Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Multimodal Writing, Eloquentia Perfecta & Digital Possibilities

How Compose? Why Compose? Roundtable
                                                           (Me, Bruno, John, and Julia)

Yesterday, I presented as a part of a roundtable on composing with multimodal and digital platforms. Bruno Ruviaro from the Music dept presented on his podcast assignment, Julia Voss from English discussed multimodality as the production of physical texts with the emphasis on connecting meaning across modalities. And, one of my former students John Flynn talked about his experience blogging and the need for individual voice online. The roundtable was facilitated by Simone Billings and Tricia Serviss as a part of a generous grant by the Bannan Institute at Santa Clara University.

With respect to the institutional context, I referenced writing scholars at Jesuit institutions who discussed multimodal and digital writing with regard to eloquential perfecta. One such article "From Classto Community: EP 2.0 and the New Media Legacy of Jesuit Education" by Allen Brizee Jenn Fishman advocated for technology quoting John O'Malley who said, "Ignatius and others took great care to demonstrate how print might 'aid Jesuits in their ministry'" (O'Malley qtd in Brizee and Fishman 31). I also used time lapse video that students used on an assignment to study and reflect on their own writing process. 

Some of the discussion that followed pointed out the interconnectivity between text and video modes of communication, especially where academics rely on the ethos of their scholarship to serve as public intellectuals in talking head capacities. The recent controversy over Michael Eric Dyson's takedown essay about Cornel West provided a timely example of how the traditional essay 'technology' serves as the primary medium in the debate even though both scholars are frequently featured on radio and television.

 Video created by John Flynn for my Introduction to Writing Studies & Digital Publication course: