Earlier this summer I found out I’ll be teaching Visual Rhetoric and Document Design this fall at the U. I cannot TELL you how excited I am! Since the class is vis/rhet, I should probably just show you:

Snoopy happy dance by Charles Schultz
This is how happy I am to be teaching Visual Rhetoric/Doc Design!

I’m pretty stoked. Very excited. And a little nervous, of course. I’ve never taught this course, I only have a year’s experience teaching upperclassmen, and I have a lot of freedom to design the course.

But the nervousness is (at least currently) outweighed by excitement! I’ve taken several classes in document design and visual rhetoric, and visual rhetoric and argumentation is also a secondary research interest of mine. Additionally, I’m a comics/graphic novel reader, so I like to think about how visuals aid storytelling/argumentation, or tell stories/make arguments on their own. I feel sufficiently prepared to draw from all of these experiences/past materials in order to teach the class. It’s just a lot of material, and picking/choosing what to cover in a short fifteen weeks sometimes feels overwhelming. I tend to want to teach a lot of concepts but also teach to mastery, and in a single course it’s kind of impossible to do that.

But do not yet count me as daunted. I’ve had some conversations with one of my professors at the U who usually teaches this course, and I’ve seen his syllabus and assignments. I’ve ordered exam copies of a couple of books, and once they get here I’m going to explore them and other readings and start solidifying a reading list. After that, I think, I’ll start thinking about assignments.

Have you taught visual rhetoric/document design before? What texts/assignments did you give? What do you recommend/not recommend?


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