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Problems in Rhetoric: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral

In other words, when humans are displaced and deskilled, nonhumans have to upgraded and reskilled. This is not an easy task, as we shall now see. -Bruno Latour, Where Are the Missing Masses? (157).

Object Analyses
The assessment of object analyses will be negotiated throughout the semester. This must be the case because effectiveness is the key criteria for successful object analyses, and effectiveness can neither be known nor described in advance; it can only be felt afterwards. That said, I will try to tell you what I can before you all go off alone into the wilderness. An excellent object analysis utilizes, in a thorough fashion, the course methodology. The object (or project) under analysis must have a discernable boundary, shape, or edge, which is not to say that it must be isolated. The object or project must have edges that you can get a grip on: some handle holds, some outcropping of rocks on which you can place your feet. There is also the question of access: can you get time and space with the object? For instance, a space shuttle is discernable but hard to access. Likewise, while we can access SLUs campus, it might be too large to get a handle on. The methods you use must cohere with both the methodology and the object. First, your method must allow you to address the seven rhetorical processes that constitute the course methodology. For example, only going to the factory where doors are made would not allow you to see how a door is circulated and transformed. Second, the object itself should shape how you analyze it. If you choose a dog, for instance, video recording might make sense given that dogs are dynamic and moving objects. A table might not lend itself to video in the same way. (As the two documents described below demonstrate, you will be asked to articulate and justify your choice of method.) Analysis isnt something you do to an object but rather with the object. Again, the basic parameters of the object analysis are, admittedly, difficult to layout in advance. It is not as simple as a 5-7 page length requirement for an academic essay. To that end, there are two supplemental assignments. Rather than determining an appropriate length, amount, or other quantitative requirement, students themselves play an integral roll is assessing the quality of their own analyses. The two additional requirements are a design plan and a postmortem. These two documents, in addition to inclass workshops, allow us to keep one another appraisedcommunication is the key to fair evaluation.

Design Plan
Flesh out the details for each of the following areas (2-3 double-spaces pages), which address the question of method: 1. Object or project to be analyzed 2. Importance of this object or project (i.e., make a case for why is it important or necessary to analyze it at this moment?) 3. Technologies to be used in analysis (e.g., video camera, microphone, still camera) 4. Features of the analysis. Specify the kinds of pictures, text, or video you will feature. This section should be fairly fleshed out. 5. Purpose of the analysis (i.e., what effect do you hope to achieve? What impact do you want your analysis to have on an audience?)

Nathaniel Rivers I English 404 I Fall 2012 I 1

Postmortem
Answer the following questions adopted from Jody Shipkas Toward a Composition Made Whole (4-5 double-spaced pages): 1. What, specifically, is this piece trying to accomplishabove and beyond satisfying the basic requirements outlined in the task description? In other words, what work does, or might, this piece do? For whom? In what contexts? 2. What specific rhetorical, material, methodological, and technological choices did you make in service of accomplishing the goal(s) articulated above? Catalog, as well, choices that you might not have consciously made, those that were made for you when you opted to work with certain genres, materials, and technologies. 3. Why did you end up pursuing this plan as opposed to the others you came up with? How did the various choices listed above allow you to accomplish things that other sets or combinations of choices would not have? 4. Who and what played a role in accomplishing these goals? 5. More specifically, how did the object or project under analysis shape that analysis?

Nathaniel Rivers I English 404 I Fall 2012 I 2