Bibliography 2/13

Anderson, J. (2015). Understanding cultural geography: places and traces. New York, NY: Routledge.

While searching Google Scholar for citations of Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, I found Anderson’s book, Understanding Cultural Geography: Places and Traces. Anderson’s work discusses the intersections of place, identity, culture, and power. The book examines how individuals experience and understand space through their cultural identities. [LW]

Casebeer, D. (2016). Border Crossings and (Re) crossings: The Post-representational Turn in Social Cartography (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pittsburgh).

I found this dissertation while searching Google Scholar for those books and articles that cite Drucker. In his dissertation, Casebeer discusses the implications of mapping places and space. He examines the culture of cartography and discusses new methods of cartography pedagogy that teach the ways in which societies create knowledge in relation to space. [LW]

Eisner, E. (2008). Art and knowledge. Handbook of the arts in qualitative research, 3-12. Retrieved from

I found Eisner’s chapter while searching Google Scholar for citations of Dillard’s book. In this chapter, Eisner examines individual and cultural perceptions and the ways in which such perceptions influence knowledge. Eisner also explores ideas of familiarity and strangeness, and how these ideas influence knowledge construction. [LW]

Jackson, P. W. (2000). John Dewey and the lessons of art. Yale University Press.

I found Jackson’s book, John Dewey and the Lessons of Art, when searching for citations of Dillard’s book in Google Scholar. Jackson examines human experience, particularly, the ways in which humans experience art. In his book, Jackson examines an influential work from the 1930s, and studies the contemporary examination of culture, experience, art, and nature. [LW]


Murphy, P. D. (2009). Ecocritical Explorations in Literary and Cultural Studies: Fences, Boundaries, and Fields. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books.

I also found this book while searching Google Scholar for those books and articles that cite Dillard. Murphy’s collection discusses the ethical implications of cultural definitions of place. Murphy examines the ways in which place and space is represented in literature, and troubles these usages in his discussion. [LW]


Brooke Notes (2/6)

awaywithwords: On the possibilities in unavailable designs

Wysocki, A. F. (2005). awaywithwords: On the possibilities in unavailable designs. Computers and Composition, 22, 55-62.


  • Affordances
  • Image
  • Space
  • Visual Rhetoric
  • Word

In her article, Wysocki begins with the assumption that words and images are not necessarily bound logically and respectively with space and time. To frame this, she uses the example of water, stating that our early ancestors would not use water to attack a mammoth. This view of water, however, changes as we acquire the technology to pressurize and, by extension, acquire the capacity to weaponize water. Wysocki utilizes the varied use of water “as an analogy for the materials we use in building communications” (56). She then invokes Gunther Kress’ notion that we must consider social and cultural context, purpose, audience, along with communication strategy and materials when designing communication materials, but pushes this idea further by examining the material constraints, why they are constraints, and why those particular constraints are imposed.

The first constraint Wysocki addresses is the use of space between words, which became prevalent when texts moved from social contexts to individual arenas. She references Paul Saenger’s idea that “how we use space on pages affects how we read and understand,” and, further, affects “how we understand what words, texts, and reading are” (57). Additionally, Wysocki references Susan Howe’s proposal that the act of editing texts that restricts punctuation and unconventional spacing mirrors an American desire to tame wilderness, be that wilderness be specific or metaphoric. This notion can also be applied to space in paper margins or the design of a book layout. Wysoki claims, in order to help students question these ideas about how we have come to understand the use of words and space, the conventions of which are largely unquestioned.

Wysocki returns to Kress’ discussion, pointing out that, by accepting his position of word governance as temporal and sequential, it is no surprise that he takes images as holding opposing qualities from words – that of spatial and simultaneous logic. Wysocki argues this point by explaining W.J.T. Mitchell’s position that “we should acknowledge that when we work with what is on pages or other surfaces, alphabetic text is always part of what must be visually arranged “ (58). Additionally, Wysocki posits that images exceed logics of space and can evoke a sense of time – both in the sense that particular elements in an image are arranged to invite ordering, and in the sense that “temporal strategies of composition are very much present even in images that we can apparently perceive all at once” (58). Regardless, Wysocki believes that we cannot simply impose Kress’ definition of “image” to “word,” as this would restrain it to the very constraints we are questioning.

To sum up the paper, Wysocki juxtaposes two medias – that of a tattoo and that of a film – to explain how their uses of time and space (and by extension, their social functions and interpretations), are quite different. Thus, to use a term, such as “image,” to classify objects functioning “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). Wysocki ends by a call to action – encouraging her readers to see beyond the commonly accepted constraints of “words” and “images” – to try new practices and conventions and to expand what is possible in communication materials.

Works Cited
Haraway, D. (1991). Simians, cyborgs, and Women: The reinvention of nature.   New York: Routledge.

Kress, G. & van Leeuwen, T. (1996). Reading images: The grammar of visual design. London: Routledge.

The New London Group. (2000). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. In Bill Cope & Mary Kalantzis (Eds.), Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and the design of social futures (9-37). London: Routledge.


  • “If how we conceive of water is inseparable from place and time, how can our communication materials, for which we can make no similar claim to naturalness as we can with water, be otherwise?” (56)
  • “If we are to help people in our classes learn how to compose texts that function as they hope, they need consider how they use the spaces and not just one time that can be shaped on pages. They also need to question how they have come to understand the spaces of pages so that they can, if need be, use different spaces, potentially powerful spaces that… have been rendered unavailable by naturalized, unquestioned practice.” (57)
  • “If human practices do entwine, as I have been arguing, to the extent that the spacing of lettershapes on a piece of paper reflects and helps continue unquestioned restrictions on behavior or that a habit of understanding words and images as opposites reflects and helps continue beliefs about relations between men and women, then it is possible that trying new spaces on pages or exploring the visuality of alphabetic text can be seeds for changes in such practices and beliefs. But we can only do this if we look beyond what appear to be constraints.” (59)


  • It seems as though Wysocki directs her attention ONLY to the visual aspects of any of her given examples and it makes me wonder – in some mediums, such as film, can we study the “visual” separate from other sensory inputs, such as auditory, tactile (specifically eating popcorn when going to a movie), and olfaction (the “smells” of the movie theatre experience), etc.?
  • At what point would not following conventions – or breaking through constraints – be counterproductive to getting the idea or message across to our audience?Does the audience first need to accept that a constraint need be broken?
  • Are there any scholars who have begun tackling the use of visuals, space, and time in the world of virtual reality?

Reading Questions 2/6

In her article, Wysocki refers to different types of materials that can be used in building communication and one of them is using space, “The Spaces of pages can also articulate with our larger sense of the spaces within which we read” (57). “We speaks of the various kinds of space we can use shape alphabetic text, then we speak of the tops and bottoms of pages, and of the left and right, and the placement of textual elements” (57). She emphasizes on the arrangement of alphabetic text in sending powerful messages by relying on the logic of space. She also called the SPACE between words as “Potentially Powerful Spaces”. The question is what should be categorized as powerful spaces and Not powerful spaces?  “In this social and cultural environment, with these demands for communication of these materials, for that audience, with these resources, and given these interests of mine, what is the design which best meets these requirements?” (56).  Is the best design to encourage rhetorical focus in our teaching rooted to the culture of our society?

I saw this poster at work and was wondering if the artist has used any potential powerful spaces to send his/her message!

Bibliography Entries – 2/6

Kress, G. (2005). Gains and losses: New forms of texts, knowledge, and learning. Computers and Composition, 22(1), 5-22. doi:

This source, which is the primary text that Wysocki is responding to, is accessible through Google Scholar. Kress explores what can be gained (affordances) and lost when we shift communicative representation away from writing, and toward materiality, images, digital media, and other non-traditional forms of communication. He also discusses how these shifts toward design can impact learning, forms of reading, knowledge, and human agency. [NW]


Saenger, P. (1997). Space between words: The origins of silent reading. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

This book, which Wysocki references in her discussion of space, is accessible through Google Books. Saenger documents the history and process of how reading–which was originally an oral activity–has become a silent activity due to writing and the written space between words. The space on pages (which makes reading a silent activity) originates from and continues to shape how we comprehend words and reading. [NW]


New London Group. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard Educational Review, 66(1), 60-92. doi:

This article, which I’ve heard framed as a foundational text for multimodality (and has been cited in several of our readings already), is accessible through Google Scholar. The New London Group argue that we need a broader understanding of literacy–one that encompasses the multiple communication channels students use daily. They argue that embracing a multiliteracy / multimodal pedagogy can empower students to design and shape their social futures.  [NW]


Ball, C. (2012). Assessing scholarly multimedia: A rhetorical genre studies approach. Technical Communication Quarterly, 21(1), 61-77. Doi:

Per our conversation about assessing visual texts, this article, which is accessible through Cheryl Ball’s website, might be helpful. Ball outlines what scholarly multimedia texts are–what they look like–and recommends that teachers invite their students to help generate assessment criteria with which their work can be assessed. She also argues that when assessing multimedia work, the content and form cannot be separated from the text’s rhetorical purpose. [NW]


Norman, D. Affordances and design. Retrieved from

This source, which was listed in Wysocki’s works cited page, explores Norman’s concept of affordance. He explains that the term affordance has gained traction with design work, but the concept of perceived affordance raises important questions about physical and cultural constraints. Norman also argues that we can be well served by thinking about affordances relationships between various design elements/stakeholders. [NW]

Reading Question (Barry)

As I read through Syllabus, I noticed how there were many times where the pictures had to contort around the text, and vice versa.  There are other times, however, where that is not the case.  The page (pg. 88) below is a good example.  I was immediately drawn to the “Hate Cr-ay-on-!” in the top center of the page.  This statement has conformed to the contortions of both the other drawings and texts.  The painted strips on the bottom left, however, are allowed to cover up Chew-Barry.  It made me think about the negotiation of space.  How do visual rhetors negotiate space between different elements, and what do those decisions imply?