June 24, 2024

Summer Enrichment Program Serves High-Schoolers a Slice of College Life

Students turned an unusual array of objects – a puffy pink pony, a giant nose, one wooden hoop – into charcoal sketches at the University of Mary Washington earlier this week. “Awesome stuff, guys,” Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing Ashe Laughlin said of the rising 10th- through 12th-graders’ still-life creations. “Really terrific!” More than […]

Let’s Chat About ChatGPT: UMW Faculty Perspectives on Emerging AI Technology

When you ask how UMW is using ChatGPT in the classroom, you’ll hear a variety of responses. Some students and faculty have yet to hear of the emerging AI technology. Some know it well and make use of it for their assignments whether instructors know it or not. Some say they’re being encouraged by their […]

Banned Books Read-Out

Banned Books Week Read-OutIn recognition of the annual American Library Association’s Banned Books Week (September 26-October 2), a Read-out was held on Wednesday, Sept. 29, on Campus Walk, in front of Lee Hall, and on the University Center steps facing Ball Circle, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. President Paino and other administrators, faculty, and students read from selected banned and challenged books in a free, public event sponsored by the Department of English and Linguistics and Simpson LibraryA special exhibit of banned books will be on display in the lobby area of Simpson Library throughout the week and on the UMW Libraries Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages.

National Day on Write and Why I Write

October 20th is National Day On Writing. Around UMW and all over the globe people will share their love for writing through the #WhyIWrite campaign sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English. Join others on Simpson’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and tell us why you write. You can also go to add your thoughts and comments to Simpson’s Call to Contribute page and document your experiences during COVID-19. https://libraries.umw.edu/call-to-contribute-submission-form/
#WhyIWrite #NDoW109

Sponsored by UMW Libraries, UMW English and Linguistics, UMW Honors Council and the UMW Creative Writing Club.

Blevins Publishes Book Chapter on Augmented Reality Literacy

Assistant Professor of English Brenta Blevins

Assistant Professor of English Brenta Blevins

A book chapter by Brenta Blevins, Assistant Professor of English, was recently published in Modern Language Association’s Writing Changes: Alphabetic Text and Multimodal Composition, a collection edited by Pegeen Reichert Powell.

Blevins’ chapter, “Of Writing and the Future: An Essay on Augmented Reality Composition,” makes the point that Augmented Reality (AR) not only incorporates but depends upon traditional alphabetic literacy. That link between traditional and emerging literacy practices suggests prior knowledge can aid those composing in unfamiliar media, including in media that do not yet exist. This chapter further argues that contemporary AR functions within essayistic traditions begun hundreds of years ago with Michel de Montaigne.

Blevins Speaks to Virginia Farm Bureau Growing Leaders

Assistant Professor of English Brenta Blevins

Assistant Professor of English Brenta Blevins

Brenta Blevins, Assistant Professor of English, recently delivered a presentation and workshop to the Virginia Farm Bureau’s Growing Leaders Academy on “Digital Identity and Social Media” in Blacksburg, VA. Blevins spoke about how agricultural businesses can use social media to promote rural and farm-based agricultural endeavors.

Blevins Presents at Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference

Assistant Professor of English Brenta Blevins

Brenta Blevins, Assistant Professor of English, recently presented at the 2019 Feminisms and Rhetorics conference her project “Composing New Public Rhetorical Possibilities Using Augmented and Mixed Reality.” Blevins analyzed installations of traditional epideictic rhetoric, such as memorial statues and artwork, at institutions that began as schools for women, and, after examining other Augmented Reality (AR) projects, contended that AR compositions, such as class assignments, could offer additional means for expanding campus historical interpretation.

Blevins Presents at Western States Rhetoric and Literacy Conference

Assistant Professor of English Brenta Blevins

At the 2019 Western States Rhetoric and Literacy conference at Montana State University, Assistant Professor of English Brenta Blevins presented a paper as part of the “Contemplating Rhetorical Futures in a Post-Desktop Computing World” roundtable with Jacob Greene, Arizona State University; David Rieder, North Carolina State University; Shannon Butts, University of Florida; and Jason Crider, University of Florida.

Blevins’ presentation, “Approaching the Event Horizon of a Digital Black Hole: Contemplation in Augmented Reality in an Era of Technological Change,” explored the tensions in post-desktop composing between attention and preservation, on the one hand, and, on the other, between distraction and deprecation. Taking augmented reality as one example, she explored how digital information risks falling into an information black hole where technology change renders digital texts inaccessible to future audiences. The digital black hole is a risk not just for augmented reality, but all instances in which human history, inquiry, and expression are recorded solely in digital media.

UMW ‘Keeps the Light On’ Banned Books Week

Born in Russia, UMW sophomore Katia Savelyeva has called America home for most of her life. But the English major sometimes wonders what it would be like had she stayed in St. Petersburg. “I hope I’d still do things that don’t require as much bravery here in the United States,” said Savelyeva, who read aloud […]

Blevins Publishes Article on Augmented Reality

Brenta Blevins, Assistant Professor of English, has had her article “Teaching Digital Literacy Composing Concepts: Focusing on the Layers of Augmented Reality in an Era of Changing Technology” published in the December 2018 Computers and Composition journal. In an issue focusing on wearable technologies, ubiquitous computing, and immersive experiences, Blevins’s article addresses the challenges that instructors face in teaching composing using current digital tools, while also supporting students’ future digital literacy acquisition in technologies that do not yet exist.

To address these pedagogical concerns, Blevins’s article explores educational composing in Augmented Reality (AR), a medium in which a digital “layer” is combined with the user’s surroundings. She elaborates the benefits and challenges of a scaffolded, analysis-oriented pedagogy focused on the layer for preparing students to compose in AR for classwork and other purposes. Blevins contends that the concept of the layer extends beyond the visual layers of AR to a composing strategy applicable across media. This approach thus supports composers developing critical media awareness and adaptability for multiple media in current and future contexts. Given our rapidly changing software and hardware technologies, teaching theoretical composing concepts, such as the “layer,” prepares students to become communicators capable of composing in multiple media, those present and those yet to emerge.