectively and the study of that art, you will encounter a healthy mix of theory and practice in this course. Because rhetoric is concerned with the relationship between the rhetor and the audience or reader, we will explore the networked practices of writing and reading as well as the construction of identity in digital environments.

Our readings, discussions, and projects throughout this course will help us to:

  • Understand and interact with digital environments as deeply rhetorical spaces.
  • Become more sophisticated and critical navigators and consumers of digital media.
  • Reflect thoughtfully on the ways traditional, print-based, analogue, and digital media shape our conceptions of writing and composing.
  • Build and manage an online presence appropriate to professional and educational pursuits.
  • Employ flexible strategies for writing and composing processes in both traditional and digital environments, including generating ideas; gathering, evaluating, and organizing material; and drafting, revising, editing, proofreading, and publishing text.
  • Reflect on learning and writing as part of a deliberately constructed digital identity.
  • Recognize and practice both digital and scholarly citizenship, giving and receiving constructive criticism and understanding the value of multiple perspectives.

Syllabus and Course Schedule coming soon.
Visit the course website.