Perhaps the best way to describe my session idea is to provide some detail information on my current project. This project is an article that concerns lucidity in communication and derives from my advanced composition class. It concerns the comparison of the internet as an iconic text with canonical (or iconic) literature from the twentieth century. The article focuses on using the internet along with literary material to teach composition and rhetoric, particularly to help college students identify how icons are formed in contemporary western culture and how that formation imbues objects with meaning. It begins with a discussion with students over iconography and ideas of physical space on the internet. For example, how one displays his or her facebook or myspace page identifies images or styles that can actually be numerated as icons. With myspace, one can enumerate what font (Helvetica, Times New Roman, etc…) is predominantly used and why. Also, with the rise of twitter, subject matter creates new communities of people communicating together. The internet basically establishes a democratization of icons at a certain level that previous media did not. Finally, the utilitarian aspect of the internet as a form of individual communication drives western iconography away from a postmodern concept of detachment, freeing the student of the disengagement demanded of icons of postmodernism. Keeping up with the technological advances in communication allows for a more cohesive community, especially when that community is marginalized. Therefore, I would like to have a discussion session concerning how icons and memes over the internet can not only strengthen marginalized communities, but also propel those communities into popular culture.
Archive for category Important Stuff
Recently I attended the OAH conference in Houston. One of the sessions, “Texas Textbook Controversy” (which I live-tweeted: twitter.com/#!/search/txtxtbk) continually returned to the topic of engaging the public in what historians do.