Thursday, January 24, 2013

My Prezi Rhetorically Analyzing Memes

Familiar Symbols, Embedded Assumptions, and Illogical Enthymemes

Some of the material I have posted on memes previously has found its way into a Prezi I put together to teach the rhetorical analysis of visual rhetoric.

Of the more salient points I make during the presentation have to do with how potentially prejudicial assumptions about race, class, and gender transmit through images juxtaposed with seemingly logical arguments that are little more than enthymemes with embedded ideological assumptions communicated in so-called established "universal truth," which results in many times offensive punchline arguments.

For examples of the more offensive and prejudicial messages transmitted through the visual images and discourse, see the Don Draper and Mexico's national sport memes.

I think the next stage in the revision of this Prezi would either include the transfer to video format with actual narration, or at the very least the inclusion of more text to further analyze the images for an audience not listening to the actual presentation.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Video for CCCC Presentation

A Digital Narrative

Inspired in part by past students and Natalie Martinez's guest post, I created my own digital story based on a forthcoming small scope narrative in the Sept 2013 CCC journal. Since the digital narrative is only two minutes, I was not able to include everything from the text; however, the ability to include my own voice and family video provide additional rhetorical strategies that highlight the persuasive power of multimodal composing.

on the profession edit with video 0001 from Cruz Medina on Vimeo.

In part because the personal nature of my narrative, I have been interested in investigating the intersection of digital storytelling and the Latin@ storytelling genres of cuentos and testimonio. On the Ohio State site for "Testimonio and Argentina," they provide a definition for testimonio that identifies some of the intersecting strategies with digital storytelling:

"One strategy to improve our understanding of this period is through the use of testimonio. Testimonio is a genre of literature that retells historical events using literary elements such as dialogue, poetry and metaphors from an eyewitness perspective...Testimonio blends two traditionally distinct academic disciplines, history and literature, to help relay historical experiences." ("Who is the Subaltern and What is Testimonio?")

Issues of identity, ethnicity, race, and gender can be addressed in these storytelling genres that resist and challenge dominant narratives. In the case of my family, the story has been passed down orally as something of a cuento, a story recounted in the margins. Like the testimonio, the digital narrative makes use of an eyewitness perspective, while also incorporating music, narration, and carefully sequenced images that embody the aesthetics of the literary elements associated with testimonio.