What I do in the classroom.

Strategies and Tactics for Digital Resistance

WSU graduate seminar in technology and culture

I had enormous fun working with the graduate students in this somewhat paranoid seminar that sought to "challenge technologically determinist and celebratory narratives by building a critical vocabulary and in-depth knowledge of the historical, political, social and ethical decisions, projects and processes that define practical implementations of technologies that are never culturally neutral or value-free. The seminar ask[ed]: how can we better respond to increasingly pervasive flows of ambient information in culturally responsible ways? And how can we do so in ways that understand that digital environments are no less material than any other aspects of our culture?" The syllabus and assignment descriptions sought to communicate the spirit of the seminar by parodying NSA-style codewords, jargon, and other forms of information chaff.

Information Structures

Upper-division core course for the WSU Digital Technology and Culture major

From the syllabus: "This course examines how the social, cultural, legal, economic, and political roles of information relate to research with and on electronic and digital sources and subjects. More specifically, it asks you to examine how research functions in the information age: not only the searches and research that you do, but the research that is done to and on you. That examination investigates possible parallels among academic research, market research, security research, and government surveillance."

Rhetoric Under Empire

WSU graduate seminar in classical rhetoric

From the syllabus: "This seminar uses the concept of empire as a way to investigate the problematic notion of a Western-oriented classical rhetorical tradition and canon. While rhetorics ostensibly rely on persuasion, they are often sustained or advanced by unequal relations of imperial power and domination, and this seminar proposes that those unequal relations of power merit investigation: the rhetorical tradition does not exist outside of politics or materiality. For those reasons, this seminar investigates texts from the classical rhetorical tradition in their historical and material contexts."

Language, Texts, Technologies

Upper-division core course for the WSU Digital Technology and Culture major

I've included here the syllabus, the major assignment descriptions, and a complete set of my lesson notes from spring 2015. From the syllabus: "This course explores the interrelationships among technology, communication, and composing practices from a historical point of view, with a particular focus on various forms of literacies. Many of the issues of current concern to people who study and work with digital technologies and culture have deep historical roots, and writing and computation are both technologies that are themselves thousands of years old. We will use face-to-face and online discussions and collaborative work in multiple media to examine the connections between today’s digital culture and its material history and practices."

College Composition

WSU first-year writing course

It's important to me to teach first-year composition on a regular basis, since that course is in many ways at the heart of my academic discipline. From my most recent syllabus: "Our approach takes as its foundation the substantial body of empirical research on the best ways people learn to write well, and on the ways people don’t learn to write well. Good writing seldom happens in one draft the night before a deadline: instead, good writing comes from practice, from attention to methods and processes, and from reading and responding to others’ writing. Most of all, good writing comes from putting in the effort to generate and organize ideas, to undertake multiple drafts, to seek and consider and respond to advice on those drafts, to revise, to edit, to proofread, and to share writing with others." Also: assignments.