Summary: Picture these texts: Maya Lin's initial proposal and sketches for the Vietnam Memorial presented with photographs of the completed site, and Lin's essay revisiting the project 20 years later. Comic strip dad Mike Doonsbury is featured on his daughter's new web site, followed by screen shots of a "real life" web diva's site, jennicam.com. Sally Mann's striking photograph of her daughter Jessie is accompanied by an interview with Jessie that talks about the r ...show moreelationship between mother and daughter, photographer and subject. These are the kinds of selections included in Convergences, the full-color composition reader for those instructors who want their students to be critical readers of all the texts they encounter, no matter what form they're in. Today's communicators -- writers, artists, speakers, and designers -- deploy words, images, color, shape, design, layout, and perspective differently, depending on their purpose. And in this composition reader, students are asked to explore not just what a text says--but also why, where, how, and for whom it is created. How are we meant to read this essay, or view this photograph? Which conventions does a given text meet, and which does it break? How do Web sites respond to advertisements? How do advertisements respond to the daily news? What do horror movies have to do with historical events? Today's student is a new kind of reader, one who must read, think, and write about a constant stream of image, word, and idea. Convergences is a new kind of composition reader, one that prompts students to become more critical consumers of message, method, and medium as they learn to write more effectively.
Convergences brings together an incredibly wide range of verbal and visual readings -- and highlights the way they speak to each other. With essays, photographs, Web sites, poems, cartoons, stories, billboards, advertisements, paintings, monuments, maps, and album covers, this composition reader represents the range of texts the twenty-first century reader encounters every day. And by grouping these texts in clusters that cross genre and medium -- by putting together a related poster, web site, essay, and poem, for example -- this composition reader also asks students to map out relationships between verbal and visual messages, and to trace the analytical process other writers, thinkers, and artists have followed as they do the same.
In Convergences, six simple and familiar themes come with a twist. Staging Portraits outlines the way verbal and visual portraits reveal certain details and hide others. Telling Secrets asks why we love to tell secrets, and what our secrets tell about us. Shaping Spaces explores what it means to think spatially -- whether the space is a piece of paper, our room, or the World Wide Web. Making History traces how describing the past often means making it up. Dividing Lines shows how different groups of people draw lines between us and them. And Moving Pictures plays on the ways different media construct and market fact and fiction for our news and entertainment.
Convergences connects verbal and visual texts and introduces a critical perspective students can use to analyze both. What do you need to tie together a visual or verbal narrative? What are the conventions of a tabloid, and how do writers and artists play with those conventions? Which rhetorical strategies make an argument more effective? How do poets and photographers think about, and then deploy, metaphor? What does an online diary share with traditional private writing, and where does it diverge? "Comments" from writers, artists, and critics model some answers to these kinds of questions--and suggest new directions students can take in their own questioning of the texts that surround them.
Convergences surrounds verbal and visual texts with editorial apparatus that prompts students to ask what, where, when, how, and why as they read and write. Why does it matter that the message be tailored for the medium? Why has this Web site been posted, and what has its creator chosen to emphasize? Who is this advertisement aimed at, and what is it selling? Convergences presents each new reading as the end result of conscious choices made by its creator, and it helps students learn to make conscious choices constructing their own texts. By asking students to think about shared sets of conventions, features, and purposes -- generic conventions about how a text is put together -- as well as about what is being said in a text, Convergences meets the analytical needs of today's student.
A general introduction guides students through reading and writing about different genres, including the essay, the advertisement, the photograph, and the Web site.
A Glossary of Terms integrates classical rhetoric with the terms of marketing, media, and mass persuasion, with marginal glosses in the text to help students tie the material they read into a larger rhetorical context.
Key Terms in each chapter explore how a critical rhetorical strategy was applied in a selection in that chapter.
Comments bring outside voices into critical dialogue with the readings.
Message/Method/Medium questions at the end of each selection prompt students to specifically consider what each text is saying, the verbal and visual strategies used to construct each message, and the impact that medium has on the message.
Convergences: Writing/Researching/Collaborating questions at the end of each chapter prompt students to make connections within and outside the text as they write critical responses to what they've read. ...show less