The multimodal turn in composition studies has expanded the notion of literacy, what it means to write, and how to teach writing (Clark; 2010; Yancey, 2009; Takayoshi and Selfe, 2007; WIDE, 2005). Assignments in first-year composition now come in many forms: videos, visual images, audio essays, video games, t-shirts (Odell and Katz, 2009) and even live dances (Shipka, 2011). Students are now encouraged to think and write multimodally—that is, to capitalize upon the affordances of various semiotic resources to communicate rhetorically. But how should we go about theorizing, teaching, researching, and assessing these disparate multimodal projects? Jody Shipka’s Toward a Composition Made Whole addresses this pivotal question in depth. Comprised of five chapters, along with an introduction and a conclusion, it presents a theoretical and pedagogical framework for researching, teaching, and evaluating multimodal texts and illustrates how to apply the framework using case studies of students working in multimodal compositions. The book seeks to broaden multimodal composing and technology beyond digital confines and expand how we think about, teach and study and multimodal rhetoric.
Reviewed by Chanon Adsanatham
Shipka, Jody. (2011).