Reading Question – 4/3

“Every map is like this, 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. I want to say that recently the distance between this visible, palpable world of our senses and the world we make of it has stretched” (Wood 7).

“This is the very point of the map, to present us not with the world we can see, but to point toward a world we might know” (Wood 12).

It’s interesting that throughout this class we have discussed and analyzed visual rhetoric examples we can easily look at, yet Wood criticizes the idea that we oftentimes take physical copies of maps so seriously. With this second quote, Wood encourages us to look beyond what maps present and to consider what we cannot see. This idea is similar to what Sousanis explores with the imagination in Unflattening (88). Considering what Wood argues and Sousanis’ ideas about imagination, do you think that our use of the maps over time hinders our ability to be imaginative? Does this result in an inability to change the status quo? How does Wood’s discussion of property and mental maps play into this?

Big Ideas: 3/20

We understand new concepts by drawing on what we already know, so this new knowledge is constructed by bringing together the similar and dissimilar. This visual process allows us to draw connections through many different, subjective views. Therefore, we constantly create perception, which is invaluable to thought. These multiple thoughts and perceptions provide us with multidimensional sight; thus, a good seer is a good thinker (Sousanis 81-82). [HD]

Glossary Terms: 3/13

Visual: Sousanis simplifies this term by comparing it with verbal modes, which “march along linearly, step by step, a discrete sequence of words” (59). He then goes on to say “the visual, on the other hand…presents itself all-at-once, simultaneous, all over, relational” (59). Rose takes this similar concept and discusses it throughout an entire book chapter, and finally settles on the idea that “visual imagery is never innocent; it is always constructed through various practices, technologies and knowledges” (32). [HD]

Flatness: Unflattening explores the concepts of flattening and unflattening throughout the book, but Sousanis immediately provides readers with what he means by flatness: “Like a great weight descending…suffocating and ossifying, flatness permeates the landscape. This flatness is not literal, no. It cloaks its true nature under a hyper-real facade…This is a flatness of slight, a construction of possibilities…where inhabitants conform to what Marcuse called ‘a pattern of one-dimensional thought and behavior’” (5-6). With this introduction, it is clear that Sousanis will further explore humans sometimes narrow view of the world and universe. [HD]

3/6 Bibliography

When I searched “Welcome to Pine Point” on Google Scholar, only four sources have cited it, and they are all listed below. In addition to these scholarly sources, I also included the website, Pine Point Revisited. This is the website that was discussed at the end of Welcome to Pine Point. [HD]

Harley, D., & Lachman, R. (2014). CHI PLAY 2014: The bellman: Subtle interactions in a linear narrative. Proceedings of the First ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, 343-346.

This source is challenging to find information about, because it was published in the conference proceedings of the 2014 ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play, held in Canada. It also seems as though the PDF needs to be purchased to be viewed in full. However, the abstract says that the paper presents an internet adaption of a novella and it details how interaction affects narrative.

Kiuttu, S. (2013). Integrate multimedia, make fingers happy: Journalistic storytelling on tablets. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford. Retrieved from,%20MAKE%20FINGERS%20HAPPY-%20JOURNALISTIC%20STORYTELLING%20ON%20TABLETS.pdf

This 2013 Reuters Institute Fellowship Paper is a 42-page document that describes how stories are told through the use of tablets. The major sections of the paper include the background of tablets, key characteristics of storytelling on tablets, a comparative analysis with genres such as newspaper apps, and a look at the future of tablet storytelling. Welcome to Pine Point is discussed briefly at the end of the report, and is used as an example of multimedia narration.

Pine Point Revisited. (2015). Retrieved from

This website was created and maintained by former Pine Point resident Richard Cloutier, who used to be “The Bully” and is now referred to as “The Protector.” The website has not been updated since 2015, but it seems to offer more pictures and history, in addition to what was provided in Welcome to Pine Point.

Pope, J. (2013). The way ahead: The teaching of hyper-narrative at Bournemouth University. New Writing: The International Journal for the Practice and Theory of Creative Writing, 10(2), 206-218.

This article is aimed at writers and teachers who want to learn about creative writing and its connections to new-media. The author also wants to bring awareness to “hyper-narrative,” which includes more sophisticated multi-media writing and design tools that can be used to create interactive narratives. The article discusses ways to create multi-media stories and describes software to do so.

Wong, A. (2015). The whole story, and then some: ‘Digital storytelling’ in evolving museum practice. MW2015: Museums and the Web 2015. Retrieved from

The author explores digital storytelling and argues that it is actually unproductive. The abstract says that Wong does argue for museums to invest in “developing staff as storytellers with fluency in the narrative capacities afforded by the interactions between people, space, content, and technology.” The abstract also mentions that museums also need to think about storytelling as spatial; mobile; location, context, and audience aware; interactive; transmedial; and intermedial.

Reading Question – 2/27

“The humanistic record is full of gaps and breaks, ruptures in missing documents, so that any historical reconstruction necessarily provides only partial evidence. Humanistic temporality is broken, discontinuous, partial, fragmented in its fundamental conception and model. How to find the right graphical language to communicate this knowledge in ways that are sufficiently consistent to achieve consensus while being flexible enough to inscribe the inflections that characterize subjective experience?” (Drucker 76).

This quotation is from the end of the “Timekeeping” section. There is a lot going on in the question Drucker already posed here, so let’s break it down a little. Before this quotation, Drucker explains that empirical timelines are limited because they view time as continuous; however, humanistic timelines create “alternative branchings, perspective and retrospective approaches to the understanding of events” (76). Is this question that Drucker asks even possible? If there are so many gaps in the humanistic record, then is there a graphical language that can be used to communicate this knowledge or should we use another way entirely?

2/13 Brooke Note: Graphesis (pp. 1-64)

Drucker, Johanna. Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production


Drucker, Johanna. Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production. Harvard University Press, 2014, pp. 1-64.


The inside flap summarizes the book explaining that “Graphesis provides an ambitious overview of the field of visual knowledge, its history and critical development, with emphasis on developing a descriptive analysis of the ways schematic graphical forms construct meaning. Drawing on fields as diverse as semiotics, gestalt psychology, cognitive studies, history of cartography and statistics, art history, and aesthetics, this unique contribution to our understanding of graphical forms of knowledge production lays the foundation for study ahead.”

The first part of the book explains that it is important to explore graphesis (the study of visual production of knowledge), because it is a large part of our culture (3). Drucker also emphasizes that she uses the humanistic perspective to inform the book. Drucker then sets the tone of the book by providing definitions for the words that are important for readers to know: information graphics, graphical user interface, visual epistemology, and languages of form. On page 20, Drucker provides eight “approaches to the systematic understanding of visual epistemology that form the core of [her] approach.” These eight approaches include knowledge and/as vision, languages of form, dynamics of form/universal principles of design, gestalt principles and tendencies, basic variable, understanding graphics and editing, processing images, and typology of graphic forms. Pages 21-55 explain these approaches in further detail with visual examples. Then, pages 56-63 provide brief descriptions and visual examples of graphical forms in information visualizations and interface designs.


  1. Knowledge production
  2. Visual
  3. Images
  4. Graphical
  5. Humanistic perspective
  6. Principles of visual communication
  7. Information visualizations
  8. Interface designs


Crane, Walter. Line and Form. Bell and Sons, 1925.

—. The Bases of Design. Bell and Sons, 1898.

Jones, Owen. The Grammar of Ornament. Day and Son, 1856.


“The marks and signs that make up an image are neither semantically consistent–that is they don’t represent meaning or value in a dependable way–nor are they graphically consistent, unless they are produced with mechanical means..Visual images are not constructed by a given set of rules…Visual images are not governed by principles in which a finite set of components is combined in accord with stable, fixed, and finite rules” (24).

“The complexity of visual means of knowledge production is matched by the sophistication of our cognitive processing. Visual knowledge is as dependent on lived, embodied, specific knowledge as any other field of human endeavor, and integrates other sense data as part of cognition. Not only do we process complex representations, but we are imbued with cultural training that allows us to understand them as knowledge, communicated and consensual, in spite of the fact that we have no ‘language’ of graphics or rules governing their use. What we have are conventions, habits of reading and thought, and graphical expressions whose properties translate into semantic value–in part through association with other forms and in part through inherent properties” (51).


I’m interested in the idea of the “book of the future” that Drucker briefly described on page 63. Where did this idea come from? Is this her own idea or did she adapt this idea from somewhere else? Will she explain this further throughout the rest of Graphesis?

Glossary Terms: 2/6

Image: While Andrew defined this word last week, Lynda Barry touched on this word again in the last half of Syllabus, and Anne Wysocki also discussed it in “awaywithwords.” On page 126 of Syllabus, Barry wrote that “images are not what anyone thinks about them. They have no fixed meaning.” She also wrote a question/answer at the bottom of the page: “What happens to a picture because of what we think? Nothing” (126). Wysocki points out that we use the word “image” to name a group too large, which makes us “miss [the objects’] widely varying compositional potentials”: “To use image to name some class of objects that function in opposition to word is thus either to make an arbitrary cut into the world of designed visual objects or to try to encompass a class so large the encompassing term loses function” (59). [HD]
Unavailable designs: Anne Wysocki most clearly defines this phrase in the notes of her 2005 article, “awaywithwords,” as a notion that encourages “us to explore unconventional or outsider designs, which might allow of richer transformation–as long as we figure out strategies for helping audiences understand why we do such experimenting” (60). [HD]

Bibliography – 1/23

Gries, L. (2015). Still life with rhetoric: A new materialist approach for visual rhetorics. University Press of Colorado.

I found this book by using Google Scholar to search for works that cite Barthe’s Camera Lucida. In this book, Gries uses the Obama Hope image to study how images circulate and inspire others to create similar images or works within other genres. [HD]

Kress, G., & Van Leeuwen, T. (2006). Reading images: The grammar of visual design (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

I found this book by using Google Scholar to search for works that cite Barthe’s Camera Lucida. The authors include a wide-range of discussions about visual communication, with examples of children’s drawings, school textbook illustrations, advertisements, scientific diagrams, and three-dimensional structures (sculptures, toys, architecture, etc.). Through these mediums, they examine how images communicate meaning. [HD]

Murray, J. (2010). Non-discursive rhetoric: Image and affect in multimodal composition. SUNY Press.

I found this book by using Google Scholar to search for works that cite Sontag’s On Photography. Murray draws from philosophy, rhetorical theory, and neuroscience to develop his own model of composing, which brings together writing, technology and the ways our minds process images. Within the book, he details ways writing teachers can help their students create multimodal texts. [HD]

Rettberg, J. W. (2014). Seeing ourselves through technology: How we use selfies, blogs and wearable devices to see and shape ourselves. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.

I found this book by using Google Scholar to search for works that cite Barthe’s Camera Lucida. The book was written by Jill Rettberg, a professor of Digital Culture at the University of Bergen in Norway. This open access book explores how we use technologies, selfies, blogs, and other devices to help us understand ourselves in a society where our machines sometimes rule who we are. [HD]

Rose, G. (2016). Visual methodologies: An introduction to researching with visual materials (4th ed.). SAGE.

I found this book by using Google Scholar to search for works that cite Barthe’s Camera Lucida. This is a bestselling guide about visual culture and analyzing and interpreting various forms of visual content. The fourth edition is up-to-date to include discussions of social media and new technologies. Other areas of interest within the book include a chapter about how to use the book, chapters on discourse analysis, and discussions about research methods. [HD]

Hillary’s Intro

Hello, everyone! This is my second semester in the Written Communication MA program Teaching of Writing track. I work as a graduate assistant teaching first-year writing and tutoring in the University Writing Center. I graduated from Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) in 2015 with my degree in Professional and Technical Writing. While at SVSU, I wrote for the student newspaper, studied abroad, and tutored at the Writing Center for over two years. Becoming a part of SVSU’s Writing Center community helped me to realize my academic and career goals, so I am happy that I have the opportunity to remain a part of that writing center by working as the technical writer.

My main research interest concerns mental health within the contexts of first-year writing courses and writing centers. After I complete my MA, I want to pursue my PhD and I hope to be a writing center administrator someday. In my spare time, which I have come to treasure, I enjoy traveling, reading, visiting record stores, making jewelry, and practicing yoga and Pilates.

I am looking forward to learning more about visual rhetoric and experiencing this course with all of you!