Two videos about cars

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Nov 072012

My WR101 sections have been considering the complications and possibilities of visual rhetoric in preparation for their Unit 3 essay, so I thought I’d share a pair of videos I’ve found useful lately. I like the juxtaposition of them because — as you’ll see — they rely on the same already familiar mythos of the American automobile (ie, freedom, masculinity, self-determination, etc.) but put that mythos to use in quite different ways. Juxtaposed, they can create a rich space for discussion and writing, and as an in-class exercise today I had students work in groups find a passage from one of our recent readings then use it to craft a robust paragraph in which they worked directly with both textual and visual evidence to make a meaningful comparison of the videos. I often find it challenging to get students working with text AND image rather than one or the other, so hopefully this practice will carry over into their essays, the rough draft of which is due Friday, and in which they will be analyzing the visual and textual presentation of a brand via its website.

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May 192012

Ken Burns has become a genre unto himself by this point, and I look forward to sharing this video with my WR101 students next fall as an example of taking an approach (the introduction of which continues to be an area of confusion and/or concern among instructors). And as you’re planning your own syllabus, don’t forget there are a number of classroom examples tagged on Delicious — and please feel free to ask how they’ve been useful, if it isn’t clear from looking at them; I think some of them were pretty situation-specific.

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