As a scholar of rhetoric and digital media, I have taught courses in media studies, digital rhetoric, professional-technical communication, digital pedagogy, and the digital humanities. Invariably these courses balance a discussion of research and scholarship with opportunities for students to develop their capacities in digital composition. 

Sample Undergraduate Courses

DMS 480: Social Media & Networks

Over the past 10-15 years, social media have become integral parts of most of our lives, both here in the United States and around the world. They shape the communities we form, our personal and professional relationships, and mediate our perception of the larger world. The course covers the historical development of the internet and examines technical and cultural operation of social media networks, including social media algorithms, “big data,” smart cities, virtual/digital identity and performance, and aesthetics/design. These matters typically intersect broader contemporary issues, so this semester (fall 2020), we’ll be considering the role of social media in the Black Lives Matter movement, in deliberations regarding the pandemic, and the upcoming election.

Cartoon of a working who is upset that a robot is doing is job, compared with one happy to no longer have to do that work.

DMS 115: Living Well in the Digital Age

The rapid development of digital media technologies has presented new challenges and opportunities for the pursuit of eudaimonia, or happiness, a foundational concern of Western philosophy and one enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. This course investigates the classical traditions of happiness and current challenges with living well in our heavily mediated, digital culture. In particular, the course considers the role that design plays in how we experience technologies and then expands that lens to examine how these technologies will affect the future of work. Students will encounter and discuss these issues, conducting experiments that encourage them to rethink how they interact with digital media and considering how design practices—from product design to the organization of online communities and the development of individual habits—might help them to “live well.”.

Sample Graduate Courses

note: as I am new to Media Study this semester these are sample descriptions of future courses.

Photo of ENIAC, one of the earliest computers.

Media Archives & Infrastructures

In the last decade, media studies has turned increasingly to questions of archives and infrastructures. We might think of this as a question of how data is gathered and made accessible. This course addresses media archeology, infrastructure studies, and new materialism as elements of a constellation of theories and methods deployed to pursue these questions. We will trace the emergence of these theories from late 20th-century media studies, cultural studies, and postmodernism, and consider how they respond to the rapidly shifting conditions of digital culture over the last 25 years. Students in this course will have the opportunity to design projects that allow them to explore how these concepts might inform their research and/or artistic practice.

Composing Digital Media Ecologies

Critical theories suggest two broad types of methods. The first is hermeneutic/interpretive. As an analytical method it generates meaning, value, and judgment regarding the subject of study (a novel, a film, a video game, etc.). The second type is heuristic/ inventive. As a compositional method, it generates procedures or practices for the creation of media that might be applied to a range of purposes and genres: art, scholarship, political speeches, advertising, etc.). This course studies the role of media theory as a scholarly-compositional practice from the “heuretics” of Gregory Ulmer in the early nineties through to contemporary critical making and videographic criticism.

If the three ages of the concept are the encyclopedia, pedagogy, and commercial professional training, only the second can safeguard us from falling from the heights of the first into the disaster of the third.

Deleuze and Guattari, What is Philosophy?