"Beyond Talking Heads: Sourced Comics and the Affordances of Multimodality."

Having a valid part in the conversation

In yet another literary blog entitled, "Comics and Composition: Annotated Bibliography," is an article post from January 18, 2016. Written by Hannah Dickinson and Maggie Werner, a link is given for the full article, with an abstract below, beginning with one of the most influential quotes by Kenneth Burke.

"Imagine that you enter a parlor. You come late. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to pause and tell you exactly what it is about. In fact, the discussion had already begun long before any of them got there, so that no one present is qualified to retrace for you ll the steps that had gone before. You listen for a while, until you decide that you have caught the tenor o the argument; then you put in your oar. Someone answers; you answer him; another comes to your defense; another aligns himself against you, to either the embarrassment or gratification of your opponent, depending upon the quality of your ally's assistance. However, the discussion is interminable. The hour grows late, you must depart. And you do depart, with the discussion still vigorously in progress."

Burke stresses here the phenomenon that our voices are but a very small piece in a very big conversation, which is a metaphor for how gargantuan the human conversation has existed over existence. Dickinson and Werner however argue in a unique perspective that this quote presents "drawbacks" regarding students and their opportunity and validity in having something to say to the world. They then conducted an experiment in which they had students create comics, which projects eventually led to the student's having conversations with authors, the big wigs considered to have a most powerful voice in the "conversation." They conclude that a more active approach must be taken in teaching students, to get them involved with "scholarly sources in their future multimodal and alphabetic writing practices."

The blog and article, as well as the link to the full article, can be found here.