About: A Reviewer's Reflection
The inspiration for this review webtext emerged from a final multimodal composition project for Melanie Yergeau’s graduate course entitled Digital Rhetorics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. As Yergeau wrote in the class syllabus, “Essentially, the only requirements are that you 1) compose multimodally and 2) compose something that both interests and challenges you. For instance, your project could take form as a digital syllabus, scholarly webtext, hypertext narrative, video documentary, etc.” In this class, we read and discussed Douglas Eyman's book alongside other texts while putting our ideas into practice through contributing to a class blog, creating professional web portfolios, and collaborating on a variety of digital media projects.
As a student in this class and as a Ph.D. student in English and education with research interests in writing pedagogy, digital rhetoric, and multimodal composition, I became drawn to composing a webtext in response to Eyman’s book as a way to merge the content of digital rhetoric with its form. For me, the challenges of programming cast into relief the often fraught tensions between theory and practice, as the seamless flow and continuity of our discussions often belied the fragmented discontinuities, the starts and stops of learning (or re-learning) how to code. As content and format, analysis and production become increasingly intertwined, we as digital rhetoricians and humanists find ourselves faced with the question of to what extent we ought to become practitioners of what we theorize, inquirers of what we craft. From process to product, this webtext offers one response to this question.