Imagining the Essay as Digital Assemblage: Collaborative Student Experiments with Writing in Scalar

Dwayne Dixon

Abstract


This essay describes a digital, collaboratively designed and interconnected series of essays that were the final project for a first-year class in media and anthropology. These essays were composed using a digital, publically accessible, scholarly publishing platform that allows students to experiment architecturally with arguing related ideas through non-linear text. The result is an intricate, flexible pathway of pages. The assignment is informed by, and attempts to experimentally enact, Fèlix Guattari's concept of the assemblage, emphasizing movement and process of argument and evidence over static, reified trajectories of traditional essay composition. By examining the periphery of their own ideas, students encounter the interpretations of their classmates and discover alternate readings of key themes, which they can then fold into their own writing networks, ultimately creating a textual flow which challenges the singularity of the author and the boundaries of disciplinary thinking.

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References


Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Guattari, F. (1995). Chaosmosis: An ethico-aesthetic paradigm. Bloomington, IN: University of Indiana Press.




Copyright (c) 2016 Dwayne Dixon

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