Recent Presentations by Institute Faculty

The Institute's Mark Koch and Megan McIntyre presented research at meetings of the Conference on College Composition and Communication this year.

Mark Koch presented at the New England CCCC, held at Boston University this past May. His presentation on map-making and multimodal composition stems from his longstanding interest in maps and critical cartography, which often find their way into his Writing 2-3 courses. His paper, "The Cartographic Argument: Writing Maps as a Multimodal Project," presented some of his experiences teaching with maps in his writing courses. Koch states that asking students to critically consider maps as rhetorical constructions helps them develop more sophisticated reading strategies and offers needful practice in "making deliberate choices while constructing meaning." Koch's presentation also emphasized that instructors of writing and their students do not need special training or expensive software to create cartographic multimodal compositions.

Faculty Research Spotlight

Professors Megan McIntyre and Nick Van Kley recently attended conferences to share their research.

The two scholars appeared together on a roundtable focused on digital research methods at the annual Computers and Writing Conference held at St. John Fischer College in Rochester, New York. The roundtable offered an examination of how research methods and ethical considerations are evolving in response to the ever-changing spaces and practices of digital media. The conversation included presentations on various forms of social media including Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest as well as other digital artifacts such as Wikipedia articles, websites, message boards, user profiles, and various forms of metadata.

New Course Offerings this Spring

This spring the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric will offer five new courses in writing and speech. Several of the courses will be taught by our new faculty members.

Speech 37, Health Communication

Professor Darlene Drummond will teach a new Speech course this spring entitled Health Communication. The course is designed to provide a broad overview of health communication, a field that studies how communication strategies inform and influence individual decisions that affect health. In particular, the course examines the problem of ineffective communication in a health care context—moments when interactions between health care professionals and patients lead to miscommunication, insensitivity and even dehumanization. These moments of failed communication often result in dire consequences when prescribed medical regimens are not followed. 

New Faculty Join the Institute; Returning Faculty take on New Roles

Megan Mcintyre

The philosopher Isaiah Berlin once famously divided writers, thinkers—indeed all humanity—into two distinct categories. To Berlin, you were either a hedgehog or a fox. Hedgehogs have a singular focus and interpret the world through the lens of central, unifying idea. Foxes, on the other hand, distrust such monolithic perspectives and are given to protean and fugitive thought that pursues many ends and seeks to understand things on their own terms, without placing them within any particular box or system. Megan McIntyre, the new Assistant Director for Program Development at the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, is decidedly with the foxes.