Archive for May, 2008

Everything’s Coming Up Babies

May 18, 2008

Spring blooms in the upstate–trees sprout new leaves, flowers poke their heads out of the earth, and the bellies of women in/related to the RCID program pop with little ones soon to make their first appearances. We celebrated this abundance on Saturday, May 17, 2008, throwing a four-way baby shower at the Vitanza’s house because, really, friends don’t let friends have babies without parties. In attendance, in full pregnant glory, were

> Xiaoli Li (Alex Kudera) > Wu Dan (Wang Pu) > Nicole Hodgson (Justin)

> Michele Morton was our fourth honoree, though her (and Keith’s) bloom had already come to fruition; Lola arrived on 22 April 2008. Here’s a pic of Michelle with Alayna and the new arrival Lola. Many of us stood in adoration of the adorable new one (and I got to hold her!), a lovely addition to the Morton’s older daughters, Juliana and Alayna. There’s not much room for Keith in this situation. But he’s in there somewhere! He has his hands full in a later picture below.

The new RCID kids will have plenty of young playmates, in addition to Juliana and Alayna–also in attendance at the party were Meredith Hilst, and Garret and Jonas Abboud (and their parents); and our new RCID families bring a few more additions to the kid-parade. There also could be some built-in babysitters in Sarah and Andrew Walwema and Roman Vitanza–but that may be a bit presumptuous.

Here’s some of the relatively new kids:

While the kids frolicked, grown-ups–numerous other RCID students, faculty, and guests–shared stories, food, and drink. In addition to baby-related conversations (from diapers to epidurals), we recounted our end of semester achievements, contemplated summer respites and travels, posited conceptual refigurings of the world, and maintained our witty repartee and quick pop culture references.

The evening ended with the distribution of a wealth of diapers (the gift of choice–though I’ve learned they’ll only cover about a week of baby bottoms–yikes!), and well-wishes for all. As the academic year has come to a close, we look forward to the fall and the continued expansion of RCID with our newbies–in so many ways!

Oh, Here’s a post-carte:

ps: Pix courtesy of Alicyn Butler and Justin Hodgson. The post-carte is of Justin’s making.

~ Amanda Booher ~


From Exams to Dissertations

May 17, 2008

This Spring (2008), Justin and Amanda completed their exams and are moving on to their dissertations. The RCID exams include three written exams and an oral, multimedia presentation of the dissertation area and issue. Both Justin and Amanda will defend their dissertations in the Spring 2009.

Justin Hodgson’s dissertation title is “Logos of Possibilities: Rhetorical Inventions/Inventional Rhetorics” (Chair, Victor Vitanza)

Dissertation Primary Area: Rhetorical Invention

Secondary Area1: Electronic Discourse

Secondary Area2: Critical/Cultural Theories

Amanda K. Booher’s is “Composing the Prosthetic Body: Sampling and Remixing Constructions of Flesh and Technology” (Chair, Todd May)

Dissertation Primary Area: Composing the Body

Secondary Area1: Medical Rhetorics and Prosthetics

Secondary Area2: Constructing the Body

~Vj V~

The Future of the Dissertation

May 15, 2008

Justin Hodgson, Ph.D. candidate, RCID, has been invited to participate in ~the Institute for the Future of the Book workshop~ on Sophie* at USCal, Los Angeles. Specifically he will be working with a group in the Institute for Multimedia Literacy (IML) in the School of Cinematic Arts. For four days, May 27-30. (He of course has accepted.) This is Bob Stein’s project that has been funded by the Macarthur Foundation and the Mellon Foundation. This group is one segment of the Consortium that the RCID program has been developing with others. It’s beginning to payoff already. Only two people in the country are invited to this workshop. There will be a followup workshop in August that Justin will attend again so that he can make a report.

Justin will be writing/developing his dissertation both in print literacy, to be submitted to the CU GS, and in electronic literacy (in Sophie), to demonstrate the differences between paper/pdf files and a multimedia dissertation that still meets all the required scholarly conventions of a “dissertation.” As far as we know, only Virginia Kuhn (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee) and one other person have developed/”written” and produced their dissertations in a multimedia format. VK did hers in TK3, which was a forerunner of Sophie. She now teaches and conducts research at USCal in the IML.

*Sophie is a stand-alone media assemblage application that allows for every mode of media communications: pix, audio, video, etc. It is free and open source.

More news forthcoming. Stay tuned. Check the RCID program Blog. Also know that we are sending two RCID students (Amanda Booher and Joshua Abboud) to the European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland, where they will study with major film directors, Continental philosophers, media historians, etc. This connection, too, is part of our Consortium. We will have news from them when they return.

RCID Rocks! Bestest,
~Vj V~