This course explores how local institutions—including businesses, nonprofit organizations, and our own campus—variously advance and challenge received ideas about nature and sustainability. By analyzing the public-facing, multimodal rhetoric of these institutions, we will ask: how suitable are these ideas for a consideration of the complex environmental issues of our present age?
Building on the multimedia strategies of composition and process students begin to develop in ENGL 1101, this course in multimedia rhetoric examines the influence of sound on experiences of belonging and access in the spaces we occupy and travel through, from the immediate environs of Georgia Tech to public spaces and sites of development throughout Atlanta. An initial unit builds a vocabulary for recognizing and analyzing sounds in what R.
This course asks students to examine what we talk about when we talk about “dirt,” and how do the things we communicate about dirt change its presence in our lives. The major assignments facilitate learning goals through four units: dirt vs. soil, earthworks, dirt stories, and trendy dirt. The primary texts in this course will largely deal with a North American perspective on dirt. We will engage with American film (ex: Grapes of Wrath, Waterworld, Noma, Interstellar, The Martian, the Mad Max megaverse), and contemporary American literature.
In this course, students will create research-based comics about a topic related to urban development, particularly in relationship to Atlanta’s underserved West Side neighborhood. They will then present these comics at an on campus exhibition with the goal of raising awareness about the issues and assets of the West Side. While comics may seem an odd fit for serious issues, many organizations--from the UN to the Alzheimer's Association--and authors have begun using them to explore and educate on such topics as climate change, medical issues, and violence against women.
How have contemporary media, such as film, literature, architecture, photography, and computation, been used to shape popular conceptions of the environment, to challenge these conceptions and to propose radical alternatives? In this class, students will learn to analyze representations of the earth, nature, wildlife and wilderness in creative work across domains: a landscape by James Corner, a short story by Ursula K. La Guin, an installation by Natalie Jeremijenko, a film by Hayao Miyazaki, an interactive narrative by Jeremy Mendez and Leanne Allison.
The History and Rhetoric of Science Writing for Children
Books for children, both fiction and non-fiction, can address scientific principles in creative ways in an attempt to educate, inform and excite young children. Hidden inside many classic children’s texts are broad scientific concepts like climate change (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), engineering (The Three Little Pigs), life cycles (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), and environmentalism (The Lorax).
My course will focus on Atlanta histories, texts, and communities. We will read fiction of and about Atlanta, and I hope to coordinate with SLS on an oral history project that either makes use of oral history archives already accessible at Georgia Tech or produces a new archive in collaboration with nearby communities. In either case, we will work with both SLS and the Living Building to preserve and present our work.
As an SLS-affiliated course, African American Rhetorics of Resistance will focus specifically on the role of community in African American arts and letters. Black music, art, and literature is known for exploring racism, but it is equally invested in the power of joy and coalition. This labor has often centralized the role of community institutions, including the church, the school, the town hall meeting, and the protest rally.
To what extent do ideas and initiatives surrounding sustainability extend to nonhuman animals? How does sustainability apply to certain ideals about "nature" and "community" at the inclusion or exclusion of animal life? Who and what gets sustained, and according to what values? To answer these and related questions, this course will examine how video games, literature, and new media texts figure animals and their relationship to nature and technology.
Technology, Representation and Design ("Data Walks")
Today, data on communities in Atlanta are more accessible than ever. Micro and macro changes in the makeup of local neighborhoods can be tracked through tax records, demolition and construction permits, and community surveys, among other sources; all of which might be easily downloaded by anyone with an internet connection. But data can be available, without necessarily being accessible.