Menu [toggle]

Quick Edit a Wiki Page



EAPSU 2007 Proposal

Cyber Performances:
Exploring How Students Interpret Digital English Projects

Session Participants

Panel Organizer/Presenter 1
Gian S. Pagnucci, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Graduate Studies in Composition & TESOL)

Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Department of English
355 Sutton Hall
Indiana, PA 15705

724-349-6326 (home)
724-357-4788 (office)
724-357-2265 (fax)

Presenter 2
Kenneth Sherwood, Ph.D.
Affiliation: Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Graduate Studies in Literature and Criticism)

Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Department of English
340 Sutton Hall
Indiana, PA 15705

724-465-9597 (home)

Presenter 3
Eric Glicker, Doctoral Student
Affiliation: Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Graduate Studies in Composition & TESOL)

Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Department of English
Indiana, PA 15705
714-418-3797 (home)
714-850-0360 (office)

One Sentence Description of the Session

Students reinterpret literacy practices through collaborative digital performance

Session Proposal

“We live in a constantly changing world that continues to be shaped and mediated by the new information and communication technologies. Speed, instantaneity, flexibility, mobility, on-the-spot readjustment, perpetual experimentation, change devoid of consistent direction and incessant reincarnation are some of the hallmarks, not only of Web literacy practices, but also of real-life social and cultural practices . . . educators need to approach the technologizing of literacy, the curriculum, pedagogy and sites of education with caution, understanding and wisdom” (Snyder, 2002, p. 173).

"Today, it is 'You need a new computer' (or personal data assistant, or cell phone, etc. ); decades ago, it was 'You need a headset.' "(Jonathan Sterne, The Audible Past 337)

“Digital literacy is a matter of national competitiveness and a mission that needs to be embraced by universities, libraries, museums, and archives” (Our Cultural Commonwealth)

The chaotic, whirling pace of technological change, as Ilana Snyder depicts it, presents particular challenges for English teachers who enjoy a degree of certainty about the nature of writing. If we are tempted to respond to such change as to a passing fad, rather than as to a paradigm shift, we might bear Chaucer’s reminder that “time and tide wait for no man.” Though our classic works and rhetorical forms have not disappeared, digital technology has spurred or enabled changes in literacy practices for the 21st century.

From a rhetorical perspective, new electronic pedagogies center on multimodal learning. As Prior (2007) explains,
This perspective tunes our attention to multimodality, not as a question of which mode a message might be placed in, but as a question of how multiple modes operate together in a single rhetorical act and of how extended chains of modal transformations may be linked in a rhetorical trajectory.
As key players in literacy education, academic communities ought to embrace new modes of communication: in short, we must become digital English teachers.

At the same time, digital English teachers should be mindful of Jonathan Sterne's critique of "'impact' narratives" in which: technologies are mysterious beings with obscure origins that come down from the sky to 'impact' human relations. Such narratives cast technologies themselves as primary agents of historical change” (7). For Sterne, it is " advertising talk masquerading as academic discourse" (336) when scholars "write about new digital communication as if their mere presence demands that social life and social thought be remade" (337).

A technology-driven literacy would be a hollow literacy indeed, as it deprives students of agency. We engage students in reading and writing within digital environments, guiding them in the use of digital tools insofar as they help students acquire the literacies central to liberal education. At its best a digital pedagogy helps to position literature, not as a repository of wisdom, but as an invitation to reflection and a writerly stimulus to the creation/ recreation of meaning.

This panel presentation invites discussion of three innovative projects: a global warming blog, a digital recording of writer interviews, and digital audio podcasts.

American Council of Learned Socities. (2006) Our Cultural Commonwealth: The Report of the ACLS Commission on Cyberinfrastructure for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Prior, Paul. et al. (2007). Re-situating and re-mediating the canons: a cultural-historical remapping of rhetorical activity. Kairos, 11.3. Retrieved on July 5 from

Prior, Paul. (2005). A sociocultural theory of writing. In Charles A. MacArthur?, Steve Graham, & Jill Fitzgerald (Eds.), The handbook of writing research (pp. 54-66). New York: Guilford Press.

Snyder, I. (2002). Silicon Literacies.

Sterne, J. (2003) The Audible Past: Cultural Origins of Sound Reproduction. Durham: Duke UP: 2003.

Created by: admin. Last Modification: Wednesday 05 of December, 2007 12:57:36 MST by admin.

RSS feed Wiki RSS feed Image Galleries