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Nothing If Not Colorful: Reading Culture in Food

Journal Article
Christopher R. Friend
REBUS. College of Arts and Sciences, Saint Leo University.
Publication year: 2019

This essay explores the rhetoric of food and food packaging, showing how it reflects the concerns of the culture that produces it. This analysis comes in two parts, each suggested in the title. 

First: discussion of the current emphasis on what isn’t in our foods—the “nothing”—in our modern culture of abundance. We worry less about the nutritive content of processed food and more about fashionable things to avoid. From non-GMO foods, to fat-free, low-cholesterol, gluten-free, soy-free labels (good visuals to include with essay), today’s food packaging/marketing pays more attention to what’s out of the food than what’s in it.

Second: discussion of how color is used in food labels. Consumers associate color with products to the point that colors can be trademarked just as text can be copyrighted. The color of packaging conveys information faster than words—think of sweetener packets, decaf coffee, or the red of Coca-Cola (each an obvious opportunity for visual support).

I argue that the language of our food packaging tells us much about the priorities of the culture that produces it and show how the discipline of rhetoric helps us read food as a cultural text.

 

Focusing Our Imagination: Light Speed in Science Fiction

Journal Article
Christopher R. Friend
REBUS. School of Arts and Sciences, Saint Leo University.
Publication year: 2018

Like Clockwork: The Kairos of Presidential Tweets

Journal Article
Christopher R. Friend
REBUS. School of Arts and Sciences, Saint Leo University.
Publication year: 2017

When teaching argumentative essays, we often rely on ethos, logos, and pathos to provide the foundation of a “rhetorical triangle” that strengthens the author’s position. These three rhetorical tools work well in speeches and essays—long-form writing with a slow development period. But today’s idea exchanges happen on the scale of seconds, and our composing processes need to keep up. The timeliness of our messages are governed by another rhetorical device, kairos—the relevance of a text to the moment in which it exists.

“Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.”

In this essay, I rhetorically analyze a single tweet from President Obama, posted on Sept. 16, 2015. His 26-word message acknowledges youthful ingenuity trapped by socialized fears, contrasts respect for science with intolerance of religious differences, and highlights inflexible policies against innocent invention—by being timely. By skillfully employing kairos, Obama reinforced the kind of change he advocated for in his 2008 campaign, giving it the impression of constancy. I illustrate how, from a rhetorical perspective, a text gains significance through its relation with time.

 

In the Clutches of Algorithms

Journal Article
Christopher R. Friend
Hybrid Pedagogy, 02 August 2016.
Publication year: 2016

Bearing Witness: The Power of the Observed Kiss

Journal Article
Christopher R. Friend
REBUS. School of Arts and Sciences, Saint Leo University.
Publication year: 2016

Love in the Time of Peer Review

Journal Article
Marisol Brito, Alexander Fink, Chris Friend, Adam Heidebrink-Bruno, Rolin Moe, Kris Shaffer, Valerie Robin and Robin Wharton
Hybrid Pedagogy, 22 November 2014.
Publication year: 2014

Learning to Let Go: Listening to Students in Discussion

Journal Article
Christopher R. Friend
Hybrid Pedagogy, 11 September 2014.
Publication year: 2014

How (Not) to Plan Your Entire Course

Journal Article
Christopher R. Friend
Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy — Teaching Fails, 20 October 2014
Publication year: 2014

Finding My Voice as a Minority Teacher

Journal Article
Christopher R. Friend
Hybrid Pedagogy, 12 February 2014.
Publication year: 2014
Whose cat doesn't just lie across the keyboard? It makes typing so…simple.

Will MOOCs Work for Writing?

Journal Article
Christopher R. Friend
Hybrid Pedagogy, 27 March 2013
Publication year: 2013

Listening for Student Voices

Journal Article
Christopher R. Friend and Sean Michael Morris
Hybrid Pedagogy, 15 October 2013.
Publication year: 2013

Collaborative Writing in Composition: Enabling Revision and Interaction Through Online Technologies

Journal Article
Christopher R. Friend
International Journal of Online Pedagogy and Course Design (IJOPCD), 3(3), 1–17. doi:ijopcd.2013070101
Publication year: 2013

As online education grows in popularity, the literature on such courses has expanded as dramatically. However, discussion of online tools specifically for composition instruction has received far less attention than general course-management systems and online discussion forums. The composition process has changed with the advent of computer processing, yet composition research rarely focuses on the advantages of the digital composition process. That process could change again with recent developments in social systems and networked, cloud-based applications. This article highlights the way online composition platforms can meet the needs of writing courses. New tools can provide new opportunities for student collaboration, teacher involvement, and writing-process research. This article uses Sally J. McMillan’s model of Cyber-Interactivity and Robert R. Johnson’s model of User-Centered Design as frameworks in which to view collaborative writing, arguing that students in online composition courses need collaborative tools that allow a single document to be created by a student, edited by others, and commented on by all. The ill-fated Google Wave platform is evaluated through this perspective. Practical benefits of the platform and implications for writing instruction are included. Collaborative online composition, using systems with features like Google Wave, is presented as essential in modern composition courses.

Origami crane, made from sheet music

Learning as Performance: MOOC Pedagogy and On-ground Classes

Journal Article
Christopher R. Friend
Hybrid Pedagogy, 24 August 2012
Publication year: 2012
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