Digital Access Points for Embodiment: Intersections and Interventions in Digital Composing

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Digital Access Points for Embodiment: Intersections and Interventions in Digital Composing

This panel explores the prospects for engaging students within digital spaces as a way of promoting agency and embodied writing. The speakers will articulate digital pedagogies that speak to issues of access, sexuality, and peer review, in an effort to develop strategies and discourses that help students position themselves rhetorically in the online and hybrid platforms they navigate on a daily basis. By locating these digital pedagogies within a broad and varied constellation of subject positions, the speakers problematize attempts to disseminate a singular, totalizing discourse of the digital divide, therefore staging interventions within the composition classroom in and around marginalized digital spaces.


Drawing the New Queer Composition Pedagogy from Online Archives 

Queer pedagogy is stuck right now and Speaker One will address this complacency of queer composition pedagogy to move beyond marginal representation. Drawing from multimodal composing performed by ACT UP during the AIDS plague as well as from contemporary YouTube coming out narratives and spoken word poems is effective, but while it is wonderful to consider the rhetorical practices of queers in the confines of digital archived spaces like Alexander and Rhodes do in “Queer Rhetoric and the Pleasures of the Archive,” we need to actually consider how these online spaces inform the writing of our bodies. In other words, the speaker will work to answer how queer pedagogy might operate as collaboration in learning what is both silenced and unknown. If digital spaces offer resources, “voices and views” and facilitate queerness, as Alexander and Rhodes argue, this speaker argues that digital spaces also provide templates for how queer pedagogy can be transferred into the composition classroom: collaboratively and multimodally in order to both survive and “invent the university,” as well as rewrite it. The speaker will also address the trouble with non-f2f online spaces when they attempt to address sexuality because the trouble and fear embedded in this version of queer composition pedagogy subverts moving past conceptualizing queer composition pedagogy as representing queer identities.


Interventions and Intersections of Rhetoric: An Embodied Approach to Making Multimodal Projects and Addressing the Digital Divide

Within the composition classroom, T.V. Reed in his book titled Digitized Lives: Issues of Culture, Power, and Social Change in the Internet Era discusses how technology "personalizes situations where one-size-fits all education is foisted upon a classroom of 20 or 30 or 40 students, each of whom has a different learning style, pace and set of needs" (168). Thinking critically about technology use, multimodal pedagogy helps contest prescribed uses of digital modalities, which in turn allows them to explore their learning process and how the compositions they produce are situated in the world rhetorically. Being mindful about the ways in which we ask our students to compose with technology stresses what Dr. Kristin Arola has argued in a recent presentation titled, “Slow Composition: An Indigenous Approach to Multimodal Composition,” discusses slowing down our composing with technology forces us to think rhetorically about embodiment and the spaces we occupy digitally. This presentation will offer strategies and pedagogical applications on how we ask students to use technology in the composition classroom, specifically focusing on issues of digital critical literacy, and how multimodal composing might help certain groups of students to feel a sense of agency (be that any traditionally disadvantaged group), or might help address issues of the digital divide. By challenging students to think rhetorically about the ways in which they use technology, we can create an intersection between digital literacies and cultural literacies, not understanding the two as separate literacies but connected practice.


Peer Review as Embodied Practice: Interplay Between Asynchronous and Traditional f2f Peer Review in the Composition Classroom 

Recent scholarship in composition studies, writing center pedagogy, and distance education has explored the prospects for locating peer review within a variety of asynchronous digital mediums (Knoch, Read, & von Randow, 2007; Bradley, 2012; and DePew & Lettner-Rust, 2009). Much of this scholarship has extolled the virtues of these mediums in helping students generate and respond to comments and feedback. Less critical attention, however, has been paid to the intellectual and pedagogical value of featuring asynchronous digital mediums alongside traditional f2f peer review. Building off of scholarship on blended learning environments (Szeto, 2014; Miyazoe & Anderson, 2011; and De Smet, Van Keer, & Valcke, 2008), speaker three will elucidate upon methods and possibilities for integrating creative and purposeful juxtapositions between asynchronous digital mediums and traditional ftf peer review in the composition classroom. In re-constituting peer review as a sort of interplay between digital and real-world learning environments, this paper argues for a new brand of peer review in composition studies, one that might provide fertile ground for further emphasizing and engaging with the material conditions through which students compose, revise, and respond to one another's work and feedback.

Discussions pertaining to, and reflecting critically upon how to embody our digital compositions asks students to think rhetorically about how their bodies in these digital spaces can and do stake agency. Moving beyond simply using technology in our classrooms and considering how such use positions us rhetorically within our culture, we hope to provide a pedagogical framework that invites conversations as well as applications to our technology use as it becomes embedded in our teaching.
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