Teaching Digital Rhetoric after the Election Wrap Up

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At the end of our 2016 election year, we distributed a CFP that asked digital rhetoricians to consider how we might teach in the post-election moment. In their responses, our contributors focused on extending conversations on digital and media literacy in our “post-truth” moment. They shared lesson plans, readings, activities, and reflections on meeting the challenges of teaching digital rhetoric after the election.

Our contributors:

  • Considered how digital infrastructures shape our experiences. Brett Keegan shared his lesson plan for teaching how filter bubbles shape our “perceived political ‘realities,’” and Dawn Opel challenged students in a web design course to build social networking sites for good.
  • Explored political rhetoric. Rachel L. Hinman considered the rhetorical affordances and constraints of political data visualization. Lucy A. Johnson taught students to explore political discourse using Voyant, a text analysis tool.
  • Addressed the challenges of “fake news” Andrew Kulak explored the rhetorics of fake news through social media hashtags. Using semiotics, Dan Martin helped students analyze the intertextuality of fake news to better understand its construction. Elizabeth Fleitz revised her approach to teaching source evaluation to include specific strategies for identifying fake news. Elisa Findlay and Stephanie Larson reflect on their experience leading a semester-long professional working group on fake news.
  • Extended conversations on media literacy. Elizabeth Lenaghan uses hoaxes as a focus for teaching media literacy. Meg Marquardt shares a lesson plan for rhetorically reading science news, with an eye toward alternative facts. Katie Manthey and Anna Dulin Milholland worked to help faculty across departments teach source credibility.

Thank you to all of our contributors for sharing their insights!

About Author(s)

Brandee Easter is a doctoral student in the Composition and Rhetoric program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research focuses on intersections of gender and digital rhetoric.

Sara West is a PhD candidate specializing in Rhetoric and Composition at the University of Arkansas. Her research addresses how student-users compose in anonymous and/or ephemeral social media spaces, and how composition and technical communication researchers can begin to navigate these spaces as well.

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