Envisioning the Pechkucha

2 September 2015

ATL Digital Pedagogy Meetup

Envisioning the Pechakucha: Strategies for Invention and Revision in the Literature Classroom

In my presentation I will discuss the way I use pechakucha presentations—20×20, minimal copy, automatic scroll, slide shows—in my course on Shakespeare and the environment. For their final project, students in my class produce a scholarly webtext, which they develop independently and in a series of stages. Since the final project must be a born digital text that engages some aspect of Shakespeare and the environment, I ask students to present their project as pechakucha slide shows during their composition process. Even though many students are used to creating presentations that showcase and reflect upon completed projects, when visual presentations are used as formative tools they can become “…a site for a rough draft, shared with a real audience. Or: envisionment(Kathleen Yancy, “Made Not Only In Words” 320). I argue that using slide show presentations at the draft stage provides an opportunity for students to generate conversation and garner feedback using visual and aural rhetoric. Furthermore, requiring the pechakucha in the middle of the writing process, as opposed to the end, encourages students to compose their final projects in completely digital environments.


McKenna Rose, Bio:

I am a fifth year PhD candidate in the Department of English at Emory University, where I specialize in English Renaissance drama. My research interests include ecocriticism, deconstruction, object-oriented studies, and humanities computing. I am currently working on a dissertation provisionally titled, Hoarding the Renaissance: Life After Life on the Early English Stage. I also serve as the senior Writing Program fellow for Domain of One’s Own, a digital pedagogy program in which students are encouraged to own and administrate their own websites.


Introduction (Open to your personal site)

Thanks so much for inviting me. I’m here to talk about how I use PechaKucha presentations in my literature course as a strategy for invention and revision. Before I get to the assignment itself, I’ll briefly describe the course, and ways in which the Pechakucha assignment both helps me meet my course outcomes and solve some challenges, which are unique to ENG 210”W,” i.e. continuing writing courses at Emory.

Course Description (Open to the About page of your course site)

My course is an introduction to William Shakespeare’s plays and poems that emphasizes performance history and environmental themes to develop students’ close reading and writing skills; literary historical knowledge; and multimodal research techniques. During the semester students write and administer their own websites on which they publish required projects such as a short paper; an infographic; a digital hypertext; a Pechakucha presentations; a series of short, multimedia blog posts, and a final, scholarly web text they develop on their own. The course centers on the term globe to circumscribe the Shakespearean canon, inform textual inquiry, and compare the past with the present in an attempt to redress the current environmental crisis. We study Shakespeare’s work under dire circumstances: inescapable climate shifts, constant species extinction, relentless resource depletion, and the final adulteration of air, water, and land. Since the Anthropocene began in and around the Globe Theater, Shakespeare’s plays offer resources that can help to sustain our globe by reanimating a specifically Renaissance ethic of intimacy and nonhuman care.

Projected Learning Outcomes (Scroll down to outcomes)

My learning outcomes are Analysis, Literacy, Persuasion, Collaboration, and Imagination. I add to the skills goals, a desire on my part to have students build coursework on Shakespeare and the Environment that can make modest, but lasting contributions to both fields. Both Shakespeare and Environmental studies rely on and are enlivened by contributions by amateur or non-specialist authors. How can individual sites and modal writing work create lasting contributions?

Addressing Challenges (Click on the Major Authors link to the course atlas)

So the course I am teaching is a 200 level continuing writing course. At Emory all undergrads have to take three continuing writing courses to graduate, so what that means is that students at levels enroll in courses marked “W” at any time during their graduate careers. I have an almost equal distribution of students at all course levels in my current course.

Solutions (Click on your Assignment Page)

The Domain project, in general, and the scholarly multimedia assignment, in particular, helps me keep seniors, who are about to graduate engaged without leaving first years behind. I assign a scholarly webtext, so that students at all skill levels can guide their level of inquiry and I can tailor assessment to fit the final projects. In “Assessing scholarly multimedia: A rhetorical genre studies approach,” Cheryl Ball defines webtexts as, “Scholarly multimedia…article- or book length, digital pieces of scholarship designed using multimodal elements to enact authors’ arguments. They incorporate interactivity, digital media, and different argumentation strategies…” (62).  A webtext cannot be translated to a hard copy without significant meaning loss. The webtext she asks her students to author are born digital because as Ball explains, “If you start with Word, you’ll end with word” (72). In order for students to “enact their arguments” in their designs, she asks them to “think of a visual metaphor for their arguments” (72).

Pechakucha (Open the Presentation Assignment)

To draft and present the guiding argument or theme of their final project as a “visual argument,” I require all the students to perform a Pechakucha during the draft phase. Pechakucha presentations are slideshows, comprised of 20, minimal copy, slides set to scroll automatically after 20 seconds. The presenter synchs her memorized, verbal presentation with the scrolling slides. Pechakucha presentations were developed by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture, because “architects talk too much! Give a microphone and some images to an architect — or most creative people for that matter — and they’ll go on forever! Give PowerPoint to anyone else and they have the same problem” (par 3). I have required Pechakucha presentations in the past and I discovered that not only do they keep students focused on their topic, they work well a stage in writing process.

Play example of Pechkucha

Conclusion (scroll down to final portion of assignment page)

Though many students are used to creating presentations that showcase and reflect upon completed projects, when visual presentations are used as formative tools they can become, as Kathleen Yancy argues in “Made Not Only In Words, “…a site for a rough draft, shared with a real audience. Or: envisionment(320). Pechakucha presentations at the draft stage provide an opportunity for students to generate conversation and garner feedback using visual and aural rhetoric. Not only does the presentation style engage audiences, encourage feedback, but also students can revising other projects into the presentation. Then because the presentations ask students to organize their projects according to a visual metaphor, it seems like a great tool to help draft final projects.

Sources Cited

Ball, Cheryl. Ball, Cheryl E. “Assessing scholarly multimedia: A rhetorical genre studies approach.” Technical Communication Quarterly 21.1 (2012): 61-77.

Yancy, Kathleen. “Made Not Only in Words: Composition in a New Key.” CCC 56.2 (2004): 297-328).

Reading Across Platforms

Reading Across Platforms is an outline of an assignment sequence designed for students in courses that require multimodal writing and reading. Since rhetorical situation determines the skills required for effective reading and writing, I contend students need to be taught how to read across platforms. Thorough knowledge of platform features enables responsive reading/writing. Along with teaching tool features, the activity helps students reflect on the choices they make when reading and writing in different platforms. The activity is less interested in championing one tool over another (i.e. audio over database), as it in fitting students with a range of skills they can use to respond to the requirements of the rhetorical situations in which they find themselves.

List of Classroom Activities

In the document embedded below, you will find a list of activities that can be adapted and run in composition and literature courses at most undergraduate levels. The activities emphasize one or more of the following skills: collaboration; leadership; audience awareness; revision; synthesis; retention; and judgement. I assembled the list from the following texts: On Course: A Week By Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching; Literary Learning; and Mad at School: Rhetorics of Mental Disability and Academic Life. 


The Weather on FaceBook

Draft of sustainable assignment for Piedmont Project

Outcome Goals:

Frame research questions and circumvent a digital data set

Develop best practices for comparative analysis of visual and verbal digital texts

Represent findings in multiple modes: argument driven analysis essay & visually as maps or infografics


Work as citizen scientists assess warming or environmental change and its effects over time via a social media database


The idea for the assignment grew out of a conversation I had with colleagues about decorum and social media, where I joked, “If I you can’t say something nice on Facebook, just post about the weather.” It made me wonder how many users did just that—talked about the weather (regardless of motivation). My Facebook feed this winter kept me apprised of the record snow fall in Boston; the relentless cold in MI; and the terrifying drought on the West Coast. That night I flipped through pics of my friends and family at ski resorts over the last 5 or so years, and given clear direction and outcome goals, I bet I could use that data effectively. I wonder if my students could, with clear perimeters that we all work to generate together, also cull together and represent similar findings. One of the toughest problems with climate shift, species depletion, pollution, etc. is representing the scale and rate of change. Effective data collection and representation requires a huge effort on the part of citizen scientists, which is why this project (might) work in a first year writing course that emphasizes the enduring importance of the amateur in American natural history/environmentalism.


This is all in the draft stage, so I’m really grateful for the opportunity to develop the project through Piedmont.


Looking forward to meeting you!





EMMC Spring Symposium

The slideshare is embedded below.

Also, happy Earth Day!

Slide One: In the future, there will have been no more water.

This is a picture of Lake Tahoe, the largest alpine lake in North America, located on the boarder of California and Nevada. The Lake has fallen below its natural rim for the longest time in recorded history because warming and low precipitation has reduced snow pack in the Sierra’s to just 3% of average levels. California and Nevada’s ecosystems, like the Lake, rely on melting snow pack to sustain them. In the absence of snow melting into fresh water and replenishing reservoirs via streams and rivers, the American West stands on the precipice of ruin. As the LA Times reports, satellite data cited by Jay Famiglietti, a senior climate scientist at NASA recently, “explained that the state’s reservoirs have only about a one-year supply of water remaining” (Tony Barboza, “No, California Won’t Run Out of Water in a Year,” 20 March 2015). While the LA Times and Famiglietti have walked that claim back, the reality of drought stricken California suggests the life in the world to come. For example, the New York Times recently publishes a series of anecdotes from California residents on how they save water. Residents respond to drought by hoarding water in ways different from the scale of misuse that brought California to the terrible circumstances they find themselves in. For example, Clairmont resident N.A. Davis and his family,

…have several buckets, containers and small garbage cans in the shower. [They] use one set to catch the water that is not yet heated to shower temperature and another set to capture shower water we have used. We then reuse the water. The clean pre-shower water gets used for watering plants and washing dishes (we microwave a bit of it; we don’t have a dishwasher), and then used shower water gets used to water outdoor plants. (NYT, Samantha Storey, 2 April 2015).

Other residents report they only shower once a week and when they do they collect that water so they can wash their cars and water gardens they raise in the yards. Residents’ parsimony offers a challenge to the vast exploitation of resources that both defines the American west and has caused the dire situation in which they find themselves.


Slide Two: Desalination Versus Reclamation

California is out of water.[1] In this, as in so many things, California’s present is our future. So as some California residents hoard water through hybrid modern and premodern life style choices, and huge conglomerates like Nestle hoard water liquidating into money, the people of the pacific coast are faced with fewer choices over where they should get their water. Since snow pack run off doesn’t fill reservoirs, and ground water is at an all time low because precipitation evaporates in higher than average temperatures, there are only two options left: desalination or reclamation. What does it mean to drink the world’s oceans? To drink the world’s oceans is to drink the world’s weather; destroy already fragile coastal ecosystems; and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions that helped precipitate the warming that contributes to the lack of a available drinking water. The second alternative is reclamation. “Water reclamation is a process by which wastewater from homes and businesses is cleaned using biological and chemical treatment so that the water can be returned to the environment safely to augment the natural systems from which it came” (Wikipedia, “Reclamation”). It is the choice between these options that I plan to focus the remainder of this presentation, and I have a list of questions to help guide the talk. I’d like if we could talk about these questions at the end, because I think I might really want to answer them:

  • What work can desalination and reclamation accomplish to decenter human agency? In the Renaissance, reclamation meant the act of renouncing or revoking (Florio 1611), and also protesting or expressing a formal objection (early 1533). The term doesn’t take on the connotation of “claiming something (formerly in one’s legal possession) back or of reasserting a legal right” till 1626—Royalist implications? But during the interregnum the term also meant, “moral and spiritual conversion or reformation.” It’s not until the very beginning of the 19thc. that the term means what it does today in the context it appears above: the conversion of wasteland, esp. land previously under water, into land fit for use” (#6).
  • Why advocate drinking urine as means to redress climate crisis? Why advocate removing salt and other substances? What emphasis do both place on “purity”?
  • What resources do Renaissance playwrights provide for thinking through the reuse and retention of liquids?
  • How do the plays under consideration here—city comedies that feature a miser figure and trick, and were written ten years, give and take, around the turn of the century—offer resources to think through drought that potentially also mitigate liquid shame?
  • Is it just the news reports, or people in general who refuse to take seriously the agency and threat of nonhuman things—humans, rightly, are cast as the having laid waste, but there is also drought or poisoned water that will be at least as dangerous as humans. What would happen to the state of the state if news reports took seriously the notion that nonhuman things are agents too?


[1] If that’s not sad and scary enough, just this week news outlets around the world have reported the record number of dead sea lions, many of which are just babies, because the 5% increase in sea temperatures of the pacific coast have resulted in food shortage for the mammals.



Assessing Visual Rhetoric

The slides that follow guide students through an assessment of visual rhetoric, layout, and design. The activity is broken down into the following stages: outcome goals; suggested readings; collaborative criteria generation; small and full class exploration and analysis; possible add-ons; and visual models.

PowerPoint to iMovie

Below you will find a series of short tutorials followed by a hand out that takes you from a PowerPoint slide show to an embedded movie, with narration on a static page of your site.

The following videos walk users through 1. exporting PowerPoint presentations to iMovie, setting slide times, and fitting slides to frame; 2. recording audio to slide show you exported to iMovie; & 3. Upload imovie to YouTube & then share to web page

Part One: Exporting PowerPoint Slideshow to iMovie, setting slide time, & fitting slides to frame

Open-up  your presentation in PowerPoint; go to file; go to “save as”; save the file on your desktop; and format the show as “png”

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After the file has been formatted, minimize PowerPoint; open iMovie; and import the file by clicking on the camera icon at the right of the screen; and then drag and drop the PNG file from your desktop to iMovie

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Select all the slides by hitting command A;  drag and drop the project to the library in the upper left hand corner.

To make every slide 20 seconds, hit command A again (this time in library); hover over a slide; click on gear icon that appears; choose “clip adjustments”; set the timer to 20 seconds. To adjust clip to frame, hover, click on gear, choose “clip adjustments”; choose “cropping/Ken Burns rotation”; and then click on “fit” on right side. Slides will all expand/reduce to fit frame.

To record audio: (may have to enable microphone in “preferences”); click on microphone; click on very begining of slide to record; hit space bar to stop recording; when finished recording, hover over a slide, click on gear, click on “add adjustment” to line up slides with audio.

Upload to YouTube: (create a YouTube account if you don’t have one); go to file; click on “share” and then YouTube; and once uploaded to YouTube, hit share, copy and paste into static web page. Once you “update” will automatically populate in WordPress page.


“Twenty Fourteen”  was cited as an example of a successful website during Domain 101 introductory activities. Since Twenty Fourteen is also the current WP default theme, let’s install that theme and test its usability.

To begin to install or change a theme, go to your dashboard and hover over “Appearance” and the slide over to “Themes,” as shown below:

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Once in “Themes,” click on “Add New,” or if you know the title, use the search window:

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The “Add New” page gives you a choice among “Featured, Popular, and Latest” themes. If working through this process with students, you may want to talk about ways trends shape shape content and use. May also want to talk about the every changing nature of web writing and best practices for staying adaptive.

NOTE: all themes allow users to preview them before installation:

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To instal, click on “Install”

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When you view your new pages in the new theme, don’t panic. You’ll have to customize the new theme.

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For example, for the new theme to recognize the menus you’ve already configured, you’ll need to drag your cursor to “Appearance,” and then over to “Menus.” Scroll down and check the box next to “Top primary menu” and save changes.

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OR, you can configure the top menu from “Customize.” Drag cursor to “Appearance” and the over to “Customize.” Under “Navigation” you’ll find two drop down menus that will allow you to assign a “Top primary menu” and a “Secondary menu in the sidebar.”

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Once you’ve adjusted the menu’s to your specifications, you can add and organize pages; begin building your media library; and publishing blog posts.

Remember that no matter what theme you choose, administering menus, pages, posts, etc. will always remain the same in the WP dashboard. See the tutorial video for reassigning a post page to a static page, and check back for more in-depth WP and RH theme, app, and design tutorials.



Translation Project

What can/should your translation project look like on your site’s static page? What’s the best way to deliver the information to your readers? ((In-class activity for Bellee Jones ENG 205 course. Attached to Translation Project))

To determine, layout, design, usability, may want to ask and answer, “what elements constitute a successful medieval subjects (poetry) site?”

And/or check out design suggestions such as those included in the following:

Practical Design Suggestions

What elements constitute a successful (M/EM Poetry) site?

  • How far down do you want audience to scroll?
  • What do work do you want images to perform?
  • How can you ensure links always work?
  • Do you need to provide navigation directions?
  • How much information do readers need to transition smoothly from page to page?

To determine features that constitute a successful site, generate some examples. What are some outstanding features of the sites below?

What elements do want to incorporate in your page? For instance, how do you create a usable page?

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Working Examples

Tempest 1.1

Tempest 1.2

Tempest 4.1

Elements of Style: Poem & Page (or translating your translation from paper to WP)

  • Whose the audience for the paper translation? Whose the audience for the digital translation? What’s gained in translation & what’s lost?
  • How does the audience you chose for the translation determine the choices you make, ex: how does your audience determine emphasizing rhyme over meter?
  • In addition, faithfulness versus transparency?
  • How do similar audience concerns influence design choices? What elements should you emphasize?
  • Even though it may seem transparent, what rhetorical gestures does your final layout make?
  • How does theme you selected effect useability, affect, reading of your translation?

Notation: The links you provide act as notation, but you may also want to consider installing a footnote plug-in. I’m using Footnotes by ManFisher, which seems fine. We can review installation and use if you like. Lots of footnote generator plug-ins.

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Network Mapping & Literature

What does Thoreau mean by “Wilderness” and what impact does Thoreau’s concept of “wilderness” have nonhuman?

  • “Our village life would stagnate if it were not for the unexplored forests and meadows which surround it. We need the tonic of wilderness-to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground” (205).

How do naturalist authors react to their unhappiness with the state or with politics? Why is this a problem? Why does Emerson criticize Thoreau for his “peter-pan side of himself”?

  • Using the images of the natural world to criticize the state instead of taking some kind of action.
  • Produces the natural world as against the state-privileges it over the state, but makes it an unreal refuge for privileged few who have enough education to appreciate it. Class problem, but also a problem for land and animals because they become not real, just images or edenic.
  • “…of how his pursuit of nature’s charms pulls against his role as a good citizen. So his passage openly confesses to retreat from the arena, as Thoreau’s does not” (466).
  • “On a less conscious level, the passage bears all the telltale marks of the discourse of nature-as-elite-andocentric-preserve: the generative metaphor so redolent of Burroughs’s friend Whitman”
  • Nature as space of male bonding and earth mother being impregnated by men-Yuk!
  • Reflex regression protected by class and gender

What is the impact of the split personality of the American genius of letters? Thoreau is the hermit and the poet, the naturalist and the scholar should these tensions be reconciled? What is the impact of the seeming autobiographical nature of the Walden?

  • On the first page of Walden Thoreau says, “… I, on my side require of every writer, first or last, a simple and sincere account of his own life, and not merely what he has heard of other men’s lives…” (1). Why is Thoreau’s account of his life in the woods is written as a first person narrative?

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Digital Mapping

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Precious Bodily Fluids

The rhetoric of water conservation is delightfully inflammatory. On this, our last class day together, we’ll watch some clips from the movie Blue Gold: World Water Wars. Then get into your movie groups and respond to following prompts:

1. How would you describe the rhetoric, both visual and verbal, the movie uses? What is the intended effect? How successful is it?

2. Briefly describe one solution the film makers (or authors of the written text) propose to solve the water crisis? How effective is the solution? What further problems might the solution they proscribe cause?

The Nature of The Tempest

tempestPlease welcome Bellee Jones-Pierce. Ms. Jones-Pierce is a PhD candidate, who specializes in early modern poetry and drama. She’s an amazing scholar, and writing and poetry teacher. She’s here to help you close read The Tempest.

Part I: Freewrite (15-20 mins). Please type or write a response to the following:

According to the first two acts of The Tempest, does man control Nature or does Nature control man? Respond generally to the question and then develop your initial response via the following chunks of text:

Duncan, Nicole, Elayne: Miranda 1.2.1-14

Eve, Brandon, Moon: Prospero 1.2.271-86

Nik, Aamira, Jake: Prospero 1.2.271-86

Julia, Shannon, Carl: Caliban 1.2.334-46

Catalina, Je Soeong, Sarah, Hong: Gonzalo 2.1.147-56

Part II: Groups Discussion (10-15 mins). Get into groups with the people who read and analyzed the same passage that you did.

  • Compare answers to the question, and discuss the rhetorical or formal elements from your assigned passage on which you based your claim.
  • If your answers differ, discuss try to figure out why. That is how can a small bit of text support a range of responses?
  • If all your answers agree, try to argue the opposing side from the evidence you have.

Part III: Full Class Discussion. Be prepared to share your findings with the class and to discuss the passages at the sentence level. May also want to address how text such as The Tempest help to figure contemporary environmental devastation.

CRAP & An Inconvenient Truth

An Inconvenient Truth

While we watch the clip from the movie, please be mindful of the following:

  • Contrast: What contrasts in color, shape, tone, shade, etc. do the authors establish? What is the quality of such emphasis?
  • Repetition: What visual elements reoccur? How does the repetition of visual elements unify or create coherence?
  • Alignment: How do the visual elements line up along vertical and horizontal axis? How does the alignment tie the elements together?
  • Proximity: Discuss some distances between elements in the composition: How does distance among like and unlike elements produce meaning?

Persuasion and Pathos


To what extent does environmentalism require all writers to generate affective claims, claims that engage audiences by intervening in old topics in fresh ways? To get at this question, please perform the following:

  • In groups of three, read the claims you have been assigned.
  • Discuss the extent to which each claim can be either true or false.
  • Support both sides of the claims with evidence from JM Coetzee’s The Lives of Animals.
  • Be prepared to share you support, evidence, and reasoning with the class.


Group #1: The debate over the lives of animals occurs and will be solved at the dinner table and not in the legislature, lab, classroom, or voting booth (113-15 & 137-43)

  1. True
  2. False

Group #2: Animals do not deserve “rights” under the law because they  lack reason and/or immortal souls. (119-21)

  1. True
  2. False

Group #3: Modern, industrial animal production rivals the crimes committed by the Third Reich. (117-19)

  1. True
  2. False

Group #4: Animal testing reveals more about the behavior and values of the humans conducting the testing than the animals being tested (126-28 & 135).

  1. True
  2. False

Group #5: Dietary restrictions do nothing more than allow one group of humans to feel superior to another group of humans. (135-41)

  1. True
  2. False

Presentation Assessment Criteria


emotional connection with audience: marvel at your own works; jokes/personal narrative (humor);

Visual Rhetoric: demos, flow charts, info graphics

Sound: background, synched, projection/voice

Claim/evidence: development of argument or form in other genre

Length consistent with idea to convey

Defines key terms: directed toward audience

Does presentation offer a fresh view of the topic?

Does presentation push back against paradigmatic delivery?

Transition?: verbal and slide synch?


Too long

Too much text


Too technical–don’t define key terms

Local Revision

Please read through the following sentence and be prepared to respond to the following: How would you revise each sentence? Why would you revise each sentence?

The main goal of this work illustrated a comparison between environmentalism and hoarding. It claimed that hoarding was more like the conservation of materials rather than a mental illness.

Cronon points out a key term “wilderness” in this essay, which by technical definition, is “The most intact, undisturbed wild natural areas left on our planet.”

It just so happens all of my classes are held in buildings around the quad so I walk through it everyday.

In the article “Powers of the Hoard”, Jane Bennet gives her own unique view on hoarders that many people may disagree with because she relates hoarders to environmentalists.

In The Ecological Thought, Timothy Morton offers a “prequel” to one of his previous works, Ecology Without Nature.  Timothy’s main argument is that the chief stumbling block to environmental thinking is the image of nature itself. 

Example Annotations

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 Annotated Bibliography Perdue Owl

McKee, Heidi A. “Policy Matters Now and in the Future: Net Neutrality, Corporate Data Mining, and Government Surveillance.” Computers and Composition 28.4 (2011): 276-291.

McKee argues ensuring that all Internet communication moves at the same speed is vital, not only to the health of the Web, but also to digital composition. If large corporate entities can pay for faster transmission of content, then user generated content and small Web presence will diminish. She further argues that privacy laws are at best outdated and at worst geared toward protecting the rights of corporate structures over individual users. Since data collection can string together user activity across websites, privacy policies at specific sites may matter less than the larger aggregate of information about each user available to advertisers. Specific to the topic of password protection and “personally-identifying information,” McKee argues national policy shifts and can impede extensive corporate data tracking and warrantless government surveillance (282). In the face of what she sees as dwindling user and Internet freedom, McKee advocates instructors of digital composition make privacy issues part of course content through discussion of legal issues, privacy settings, Open Source Options, and interrogate rhetoric and assumptions about Internet privacy issues.

Reyman, Jessica. “User Data on the Social Web: Authorship, Agency, and Appropriation.” College English 75.5 (2013): 513-533.

Reyman argues users of social media need to remain mindful of the series of “trade-offs” in which they engage: users give up control of content in exchange for network connections that sites such as Twitter and Facebook provide (514). She explains that while most data mining is conducted with corporate interests in mind, some aggregation platforms provide useful services responsibly. For Reyman, “User data… is not merely a technology by-product to be bought and sold; rather, it forms a dynamic, discursive narrative about the paths we have taken as users, the technologies we have used, how we have composed in such spaces, and with whom we have participated” (516). Helping students reflect on user data as collaboratively produced “narrative paths” through networked connects will help ameliorate privacy concerns. Furthermore, certain open source agreements help make student publications available for to audiences who are then free to remix and revise those public domain texts, so long as the iterations remain publicly available.

Shannon, Laurie. “Eight Animals in Shakespeare; or Before the Human.” PMLA. 124.2 (2009): 472-479. 18 April 2012.

In her article Shannon compares the very few times Shakespeare uses the word ‘animal’ to the overwhelming instances of his use of specific names for animals or the word ‘best.’ Through her comparison Shannon argues that in the pre-Cartesian worldview, Great Chain of Being or God’s virtuosity in the Book of Nature, “there was no such thing as the animal” (474). Instead the human/animal binary was not essential in Early modern constructs, b/c all creatures possess a soul. This is not to suggest that the early modern world view did not place humans at the top of a hierarchy, instead, Shannon shows the scientific worldview that linked humans and animals to argue, “There are scales of being of course, but early modern humanity is relatively ecosystemic: it always has a animality (and divinity and plants and elements) in or with it” (477). Animated by the same soul and made-up of the same elemental materials, humans and animals in a text such as The Jew of Malta exist before the Enlightenment invoked “animal” to define man.  Shannon also suggests that we look to Shakespeare’s “zoography” for examples of ethical relationship between humans and animals.

Green Peace. Detox: How People Power is Cleaning Up Fashion. Online video clip. You Tube. You Tube. 24 October 2013. Web. 15 November 2013.

The authors of the video argue that the fashion industry produces glamour, profit, and environmental ruin. The greatest devastation caused by textile and garment factories around the globe is water pollution. Specifically, manufacturers dump waste from dyes and petrochemicals used to manufacture cloth into streams, rivers, and oceans. The waste contaminates waterways and contributes to the lack of clean drinking water around the globe. The video persuades audiences to only purchase clothing brands committed to reducing water pollution through a combination of data laden narration, scrolling images, scary music, and a problem/solution structure. For example, the first minute or so of the video is effective because the authors contrast clips of models in beautiful clothes and fancy urban department stores with images of toxic waste pouring into rivers and oceans. The authors reinforce the alarming images with statistics about China where a majority of textiles are produced: “320 million people have no access to clean drinking water; 40% of surface water is polluted; and 20% of urban drinking water is contaminated.” The video does not rely solely on scare tactics and exotic statistics to persuade audiences; instead, the authors devote the second half of the video to providing suggestions for problems they outline in the first half. To help clean-up water polluted by textile manufacture and stop more water from being polluted, Green peace and clothing brands/retailers such as H&M,Levi, and Zara have joined together as past of the “global Detox campaign.”  Those companies have taken steps to eliminate toxic chemicals and waste from their supply chains, and participants in “Detox” continue to demonstrate and protest to encourage more companies to follow suit and to direct consumers toward earth friendly brands. For my video on songbird devastation I will draw on the following techniques from this video: juxtaposition of imagery, problem solution structure, and awareness of audience.


The Rhetoric of Slow Violence

Rob Nixon 


What does Nixon mean by “slow violence”? Why is “slow violence” difficult to narrate?


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What formal or rhetorical techniques does Nixon argue can be used to represent “slow violence”? 

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How do his suggestions for representing “slow violence” resonate with techniques Thoreau uses?

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For Further Consideration:

How does Nixon represent “slow violence,” and its effects in “Scenes from the Seabed: The Future of Dissent”?
What techniques might you draw from Nixon to represent “long emergencies” in the various assignments you’ll complete this semester?
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