General Information


This class will look specifically at the multimodal turn in writing and rhetoric. By exploring the theoretical foundations of multimodal approaches, we will question how and why (and sometimes why not) to integrate multimodality into writing-intensive classrooms and examine to what degree a multimodal pedagogy is consonant with a digital pedagogy. We will also examine what's at stake in the act of multimodal composing itself.

Learning Outcomes



Required Materials

  • Books To Purchase:
    • Alexander, Jonathan and Jacqueline Rhodes. On Multimodality: New Media in Composition Studies. CCCC/NCTE, 2014.
    • Banks, Adam J. Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age. Southern Illinois University Press, 2011.
    • Erdrich, Louise. Books & Islands in Ojibwe Country. Harper Perennial, 2003.
    • Palmeri, Jason. Remixing Composition: A History of Multimodal Writing Pedagogy. Southern Illinois University Press, 2012.
    • Shipka, Jody. Toward a Composition Made Whole. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011.
    • Yancey, Kathleen Blake and Stephen J. McElroy (Eds.). Assembling Composition. CCCC/NCTE, 2017.
  • Books Accessible for Free Online:
    • Delagrange, Susan H. Technologies of Wonder: Rhetorical Practice in a Digital World. Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press, 2011.
    • Hidalgo, Alexandra. Cámara Retórica: A Feminist Filmmaking Methodology for Rhetoric and Composition. Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press, 2017.
    • Rhodes, Jacqueline, and Jonathan Alexander. Techne: Queer Meditations on Writing the Self. Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press, 2015.
    • Hidalgo
  • Essays Provided via D2L:
    • Ahern, Katie. "Understanding Learning Spaces Sonically, Soundscaping Evaluations of Place." Computers & Composition, 48, June 2018, pp. 22-33.
    • Arroyo, Sarah J. and Bahareh Alaei. "The Dancing Floor." Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, 17.2, 2013, from issue
    • Ball, Cheryl. "Show, Not Tell: The Value of New Media Scholarship." Computers and Composition, vol. 21, no. 4, 2004, pp. 403-425.
    • Banks, Adam. "Chapter 6, Through this Hell Into Freedom: Black Architects, Slave Quilters and an African American Rhetoric of Design." from Race, Rhetoric, and Technology: Searching for Higher Ground. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc, 2006. pp. 105-130.
    • DeLuca, Kevin Michael & Harold, Christine & Rufo, Kenneth. "Q.U.I.L.T.: A Patchwork of Reflections." Rhetoric & Public Affairs, vol. 10 no. 4, 2007, pp. 626-649. 
    • Gallagher, Victoria J. and Margaret R. LaWare."Sparring with Public Memory: The Rhetorical Embodiment of Race, Power, and Conflict in the Monument to Joe Louis." In Places of Public Memory: The Rhetoric of Museums and Memorials. Greg Dickinson, Carole Blair & Brian L. Ott (eds.), University of Alabama Press (2010)
    • Haas, Angela. "Wampum as Hypertext: An American Indian Intellectual Tradition of Multimedia Theory and Practice." Studies in American Indian Literatures, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 77-100.
    • Halbritter, Bump and Julie Lindquist. "Time, Lives, and Videotape: Operationalizing Discovery in Scenes of Literacy Sponsorship," College English, 75.2, Nov. 2012, pp. 171-198.
    • Hesse, Doug. "Response to Cynthia L.Selfe’s“The Movement of Air,the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing."College Composition and Communication, vol. 61, no. 4, 2010, pp. 602-605.
    • King, Lisa. "Chapter 1: Protecting the Knowledge, Nurturing the Community - The Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways." Legible Sovereignties: Rhetoric, Representation, and Native American Museums. Oregon State UP, 2017, pp. 29-66.
    • New London Group. "A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures." Harvard Educational Review, vol. 66, no. 1, 1996, pp. 1-32.
    • Pritchard, Eric Darnell. "Black Girls Queer (Re)Dress: Fashion as Literacy Performance in Pariah." QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking, 4.3, Fall 2017, pp. 127-155.
    • Sheppard, Jennifer. "The Rhetorical Work of Multimedia Production Practices: It's More than Just Technical Skill." Computers and Composition, vol. 26, no. 2, 2009, pp. 122-131.
    • Selfe, Cynthia L. "Response to Doug Hesse." College Composition and Communication, vol. 61, no. 4, 2010, pp. 606-610.
    • Wysocki, Anne Frances. Computers and Composition, vol 22, 2005, pp. 55-62.
    • Wysocki, A. F. (2004). Opening new media to writing: Openings & justifications. In A. F. Wysocki, et al. (Eds.), Writing new media: Theory and applications for expanding the teaching of composition (pp. 1-41)Logan, UT: Utah State University Press. 
    • Yancey, Kathleen Blake. “Made Not Only in Words: Composition in a New Key.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 56, no. 2, 2004, pp. 297–328.
    • Yergeau, Melanie et al. "Multimodality in Motion: Disability and Kairotic Spaces." Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy, vol 8., no. 1, 2014.
  • Articles Available Online
  • Course Policies

    Accommodation Policy

    Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Requests for accommodations by persons with disabilities may be made by contacting the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities at 517-884-RCPD or on the web at Once your eligibility for an accommodation has been determined, you will be issued a verified individual services accommodation (“VISA”) form. Please present this form to me at the start of the term and/or two weeks prior to the accommodation date (test, project, etc). Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

    Academic Honesty

    The Spartan Code of Honor states, "As a Spartan, I will strive to uphold values of the highest ethical standard. I will practice honesty in my work, foster honesty in my peers, and take pride in knowing that honor is worth more than grades. I will carry these values beyond my time as a student at Michigan State University, continuing the endeavor to build personal integrity in all that I do." In addition, Article 2.III.B.2 of the Student Rights and Responsibilites (SRR) states that "The student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards." The (insert name of unit offering course) adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in General Student Regulations 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades; the all-University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades; and Ordinance 17.00, Examinations. (See Spartan Life: Student Handbook and Resource Guide and/or the MSU Web site:

    Therefore, unless authorized by your instructor, you are expected to complete all course assignments, including homework, lab work, quizzes, tests and exams, without assistance from any source. You are expected to develop original work for this course; therefore, you may not submit course work you completed for another course to satisfy the requirements for this course. Also, you are not authorized to use the Web site to complete any course work in this course. Students who violate MSU academic integrity rules may receive a penalty grade, including a failing grade on the assignment or in the course. Contact your instructor if you are unsure about the appropriateness of your course work. (See also the Academic Integrity webpage.)

    Limits to Confidentiality

    Essays, journals, and other materials submitted for this class are generally considered confidential pursuant to the University's student record policies. However, students should be aware that University employees, including instructors, may not be able to maintain confidentiality when it conflicts with their responsibility to report certain issues to protect the health and safety of MSU community members and others. As the instructor, I must report the following information to other University offices (including the MSU Police Department) if you share it with me:

    • Suspected child abuse/neglect, even if this maltreatment happened when you were a child,
    • Allegations of sexual assault or sexual harassment when they involve MSU students, faculty, or staff, and
    • Credible threats of harm to oneself or to others.

    These reports may trigger contact from a campus official who will want to talk with you about the incident that you have shared. In almost all cases, it will be your decision whether you wish to speak with that individual. If you would like to talk about these events in a more confidential setting you are encouraged to make an appointment with the MSU Counseling Center

    Needs Support

    Any student in this class who experiences difficulty affording groceries or accessing sufficient food to eat every day, or who lacks a safe and stable place to live, and believes this may affect their performance in our course, is urged to contact their academic advisor for support. You may also contact the MSU Food Bank ( for help getting access to healthy foods. Furthermore, if you are experiencing any other challenges with basic needs, you may also notify me, and I will work to connect you with any resources that I may have access to.

    The Writing Center

    The Writing Center staff consults with writers at all levels of proficiency, at all stages of the composing process, and on a wide variety of composing projects including essays, resumes, presentations, websites, and digital movies. Visit our website at to set up an appointment at one of our various sites across campus, including all neighborhoods, the main library, and online. When space is available, all locations take drop-in clients on a first-come, first-served basis.