The Writing Across Media course explores the intersections between various media: print, film, images, sound, etc. Through the course, students develop an approach for understanding and composing multimedia products while attempting to identify (and challenge) the implicit conventions of media. The class activities help students consider the ways in which writing (as an object and as a practice) is shaped by these multimodal interactions from both theoretical and practical perspectives. By integrating practical activities with broader theoretical issues, WAM works to develop effective strategies for designing multimedia presentations that integrate text, photography, video and sound.
Each section of Writing Across Media is slightly different, but typically include the following projects:
Tactile Media / Stencil: This project asks students to create a message through tactile media (past classes have created stencil graffiti) that is centered in a specific place.
Photo: Students create photos essays through a sequence of images drawing from course material on the persuasive power of imagery, creating a series of images that exemplify the rhetorical principles explored in the readings.
Audio: For this project, students create a short (4-5 minutes) audio essay in the style of radio programs and podcasts like “This American Life.” The assignment asks students to make creative use of sound effects, music, silence, and any other audio tools to communicate their ideas.
Video: This project asks students to work in groups to represent a person or place through video. Students shoot footage and edit two video projects, each representing the subject through a different lens for a different effect. Students use the knowledge gained through the previous units about the rhetorical impact of visual and aural rhetorics to inform their choices for the video project.
Final: Students work in groups to read media theory related to their work in the course and remediate that theory using several modalities. Students typically combine audio or video representations of a theorist's work with interactive presentation elements.