Digital Arguments: Exploring Concepts and Criticism through Emerging Forms (Panel / In-Person)


Special Session
Film and Media Studies / Rhetoric, Composition, and Linguistics

Russell McDermott (University of Southern California)
mcde@****.com (Log-in to reveal)

This special session seeks scholarly works that are composed through non-traditional forms of academic writing. Everything from the video essay to the digital book (including remix, digital argument, MeMorial and videographic criticism) will be considered. Any works exploring affordances of alternative form are welcome.

From the media stylos of Eric Faden to the MeMorial of Gregory Ulmer to the digital argument of Virginia Kuhn, there is growing interest in the academic community on non-traditional forms of scholarly production. The rise of special online issues of established journals (for example The Cine-Files issue 11) and new dedicated online publications (see Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric Technology, and Pedagogy) devoted to the intersection of scholarly production and media-rich writing proves that there is an appetite for academic work written with moving images, augmented spaces, virtual environments, social media interactions, and other digital tools. While these new and varied works differ in their specific operating assumptions, critical praxis, field, and motivation, they share—with each other and text-based essays—a concern with expressing “traditional” ideas and activities (argument, exploration, dialogue-generation, and critique), albeit through the specific affordances provided by emergent technologies and platforms.

This special session seeks digital arguments by scholars, both trained and new to the technology, which explore their specific fields and interests through the affordances of non-traditional media-rich writing. While we welcome works that touch on or are in proxy to the conference theme, “Send in the Clowns,” all topics are welcome. Given this session’s focus on form as well as content, please include in addition to your abstract a description of how and why you are using the media form you have chosen.

Approved presentations may be brief, allowing for time to introduce and comment on the presentation before and after.