Category: 13) Refiguring The Interface Agent


Chapter Summary

Amy C. Kimme Hea and Melinda Turnley make an argument in this chapter that there could be a productive tension in an interface agent if that tension was both transparent and reflexive for the user. The authors see themselves not only as users of technologies, but composers, bringing together different elements to create an artistic contrast. They also see technologies as being invested in complex, dynamic relationships among people rather than being a merely neutral tool. The authors write, “As computer compositionists, we strive to pursue active, critical engagement as users and producers of digital texts.” By understanding this, the authors create an interesting juxtaposition which combines art, cultural references, and the user’s interpretation. Below is a video of Turnley and Hea’s Interface Agent program.


Amy Kimme Hea

amykimmehea copy

Hea

Amy Kimme Hea is the associate professor of rhetoric, composition, and teaching in the English program at the University of Arizona. She received her PhD from Purdue University with a focus in rhetoric and composition. She is the New Start English coordinator at the University of Arizona and the associate director of the writing program. She has attended several conferences on technology and was the Provost’s Author Support Fund, University of Arizona recipient in 2008.

Melinda Turnley

turnley

Turnley

Melinda Turnley is an assistant professor in the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse at DePaul University. Her research highlights the application of critical approaches to media and technology to three areas: writing pedagogies, teacher development, and writing program administration. She has developed and taught a range of undergraduate and graduate courses in areas such as composition, technical, business and professional writing, computers and writing, visual rhetoric, new media studies, digital literacy, and cultural studies. She has occupied administrative roles in both first-year and professional writing programs throughout her career, including her present position as the Professional Writing Program Administrator.

References

Allen, Nancy. (Ed.). (2002). Working with images and words: New Steps in an old dance. New York: Ablex.

Ball, Cheryl E. (2004). Show, not tell: The value of new media scholarship. Computers and Composition, 21(4), 403–425.

Bolter, Jay David, & Gromola, Diane. (2003). Windows and mirrors: Interaction design, digital art, and the myth of transparency. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

CIWIC: Computers in writing-intensive classrooms. (2001). Retrieved March 15, 2008, from http://www.hu.mtu.edu/oldsites/ciwic/2001/

Ellsworth, Elizabeth. (1997). Teaching positions: Difference, pedagogy, and the power of address. New York: Teachers College Press.

Fortune, Ron. (2005). “You’re not in Kansas anymore”: Interactions among semiotic modes in multimodal texts. Computers and Composition, 22(1), 49–54.

Grabill, Jeffrey T. (2003). On divides and interfaces: Access, class, and computers. Computers and Composition, 20(4), 455–472.

Haraway, Donna. (1985). A manifesto for cyborgs: Science, technology, and socialist feminism in the 1980s. Socialist Review, 80, 65–105.

Haraway, Donna. (1997). Modest_Witness@Second_Millennium.FemaleMan_Meets_
OncoMouse: Feminism and technoscience
. New York: Routledge.

Hawisher, Gail E., & Selfe, Cynthia L. (1991). The rhetoric of technology and the electronic writing class. College Composition and Communication, 42(1), 55–65.

Manovich, Lev. (2001). The language of new media. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

McDonagh, Deana; Goggin, Nan; & Squier, Joseph. (2005). Signs, symbols, and subjectivity: An alternative view of the visual. Computers and Composition, 22(1),79–86.

Mitchell, W.J.T. (1996). Word and image. In Robert S. Nelson & Richard Shiff (Eds.), Critical terms for art history (pp. 47–57). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Negroponte, Nicholas. (1995). Being digital. New York: Knopf.

Selber, Stuart A. (2004). Multiliteracies for a digital age. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.

Selfe, Cynthia L. (1999). Technology and literacy: A story about the perils of not paying attention. College Composition and Communication, 50(3), 411–436.

Selfe, Cynthia L., & Selfe, Richard J. Jr. (1994). The politics of interface: Power and its exercise in electronic contact zones. College Composition and Communication, 45(1), 480–504.

Williams, Sean D. (2001). Part 1: Thinking out of the pro-verbal box. Computers and Composition, 18, 21–32.

Wysocki, Anne Frances. (2001). Impossibly distinct: On form/content and word/image in two pieces of computer-based interactive multimedia. Computers and Composition, 18(3), 209–234.

Wysocki, Anne Frances, & Jasken, Julia I. (2004). What should be an unforgettable face, Computers and Composition, 21(1), 29–48.

Wysocki, Anne Frances, & Johnson-Eilola, Johndan. (1999). Blinded by the letter: Why are we using literacy as a metaphor for everything else? In Gail E. Hawisher & Cynthia L. Selfe (Eds.), Passions, pedagogies, and 21st century technologies (pp. 349–68). Logan: Utah State University Press.