Friday, April 21, 2006

Kress' Concept of Design

I've been reading a lot about Kress' concept of "design" that he wants to replace our current form of "analysis," which he sees as too passive. He wants students to cease "using" semiotic systems and to start “re-making" and reconfiguring "content-in-discourse" which is he believes will lead to more human agency and transformation.” I really like this theory, but it seems that it has some limitations for those of us working in the current composition classroom. For example, the composition classroom generally still have minimum word requirements, so the mode of writing will still need to carry much of the load of rhetorical persuasion, to a large extent. So, instead of like Kress, deciding on what writing "does best" at this point, we should emphasize the fluidity of possibility of communication between the modes instead of relegating certain types of functions to words categorically; composition instructors should emphasize the shifting rhetorical strategies that can be delivered in the forms of both words and images, and also emphasize that the re-shaping of content into many modes as possible. Does anybody think this is a realistic revision of Kress' proposal?


Blogger eomeara said...

We definitely need to teach students that there are different modes of communication appropriate for different purposes. I'm curious as to why Kress sees our current form of analysis as passive. What form of analysis is he talking about? How is it passive? Does he have concrete examples of his own concept? I think we can use traditional and visual arguments at the same time; they don't have to be mutually exclusive, which seems to be what Kress is implying. You've read more of Kress. Is that what he is saying?

5:03 PM  

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