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Remixing Composition

Remixing Composition

A History of Multimodal Writing Pedagogy

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Jason Palmeri


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
216 pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Studies in Writing and Rhetoric


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About the Book

Jason Palmeri’s Remixing Composition: A History of Multimodal Writing Pedagogy challenges the longheld notion that the study and practice of composition has historically focused on words alone. Palmeri revisits many of the classic texts of composition theory from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, closely examining how past compositionists responded to “new media.” He reveals that long before the rise of personal computers and the graphic web, compositionists employed analog multimedia technologies in the teaching of composition. Palmeri discovers these early scholars anticipated many of our current interests in composing with visual, audio, and video texts.

Using the concept of the remix, Palmeri outlines practical pedagogical suggestions for how writing teachers can build upon this heritage with digital activities, assignments, and curricula that meet the needs of contemporary students. He details a pluralist vision of composition pedagogy that explains the ways that writing teachers can synthesize expressivist, cognitive, and social-epistemic approaches.

Palmeri reveals an expansive history of now forgotten multimodal approaches to composing moving images and sounds and demonstrates how current compositionists can productively remix these past pedagogies to address the challenges and possibilities of the contemporary digital era. A strikingly original take on the recent history of composition, Remixing Composition is an important work for the future of writing instruction in a digital age.


Jason Palmeri is an assistant professor of English and an affiliate faculty member in interactive media studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He has published numerous articles about multimodal writing pedagogy in journals such as Computers and Composition and Technical Communication Quarterly.


“As Jason Palmeri so powerfully argues, the field of composition studies has never been just about alphabetic writing. Writing across modalities or multimodal composing has been with us at least since the turn of the 1970s, long before the rise of contemporary digital media. By juxtaposing and reexamining the work of leading composition theorists, Palmeri challenges accepted historical narratives and gives the field a remarkable take on our past. A sorely needed and compelling new interpretation of crucial years in the history of composition—its theory and its teaching!”—Gail E. Hawisher, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign