Through this lesson, students will be able to identify how the formal elements of various documents produce representations of the Caribbean as a complex and layered space impacted by slavery, industry, agriculture, and colonial and touristic desire. They will be able to describe the differences between textual and visual representations of landscape and articulate how form impacts content. Building on an understanding of the multiplicity of ways the same space can be represented, they will also be able to critically interrogate the rhetoric of representative media.
In this lesson, students will discuss the adornment of the graves of Kongo chiefs near the turn of the 20thcentury. They will use visual analysis to explore each object and consider questions regarding design, style, material, and use. By looking at objects closely, students will learn to interpret visual cues and think about how these figurative sculptures can represent idealized personality traits and key accomplishments of the deceased. Personal reflections at the end of the lesson assist students in understanding the ways that memories can be created and influenced, even after a specific individual’s death.
We started this issue with a simple premise: that space and praxes matter. For us, space and place have been intimately connected with our teaching and our research. In fact, we were moved to propose this special issue because of our shared work in a graduate seminar in 2008 entitled English 696e: Spatial and Visual Rhetorics, but this issue represents an even deeper and more thoughtful engagement from scholars across the field on spatial relations.
We want to offer a bit more about the exigency of this issue as well as insights into its particular webtexts. In this regard, we draw from Michel Foucault's 1976 often-cited, often-anthologized interview with the editors of Hérodote:
I have enjoyed this discussion with you because I've changed my mind since we started. I must admit I thought you were demanding a place for geography like those teachers who protest when an education reform is proposed, because the number of hours of natural science or music is being cut. So I thought, 'It's nice of them to ask me to do their archaeology, but after all why can't they do it themselves?' I didn't see the point of your objection. Now I can see that the problems you put to me about geography are crucial ones for me. Geography acted as the support, the condition of possibility for the passage between a series of factors I tried to relate. Where geography itself was concerned, I either left the question hanging or established a series of arbitrary connections. (Foucault, 1976, p. 77)
In this interview Foucault comes to the conclusion that his work is inherently related to geography, to the study of space. Indeed, Foucault articulates the ways he has overlooked bringing a conscious, systematic understanding of space to bear on his work. In the unfolding of the interview, Foucault has a "becoming moment" where he thinks of the study of space as a dominant force in relations of power, one that must be researched, interrogated, and theorized. In Foucault's (1984) equally well-known follow-up interview, "Space, Knowledge and Power," with Paul Rabinow, he formally acknowledges that space and place are intimately connected to his project, and he argues for a technics of space. Foucault suggests that space constructs and is constructed by discourses and practices (pp. 245-46), it is not fundamental or monolithic (p. 247), and it is always connected to communities and power (p. 252). Much more could be said about Foucault's theories on space, but these interviews together teach us about the significance of a "becoming moment" for scholarly work. It is our hope that this special issue on spatial praxes, then, invites composition and rhetoric scholars to participate in a "becoming moment" of their own as they consider the metaphorically and materially spatialized performances discussed here.
Writing about thirdspace twenty years after Foucault's interview, Edward Soja (1996) reminds us that our explorations "must be additionally guided by some form of potentially emancipatory praxis, the translation of knowledge into action in a conscious—and consciously spatial—effort to improve the world in some significant way" (p. 22). As composition and rhetoric teachers, our pedagogies frequently challenge us to translate our knowledge into classroom practice and, reflexively, to reinterpret those classroom practices into knowledge-as-praxis. These pedagogies, which often include new media literacies, public projects, service learning, hybrid classrooms, and even distance education, require thoughtful attention to spatial rhetorical practices. In fact, we would argue that as educators, composition and rhetoric teachers daily confront spatial relationships that inform, and arguably even infuse, every aspect of our pedagogies. Thus, we must consciously, critically consider the ways spatial relationships are invested in power relations among all stakeholders, students, teachers, administrators, and community members.
We approached this special issue with the belief that our discipline has reached a critical stage in the development of pedagogical praxes as a result of the rapidly increasing media in which we teach and research. As active participants in this "becoming moment" of spatial pedagogies on composition and rhetoric, we must reflect on the ways in which spatial rhetorics are imbricated in nearly every aspect of teaching and learning. To this end, our contributors move us to a deeper understanding of spatial praxes--and by praxes we mean the conscious, willed actions by which theory is transformed into practical activities. The research and reflections—the explorations in praxes—included in this webtext contribute to our field's development in pedagogical praxes by extending important scholarly work to understand the relationship of practice and theory in the realm of the spatial rhetorics; making public the range of spatial rhetorical teaching and its impacts on stakeholders; and providing new approaches to theorizing practice and practicing theory. The practical activities examined in this issue's topoi, praxis, and review pieces construct teaching and learning as both transformed by and transformative of space, place, and non-place.
Providing training for pre-service teachers at historic sites necessitates a reorientation for historic site-based teacher education pro- grams away from strict content learning towards programs that emphasize the modeling of disciplinary problem solving and transfer learning. Outlined here is a History Lab model for teacher education that uses the resources of the historic sites to help teachers develop analytical skills and integrate site-based learning into their classroom practice.
This mixed-method study examines the think-aloud protocols of 48 ran- domly assigned undergraduate students to understand what effect embed- ding a visual coding system, based on reliable visual cues for establishing historical time period, would have on novice history students’ ability to con- textualize historic documents. Results indicate that using multiple embedded images per time period significantly improves students’ ability to source and contextualize historical sources.
This resource is a guide to doing a critical analysis of comics in the classroom. It asks the reader to critically analyze the content, historical context, and visual details of comics in order to draw conclusions in relation to broader topics or materials covered throughout a course.