End of Semester Blues

Tomorrow night is my last night of Fall 2010--which has been my favorite semester thus far at University of South Florida. My Contemporary Rhetorics class was awesome; we enjoyed a guest interview with Thomas Rickert, read D. Diane Davis' new book Inessential Solidarity weeks after its release, and I experimented with open reading weeks in which the students could decide what they wanted to bring into the class. I got the opportunity to read several new(er) books I have been waiting to read, including Brooke's Rhetoric for New Media, Rickert's Acts of Enjoyment, and Harman's Prince of Networks. I've enjoyed the class so much that, despite the incredible amount of energy it requires, I'm sad to see it end (especially knowing that I am unlikely to get the opportunity to teach it again for several years).

My undergrad class in Visual Rhetoric was also, I think, successful--although I will be making changes for next semester, when I will be teaching undergrad sections of Visual Rhetoric and New Media. I've decided that I will only do (x)html and css in New Media--but that is the only technology we will work with for the entire semester. This semester in VR I tried too many things--Prezi, InDesign, Photoshop, Premier/iMovie, and (x)html and css. Next semester, Visual Rhetoric will focus on photo and print technologies (with a few presentations in either Prezi or Premier) while New Media will involve both avant-garde and service learning projects in (x)html and css.

Inspired by Nathaniel Rivers' snazzy (and informative) site, Karl Stolley's recent digtial facelift and plea, and the work of my Visual Rhetoric students on a new USF Rhetoric and Composition Program site (link coming soon), I spent the weekend updating my site for the first time in a few years. I'll probably put the new site up tomorrow. I've got a book review for TCQ to finish this week on Selber's new edited collection Rhetoric and Technologies. I've read the preface, introduction, and the first three essays by Marilyn Cooper, Johndan Johnson-Eilola, and Geoff Sirc--all three were excellent. That makes it easier to finish the collection! I've also got to finish an essay on Latour, Gorgias, and Levinas; the essay has been 95% complete since October, but I've been holding on to it until after I had the opportunity to read Davis and Harman.

Well, there's my near-to-end-of-semester update. Hope all is well on your end. I'll try to post again after the upcoming swarm of grading.

Update:I put up the new version of the site. It still needs polishing work, but if I waited until it was finished it would never see the light of day


pure_sophist_monster said...

I'd love to get a sneak peak at that 95%, dude!

pure_sophist_monster said...

Also, thanks for the shout out. I love good internet buzz!

Mark said...

The first semester I did Computer-Aided Publishing I tried to do InDesign and HTML/CSS and even that turned out to be too much. You think there are going to be all these great affinities between mediums, but really you just end up have to teach your students how to walk all over again, and spend twice as much time troubleshooting.