CTW 3

Comics have entered the classroom, and educators have taken notice. Traditionally viewed in academia as less than, comics had been relegated to the realm of entertainment. Now, however, academics have begun to understand that comics enable a presentation of information in different ways than traditional academic texts allow. Comics are bridging the gap between the public and the academic, and deconstructing complex ideas for general consumption. The rise of comics within the classroom and the academic realm has inspired discussions on the construction of comics as multimodal texts, the validity of comic arguments, and the challenges this imposes on the traditional academic power structure. In creative presentations of dissertations, two academics have explored the concepts of the rise and the power within and behind a comic book. Aaron Scott Humphrey wrote the comic/dissertation, Multimodal Authoring and Authority in Educational Comics: Introducing Derrida and Foucault for Beginners, in which he explores the collaborative nature of comic construction, and the struggle for voice and authority that arises within a multiple person creation. Nick Sousanis presented his dissertation in the comic, Unflattening, which he discussed in an interview with Steve Dahlberg and Mary Alice Long on BlogTalkRadio, “Artist Nick Sousanis on the Power of Visuals (& Comics) on Learning & Creativity.” Sousanis’ work explores the challenge comics provide the academic structure, opening content to a broader audience by breaking down complex arguments with visual aids. Multimodal compositions have grown in number with the rise of technology. But utilizing multiple modes in creating a text of sorts is not confined to a computer. By looking at comics, we can examine multimodal compositions that...

Critical Thinking Through Writing 2

“Assemblage theory . . . emphasizes fluidity, exchangeability, and multiple functionalities. Assemblages appear to be functioning as a whole, but are actually coherent bits of a system whose components can be ‘yanked’ out of one system, ‘plugged’ into another, and still work” –“Assemblage Theory,” University of Texas ________________________________________________________ The pieces of the pie. The parts that are able to combine and make meaning, change, evolve, or exchange and create alternate meanings are assemblages. It is a series of things rather than just one thing. This also defines media flow. A flow that is not a linear path, like a river, but is instead a series of things that are linked to one another, connected, and that interact (Reeves 316). The flow can move back and forth connecting one idea or bit of information to another. It is the parts rather than the sum, yet all the parts combine to create meaning of some sort. ________________________________________________________ Media flow is the main idea of Joshua Reeves’ “Temptation and Its Discontents: Digital Rhetoric, Flow, and the Possible.” Reeves explores the “flow” of digital compositions on the World Wide Web, examining how presentation of multimodal compositions impacts audience interaction with the composition and how the audience is both liberated and constrained by it. Traditional rhetorical texts possess a linear flow that leads the audience down the author’s intended path. Through the rise of multimodal compositions online, texts now have images, videos, links, and advertisements. There is information everywhere leading the audience on divergent paths. This provides audiences with a sense of autonomy and choice, however Reeves’ thinks that choice is an illusion and...
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