Big Ideas 4/3

Maps make things real for us, “every map facilitates some living by virtue of its ability to grapple with what is known instead of what is merely seen, what is understood rather than what is no more than sensed” (Wood, 7). Because maps are visually engaging and the physicality that comes with it, this creates something more concrete and understood, or real. “We are always mapping the invisible or the unattainable or the erasable, the future or the past, the whatever-is-not-here-present-to-our-senses now and, through the gift that the map gives us, transmuting it into everything it is not…into the real” (Wood, 5). When something is mapped out it holds a truth making it real. 

Stop Write 3/13

“Squeezed into the same slots. What comes out is interchangeable. Standardized.”

Write about a recent time that you’ve felt “squeezed into the same slots” when it came to writing. Did it make you feel standardized?

Reading Question 3/6 Welcome to Pine Point

“This isn’t Facebook: the photos have scratches, wrinkles, and dust- people awkwardly framed and with half-closed eyes. Just pictures taken with the hope they might preserve a moment. They reminded me of my own family album. My dad died in 1999. When I try to picture him, I don’t see him- I see photos of him.”

This really made me think of Barthes when he says, “The Photograph is an extended, loaded evidence — as if it caricatured not the figure of what it represents (quite the converse) but its very existence … The Photograph then becomes a bizarre (medium), a new form of hallucination: false on the level of perception, true on the level of time: a temporal hallucination, so to speak, a modes shared hallucination (on the one hand ‘it is not there,’ on the other ‘but it has indeed been’): a mad image, chafed by reality.”  I have to wonder what Barthes would think of this, would he agree or disagree that social media/technology has changed the purpose of photography?

Big Ideas 2/27

“Conceptualized as a communicative artifact, visual rhetoric is the actual image rhetors generate when they use visual symbols for the purpose of communicating” (Foss 143). “Not every visual object is visual rhetoric. What turns a visual object into a communicative artifact, a symbol that communicates and can be studied as rhetoric- is the presence of three characteristics. The image must be symbolic, involve human intervention, and be presented to an audience for the purpose of communicating with that audience. (Foss 144).

Glossary Entries – 2/13

Visual epistemology “refers to ways of knowing that are presented and processed visually,” explained by Drucker (7). She notes that for the purpose of this book she will focus on representation and not cognition. She further explains that while “visual expressions of knowledge” are necessary for science disciplines, language-oriented disciplines have only scratched the surface (7).

Language of form “suggests a systematic approach to graphic expression as a means as well as an object of study,” described by Drucker (8). She goes on to state, “Most information visualizations are acts of interpretation masquerading as presentation. In other words, they are images that act as if they are just showing what is, but in actuality, they are arguments made in graphical form” (9).

Bibliography 2/6

Ball, C. E. (2012). Assessing Scholarly Multimedia: A Rhetorical Genre Studies Approach. Technical Communication Quarterly,21(1), 61-77. doi:10.1080/10572252.2012.626390

This article was found while looking for works that cite Anne Wysocki’s “Awaywithwords.” The article focuses on a teacher’s methods of using multimedia in assignments for her writing class. The author also gives criteria for how these projects should be assessed.

Brunetti, I. (2011). Cartooning: philosophy and practice. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

This book is cited in Lynda Barry’s Syllabus. She uses Brunetti’s practices in the classroom and assigns this text for her class to read. This text presents itself as a guide to cartoon making and storytelling, giving exercises and assignments.

Groppel-Wegener, A. (2016). Groppel-Wegener Writing Essays by Pictures – Redrawing the textbook. Journal of Pedagogic Development, 6(3), 65-69. Retrieved February 5, 2017, from

This source was found while looking for works that cite Lynda Barry’s Syllabus on Google Scholar. The article examines the textbook as an academic genre, which is argued to be “outmoded”. It suggests that learning resources should go beyond just the textbook and expresses the importance of image use in communication.

Mendonça, P. (2016). Graphic facilitation, sketchnoting, journalism and ‘The Doodle Revolution’: New dimensions in comics scholarship. Studies in Comics,7(1), 127-152. doi:10.1386/stic.7.1.127_1

This source was found while looking for works that cite Lynda Barry’s Syllabus on Google Scholar. Mendonca discusses the effect of words and images combine to, “represent the content  of an event, discussion or process.”  The article explains that drawing is crucial for understanding, even if it is considered poor. Noted that this method is used in the professional field but should be pushed in communities and organizations.

Newcomb, M. (2012). Sustainability as a Design Principle for Composition: Situational Creativity as a Habit of Mind. College Composition and Communication,63(4), 593-615. Retrieved February 5, 2017, from

This article was found while looking for works that cite Anne Wysocki’s “Awaywithwords.” Newcomb argues that “Design is a rhetorical activity that requires creative thinking in response to difficult situations.” He explains that sustainable design can be a tool for writing that changes the way people think while writing and promotes creativity.

Alyse’s Intro

My name’s Alyse. I am a first-year writing instructor/ English department PR liaison by day, student by night and server by weekend. This is my second year in graduate school where I am pursuing a degree in professional writing as well as the certificate of the teaching of writing.  This is actually my eighth year at EMU, I completed my undergrad in Written Communications and decided to continue my education.

This is my second year in graduate school where I am pursuing a degree in professional writing as well as the certificate of the teaching of writing.  This is actually my eighth year at EMU, I completed my undergrad in Written Communications/Criminology and decided to continue my education.

I’m excited to see what this semester brings.


Reading Question 1/23

“Ultimately, what I am seeking in the photograph taken of me (the intention according to which I look at it) is Death: Death is the eidos of that Photograph.” (Barthes,15)

“The camera obscura, in short has generated at one and the same time perspective painting, photography, and the diorama, which are all three arts of the stage; but if photography seems to me closer to the theater, it is by way of a singular intermediary (and perhaps I am the only one who sees it) : by way of Death.” (Barthes,31)

“Now it is this same relation which I find in the Photograph; however “lifelike” we strive to make it (and this frenzy to be lifelike can only be our mythic denial of an apprehension of death), photography is a kind of primitive theater, a kind of Tableau Vivant, a figuration of the motionless and made-up face beneath which we see the dead.” (Barthes, 31-32)


Technically this is only three sentences, although lengthy, I thought they were all good explanations on Barthes thought process on photo in relation to death. As readers, we are made aware in the introduction that the death of Barthes mother had a great impact on him and has been argued that this is the reasoning for Barthes relating photography to death throughout the book. The quotes above showcases his beliefs that death is the idea of photography and that theater and photography are linked closely together and represent death. He explains that theater and photography strive to be “lifelike” and they are the imitation of the dead. As soon as a moment has passed, it’s dead, according to Barthes.

Because of my interest in social media, I started to wonder what Barthes would make of it. How does social media play into this idea of death? I can’t help to think about snap chat or Instagram where people post “stories” of multiple photos and instances. Is it just a timeline of death? Are we fighting against this moment of “death”? Or what about when videos are posted as well? I have to wonder if his perspective would change or stay the same.