Thursday, July 12, 2007


motivated by recognition of my sloth and fear, and, encouraged and reanimated by some much needed and appreciated advice from colleagues i respect (G., Anne, Dennis, Madeleine), i'm dedicating myself to the book. this means, first, a schedule of writing every day toward the book (among many other things) and near-constant meditation on its manifestation rather than the debilitating discourses of doom i so often activate from my playlist.

this morning's work extended some of the atttempts i began to make over the past year. i see that much of what i've been doing -- reflection, public writing, conference conversations -- has been moving me toward a realistic sense of possibility for the book and even a greater sense of clarity regarding what it is i think that this book can do.

here's one thing: a new and i think better title. Beyond Words: Film-Composition's 'Invisible Galleries' (borrowing the latter term from legendary film critic André Bazin). i use Bazin's term to gesture toward an emphasis on affective intensities of experience w/in filmwork as i trace key discourses (I begin with Suspicion, Hopes & Fears, gesture toward Momentum, think about Narrative, worry Morals, problematize Culture, and finally work with/in Rhetorical Analysis and - maybe most importantly, for me - Production), discourses that have shaped how we think about and use and produce filmwork in Composition. necessary for thinking through such a frame, however, is the work of problematizing a sense of affective intensity as "free flowing affect" that operates beyond discourse (thanks, Dennis) and instead imagine reflection (which may/should take place in classrooms) as capable of rendering the affective as a kind of emotional register -- emotion as intensity "owned and recognized," (Massumi 88) that is available for analysis (in this case, in supportive social networks defined by classrooms we attempt to create as, "supportive social networks"). i'm thinking that this recasting of affect as "qualified emotion" (Massumi 88) maintains a possibility for engagement that is capable of helping us to teach writing "beyond words" as critical and desirable rhetorical work. this seems, then, to get at some of what Anne was going for in her talk at PSU, responsible art projects that do rhetorical work even as they gesture toward the ethical (i.e., production of both engaging and, for example, nonviolent new media texts).

this is a quick gloss, but it's hopefully articulating a sense of something we both want and need. comments, including correctives and resources, are both welcomed and encouraged.

be gentle, please :)

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