Digital Rhetoric

winter 2015 // a shared course site

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RRB 10

I’d like to leave our last RRB somewhat loose. In addition to commenting on and responding to parts of Warnick and Heineman’s chapters (6 and/or 7) that most stood out to you or that you felt were most significant, be sure to do one of the following: (1) link to/embed something you feel helps to illuminate something they write about, or (2) pose a question you think would generate meaningful class conversation.


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In-Class Discussion: Carter and Arroyo

Carter’s Production
Different works all connected based on the premise of simplicity, invention with ready-made objects, and composing on/with an iPad 

  • “Plates, Petals, Pleats”: presented at a conference in March 2006 then published in Kairos in Summer 2008 (
  • October 2011 conference presentation on nomadic musics
  • “Thrilla in Manila”: presented at conference in January 2012, then published in Kairos in Spring 2013, then reflected on in Kairos in Fall 2013

Arroyo on Invention

Activity: Composing Processes

Now that we’re in the midst of producing—are in the midst of these composing processes—your video project, and you’ve already produced at least one other digital text for class this semester, I want us to carefully consider our own composing processes. In addition to the fact that you’ve composed digital texts and can reflect on those in addition to print texts, we’ve also read quite a bit about the language we use to talk about writing and rhetoric and how that changes—or could change or should change—when we talk about digital composing. For instance, Prior et al. had us rethink the canons, Brooke had us rethink both the trivium and the canons, and Rice wrote about how aural texts calls for us to think about composing in new ways. We heard a bit more about “invention” in both the Carter and Arroyo texts we watched for today. And of course we heard a lot about production more broadly in the Carter video. Drawing on these conversations:

  • Create a drawing of your digital composing processes
  • Share and discuss the differences: Compare with one another to consider what similarities and differences we see and what their significance is. Let’s work to draw on/use language from Carter and Arroyo as well as from other authors we’ve read this semester, such as Losh; Prior et al., Brooke, Sheridan, Ridolfo, and Michel; Rice; McCloud; Haskins or Smith

Additional Materials

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With Carter’s and Arroyo’s videos in mind, reflect on and discuss your own composing processes, thinking especially about when you are composing with digital tools (you might think specifically of work in this class, such as the CH video, but you don’t need to focus only on this class). You might choose to compare your own invention and revision processes to those Carter discusses in his video. You might consider potentialities and/or difficulties present in certain composing situations (e.g., Carter says that once he’d produced his video, he was open to the possibility his daughter might accidentally delete or otherwise alter his project). You might consider, like Arroyo does, what other “gestures” or “procedures” are different when we compose digitally (and what about the fact that “digitally” goes back to us using our digits)? Or you may choose to take an entirely different route, as long as you are considering invention and production of digital texts and your own composing processes.

In case it’s helpful, here is the link to Carter’s video and Arroyo’s video embedded:

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Snow Day Discussion

Because classes were cancelled due to the weather (and so we don’t get too far behind), we are going to have our discussion of the Preface and first chapter of Warnick and Heineman’s book online instead of in person. Here are the steps:

  1. During class time, please post a response to at least one of the questions below (feel free to combine questions you feel are related or that would fit together in the discussion you’d like to have).
  2. After posting your response, please also read and respond to two (2) other classmates’ posts (i.e., use the blogroll on the side of our class page to find 2 other students who have written posts that you feel you can engage with in some way, which may include some combination of the following: ask a question, pose a complication, provide an answer, provide an alternative point of view, etc.)
  3. By the end of the day, please also respond to at least one of the people who responded to your post.


In your response to the questions below as well as your responses to one another, try to remain close to W&H’s text — draw on their terminology and ideas, point us to key passages from their text that help you to illuminate your points (which might include agreeing, disagreeing, or some combination), etc. And as usual, feel free to draw on examples from outside of their text in order to help us understand a point you want to make (e.g., provide examples of “online mobilization toward offline actions” (8) you’ve seen/been in or counterpublics you’ve observed/participated in).


    • What do people make of this passage: “It would seem that, for Castells, ‘actual’ communication is ‘the sharing of meaning through exchange of information,’ and presumably, social networking would not necessarily be included in his category of ‘actual’ communication. He acknowledged, nonetheless, that 40% of users having a profile on a social networking site reported that they have used their site for political activity of some kind” (6)? Some follow-up questions to get you going: Does this mean “actual” communication = politics? People aren’t exchanging information on social networking sites? How realistic is it to think we can create a category of communication that counts as “actual communication”; what’s “non-actual communication” then?
    • What do you make of the quote from Clay Shirky that W&H include: “It’s when a technology becomes normal, then ubiquitous, and finally so pervasive as to be invisible, that the really profound changes happen, and for young people today, our new social tools have passed normal and are heading to ubiquitous, and invisible is coming” (27)? Some follow-up questions: do you agree that technology has become invisible? In what ways yes, and/or in what ways, no? What is the significance of this invisibility (or lack thereof)?
    • What do you make of and how would you respond to W&H’s claim, “It is our view that the public sphere, as traditionally understood, is in a state of crisis brought on by significant changes in both institutional politics and the forms of discursive activity being taken up by the polis” (29)? Some follow-up questions: Why “crisis”? Is “crisis”, as they refer to it here, necessarily a bad thing? What might come of this “crisis”?
    • How would/should we define a digital public? Is it important to differentiate this idea from digital community? To what extent do people feel part of a public, or public discourse, when they’re online? What spaces seem to facilitate this, serve as a “public,” more than others? Why?
    • Choose your own key moment or quote that you want to engage with (e.g., raise questions, expand upon it, complicate it). Be sure to point us to the right part of their text so we can find it ourselves before responding to you.

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In his article, “The Making of Ka-Knowledge: Digital Aurality,” Rice proposes several terms and phrases he argues are important in an expanded understanding of digital aurality, including “sounding out” (aka “aural”), “voice,” “ka-knowledge,” “the mix,” “to show off,” “breaks,” “juice” or “juicy,” and “droppin’ science” or “new physics.” Choose at least one of these terms to interrogate on a deeper level. What does Rice mean by that word/phrase; how does he understand and explain the term? How do you understand the term? Think about connections, examples, links, etc. you can make to help you fully grasp what the term, as Rice uses it, means.