Welcome to English 6344: Rhetoric in Digital Environments. This website will function as the online headquarters for our class this semester. Each week, I will post an update to the website with details about coming week, deadline reminders, links to helpful resources, etc… I will use Virginia Tech’s Scholar site to record your grades, but otherwise, everything related to this course will be posted here. You should bookmark this site on your laptop, your tablet, your phone, etc. — whatever you use to get online.
A bit about me: I’ve been at Virginia Tech almost three years, and I love it here. I’ve been anxiously waiting to teach this seminar since I arrived — my job description is “assistant professor of digital rhetoric” and all of my research and teaching intersects with technology in some way. I spend a lot of time thinking about the digital tools that shape my research and teaching, and I love comparing workflows with other academics — especially my students. When I’m not working, I like to cook, read, watch British TV shows with my wife, a brilliant freelance writer, and hang out with our two daughters.
The Week 2 post will be up soon, but here are a few tasks you need to complete ASAP:
- Create a Twitter account, if you don’t have one already. In recent years, Twitter has become the primary hub for conversations in the field of digital rhetoric, and I hope you’ll start following and participating in those conversations, if you aren’t already doing so. We’ll also be studying popular hashtags on Twitter throughout the semester, so you’ll need to familiarize yourself with Twitter’s interface, search tools, and third-party clients. For now, though, you just need to create an account, add a photo, and customize your profile.
- Get familiar with your Google Drive account, which is connected to your vt.edu email address.
- Purchase copies of the textbooks listed on the Course Policies page. I don’t have a preference for hardback, paperback, or ebook, so feel free to buy these books in the format that best suits your reading/studying style.
- Read two essays before you come to class on Thursday: “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” by Walter Benjamin, and “As We May Think,” by Vannevar Bush. (Be sure to take a look at this PDF scan of a condensed version of Bush’s article, which includes some important illustrations.)