Image credit: Jessica Harjo, Indigenous New Media Symposium, 2014
In this course, we utilize various modes (written, oral, visual, electronic, and nonverbal modes) to engage in critical thinking, articulate clear communication, and foster rhetorical awareness. Particularly, this course focuses on indigenous (Native/ American Indian) new media. That is, the rhetorical practices of Native communities and how those practices “make” meaning for American Indian communities. The course considers ancient practices (such as petroglyphs), precontract practices (such as weaving, wintercounts), and post-contact practices (such as creative and academic writing, music, video games, and other multimedia compositions) using a framework of “cultural rhetorics.”
By localizing class discussion as much as possible, this course also considers how rhetorical practices are linked to local histories, place and space, and land. Before Atlanta, there was Pakanahuili, or “Standing Peachtree.” This place was located at where Peachtree Creek meets the Chattahoochee River— not too far from the Tech campus. Now, there stands a water treatment plant which provides water to the city. We place institutional texts (such as archaeological reports and water works reports) into conversation with local oral histories and Indigenous rhetorical practices to constellate various ways that the story of Standing Peachtree has been, is, and could be mediated.
This course trains students to identify, employ, and synthesize the principles of written, oral, visual, electronic, and nonverbal communication through a variety of informal and formal writing assignments, collaborative work, conversation, workshops, while likewise emphasizing new media practices. The course will use both seminar and workshop approaches to teaching.