Brooke Notes 4/3 – Mueller

Brooke Notes 4-3-17

Mueller, Derek. “Emplaced Disciplinary Networks from Middle Altitude.” Cross-border Networks in Writing Studies.

Text Citation

Mueller, Derek. “Emplaced Disciplinary Networks from Middle Altitude.” Cross-border Networks in Writing Studies. By Andre Williams, Louise Wetherbee Phelps, Jennifer Clary-Lemon, and Derek Mueller. Edmonton: Inkshed, 2017. 20-44.

Summary: 

This chapter is a portion of a larger study which collected the survey responses of 91 Canadian Writing studies scholars and began a systematic process of plotting scholarly activity physically (geographically) and figuratively, to map out a varied epistemological landscape.

Keywords: 

Essences, Differentiation, Shape-finding, Surveys, Disciplinary Networks, Canadian, American

Quotations:

“Question 10 asked about how participants regarded themselves, as a Canadian scholar, an American one, something in between, or something else. A close plurality of respondents selected Something in between (22; 40%) or Canadian (20; 36.6), with Something else (10; 18.8%) and American (2; 3.6%) receiving fewer selections. This indicates a mixed but balanced quality among the ways the respondents identify as emplaced scholars, and the tension elicited here shows up in other questions, too, which suggests a complex, transnational self-understanding among Canadian writing studies scholars” (Mueller, 27).

“The first three geography-oriented questions confirmed that over 70% of the respondents are from Canada, completed a BA or BS in Canada, an MA or MS in Canada, and live and work in Canada now. However, just 23 (41.8%) of the respondents completed a PhD in Canada; whereas 29 (52.7%) undertook doctoral studies in the United States. In an otherwise Canadian-oriented set of geographical identifiers, doctoral studies are the anomalous class, signaling cross-border activity through which a majority of Canadian writing studies scholars surveyed went to the United States for a PhD and returned to work in Canadian universities” (Mueller, 31).

“At another degree removed, we can begin to understand how the influences of Joy Ritchie, Kate Ronald, and Robert Brooke, professors at Nebraska who Dale Jacobs identified as mentors, are similarly implicated in and constitutive of this disciplinary network. Jacobs isn’t at Waterloo, and yet he is. He isn’t at Old Dominion, but he is. He isn’t at SUNY-Potsdam, Michigan State, Florida State, Wayne State, or Cincinnati, but he is. Digital cartography is useful for seeing the emerging definitional shape of this network—for grasping an image of Dale Jacobs as simultaneously emplaced and distributed” (Mueller, 43).

Questions:

Regarding the survey results of question 10 of the survey, in which 18.8% of survey respondants identified as “something else” when responding to the question “Do you see yourself primarily as a Canadian scholar, an American one, something in between, or something else?,” it makes me wonder if those who responded that way did so because they might have been an international student scholar of some kind who had taken part in the Canadian writing studies, and yet could not truly consider themselves a “Canadian” or “American” scholar due to their status in the country or the amount of time they had spent in the country up to that point.

I wonder if at one point there could be a small study that branches off of this one that endeavors to pick up this strand and see how international student scholars within Canadian writing studies have intersected with the field and how the field has intersected with their experience and background?

Further Reading:

Clary-Lemon, J. (2009). Shifting tradition: Writing research in Canada. American Review of Canadian Studies, 39(2), 94–111. doi:10.1080/02722010902848128

Fox, W. L. (2009). Aereality: On the world from above. Berkeley: Counterpoint.

Phelps, L. W., & Ackerman, J. M. (2010). Making the case for disciplinarity in rhetoric, composition, and writing studies: The visibility project. College Composition and Communication, 62(1), 180–215.

Soja, E. W. (2011). Postmodern geographies: The reassertion of space in critical social theory (2nd edition). London; New York: Verso.

Brooke Notes 4/3/17

Title:

Wood, Denis. “Maps Work by Serving Interests.”

Text Citation:

Wood, Denis. “Maps Work by Serving Interests,” The Power of Maps, Guilford, 1992, pp. 4-25.

Summary:

In this chapter, Wood discusses the function and value of maps. He explains that maps connect us with the past and the present and allow us to interact with previous cartographers of the same land. Through maps, we connect with each other, as well as with the world around us because maps allow us to do so. Wood claims this chapter, “attempts to say how it is that maps work, how they make present –so that we can use it today—the accumulated thought and labor of the past” (2).

Keywords:

Maps (4)

Present (7)

Future (7)

Past (7)

Labor (15)

Reality (18)

Quotations (2-3):

“And this, essentially is what maps give us, reality, a reality that exceeds our vision, our reach, the span of our days, a reality we achieve no other way” (Wood 4).

“Ultimately, the map presents us with the reality we know as differentiated from the reality we see and hear and feel. The map doesn’t let us see anything, but it does let us know what others have seen or found out or discovered, other often living but more often dead, the things they learned piled up in the layer on top of layer so that to study even the simplest-looking image is to peer back through ages of cultural acquisition” (Wood 7).

“It is this ability to link the territory with what comes with it that has made maps so valuable to so many for so long” (Wood 10).

 Better simply…to admit it that knowledge of the map is knowledge of the world from which it emerges—as a casting from its mold, as a shoe from its last—isomorphic counter-image to everything in a society that conspires to produce it” (Wood 18).

 “That is, maps, all maps, inevitable, unavoidably, necessarily embody their authors’ prejudices, biases and partialities (not to mention the less frequently observed art, curiosity, elegance, focus, care, imagination, attention, intelligence and scholarship their makers’ bring to their labor)” (Wood 24).

Questions:

If maps allow us to experience the world in a more specific way, seen through the eyes of the past (Wood 9), but we still live our lives in the way we choose, regardless of the impact of the map, then what true impact do maps have on our realities?

This may sound cynical, but I can’t help but wonder about the usage of maps. If, as Wood claims, maps play a vital role in our society by linking the past with the present, especially regarding property taxes and the function of the land, then why doesn’t society utilize maps in a more mainstream fashion?

 “That is, maps, all maps, inevitable, unavoidably, necessarily embody their authors’ prejudices, biases and partialities (not to mention the less frequently observed art, curiosity, elegance, focus, care, imagination, attention, intelligence and scholarship their makers’ bring to their labor)” (Wood 24). Wood discusses the authors’ influences on maps here, and I can’t help but wonder: how do these influences affect the reliability of maps as artifacts of reality?

Further Reading:

Harley, Brian J. “Text and Contexts in the Interpretation of Early Maps.” From Sea Charts to Satellite Images: Interpreting North American History Through Maps, edited by David Buisseret, U of Chicago P, 1990, pp. 3-4.

Mueller, Derek, et al. “Emplaced Disciplinary Networks from Middle Altitude.” Cross-Border Networks in Writing Studies, Inkshed and Parlor Press, 2017, pp. 20-45.

Brooke Notes: 3/20

Citation

Sousanis, Nick. Unflattening. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015.

Keywords

perspective, imagination, self-awareness, viewpoint, seeing, constraints

Summary

Our imagination fills the gaps in our understanding. Our understanding of new things relies on what we know. Awareness of what we know allows us to venture into the unknown. The unknown is sought to feed our imagination.

Works Cited

Aiken, Nancy E. The Biological Origins of Art. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998.

Latour, Bruno. Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Moore, Alan. Watchmen. Illustrations and lettering by Dave Gibbons. Colorist John Higgins. New York: DC Comics, 1987.

Quotations

“When ideas are written in stone with the certainty that we got it right, we risk following without reflection” (110).

“Through repetition over time, we become proficient. Forming habits is essential so we do not have to relearn every activity continually” (111).

“To set ourselves free, we can’t simply cut our bonds. For to remove them (if we could) would only set us adrift, detached from the very things that make us who we are” (134).

Questions

What is the significance of restraints in relationship to developing an identity?

Brooke Notes (3/13)

Citation
Sousanis, N. (2015). Unflattening. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Keywords

  • Flatness
  • Unflattening
  • Pragmatism
  • Multidimensional
  • Sequential Art

Summary
The primacy of words over images has deep roots in Western culture. But what if the two are inextricably linked, equal partners in meaning-making? Written and drawn entirely as comics, Unflattening is an experiment in visual thinking. Nick Sousanis defies conventional forms of scholarly discourse to offer readers both a stunning work of graphic art and a serious inquiry into the ways humans construct knowledge.

Unflattening is an insurrection against the fixed viewpoint. Weaving together diverse ways of seeing drawn from science, philosophy, art, literature, and mythology, it uses the collage-like capacity of comics to show that perception is always an active process of incorporating and reevaluating different vantage points. While its vibrant, constantly morphing images occasionally serve as illustrations of text, they more often connect in nonlinear fashion to other visual references throughout the book. They become allusions, allegories, and motifs, pitting realism against abstraction and making us aware that more meets the eye than is presented on the page.

In its graphic innovations and restless shape-shifting, Unflattening is meant to counteract the type of narrow, rigid thinking that Sousanis calls “flatness.” Just as the two-dimensional inhabitants of Edwin A. Abbott’s novella Flatland could not fathom the concept of “upwards,” Sousanis says, we are often unable to see past the boundaries of our current frame of mind. Fusing words and images to produce new forms of knowledge, Unflattening teaches us how to access modes of understanding beyond what we normally apprehend.

Harvard University Press [http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674744431]

Works Cited

Ball, D.M. & Kuhlman, M.B. (2010). The Comics of Chris Ware: Drawing Is a Way of Thinking. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.

De Bono, E. (1970). Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step. New York: Harper and Row.

Jensen, D. (2004). Walking on Water: Reading, Writing, and Revolution. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green.

Quotations

  • “A changed approach is precisely the goal for the journey ahead: to discover new ways of seeing, to open spaces for possibilities, and to find ‘fresh methods’ for animating and awakening” (27).
  • Unflattening is a simultaneous engagement of multiple vantage points from which to engender new ways of seeing” (32).
  • “In relying on text as the primary means of formulating understanding, what stands outside its linear structure is dismissed, labeled irrational – no more conceivable than the notion of ‘upwards’ to a flatlander. The visual provides expression where words fail. What have we been missing? And what can be made visible when we work in a form that is not only about, but is also the thing itself” (59).

Questions

  • Sousanis suggests seeing things from a myriad of different perspectives, but the book has no mention of ethics [at least yet]. Would views considered to be unethical, or harmful, also be worthy of consideration from his viewpoint?
  • Sousanis explains that comics allow us to process images both sequentially and simultaneously. Are there any other formats that also invite this type of thinking? Could you think of shots within a film this way?

Brooke Notes 3/13. Rose, Gillian. Visual Methodologies

Citation

Rose, G. (2001). Visual Methodologies. London: Sage Publications.

Keywords

culture, ocularcentrism, scopic regime, simulacrum, vision, visual culture, visuality

Summary

Rose begins Visual Methodologies by defining key terms and giving background on where visuals have served the modern consumer, portrayed viewpoints on cultural order, and the effects of images. Rose leads to her suggestion of a methodology to critically approach visuals by taking them seriously, taking into consideration social context, and remembering oneself as the viewer when analyzing.

Works Cited

Berger, J. (1972) Ways of Seeing. London: British Broadcasting Association andPenguin.

Doane, M.A. (1982) `Film and the masquerade: theorising the female spectator’,Screen 3: 74±87.

Haraway, D. (1989) Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World ofModern Science. London: Routledge.

Quotations

  • “Jeffrey Hamburger (1997), for example, argues that visual images were central to certain kinds of premodern, medieval spirituality, and Ella Shohat and Robert Stam (1998)have argued forcefully against the Eurocentrism that pervades many discussions of `the visual'” (Rose, 2001, p.8).
  • “In this sort of work, it is argued that a particular, historically specific visuality was central to a particular, ocular-centric culture. In using the notion of culture in this broad sense, however, certain analytical questions become difficult to ask. In particular, culture as whole way of life can slip rather easily into a notion of culture as simply a whole, and the issue of difference becomes obscured” (Rose, 2001, p.13). 

Questions

  • Can an image ever be universal or neutral? Haraway claims that images create social difference among class, race, gender, and sexuality, visualizing an argument of order. Can individual’s order be classified in an image of their making?
  • When scholars look on today’s fad of selfies, can they truly apply this methodology of viewing images? It seems that it would be difficult to take all those images seriously and also to discover the context in which the selfie was taken.

Brooke Notes: Welcome to Pine Point

Citation

Shoebridge, P., & Simons, M. (2011). Welcome to Pine Point. NFB Interactive.

 

Keywords

Interactive PDF, memory, multimodality, Pine Point, community.

 

Summary

Shoebridge and Simons document the life and death of Pine Point: a small mining town in Canada’s North Territories that was demolished shortly after the mine closed in 1987. Going through various townspeople recollections, the authors explore several themes: the enigma of human memory, nostalgia, insiders and outsiders, and physicality and mentality.

 

Quotes

“Memory is funny. Specific and vague. Visceral and unreliable. Truth, and fiction.”

“From the moment an event occurs, it is simplified and purified in memory. We shave off the rough edges and what happened becomes a story or even, over time, a legend. It we’re not careful, though, we grind it down to raw superlatives, with none of the banalities or complications that make truth feel true. So often a memory depends on who we need to be at the moment of remembrance. Sometimes it’s better to believe that we accomplished the impossible.”

“Who can relate to an entire town closing except people whose town has closed?”

 

Question

Throughout the piece, the authors speculate on the ways memory is or is not accurate. In some cases, they question its accuracy. For example, the town bully: he remembers himself as being an undefeated champion in a sport, while the authors speculatively present his memory. On the other hand, they claim that the Pine Pointers’ memories are untouched because the town’s original infrastructure was untouched (or never developed–no Arby’s), their “recollection will always be the most accurate version of that place and time.”

So what are things that cloud memory? Is it clouding, or is Truth so inaccessible, especially reflectively, that memory is truth? Can truth and memory even be compared?

Brooke Notes 2/27 (Graphesis pp 65-137)

Drucker, Johanna. Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production.

Citation

Drucker, Johanna. Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production. Harvard University Press, 2014, pp. 65-137.

Summary: 

Drucker discusses several aspects of graphical expressions, the history behind each aspect of them, and the ways in which they can be created to serve humanistic interpretation.

Citations:

Short, John Rennie. Making Space: Revisioning the World, 1475-1600. Syracuse (N.Y.): Syracuse UP, 2004. Print.

Brookes, Martin. Extreme Measures the Dark Visions and Bright Ideas of Francis Galton. London: Bloomsbury, 2004. Print.

Allwein, Gerard, and Jon Barwise. Logical Reasoning with Diagrams. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996. Print.

Keywords: representations of information, knowledge generators, the rationalization of a surface, the distinction of figure and ground, the delimitation of the domain of visual elements so that they function as a relational system, timekeeping, temporality, Space-Making, spatiality, administration and record keeping, trees of knowledge/tree diagram, dynamic systems, humanistic methods, and visualizing interpretation.

Quotations:

  1. “A basic distinction can be made between visualizations that are representations of information already known and those that are knowledge generators capable of creating new information through their use” (Drucker 65).
  2. “A timeline, with its single, linear, homogeneous directional flow, expresses a model of temporality consistent with empirical sciences. But humanistic documents embody many alternative versions of temporality. Humanists deal with the representation of temporality of documents (when they were created), in documents (narrated, represented, depicted temporality), the construction of temporality across documents (the temporality of historical events), and also the shape of temporality that emerges from documentary evidence (the shape of an era, a season, a period, or epoch). They need a way to graph a chart temporality in an approach that suits the basic principles of interpretive knowledge” (Drucker 75).
  3. “Some visualization formats, such as tables, are so generalizable and re-purposable that their structure almost disappears from view. We take their operations for granted. This graphical organization and it spatial properties carry the trace of the purpose for which a graphic was created…Thus the static arrangement of information in a tabular form suggests that it has been modeled according to a strict distinction of content types and that these columns and divisions are neither mutable nor combinatoric” (Drucker 87).
  4. “Realist approaches depend above all upon an idea that phenomena are observer-independent and can be characterized as data…Rendering observation (the act of creating a statistical, empirical, or subjective account of an image) as if it were the same as the phenomena observed collapses the critical distance between the phenomenal world and its interpretation, undoing the concept of interpretation on which humanistic knowledge production is based” (Drucker 125).

Questions:

  1. Drucker states on page 71 that “the challenge is to break the literalism of representational strategies and engage with innovations in interpretive and inferential modes that augment human cognition.” Despite her break down of the principles of visualization, I still find myself asking the question “how do we do this?” When bringing these concepts into a classroom, can the concept of to go about this be broken down more simply?

Brooke Notes – Sonja Foss, “Theory of Visual Rhetoric” – 2/27

Foss, Sonja. “Theory of Visual Rhetoric.” Handbook of Visual Communication: Theory, Methods, and Media, edited by Ken Smith, Sandra Moriarty, Gretchen Barbatis, and Keith Kenney, Lawrence Erlbaum, 2005, pp. 141-52. 

Summary: Foss provides a brief history of visual rhetoric’s place within the larger collection of rhetorical theory. She argues that visual rhetoric has two meanings–communicative artifacts, and the scholarly perspective used to study the communicative artifacts. She goes on to argue that visually rhetorical artifacts must showcase symbolic action, human intervention, and an authentic audience, while the visual rhetoric perspective seeks to understand an artifacts nature, function, and evaluation. Ultimately, Foss argues for a more inclusive understanding of rhetorical theory that not only recognizes verbal discourse, but visual discourse as well.

Keywords: visual rhetoric, images, symbolic action, human intervention, audience, perspective, communication, nature, function, evaluation, deductive, inductive

Quotations:

  1. “Although a natural affinity appears to exist between rhetoric and visual symbols, the inclusion of visual imagery in rhetorical study has not been the seamless process that the above narrative suggests” (142).
  2. “That the study of visual images continued and, indeed, now flourishes in rhetorical studies is because of a number of factors. Primary among them is the pervasiveness of the visual image and its impact on contemporary culture… To restrict the study of symbol use only to verbal discourse means studying a minuscule portion of the symbols that affect individuals daily” (142).
  3. “The study of visual imagery from a rhetorical perspective also has grown with the emerging recognition that visual images provide access to a range of human experiences not always available through the study of discourse” (143).
  4. “As a result of nascent efforts to explore visual phenomena rhetorically, the term visual rhetoric now has two meanings in the discipline of rhetoric. It is used to mean both a visual object or artifact and a perspective on the study of the visual data. In the first sense, visual rhetoric is as product individuals create as they use visual symbols for the purpose of communicating. In the second, it is a perspective scholars apply that focuses on the symbolic processes by which images perform communication” (143).
  5. “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 images must be symbolic, involve human intervention, and be presented to an audience for the purpose of communicating with that audience” (144).
  6. “Visual rhetoric as a theoretical perspective–or what might be called a rhetorical perspective on visual imagery to distinguish it form the other sense of visual rhetoric–is a critical-analytical tool or a way of approaching and analyzing visual data that highlights the communicative dimensions of images” (145).
  7. “A rhetorical perspective on visual imagery is also characterized by specific attention to one or more of three aspects of visual images–their nature, function, and evaluation” (146).
  8. “Description of the nature of the visual rhetoric involves attention to two components–presented elements [design choices] and suggested elements [interpretations based on design choices]”  (146).
  9. Function, as it is used in this perspective, is not synonymous with purpose, which involves an effect that is intended or desired by the creator of the image” (146).
  10. “Whatever criteria are used, scholars who adopt a rhetorical perspective on images and choose to focus on evaluation are interested in improving the quality of the rhetorical environment by discriminating among images” (147).
  11. “Scholars who apply a rhetorical perspective to visual imagery deductively use visual imagery to illustrate, explain, or investigate rhetorical constructs and theories formulated from the study of discourse” (147).
  12. “A second approach to the application of a rhetorical perspective on visual imagery is the investigation of the features of visual images to generate rhetorical theory that takes into account the distinct characteristics of the visual symbol. Scholars who pursue this round begin with an exploration go visual images and operate inductively, generating rhetorical theories that are articulate about visual symbols” (149).
  13. “Visual rhetoric, as communication data to be studied and as an approach to those data, suggests the need to expand understanding of the multifarious ways in which symbols inform and define human experience and constitutes a call to expand rhetorical theory, making it more inclusive in its encompassing of visual as well as verbal symbols” (151).

Questions:

  1. This chapter was published in 2005. Have visual rhetoric scholars engaged Foss’s call for uptake in the past decade? Do we now have a more inclusive collection of rhetorical theory that not only recognizes but prioritizes visual communication?
  2.  In WRTG 540, we’ve talked about the importance of text production, not just interpretation. That is, a visual rhetoric class cannot only showcase Foss’s understanding of the visual rhetoric perspective, but must also include the generation of communicative artifacts. How do other rhet/comp programs make peace with this balance–particularly programs that emphasize visual rhetorics?

Further Reading:

  1. Foss, S.K. (1994). A rhetorical schema for the evaluation of visual imagery. Communication Studies45, 213-224.
  2. Burke, K. (1966). Language as symbolic actionL Essays on life, literature, and method. Berkeley: University of California Press.

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

Drucker, Johanna. Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production

Citation

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

Summary

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.

Keywords

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

Citations

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.

Quotations

“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).

Questions

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?

Brooke Notes 2/6/17

Title: Barry, Lynda. Syllabus: Notes From an Accidental Professor

Book Citation: Barry, Lynda. Syllabus. Montreal: Drawn & Quarterly, 2014. 101-200. Print

Summary: In the last hundred pages of Lynda Barry’s Syllabus, there are several themes represented such as time, awareness, focus, panel picturing, and the intersections of writing and the visual. In the exercise’s Barry has presents, she emphasizes how the daily practice of drawing and writing regains our attention span (115) which for many of us is typically lost when we stop drawing altogether after our adolescent years. Barry introduces the question on what is looking vs gazing (127) and attention vs awareness (143) which ties into her next discussion on time. She notes that when drawing comics, it can be quite hard to pinpoint the exact time it takes to draw an image. This discussion on time brings into question our awareness and feelings when completing a task (131) and how oftentimes we have no recollection of the thought process from beginning to end when we are focused on composing.

Keywords: Panel comics, picturing, creativity, dreaming awake, awareness, attention

Citations: McGilchrist, Iain. The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World. New Haven: Yale UP, 2009. Print.

Chaon, Dan. Stay Awake: Stories. New York: Ballantine, 2012. Print.

Quotations:  “Both writing and drawing lean on a certain kind of picturing—not the kind that is already finished in your head and just needs to be put to words or reproduced on paper- it’s a kind of picturing that is formed by our own activity, one line suggesting the next” (136).

“On my mind is the question raised by some of my students about what things are worth drawing and writing about – I don’t believe thinking can give you the answer to this, though it feels like it can long enough to stop us from trying” (162).

Question: One of the concepts that Lynda Barry emphasizes in  Syllabus is that an image is not what anyone thinks about them (126) so there should be no need to worry if you think your artwork is terrible or not. Shifting this idea to the professional world, how might a design produced online for a website or layout be critiqued? Do the standards change when producing for the business world vs. university? If yes, how can students prepare for the drastic change of criticism and expectation if the standard  is different in the classroom?