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Both spatial and visual rhetorics attend to issues of boundaries. From the structure of our classroom spaces to the margins of the page, rhetoric and compositionist are investigating the ways spatial and visual experiences are impacting our work as teachers and scholars.

From the architecture of "made spaces" to our constructions of "prairie, desert, or wetland," discursive readings of how we live and inhabit our world are connected with our rhetorical practices and our lives as researchers and teachers of rhetoric and composition. How we define the "site" of our research, the "common places" of rhetoric, or even the "classroom" all affect our interactions with participants, texts, and students.

To interrogate the ways we construct, deconstruct, and re-envision new possibilities for those spaces is one of the major aims of this course.

From the normalized design of the traditional academic essay to the development of multimedia work, visual design theories challenge rhetoric and composition scholars to question what it means to "compose."

malevich, black square, 1913

Fundamental to our work as researchers and teachers, print-based epistemologies must be re-assessed in light of new media forms, and even some old media iterations. Therefore, another equally ambitious goal for this course is to investigate the visual aspects of our work.

With the assertion that no teacher of rhetoric and composition can ignore our relationship to visual culture, this course also aims to study our complex relationship to visual media and to discover ways of critically engaging document design, multimedia, and the binary of text/image.

To this end, participants will read from a range of modern and postmodern theorists, rhetoricians, design scholars, and compositionists and attend to issues of space, design, visual arts, aesthetics, and more. Some potential course readings include Roland Barthes, Edward Soja, Richard Buchanan, Victor Margolin, David Sibley, Michel Foucault, Johndan Johnson-Eilola, Anne Wysocki, Mary Louise Pratt, Susan Hilligoss, Paul Virilio, Jean Baudrillard, among others. Students will articulate the ways these works inform their understandings of spatial and visual rhetorics as applied to their teaching and scholarship.

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