Remix culture and elt ss


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A seminar presented at the Department of English, Chinese University of Hong Kong

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Remix culture and elt ss

  1. 1. Remix culture and ELT: Challenges to student voice in digital multimodal compositions Christoph A. Hafner Department of English, City University of Hong Kong Seminar, Department of English, Chinese University of Hong Kong, May 2, 2014
  2. 2. Digital, multimodal composition
  3. 3. New pedagogies …literacy pedagogy now must account for the burgeoning variety of text forms associated with information and multimedia technologies. This includes understanding and competent control of representational forms that are becoming increasingly significant in the overall communications environment, such as visual images and their relationship to the written word… (New London Group, 1996, p. 61)
  4. 4. Multimodal composition in ELT Selfe, 2007: ‘Multimodal composition’ Hull & Katz, 2006: ‘Crafting an agentive self’ Marquez- Zenkov & Harmon, 2007: ‘Using photography’ Vasudevan et al., 2010: ‘Authoring literate identities’ Nelson, 2006: ‘Mode, meaning and synaesthesia’ Hafner & Miller, 2011; Hafner, forthcoming: ‘Multimodal ensembles’ Yang, 2012: ‘Multimodal composing’
  5. 5. Cut, copy, paste, share Image: dogwelder (unmodified)Image: NASA
  6. 6. Copyright/plagiarism …the issue of copyright and plagiarism may need to be reconsidered among the community of multimodal instructional practices. While the goal of multimodal instructional practices is to enhance students’ ability and awareness of how a message can be delivered alternatively or multiply, it may not be necessary to ask students to develop every piece of multimodal semiotic resources by themselves. (Yang 2012, p. 235)
  7. 7. Copyright/plagiarism …In this case, locating free multimodal resources from the Internet, such as Creative Commons <>, becomes a common act. (Yang 2012, p. 235 cntd)
  8. 8. Copyright/plagiarism …Although reminders and instructions about copyright issues are often provided in multimodal practice classes, would the remix and restructuring of these multimodal resources still be seen as a violation of copyright policy or plagiarism? How can we differentiate “creation?” or “new product?” and plagiarism in the context of multimodal practices? (Yang 2012, p. 235, cntd)
  9. 9. Remix culture
  10. 10. Remix Remix means to take cultural artifacts and combine and manipulate them into new kinds of creative blends (Lankshear & Knobel, p. 22). A digital text that builds on the prior digital texts of others by technically editing and modifying them in order to produce a new creative work (Jones & Hafner, 2012, p. 198). To combine or edit existing materials to produce something new (Everything is a remix, Ferguson, 2010) The concept of Remix often referenced in popular culture derives from the model of music remixes which were produced around the late 1960s and early 1970s in New York City, an activity with roots in Jamaica’s music (Navas, n.d.)
  11. 11. Remix and digital media World Wide Web redefined an electronic document as a mix of other documents. (Manovich, 2007) [These RW media] remix, or quote, a wide range of ‘texts’ to produce something new. These quotes, however, happen at different layers. Unlike text, where the quotes follow in a single line—such as here, where the sentence explains, ‘and then a quote gets added’—remixed media may quote sounds over images, or video over text, or text over sounds. The quotes thus get mixed together. The mix creates the new creative work— the ‘remix’. (Lessig, 2008, p. 69).
  12. 12. Remix culture Generally speaking, remix culture can be defined as the global activity consisting of the creative and efficient exchange of information made possible by digital technologies that is supported by the practice of cut/copy and paste… (Navas, A culture or society that values re-mixing, allowing and encouraging the production of creative works that build on existing creative works of others (Jones & Hafner, p. 199)
  13. 13. Brokeback to the Future Endless love
  14. 14. A remix story • ‘Charlie bit me’ uploaded by HDCYT, May 22, 2007 • ‘Charlie bit me remake’ uploaded by dzairable, Dec 27, 2007 • ‘Charlie bit me remix’ uploaded by sign543, August 14, 2008 • “charlie bit me remix” = 1180 results on YouTube, “charlie bit me remake” = 437 results • TV Interviews with the family • iPhone App released by Viral Spiral
  15. 15. Texts are ‘filled with others’ words, varying degrees of otherness or varying degrees of our own-ness’ (Bakhtin, 1986: 89)
  16. 16. A text is just a ‘tissue of quotations’ (Barthes, 1977, p. 146)
  17. 17. Remix is an essential act of RW creativity. (Lessig, 2008, p. 56)
  18. 18. How is such creativity evidenced in the multimodal compositions of L2 university students? Does remix 1) compromise the student voice as students slavishly copy, or 2) promote the student voice as they creatively appropriate?
  19. 19. Digital, multimodal composition in English for science The multimodal composition project
  20. 20. Background and context • University course in English for science students – Applied Biology – Applied Chemistry – Applied Physics – Architectural Studies – Computing Mathematics – Environmental Science and Management – Surveying
  21. 21. English for science project A. Digital video project B. Written scientific report English for science project A1. Reading/data collection A2. Scripting/ storyboarding A3. Performing/ recording A4. Editing A5. Sharing B2. Writing B1. Reading/ outlining B3. Editing/ proofreading
  22. 22. Sample topics Dim the lights (2013) Taste me if you can (2009) Vitamin C (2012)
  23. 23. Dim the lights
  24. 24. Remix policy
  25. 25. Voice
  26. 26. Heteroglossia/voice • The Bakhtinian notion that all texts contain multiple, interacting and conflicting discursive voices, in dialogue.
  27. 27. Student voice • “Voice as a metaphor has to do with feeling- hearing-sensing a person behind the written words, even if that person is just a persona created for a particular text or a certain reading” (Bowden, 1999, pp. 97-98, cited in Hirvela and Belcher, 2001)
  28. 28. Remix and generic references
  29. 29. Taste me if you can (opening)
  30. 30. Generic references • Remixed content is largely generic in nature: – TV display screen – Screen layout – CUSC label – Programme intro with pic-in-pic and credits – Instrumental soundtrack • The students follow multimodal generic conventions to evoke the genre of an investigative documentary for TV • The voice constructed is consistent with the target genre (scientific documentary)
  31. 31. Remix and hybridity
  32. 32. Dim the lights (methods)
  33. 33. Taste me if you can (closing)
  34. 34. Hybridity • Remixed content can be generic or specific – Closing credits with pic-in-pic – Use of the Mission impossible soundtrack – Use of students’ bodies as semiotic resources coupled with text on screen (‘Mission Possible?!’) • The remix brings together complementary voices: mixing genres (film and documentary) in unexpected ways to create a humorous effect • The students appropriate multiple voices through multiple modes to create layers of meaning beyond the expected range within the documentary
  35. 35. Remix and culture
  36. 36. Vitamin C (Opening 1)
  37. 37. Vitamin C (Opening 2)
  38. 38. Cultural references • Remixed content can – Be culturally specific – Draw on the students’ bodies as semiotic resource • The voice constructed is one that belongs to a particular cultural group (HK Chinese), but is this voice appreciated by the audience?
  39. 39. Remix and creativity
  40. 40. Dim the lights (Opening 1)
  41. 41. Dim the lights (Opening 2)
  42. 42. Editing and re-voicing • The remixed content can be manipulated and re-combined to varying degrees – Small amounts versus large amounts – Combinations of modes versus direct reproduction – Layered combinations in multiple modes • The student voice constructed will be more or less creative or derivative as a result
  43. 43. Towards an interpretive framework
  44. 44. Remix strategies and multimodal heteroglossia APPROPRIATION OF MULTIMODAL SEMIOTIC RESOURCES Mixing sources ‘Sourcing/mashing’ Mixing generic resources ‘Hybridity’ Mixing cultural resources ‘Intercultural semiosis’ Narration, text, visuals, soundtrackFilm, documentary Local, global Mixing modes ‘Layering’ Student, other
  45. 45. Creativity?
  46. 46. Remix and the student voice • Remix can be strategically used to promote new and surprising kinds of meaning, consistent with the overall message of the students • Remix can also be mis-used as a shortcut that compromises the message of the students: – A lack of original sourcing – A lack of layering – A lack of hybridity – A lack of intercultural semiosis – A lack of labour and craft
  47. 47. Remix in digital multimodal composition Accepting, legitimating Guiding Limiting Using, leveraging
  48. 48. Thank you