The Scholar Electric

News and updates from CCDP

September 14, 2021

Call for Applications: CCDP Digital Fellows

We're looking for Digital Fellows for the 2021 - 2022 academic year

Computers and Composition Digital Press seeks graduate students to serve as CCDP Digital Fellows. As a fellow you will assist in the creation of digital materials to promote Press titles, and curate social media campaigns and initiatives for the 2021-2022 academic year. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to learn firsthand the ins and outs of helping with the public-facing side of a digital Press.

Duties may include:

  • Conducting interviews with CCDP authors
  • Contributing to the CCDP Scholar Electric Blog
  • Serving as CCDP Ambassadors at professional conferences
  • Soliciting book reviews of CCDP titles
  • Contributing to CCDP social media initiatives
  • Collaborating with the CCDP editors on other projects
  • Opportunities to develop creative projects that will enhance Press publications

Applicants should be graduate students with research interests in digital rhetoric, digital publishing, and/or social media. Experience in blogging or maintaining professional social media accounts a plus.

Time Commitment

This is a one-year appointment with the possibility of renewal for an additional year. CCDP fellows can expect to work on two small projects per semester – i.e., a blog post, interview, or social media campaign. Fellows are also required to participate in monthly Zoom meetings with the other CCDP Fellows and the Program Directors.


This is a volunteer role; however, this position will give the Fellows experience working with a leading digital press, connecting with scholars in the field, and gaining early access to upcoming scholarship. Fellows are also encouraged to use their experience with CCDP in their own scholarship and teaching.

About Computers and Composition Digital Press

Founded in 2007 by Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe, Computers and Composition Digital Press publishes peer-reviewed digital projects with the intellectual contribution of a book. Press titles have been recognized with the Computers and Composition Distinguished Book Award, CCCC Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship, the CCCC Advancement of Knowledge Award, and the CCCC Research Impact Award. The Press is committed to open access scholarship, and all press titles are available online through

To apply, please send a CV and a letter of interest to the CCDP Digital Fellows Program Directors, Amber Buck at and Ja’La Wourman at Applications are due on October 8, 2021. Please direct all questions and inquiries to Amber Buck or Ja’La Wourman.

April 25, 2020

Crowdsourcing with CCDP, Part Two

Peer Pedagogies: Curricular Adventures in Peer-Centered Writing, Speaking, and Learning

Welcome to the second installment of the Crowdsourcing with CCDP blog series! As we discussed in our first installment, this Scholar Electric series celebrates CCDP readers. Especially, it showcases the ways in which our readers have taken inspiration from CCDP publications, carrying our authors’ ideas into a variety of spaces. We are featuring in our Scholar Electric blog pedagogical documents–like lesson plans, activities, and assignments–that were inspired by CCDP publications.

The Rhetoric of Participation: Interrogating Commonplaces In and Beyond the Classroom was inspired by the work of the late Dr. Genevieve Critel. In a recent interview with CCDP Digital Fellow Charles Woods, co-editors Paige V. Banaji, Lisa Blankenship, and Katherine DeLuca describe the way in which Dr. Critel, as their graduate instructor, carried her scholarship into the classroom. In The Rhetoric of Participation, Dr. Critel’s former students carried her ideas into their scholarship. As Lisa Blankenship shared with Charles,

I think there are just so many directions you can take this work. And I’m so pleased that this is a legacy coming from her work and life.

In our second showcased piece, Steven J. Corbett and his students Amanda Bender, Emily Simon, and Jackii Ingros forge two more links in this chain of inspiration. Corbett brings ideas from The Rhetoric of Participation into his upper-level Writing and Rhetoric course. He and his students co-wrote and compiled a unique pedagogical document: a narrative about the course, penned by participants. Check out Corbett’s description of this co-authored piece below, followed by a link to the full document! And if you have an activity inspired by a CCDP title, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact CCDP Digital Fellows Savanna Conner ( and Mandy Olejnik ( to submit assignments and ideas.


Banaji, P. V., Blanekship, L., DeLuca, K., Obermark, L., * Omizo, R. (Eds.) (2019). The Rhetoric of Participation: Interrogating Commonplaces in and Beyond the Classroom. Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press.

Woods, Charles. (2020, April 13). What does it mean to participate? Computers and Composition Digital Press.

Peer Pedagogies: Curricular Adventures in Peer-Centered Writing, Speaking, and Learning

Steven J. Corbett, University Writing Center Director and Associate Professor of English, Texas A&M University - Kingsville
with Amanda Bender, Emily Simon, and Jackii Ingros, George Mason University

Peer Pedagogies, because it narrates a course experience from four different perspectives, is an extensive document. We encourage you to read it in its entirety here. Below, find Corbett’s explanation of that document—how it was inspired by The Rhetoric of Participation, his experience working with student-participants, and what each part of the document offers.

We are delighted you’re joining us as we reflect back on our Spring 2015 term together at George Mason University. Peer Pedagogies is designed to walk fellow teachers of writing and rhetoric day-by-day through a course centered on peer-to-peer writing, speaking, and learning.

Readers will follow a peer writing group of three students—Amanda Bender, Emily Simon, and Jackii Ingros—and their instructor (Steven Corbett) through a sixteen-week semester of an upper-level course designed for Writing and Rhetoric majors and minors, “Situational Rhetoric: Writing and Speaking with Purpose and Passion.” During the journey, we will offer a detailed narrative unpacking of the course syllabus, all assignments, and a day-by-day enactment of the course and curriculum. Readers will see and hear the first-hand thoughts and reflections of all four participants.

Our resource is inspired by the multimodal richness of the Computers and Composition Digital Press collection The Rhetoric of Participation: Interrogating Commonplaces In and Beyond the Classroom. Themselves inspired by Genevieve Critel’s 2012 dissertation “Investigating the Rhetoric of Student Participation: Uncovering and Historicizing Commonplaces in Composition Studies” editors Paige V. Banaji, Lisa Blankenship, Katherine DeLuca, Lauren Obermark, and Ryan Omizo write: “Perhaps the central lesson from Critel’s research is that participation, as a performed act, an assessed category, and an ongoing expectation in academic and public spheres, is complicated, undertheorized, and often messy.” The editors draw on Critel’s four commonplaces of participation—community, assessment, embodiment, and technology—to theorize and organize the chapters of their collection.

Our own contribution here, touches upon all four of Critel’s commonplaces, especially in relation to students’ perspectives on participation. For example, the extensive reflections offered by the students in our course—Amanda, Emily, and Jackii—details overlapping points of view expressed by students in the Rhetoric of Participation chapter “A Curation of Student Voices on Participation in the Writing Classroom” by Lauren Obermark. Amanda, Emily, and Jackii join the curated chorus of students Obermark interviewed—in terms of motivation, effort, connection, comfort-level, support, and identity—in their own unique ways.

Our resource guides readers through all peer-centered aspects of the course, including peer review and response, in narrative fashion. It is divided into five chapters/units that revolve around our collaborative interactions on the course’s major assignments and activities.

Chapter 1
Beginning Well: Taking the Time to Get to Know Each Other

Chapter 2
Whispering Words of the Self and Others (Loud and Clear): Major Paper One

Chapter 3
Keep Calm and Love Rhetorical Analysis: Major Paper Two

Chapter 4
Communicating the Rhetoric of an Important Topic or Idea in Your Field: Major Paper Three

Chapter 5
Ending Even Better: Debates and ePortfolios

The Appendices offer the full syllabus and course calendar, all assignments, and several other course documents.

We hope you enjoy hearing about our adventures together in the writing and speaking classroom!

Link to full PDF document housed in Google Drive

April 13, 2020

What Does It Mean To Participate?

A Podcast With The Authors of "The Rhetoric of Participation"

When the cohort of 2019-2020 Computers and Composition Digital Press Digital Fellows were planning digital initiatives and projects for the academic year, it did not take me long to identify the genre in which I wanted to work: the podcast. The main reasons I wanted to produce a podcast for the CCDP were because it is a genre that is familiar to me and a genre that is familiar to the Press. The initial cohort of Digital Fellows in 2018 worked in a range of genres to produce their digital projects, one of which was a video podcast created by Lacy Hope and Brian Gaines. I wanted to build upon their previous podcast work, so I chose to produce a podcast on a recent CCDP title, The Rhetoric of Participation: Interrogating Commonplaces In and Beyond the Classroom.

The Rhetoric of Participation is a text that extends the legacy of Dr. Genevieve Critel. In devoting their book to the research of Dr. Critel, the authors of the text uniquely invite new audiences to engage with her work and to reconsider how participation is theorized and assessed in the classroom. My motivations in creating a podcast featuring a discussion with the authors of The Rhetoric of Participation were similar: I wanted to extend the reach of the Press to new audiences, particularly those interested in podcasts. The authors of the text pose the question, what does it mean to participate? For me, participating in the Fellows program meant participating in a variety of digital spaces—email threads, Skype calls, audio-editing software—to produce a podcast with the authors of The Rhetoric of Participation. And while my participation builds upon the work of Hope and Gaines, it captures the essence of the text: participation is unique and different for everyone in every space.

Last fall, I reached out to the authors of The Rhetoric of Participation and Drs. Paige V. Banaji, Lisa Blankenship, and Katherine DeLuca agreed to chat with me via Skype. One of the great things about serving as a CCDP Digital Fellow is that you get to join a network of scholars with similar passions and similar interests. These nuanced interactions are quite different from a bustling conference experience. It was quite nice to have my coffee and Skype with rhetoric and composition scholars from Manhattan to the Midwest on a rainy December morning and learn about their research and their passions for teaching.

March 14, 2020

Crowdsourcing with CCDP

Sound-Mapping: Seeing the Rhetorical Choices in Podcasts, with Amy Cicchino

In an interview with Estee Beck (2013), CCDP co-founder Cynthia Selfe reflects upon the central role of collaboration–not only in starting the press, but in continuously sharing high-quality scholarship on a global scale and in a timely fashion:

with each [book], it has really taken, excuse the cliché, but a village to get the work distributed
(p. 354).

Our press celebrates CCDP readers as part of that village, because distribution doesn’t stop at publication. Through CCDP readers, our authors’ ideas have traversed a variety of spaces–from articles to conferences to conversations. In this crowdsourcing initiative, we’re showcasing how our readers have extended the press’s impact into the classroom. We are featuring in our Scholar Electric blog pedagogical documents–like lesson plans, activities, and assignments–that were inspired by CCDP publications.

Our first showcase comes from Amy Cicchino, whose activity was inspired by Courtney S. Danforth, Kyle D. Stedman, and Michael J. Faris’ Soundwriting Pedagogies. Danforth, Stedman, and Faris curate a collection of pedagogies that respond to a growing ease-of-access to soundwriting technologies. We are pleased to present a response to that collection: Cicchino’s activity Sound-Mapping: Seeing the Rhetorical Choices in Podcasts, which employs the concept of sound mapping (see: Milena Droumeva and David Murphy’s Soundwriting chapter “A Pedagogy of Listening”). Students in Cicchino’s junior-level professional writing course create maps to help them visualize the rhetorical use of sound. Check out Cicchino’s activity and exemplary sound maps below! And if you have an activity inspired by a CCDP title, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact CCDP Digital Fellows Savanna Conner ( and Mandy Olejnik ( to submit assignments and ideas.


Beck, E. (2014). Reflecting upon the past, sitting with the present, and charting our future: Gail Hawisher and Cynthia Selfe discussing the community of Computers & Composition. Computers and Composition, 30, 349-357.

Danforth, C. S., Stedman, K. D., & Faris, M. J. (Eds.). (2018). Soundwriting Pedagogies. Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press.

Droumeva, M., & Murphy, D. (2018). A pedagogy of listening. In C. S. Danforth, K. D. Stedman, and M. J. Faris (Eds.) Soundwriting Pedagogies. Computers and Composition Digital Press.

Sound-Mapping: Seeing the Rhetorical Choices in Podcasts

Dr. Amy Cicchino, Director of University Writing, Auburn University

This activity was originally implemented in a junior-level professional writing class. Students completed the activity at the beginning of a unit on media analysis, before they began composing an audio assignment.

Inspired by Danforth, Stedman, and Faris’ Soundwriting Pedgagogies (2018) collection, soundmapping helps students see the rhetorical choices that inform soundwriting by identifying and visually mapping the parts of a podcast. Soundmapping is like audio storyboarding. Specifically, this introductory activity helps students (1) identify and rhetorically analyze the different parts of a podcast; (2) learn the look of audio design program interfaces; and (3) begin considering the processes of brainstorming and drafting a piece of soundwriting (the thinking part that has to happen before anything is recorded or mixed).

Soundmapping is a good scaffolding starting point for soundwriting as it encourages students to enact Bunn’s (2011) Read Like a Writer techniques for audio texts. Reading like a writer—which in this case becomes listening like a soundwriter—encourages students “[to look] at the writerly techniques in the text in order to decide if you might want to adopt similar (or the same) techniques in your writing” and what effect those choices have on a reader/listener (Bunn, 2011, p. 72). Consequently, listening like a writer prompts students to identify the rhetorical choices the podcast creator(s) made and how those choices come together to create a cohesive experience of audio storytelling.

Before this activity

Identify a podcast in which an entire class would have interest. Often, I choose first episodes from a popular series (like Serial or 1619) or podcasts that have a general informative theme (like This American Life, Invisibilia, Mobituaries). Assign students to listen to a single episode or part of an episode as homework. Students should come to class with the following questions answered. This will provide a nice jumping off point to class discussion and create accountability for listening carefully to the assigned episode.


  1. What is the purpose of this podcast?
  2. Given this purpose, who is the most likely audience? Remember, be as specific as possible.
  3. Why would someone want to listen to this podcast? What would their motivation be?
  4. Identify the different sources of sounds that you heard in this episode in a list. This should include different speakers, effects, musical elements, and transitional noises.
  5. Did you think this podcast was effective in achieving its purpose for its audience? How do you know?
  6. Identify a moment in this episode where you felt the podcast was most rhetorically effective. Why did you choose this moment? What made it effective?
  7. When were there moments of confusion, ambiguity, or ineffectiveness for you? Do you think the podcast was intentionally confusing/ambiguous, or do you think these are instances of unintended miscommunication?


When students enter class the next day, we begin by getting into small groups and discussing our responses to the questions. I want them to practice applying rhetorical concepts to the episode, but I also want them to start considering what makes the genre effective. After discussing these questions, we delve into the deeper analysis of close reading the podcast through soundmapping.

Before class, I have selected a brief segment from the episode (typically, 1-3 minutes). I play the segment once just so we can all hear it again. Then, I explain that we are moving from listening to the podcast as an audience member towards thinking about how the podcast was put together, as creators. Our goal is to plot a diagram of the different sounds we hear, to create a kind of “map.” I compare our mapping activity to the work we do when we visually outline a piece of writing.

I distribute the soundmapping graphic organizer (Figure 1) and explain its general organization (which is meant to mimic audio-making interfaces).

Figure 1: Graphic organizer

We listen to the segment again with the goal of just marking how many sounds we hear and when they enter and exit the soundscape. This almost always takes multiple listenings. Then, students map fading in and out, as well.

Once we have our map, I break the students into new groups, and we tackle more nuanced questions about our map. These questions are recorded below.

  1. Focus on all of the different types of sound you see on your map. What rhetorical purposes do these different forms of sound serve? For instance, some podcasts use voices to attribute sources, as a kind of aural citation. Others use different sounds for mood. Others for organizational transitions and cues. Why do you think this soundwriter chose the sounds you see on the map in front of you?
  2. In your group’s opinion, do the sounds achieve their intended rhetorical purpose?
  3. Every aspect in a composition is a choice, and all choices have advantages and disadvantages. Choose one element in your soundmap and brainstorm in your group other things the soundwriter could have done to achieve their rhetorical purpose instead of what they did. What are the advantages and disadvantages of these other choices?
  4. Before you came into class today, you answered the following question: “Did you think this podcast was effective in achieving its purpose for its audience? How do you know?” Looking at your sound map, do you still agree with your initial evaluation of the podcast? How do you see this (in)effectiveness being enacted in the segment that we mapped?
  5. Did mapping the podcast show you anything new? In other words, did you “see” something that you hadn’t initially “heard?”

In the example that I’ve provided (Figure 2)—the opening to an episode of Reply All­—the class might look at how an episode opens with conversational dialogue between the hosts that continues even as it interrupts the momentum that could pick up as the episode topic is introduced to listeners. This is pretty different than other potential podcast openings. Dramatic podcasts, for instance, use intro music and opening dialogue to place the listener within the topic from the very start. Some students might suggest that conversational interruptions are an ineffective way to open an episode, and they could be right if they identified the purpose of this episode was to transport the listener into a narrative. Reply All, however, might have a different identified purpose. If its purpose is to give listeners the impression that they are interacting with the hosts who are telling us a story, then the conversational informality reinforces that purpose. Analyzing podcast design as a series of rhetorical choices encourages the class to see the mapped choice as one of many possibilities. This discussion should then lead students to brainstorm other ways Reply All could achieve rhetorical purposes through different designs for their episode opening.

Figure 2: Model, completed graphic organizer

Often, considering the writing process can be difficult, especially when listening to soundwriting. Soundmapping can be a way to slow down and see the different rhetorical moves being made. It can double as a planning strategy for students before they begin mixing their audio for their own soundwriting pieces. Like writing, there is no one right process for soundwriting, but mapping gives students another mode for processing sound and a strategy to support their brainstorming and drafting processes.


Bunn, M. (2011). How to read like a writer. In Charles Lowe and Pavel Zemlianski (Eds.), Writing spaces: Readings on writing, vol. 2. (pp. 71–86). Parlor Press.—how-to-read.pdf

Danforth, C. S., Stedman, K. D., & Faris, M. J. (Eds.). (2018). Soundwriting Pedagogies. Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press.

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