What have Dr. Coleman and Dr. Dolmage been doing?


“Mediated Bodies,” the English faculty author event originally scheduled for this Wednesday, has had to be postponed. It will now take place on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm, in Hagey Hall 373.  We look forward to seeing you in October.

Mediated Bodies poster

It is difficult to keep up with all of the interesting things my colleagues are doing.  I should be more embarrassed that I haven’t read the latest article by someone down the hall, or am not entirely sure what that person I have coffee (okay, drinks) with is actually doing in those archives she visits. The thing is, everyone seems to be doing interesting things, and it is near impossible to stay current. That is why this talk by Beth Coleman and Jay Dolmage is such a fantastic opportunity to catch up–read on for more details. –JLH

“The Department of English Language and Literature is pleased to invite you to “Mediated Bodies,” the first event in our Faculty Research Series. Come hear English authors Beth Coleman and Jay Dolmage speak about their recent books, and stay for discussion and refreshments. The event will take place on Wednesday, May 13 at 4:00 pm in Hagey Hall 373. Stay tuned for future events to follow in 2015-16!

About our authors:

Beth Coleman is the author of Hello Avatar: Rise of the Networked Generation (MIT Press). Hello Avatar examines a crucial aspect of our cultural shift from analog to digital: the continuum between online and off-, what she calls the “x-reality” that crosses between the virtual and the real. Coleman looks at the emergence of a world that is neither virtual nor real but encompasses a multiplicity of network combinations. And she argues that it is the role of the avatar to help us express our new agency–our new power to customize our networked life. By avatar, Coleman means not just the animated figures that populate our screens but the gestalt of images, text, and multimedia that make up our online identities–in virtual worlds like Second Life and in the form of email, video chat, and other digital artifacts. Exploring such network activities as embodiment, extreme (virtual) violence, and the work in virtual reality labs, and offering sidebar interviews with designers and practitioners, she argues that what is new is real-time collaboration and copresence, the way we make connections using networked media and the cultures we have created around this. The star of this drama of expanded horizons is the networked subject–all of us who represent aspects of ourselves and our work across the mediascape.

Jay Dolmage is the author of Disability Rhetoric (Syracuse University Press), winner of a 2015 PROSE Award. Disability Rhetoric is the first book to view rhetorical theory and history through the lens of disability studies. Traditionally, the body has been seen as, at best, a rhetorical distraction; at worst, those whose bodies do not conform to a narrow range of norms are disqualified from speaking. Yet, Dolmage argues that communication has always been obsessed with the meaning of the body and that bodily difference is always highly rhetorical. Following from this rewriting of rhetorical history, he outlines the development of a new theory, affirming the ideas that all communication is embodied, that the body plays a central role in all expression, and that greater attention to a range of bodies is therefore essential to a better understanding of rhetorical histories, theories, and possibilities.

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One response to “What have Dr. Coleman and Dr. Dolmage been doing?

  1. thomashenryhigginson

    Should be an intriguing talk.

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