Final Reflection

So back in January I said one of my goals was to explain to my Grandpa what Digital Rhetoric was. Could I do that today? Heck yeayuh, my grandpa has a hearing aid so he can’t hear much at all and is really good at pretending he can hear you when he really can’t. So maybe instead of trying to explain it to him in person while he half-heard I’d probably send him an e-mail about how DR is the study of how digital technologies (such as e-mail!) are changing how humans interact with each other and the world. Then maybe give him an example that would pertain to him such as how we skype Aunt Lori and Uncle Ron every Christmas,  or those cool Bible apps that allow you to look up full Bible verses just by searching a few words from the verse or those church applications that allow you to give tithes from your credit card. With the ubiquity of technology anybody no matter what generation they come from has experienced digital rhetoric. So that’s one thing I learned so far in this class, DR is apart of everyone’s lives.

I defined DR in January as, “the discourse that emerges when users engage in the exchange, production, and consumption of information on a digital interface while adhering to the limits of this interface as well as exploring the extents of its capabilities” honestly I like this definition although I had would define “discourse” a bit differently this time around. At first I saw discourse as a sort of motivator, an unseen element of persuasion however after this class I would tag on academic discourse into this definition, because I really had no idea how much writing there was on all the different facets of this topic! Gotta love academics… so thorough.

Honestly though while the theories and different ideas we studied were illuminating what I found most useful in this class was the more practical bits I learned. My final project was a lot of firsts for me. I had never made a prezi, never made a screen recording, never made an i-movie, and for the ingographics section it was my first graphic I made in Microsoft excel. This knowledge will, I hope, pave the way for me to begin working with more multimodal forms of communication. Also I cannot tell you how fun it was for me to not have to write a final paper for this class. Though it probably took much longer it felt more comfortable and less soul sucking… Not too mention this was my first graduate course! I was very nervous about graduate school but now I know I got it in me!! Also my entire graduate program is online so I’m getting some good practice for how discourse in an online class works. I did get to meet with Alec, Ben, and Dr. Christensen. I had a great time with you three as I was seriously craving some good ol’ human interaction! Anyways hope all of you have a great summer and I hope to see some of you in future classes!


This should’ve been posted during Spring break, so sorry for the late wrap up everybody but I did really enjoy reading all your responses and thanks again for taking the time to do so! Everybody had a variety of different responses and I think this shows the nature of disability and accessibility in DR, it’s an immensely complex issue. What I noticed is that every disabled person discussed had their own unique set of obstacles based around their own unique needs, limitations, ambitions, and hobbies. This fact illuminates how enormous a task such as Universal Design truly is.

Secondly I noticed that most of the issues were educational. Ensuring that everyone can both access and understand the material in the classroom was a common theme. So it was great to hear from you teacher’s in the class who are actively attempting to bring Universal Design into your classrooms. For people who are no longer in a formal educational setting such as Samantha’s grandmother we can see how even outside a classroom simply reading can be an obstacle.

I also noticed that there were both positive and negative reactions to this issue. For some such as Jamie’s brother, technology has helped him in both the workplace and at home to read material on a digital screen. For others such as Ben’s sister with fibromyalgia and Samantha’s student with a learning disability technologies designed to enhance accessibility are expensive and simply don’t have the wild cutting edge technology their advertisements proclaim. Seeing everybody’s real life examples further exemplifies Simpson’s notion of the dichotomous nature of technologies and accessibility. While for some it can give them more access, while for others it closes them off. While there are many technologies that toot better accessibility we should be wary of them. On the opposite side of the coin being aware of all the technology that can enhance accessibility is important as well.

It’s a difficult issue but I liked what Samantha wrote in her blog

“Since many people do not have disabilities which prevent them from accessing and using technology, these barriers are often not recognized or confronted. Without this realization, it is less likely that society will find more effective solutions to unequal access to technology.”

Bringing this issue into the mainstream is the only way to promote advocacy for it which, as Kenton notes, is one of the main ways to wrestle with this dichotomy. So I’m happy Dr. Christensen included this unit in our class. Spreading awareness to even a small group of people such as our class is a step closer to bringing more public awareness on this issue. Again thanks everyone for your great responses!

Final Project


watch my prezi HERE

Author’s note: For this final draft I decided to move in a different direction than my rough draft and pitch(es). Initially I set out to look at the rhetoric of interactivity in e-literature and look at what doesn’t work, what does, and what’s just plain bad. It’s okay to admit it, some e-literature is bad. For the final project though I decided to simply provide a sort of introduction to e-literature. Since e-literature can be kind of difficult to navigate through I decided to approach it by examining the different levels of interactivity. It was really hard to choose what texts to analyze, so for some I choose to use to demonstrate that e-literature is still evolving. And though some aren’t crazy technological feats such as David Knoebel’s I also wanted to demonstrate that even the simplest of e-literature are still worth interpretation and analysis.

This was my first prezi and I did find it useful for presenting an analysis of e-literature because it allowed me to look at the text under examination live (except for Digital: A Love Story which wasn’t compatible on the Mac I was using so I had to rely on screen shots  from my PC), unlike many of the analyses I researched which relied on textual explanations and screen shots. However since I didn’t want it to be too text heavy I wasn’t able to bring in some of the more complex arguments involving e-literature, but since it was an introduction to e-literature perhaps this approach works out for me.

Works Cited:

Carnegie, Teena A. M. “Interface As Exordium: the Rhetoric of Interactivity.” Computers and Composition. 26.3 (2009): 164-173. Web.

Di Rosario, Giovanna. Electronic Poetry: Understanding Poetry in the Digital Environment. Diss. University of Jyväskylä, 2011. Web.

Glazier, Loss P. Digital Poetics: The Making of E-Poetries. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2002. Print.

Hayles, Katherine. Electronic Literature: New Horizons for the Literary. Notre Dame, Ind: University of Notre Dame, 2008. Print.

Knoebel, David. “Thoughts Go” The Collection of Electronic Literature, vol. 3, 2016. Web.

Knoebel, David. “How I Heard It” Cauldron and Net, vol. 3, 2001. Web

Lewis, Jason. “Nine” Poems That Go, No. 14. 2003. Web.

Love, Christine. “Digital: A Love Story” The Collection of Electronic Literature, vol. 3.2016. Web.

Molloy, Judy. “Ample, Supple, Pliant, Plush” Eastgate Systems, 1995. Web.

Montfort, Nick. Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2003. Print.

Parish, Nina. “From Book to Page to Screen: Poetry and New Media”. Yale French Studies 114 (2008): 51–66. Web.

Piringer, Jorj. “Repeatafterme” Anthology of European Electronic Literature. 2012. Web.

Piringer, Jorj. “Sound Poem I” Poems That Go, No. 13. 2003. Web

Poems That Go, Poems That Go. Ed: Ingrid Ankerson, Megan Sapnar Ankerson, 2000.  Web.

Ryan, Marie Laure. “The Interactive Onion: Layers of User Participation in DigitalNarrative Texts.” New Narratives: Stories and Storytelling in the Digital Age. Ed. Ruth E.Page and Thomas Bronwen. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011. 35-63. Web.

Smith, Hazel, Will Luers, and Roger Dean. “Motions” The Collection of Electronic Literature. Vol. 3, 2016. Web.

Stephanie Boluk, Leonardo Flores, Jacob Garbe, and Anastasia Salter.The Electronic Collection of Literature. Vol. 3. Electronic Literature Organization, Feb. 2015. Web.

Swiss, Thomas. “Distance, Homelessness, Anonymity, and Insignificance”: An Interview With Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries.” The Iowa Review, 2002. Web.

Young-Hae Chang, Marc Voge. “Cunnilingus in North Korea” Young-Hae Change Heavy Industries. Web.


Turns out machines are better at being machines



As I was trying to come up with a response to this prompt my mind was leaning towards two different options: the high-tech and the ubiquitous. I ditched the high-tech after google yielded few results so on to the ubiquitous. “Find an example of a piece of technology that can be used in place of “real” interaction with either other people or the world around us.” For some reason one of the first things I thought of was self-checkout at the grocery store. Aside from being kind of fun, why would anyone use self-checkout?  A cashier gets paid to do that stuff for us, right? Well, to be honest I kind of hate to have some blank-faced employee check me out while I make a paltry attempt at pleasantries. (“How are you” “I’m good how you?” “I’m good how are you?” “Good, you?” “Good and you?” etc.)

Then I began to think of all the technologies that allow us not to deal with a person behind a counter. Online banking, shopping, and bill pay, automated phone operators. We can book flights and hotels, order a pizza, apply to college, sign up for insurance, or complain about bad service, even do our taxes all without having to utter a word or look anyone in the eye. Companies have even started advertising that they have services that allow you to actually talk to a person (what a concept!)

There are some pro’s with this new technology. First of all it allows us to run dozens of errands without leaving our house. On the other end… for those of you who have worked behind a counter you know how awful it can be (press the button, take the money, give the change repeat). It can be a completely dehumanizing experience, and often times customers treat you as if you aren’t human. Let’s not even get started on what the pay is like. Turns out sometimes machines are better at you know… being machines.Like Amber Case discusses, technology allows us to actually be more human.

Cons? It’s hard to say what the cons are, I wonder if by doing all our mundane errands via a computer were missing out on something. Working behind a counter and having a regular come in and ACTUALLY ask about how you’re doing can really make your day. I have a few friends who I met just because they’re regulars at my work. To flip Turkle’s idea on its head maybe people want affection from robots because human interactions have been slowly depleted as we interact more and more with computer programs, perhaps we want something more.

Social Media(hhh)

I like social media. I like that I don’t have to wear a shirt in my twitter avi, i like that I can say I work as a stripper at Spearmint Rhino on my facebook (my facebook was actually hacked and I just don’t really care to change it), and I like that I can e-mail weird deeply personal disjointed poems to guys who never called me back after the first date even though I barely speak to them in public. Social media allows me to express myself in ways that I could never do in person.

As far as how I try to construct my personality on social media? I’m reminded of what David Foster Wallace wrote about memoirs – which are somewhat tantamount to posting anything on social media. He writes, “The sense I get from a lot of contemporary memoirs is that they have an unconscious and unacknowledged project, which is to make the memoirists seem as endlessly fascinating and important to the reader as they are to themselves. I find most of them sad in a way that I don’t think their authors intend.” Uhm, yahhhh I want people to know how endlessly fascinating and important my life is. For instance my profile picture on facebook is of me laying in a nice lush green forest bed in yellowstone taking a break from hiking. I almost never go hiking, and I spent most of my time on that hike on the brink of tears because I hate heights. It’s all lies.

What’s interesting about social media is that we can get an almost immediate thumbs up or thumbs down to whether or not people think our lives are fascinating and important by how many people like our posts. Naturally we cut corners – pouring over who has viewed our snap chat stories, or counting how many times our vines have been looped. We also learn what exactly it is that people find fascinating and important and we hone in on it, we cater to it, we’re addicted to it. I’ve been tweeting since 2009. My first tweets were akin to drab diary entries. “Tired. Jeni’s coming over. Going to a movie.” Now they’re sensational (“was forced to fondle my first pair of fake boobs tonight”) and bizarre jabs at pop culture (“i still don’t know the difference between channing tatum and payton manning”).

So yeah for the most part I’d like to think I take little care in curating different internet persona’s like Ronnie (this also might be a lie), I imagine like 0.000003 percent of my followers/friends actually look at my profile pages/any of the crap I post so what’s the point of sprucing them up? Although I do try to avoid posting stuff that would make me seem self-obsessed (selfies), and wildly self loathing — which actually both totally describe me. I just want to appear brilliant, insightful, and hilarious which I think I’m getting better at (is this that digital literacy that Buck talks about haha). Though I do post a lot more on twitter like Ronnie because more of my older extended family is on facebook and I don’t want them to know what a terrible depraved person I am.


B’s Rough Draft

This is my first prezi!! I have a love hate relationship with this medium. However since I’m dealing with these multimodal forms of literature I’m excited to present them in their original format instead of describing them through text alone like many have in the research I’ve encountered. Let me know if this seems like the most affective medium for this project!!

Anywho hope this works…. Uhm you may notice that this prezi is basically half finished, BECAUSE IT IS. This project so far has been evolving constantly for me (see my proposal)… with this draft I initially wanted to simply make a list of “top reasons why no one really pays attention to e-literature” and use this as a way to explore the rhetorical implications of interactivity in a few works of e-literature, but in probably like the last hour or so i realized i ought to make another list in this presentation: “top reasons why people should pay attention to e-literature”, because obviously as I’m making my way through all these e-literature artifacts I’m getting a better grasp on how to “read” e-literature and my initial analyses of the works are falling apart. I must say i was doubtful at first but I’m really falling in love with this form.

I left a lot out this week, formatting a prezi takes a lot more time than I expected! Stay tuned for my annotated bib next week where I’ll give some more theoretical gusto to the factors of interaction and immersion in works of e-literature. I hope y’all enjoy e-literature as much as do. PLUSSSS according to it’s international e-poetry month. woohoo. #representin’ #wut


Literature meets data

Let’s face it often times data and data collection can be tedious, irresolute, and frustrating, and as we saw from this weeks reading once the data has been collected the process of visualizing it can be equally exhaustive and even misleading. Infographics is information and data displayed in both an artfully and succinct manner. For this weeks blog post I’m going to consider the rhetorical implications of some infographics surrounding literature.

The first infograph is from It’s an infograph based around Kurt Vonnegut’s rejected master’s thesis.

Kurt Vonnegut - The Shapes of Stories<p> From <a href=’’>Visually</a&gt;.</p></div>

This is a very nice looking infograph. It has a simple color scheme of black, white, blue, and orange. Blue and orange are complimentary on the color wheel so visually the colors aren’t jarring or distracting. Considering the content of the infograph it’s also very complimentary and succinct. The amount of text and visual is almost perfectly balanced as well. The plots of numerous stories are categorized in neat little boxes containing a various graph like structure filled with symbols and icons such as a skull or trophy to represent the different ups and downs of the protagonists life in a story. It’s an infograph that exposes the truly simple nature of any work of literature.

Next here are my not so pretty infographs, I’m just going to say that even though the infograph is somewhat of an eyesore I hope the data is represented in a fairly accurate and clear manner. In collecting the data for these graphs I looked at the 50 first sentences from the anthology, Best American Short Stories of the Century. I marked down whether or not each sentence contained the introduction of each of these elements: conflict, setting, action, and character. For example this sentence contains all four elements: “She stood with her black face some six inches from the moist window pane and wondered when on earth it would ever stop raining.”  Here we are introduced to character – we can derive from the sentence that the story is about a black woman. As far as setting goes we can tell she is inside, possibly her home. The action begins with the woman standing close to a window, and the conflict is that it won’t stop raining. Some sentences contain none of these tropes such as, “Boys, men, girls, children, mothers, babies.” Others are more vague such as “I know a lot!” or  “The bowl was perfect.” So yeah this data is no where near perfect, but I had fun with it and how many people can say they had fun collecting data??


Here we can see that in the 50 first sentences examined the trope that occurred the most was action, the least conflict. Character came in second and setting came in third.


This infograph contains each individual percentage of the tropes, it contains more information yet it’s not as clear or simple to follow as the first. It is also somewhat redundant. We don’t really need the “trope absent” category.

Okay, well that’s all I got for now. Great facilitation Jamie!



Sorry this is a lil late y’all. Truth is, I was absolutely dreadddding this topic because I assumed it was going to be awfully dull but I persevered and found that copyright isn’t so bad after all (s/o to Kelsey for picking such great readings/tedtalk, I was pleasantly surprised to find Foucault discussed in a book about copyright and slightly alarmed at my desire to read more!).

What I was most intrigued by initially when reading Rife and Hobbes’ writings was this general consensus that copyright law is fairly unknown to the general public. I kept asking myself why? Copyright is a fairly prevalent issue today why has it been ignored by many educational institutions? The first time I was introduced to copyright law was when we had a week long unit on it in a public relations class I took for my mass communications minor. It was a very cut and dry unit that had us focus solely on certain clauses of copyright, fair use laws, where you could send a request for something to be copy written, how long something takes to be copy written, when something becomes public domain, and so forth. What’s funny is that in my writing classes for my English major, which focused almost solely on composing and inventing, copyright issues were totally overlooked. I found this cleavage to say a lot about the nature of copyrighting today. In PR copyrighting is important because PR people’s job is to ensure that their clients never get into any sticky legal situations and that the copy written material they produce isn’t infringed upon. Its designed to be as economically pragmatic as possible. Copyright is seen as just being about money, not something that ensures artists and academics rights to their intellectual property!

In classrooms, as Hobbes explored, teachers don’t have to bother much with being knowledgeable about copyright law because shh… they can pretty much get away with it (for the most part).It seems many educators are kind of tiptoeing around copyright issues these days. They see copyright as a hindrance to knowledge, something that might get them in trouble. They don’t want to be perceived as what Foucault would called a leper -they want to stay on the good side of society. I wonder if this is why so many avoid really becoming knowledgeable about copyright issues – as Jack Nicholson would say – they can’t handle the truth! Or is it simple human nature to share, steal and rebel as Hobbes notes? Is copyright law something that subdues chaos or induces it? Educators should see copy written material as a way to create new knowledge by knowing what they can and can’t use in their classrooms.