A network map of roughly 25–30 nodes representing books, color-coded by publication year (drawn with Kumu)

We’ve entered one of the major thematic sections of my 601 course this semester, where we talk about “mapping the field,” particularly as it presents a challenge for folks who are new to it. …


A wall of blank television monitors
“Television wall” by doodlecarll is licensed under CC BY 2.0

For the most part, during the pandemic, I’ve been able to teach asynchronously — in some ways, this has been a distillation of my “normal” pedagogical practice. No two writers work the same way, and no two respond to critique, suggestions, or encouragement alike. While I’ve been teaching in a…


A department store window display of several headless mannequins wearing clothes that are covered in neon yellow price tags that look like post-it notes
“Price tags” by nicolasnova is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This semester, I’m teaching our program’s “601,” which bills itself as an introduction to the field. Most of our students already have a couple of years’ worth of writing studies under their belts, so I don’t think of the course as an exercise in content. …


“Keat takes notes” by geekcalendar is licensed under CC BY 2.0

I am either the best or the worst person to ask about how to take notes. I’m actually horrible at it — for most of my life, I’ve relied upon memory and marginalia as my primary storage methods. Now that I’m old(er), I realize how fragile that approach has proven…


A black computer monitor facing left on a white tabletop with about a dozen balls of crumpled paper scattered in front of it.
“Autonomous Crumpled Paper” by dam is licensed under CC BY 2.0

[Over the years, I’ve told various versions of this story and made this argument in a number of small ways. This week, I felt motivated to put it together a little more formally.]

In the spring of 2005, I taught a graduate course titled Network(ed) Rhetorics. In my syllabus for…


If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard the phrase “hero ball” in the past week as part of the sports commentariat’s NBA coverage…

Monday night, the Golden State Warriors completed a mildly historic comeback, from 3 games to 1 down to the Oklahoma City Thunder, to capture…


It’s almost a week old now, but I was thinking today about a tweet that I saw from Jamelle Bouie:

Specifically, I was thinking about the way that #actually functions there. There’s been plenty of work done on what my friend Alice has called the metacommunicative properties of hashtags…


The reputation of “rhetoric” as a term suffers from the tendency of many to use it as a synonym for hot air, bulls**t, or empty language. …


“I own art” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Flickr user Gerda (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tschoerda/)

Echoing Parker Palmer’s ennobling assertion that “wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life,” [George] Saunders observes: “At any given moment you’re failing to see the way things actually are.” -Maria Popova

You can never read the same book twice. This is kind…


“Bear” (CC BY 2.0) by Brad Schafer (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bradschafer/)

There’s a joke that I’m sure you’ve seen a handful of times, about outrunning a bear. Here’s the version of it that Benedict Cumberbatch (as Alan Turing) tells in The Imitation Game:

There are two people in a wood, and they run into a bear. The first person gets down…

Collin Brooke

digital rhetorics professor at Syracuse University. rarely accused of underthinking it.

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