Speakers’ Series: “Communication in the 21st Century”


“Communication in the 21st Century: Teaching and Learning across the Curriculum”

Art Young organized this series of speakers for his RCID 813 selected topics seminar “Communication Across the Curriculum” as well as for the Clemson University community.

Professor Diana George, Virginia Tech University, made the first in the series of public presentations, on September 18th, at 4 p.m. in the Class of 1941 Studio for Student Communication, Daniel Hall.

Diana George is currently a Professor of English and Writing Program Administrator at Virginia Tech and has published several books including Reading Culture: Contexts for Critical Reading and Writing (with John Trimbur) and Picturing Texts: Composition in a Visual Age (with Lester Faigley, Anna Palchik, and Cynthia Selfe).

The title of Professor George’s presentation:

When Words Are Not Enough: Visual Communication and the Politics of Telling.”

During her presentation, she discussed visual literacy and multimodal means of learning across all curricula. From incorporating charts and graphs into a scientific report, to re-thinking standard narratives in terms of graphic novels, to analyzing the cultural impact of media images, visual literacy is a key element in the production and communication of knowledge in all disciplines. Teachers should consider explicitly integrating subject-matter visuals into their teaching to provide students with opportunities to both “read” images but also to compose them.

Professor George gives assignments to her classes asking them to create comics or graphically-illustrated arguments from existing texts or arguments. She displayed some of her students’ visual narratives in which images and words work together to tell the story of an argument. As students remediate their narratives or arguments, they learn new ways to express and share ideas as they learn the rhetorical possibilities of their disciplines.

On September 18th, Professor George was a visiting instructor in Art Young’s RCID 813 seminar, a special topics class on communication across the curriculum. She further explored the cultural and rhetorical impact of images in various contexts, and she discussed several of her publications with RCID students. The final half-hour of the seminar was devoted to her experiences in “program administration,” demonstrating the possibilities on integrating into an academic life teaching, research, and program administration.

The two other forthcoming speakers in the series are

Peter Elbow (UMASS), “What Speaking Has that Writing Needs: An Exploration of Modalities.” Monday, October 1, at 4 p.m. and Tuesday, Oct. 2, in the Studio.

Todd Taylor (UNC), “Making Movies: Metamedia for Communication Across the Curriculum.” Monday, October 22, and Tuesday, October 23, at 4 p.m. in the Studio.

~ Art Young


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