Editing, Writing and Media
"The EWM track provides students with a wonderful opportunity to explore and create innovative media. For majors, I would encourage you to learn as much as you can about the exciting theories of media and visual culture that provide critical frameworks for your studies. For topics ranging from on-line publishing to television narrative, ideas about media and storytelling can help ground your analysis." --Dr. Leigh Edwards, Media Studies
A New English Major for a New Century
The Editing, Writing, and Media track re-conceives the English major for the 21st century. It still preserves the traditional core of English, the creation and interpretation of texts, by combining practice in writing and editing with the study of cultural history and criticism. However, it transforms both writing practice and critical study to confront the new challenges of digital technology, visual culture, and the Internet. The EWM major is aimed at students with career interests in writing, publishing, and electronic media but who want more than just a job editing a corporate newsletter or composing jacket copy for cookbooks. The EWM track aims to prepare students for leadership roles in 21st century culture, whether as intellectuals pursuing advanced degrees in book history, rhetoric, and critical theory or as tech-savvy professionals equipped with editorial expertise and writing skill. EWM is not just a degree: It is a vision of the future of texts.
In the first component, students complete 9 hours of core courses providing a foundation for the major. The first, "Rhetoric," offers a conceptual framework for studying culture and technology, either present or past. The second, "Writing and Editing in Print and Online," focuses on composition and editing practice for a variety of platforms, both print and electronic. The third, "History of Text Technologies," provides an introduction to the changing technologies of textual production in cultural context. Together the three courses offer a method for understanding the world through the nature and function of texts in it.
In the second component, students choose 9 hours from a menu of eighteen, all of which develop in greater depth topics or skills introduced in the first component. These advanced courses include the history of illustrated texts, advanced writing and editing, rhetorical theory, editing practice, contemporary publishing, and visual rhetoric.
The third component is an internship in editing and/or publishing. Every EWM student will graduate with real-world experience in electronic and print-based production.
Students conclude their major with a senior-seminar about the nature of textuality itself. Along with readings and discussion, the course involves a final project (print or electronic) demonstrating a student's ability to think and write critically about textuality in a variety of media.
What will I know when I have finished?
- The principles of rhetoric and how to apply them.
- A history of texts and the technologies developed to produce them.
- The most influential theories on the future of media and publishing.
- How to write in styles customary for various professional and public purposes, as well as how to subvert or modify those styles.
- How to interpret and critically evaluate the visual dimensions of texts.
- How to create innovative texts of your own, utilizing multiple media technologies.
- How to think interestingly about all of the above.