RHE 312 – Writing in Digital Environments

In our daily practices in online environments, we leave an endless series of digital breadcrumbs, crafting images of ourselves that (with and without our privacy settings) can be viewed by friends and Big Brother alike. Armed with an increased awareness of the way we might be read in digital spaces, we have the option to take an active and rhetorically savvy role in the construction of our identities online.

Writing in Digital Environments takes online identity formation as its central focus, and students will read, think, and write through the ways in which the myriad digital spaces we navigate work together (or not) to form a cohesive (or fractured) identity online. Organized around concepts of networking, sharing, commenting, and assessing, the units of this course will take specific online (writing) platforms as their objects of analysis, asking students to think through differences they encounter in audience, purpose, style, delivery, and design. We will interrogate the differences between Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and Flickr. We will think through the social functions and community formations on sites like Reddit and ICanHazCheeseburger, and we will address issues of privacy, copyright, and fair use.