Composing Digital Media

Professor Jamie Skye Bianco

Spring 2011, University of Pittsburgh

Mondays, 6-8:30PM, G26 CL


Office Hours, posted and by appointment

Office Location: 501m CL

@ProfJSBianco (twitter)

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Scholar, Coder, Maker: Minimal Pedagogy and Maximal DIY

When students publish their "writing" on a website, video, soundwork, or multimediation of their own construction, provocative shifts occur. This "academic" work is defacto exposed as "public" writing and "extracurricular" by virtue of its open accessibility on the interwebs. However, these curricular spaces are not the "locations" wherein most students have practiced public or multimodal composing.

Affectively charged, socially mediated "spaces," such as Facebook and Twitter, provide extracurricular, public platforms wherein students practice multimodal writing, avatar construction, and the collaborative "making" of layout, design, and user-generated content (in corporate sandboxes). However, few students, unless majoring in computation, write code or make their own rhetorical "spaces" or digital platforms. Further, few students practice "critical making" in the sense that they engage social, political, and civic discourse.

Drawing from explicit critical pedagogies of social theory, composition and rhetoric, and from emergent DIY and collaborative pedagogies of digital media production and social mediation as public writing, this documentary media argues for a "minimal pedagogy" in the sense of the classroom as curricular and as an academically enclosed space. It also calls for a maximal pedagogy of DIY and collaborative network formation in order to bridge students between curricular and extracurricular writing, to develop critical and collaborative multimodal scholars, coders, and makers, who are able to create their own digital "spaces" and extracurricular public discourses as critical, multiliterate and engaged makers in the 21st century.

We will make this together.

November 29, 2010