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ERIC Number: EJ845990
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Pages: 48
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 210
ISSN: ISSN-0010-096X
The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing
Selfe, Cynthia L.
College Composition and Communication, v60 n4 p616-663 Jun 2009
Rhetoric and composition's increasing attention to multimodal composing involves challenges that go beyond issues of access to digital technologies and electronic composing environments. As a specific case study, this article explores the history of aural composing modalities (speech, music, sound) and examines how they have been understood and used within English and composition classrooms and generally subsumed by the written word in such settings. I argue that the relationship between aurality (and visual modalities) and writing has limited our understanding of composing as a multimodal rhetorical activity and has thus, deprived students of valuable semiotic resources for making meaning. Further, in light of scholarship on the importance of aurality to different communities and cultures, I argue that our contemporary adherence to alphabetic-only composition constrains the semiotic efforts of individuals and groups who value multiple modalities of expression. I encourage teachers and scholars of composition, and other disciplines, to adopt an increasingly thoughtful understanding of aurality and the role it--and other modalities--can play in contemporary communication tasks. (Contains 42 notes.)
National Council of Teachers of English. 1111 West Kenyon Road, Urbana, IL 61801-1096. Tel: 877-369-6283; Tel: 217-328-3870; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A