Nobel Lecture Mo Yan (P. R. China)

7 December, 2012


Distinguished members of the Swedish Academy, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Through the mediums of television and the Internet, I imagine that everyone here has at least a nodding acquaintance with far-off Northeast Gaomi Township. You may have seen my ninety-year-old father, as well as my brothers, my sister, my wife and my daughter, even my granddaughter, now a year and four months old. But the person who is most on my mind at this moment, my mother, is someone you will never see. Many people have shared in the honor of winning this prize, everyone but her.

My mother was born in 1922 and died in 1994. We buried her in a peach orchard east of the village. Last year we were forced to move her grave farther away from the village in order to make room for a proposed rail line. When we dug up the grave, we saw that the coffin had rotted away and that her body had merged with the damp earth around it. So we dug up some of that soil, a symbolic act, and took it to the new gravesite. That was when I grasped the knowledge that my mother had become part of the earth, and that when I spoke to mother earth, I was really speaking to my mother.

I was my mother’s youngest child.

My earliest memory was of taking our only vacuum bottle to the public canteen for drinking water. Weakened by hunger, I dropped the bottle and broke it. Scared witless, I hid all that day in a haystack. Toward evening, I heard my mother calling my childhood name, so I crawled out of my hiding place, prepared to receive a beating or a scolding. But Mother didn’t hit me, didn’t even scold me. She just rubbed my head and heaved a sigh.

My most painful memory involved going out in the collective’s field with Mother to glean ears of wheat. The gleaners scattered when they spotted the watchman. But Mother, who had bound feet, could not run; she was caught and slapped so hard by the watchman, a hulk of a man, that she fell to the ground. The watchman confiscated the wheat we’d gleaned and walked off whistling. As she sat on the ground, her lip bleeding, Mother wore a look of hopelessness I’ll never forget. Years later, when I encountered the watchman, now a gray-haired old man, in the marketplace, Mother had to stop me from going up to avenge her.

“Son,” she said evenly, “the man who hit me and this man are not the same person.”

My clearest memory is of a Moon Festival day, at noontime, one of those rare occasions when we ate jiaozi at home, one bowl apiece. An aging beggar came to our door while we were at the table, and when I tried to send him away with half a bowlful of dried sweet potatoes, he reacted angrily: “I’m an old man,” he said. “You people are eating jiaozi, but want to feed me sweet potatoes. How heartless can you be?” I reacted just as angrily: “We’re lucky if we eatjiaozi a couple of times a year, one small bowlful apiece, barely enough to get a taste! You should be thankful we’re giving you sweet potatoes, and if you don’t want them, you can get the hell out of here!” After (dressing me down) reprimanding me, Mother dumped her half bowlful ofjiaozi into the old man’s bowl.

My most remorseful memory involves helping Mother sell cabbages at market, and me overcharging an old villager one jiao – intentionally or not, I can’t recall – before heading off to school. When I came home that afternoon, I saw that Mother was crying, something she rarely did. Instead of scolding me, she merely said softly, “Son, you embarrassed your mother today.”

Mother contracted a serious lung disease when I was still in my teens. Hunger, disease, and too much work made things extremely hard on our family. The road ahead looked especially bleak, and I had a bad feeling about the future, worried that Mother might take her own life. Every day, the first thing I did when I walked in the door after a day of hard labor was call out for Mother. Hearing her voice was like giving my heart a new lease on life. But not hearing her threw me into a panic. I’d go looking for her in the side building and in the mill. One day, after searching everywhere and not finding her, I sat down in the yard and cried like a baby. That is how she found me when she walked into the yard carrying a bundle of firewood on her back. She was very unhappy with me, but I could not tell her what I was afraid of. She knew anyway. “Son,” she said, “don’t worry, there may be no joy in my life, but I won’t leave you till the God of the Underworld calls me.”

I was born ugly. Villagers often laughed in my face, and school bullies sometimes beat me up because of it. I’d run home crying, where my mother would say, “You’re not ugly, Son. You’ve got a nose and two eyes, and there’s nothing wrong with your arms and legs, so how could you be ugly? If you have a good heart and always do the right thing, what is considered ugly becomes beautiful.” Later on, when I moved to the city, there were educated people who laughed at me behind my back, some even to my face; but when I recalled what Mother had said, I just calmly offered my apologies.

My illiterate mother held people who could read in high regard. We were so poor we often did not know where our next meal was coming from, yet she never denied my request to buy a book or something to write with. By nature hard working, she had no use for lazy children, yet I could skip my chores as long as I had my nose in a book.

A storyteller once came to the marketplace, and I sneaked off to listen to him. She was unhappy with me for forgetting my chores. But that night, while she was stitching padded clothes for us under the weak light of a kerosene lamp, I couldn’t keep from retelling stories I’d heard that day. She listened impatiently at first, since in her eyes professional storytellers were smooth-talking men in a dubious profession. Nothing good ever came out of their mouths. But slowly she was dragged into my retold stories, and from that day on, she never gave me chores on market day, unspoken permission to go to the marketplace and listen to new stories. As repayment for Mother’s kindness and a way to demonstrate my memory, I’d retell the stories for her in vivid detail.

It did not take long to find retelling someone else’s stories unsatisfying, so I began embellishing my narration. I’d say things I knew would please Mother, even changed the ending once in a while. And she wasn’t the only member of my audience, which later included my older sisters, my aunts, even my maternal grandmother. Sometimes, after my mother had listened to one of my stories, she’d ask in a care-laden voice, almost as if to herself: “What will you be like when you grow up, son? Might you wind up prattling for a living one day?”

I knew why she was worried. Talkative kids are not well thought of in our village, for they can bring trouble to themselves and to their families. There is a bit of a young me in the talkative boy who falls afoul of villagers in my story “Bulls.” Mother habitually cautioned me not to talk so much, wanting me to be a taciturn, smooth and steady youngster. Instead I was possessed of a dangerous combination – remarkable speaking skills and the powerful desire that went with them. My ability to tell stories brought her joy, but that created a dilemma for her.

A popular saying goes “It is easier to change the course of a river than a person’s nature.” Despite my parents’ tireless guidance, my natural desire to talk never went away, and that is what makes my name – Mo Yan, or “don’t speak” – an ironic expression of self-mockery.

After dropping out of elementary school, I was too small for heavy labor, so I became a cattle- and sheep-herder on a nearby grassy riverbank. The sight of my former schoolmates playing in the schoolyard when I drove my animals past the gate always saddened me and made me aware of how tough it is for anyone – even a child – to leave the group.

I turned the animals loose on the riverbank to graze beneath a sky as blue as the ocean and grass-carpeted land as far as the eye could see – not another person in sight, no human sounds, nothing but bird calls above me. I was all by myself and terribly lonely; my heart felt empty. Sometimes I lay in the grass and watched clouds float lazily by, which gave rise to all sorts of fanciful images. That part of the country is known for its tales of foxes in the form of beautiful young women, and I would fantasize a fox-turned-beautiful girl coming to tend animals with me. She never did come. Once, however, a fiery red fox bounded out of the brush in front of me, scaring my legs right out from under me. I was still sitting there trembling long after the fox had vanished. Sometimes I’d crouch down beside the cows and gaze into their deep blue eyes, eyes that captured my reflection. At times I’d have a dialogue with birds in the sky, mimicking their cries, while at other times I’d divulge my hopes and desires to a tree. But the birds ignored me, and so did the trees. Years later, after I’d become a novelist, I wrote some of those fantasies into my novels and stories. People frequently bombard me with compliments on my vivid imagination, and lovers of literature often ask me to divulge my secret to developing a rich imagination. My only response is a wan smile.

Our Taoist master Laozi said it best: “Fortune depends on misfortune.
Misfortune is hidden in fortune.” I left school as a child, often went hungry, was constantly lonely, and had no books to read. But for those reasons, like the writer of a previous generation, Shen Congwen, I had an early start on reading the great book of life. My experience of going to the marketplace to listen to a storyteller was but one page of that book.

After leaving school, I was thrown uncomfortably into the world of adults, where I embarked on the long journey of learning through listening. Two hundred years ago, one of the great storytellers of all time – Pu Songling – lived near where I grew up, and where many people, me included, carried on the tradition he had perfected. Wherever I happened to be – working the fields with the collective, in production team cowsheds or stables, on my grandparents’ heatedkang, even on oxcarts bouncing and swaying down the road, my ears filled with tales of the supernatural, historical romances, and strange and captivating stories, all tied to the natural environment and clan histories, and all of which created a powerful reality in my mind.

Even in my wildest dreams, I could not have envisioned a day when all this would be the stuff of my own fiction, for I was just a boy who loved stories, who was infatuated with the tales people around me were telling. Back then I was, without a doubt, a theist, believing that all living creatures were endowed with souls. I’d stop and pay my respects to a towering old tree; if I saw a bird, I was sure it could become human any time it wanted; and I suspected every stranger I met of being a transformed beast. At night, terrible fears accompanied me on my way home after my work points were tallied, so I’d sing at the top of my lungs as I ran to build up a bit of courage. My voice, which was changing at the time, produced scratchy, squeaky songs that grated on the ears of any villager who heard me.

I spent my first twenty-one years in that village, never traveling farther from home than to Qingdao, by train, where I nearly got lost amid the giant stacks of wood in a lumber mill. When my mother asked me what I’d seen in Qingdao, I reported sadly that all I’d seen were stacks of lumber. But that trip to Qingdao planted in me a powerful desire to leave my village and see the world.

In February 1976 I was recruited into the army and walked out of the Northeast Gaomi Township village I both loved and hated, entering a critical phase of my life, carrying in my backpack the four-volume Brief History of China my mother had bought by selling her wedding jewelry. Thus began the most important period of my life. I must admit that were it not for the thirty-odd years of tremendous development and progress in Chinese society, and the subsequent national reform and opening of her doors to the outside, I would not be a writer today.

In the midst of mind-numbing military life, I welcomed the ideological emancipation and literary fervor of the nineteen-eighties, and evolved from a boy who listened to stories and passed them on by word of mouth into someone who experimented with writing them down. It was a rocky road at first, a time when I had not yet discovered how rich a source of literary material my two decades of village life could be. I thought that literature was all about good people doing good things, stories of heroic deeds and model citizens, so that the few pieces of mine that were published had little literary value.

In the fall of 1984 I was accepted into the Literature Department of the PLA Art Academy, where, under the guidance of my revered mentor, the renowned writer Xu Huaizhong, I wrote a series of stories and novellas, including: “Autumn Floods,” “Dry River,” “The Transparent Carrot,” and “Red Sorghum.” Northeast Gaomi Township made its first appearance in “Autumn Floods,” and from that moment on, like a wandering peasant who finds his own piece of land, this literary vagabond found a place he could call his own. I must say that in the course of creating my literary domain, Northeast Gaomi Township, I was greatly inspired by the American novelist William Faulkner and the Columbian Gabriel García Márquez. I had not read either of them extensively, but was encouraged by the bold, unrestrained way they created new territory in writing, and learned from them that a writer must have a place that belongs to him alone. Humility and compromise are ideal in one’s daily life, but in literary creation, supreme self-confidence and the need to follow one’s own instincts are essential. For two years I followed in the footsteps of these two masters before realizing that I had to escape their influence; this is how I characterized that decision in an essay: They were a pair of blazing furnaces, I was a block of ice. If I got too close to them, I would dissolve into a cloud of steam. In my understanding, one writer influences another when they enjoy a profound spiritual kinship, what is often referred to as “hearts beating in unison.” That explains why, though I had read little of their work, a few pages were sufficient for me to comprehend what they were doing and how they were doing it, which led to my understanding of what I should do and how I should do it.

What I should do was simplicity itself: Write my own stories in my own way. My way was that of the marketplace storyteller, with which I was so familiar, the way my grandfather and my grandmother and other village old-timers told stories. In all candor, I never gave a thought to audience when I was telling my stories; perhaps my audience was made up of people like my mother, and perhaps it was only me. The early stories were narrations of my personal experience: the boy who received a whipping in “Dry River,” for instance, or the boy who never spoke in “The Transparent Carrot.” I had actually done something bad enough to receive a whipping from my father, and I had actually worked the bellows for a blacksmith on a bridge site. Naturally, personal experience cannot be turned into fiction exactly as it happened, no matter how unique that might be. Fiction has to be fictional, has to be imaginative. To many of my friends, “The Transparent Carrot” is my very best story; I have no opinion one way or the other. What I can say is, “The Transparent Carrot” is more symbolic and more profoundly meaningful than any other story I’ve written. That dark-skinned boy with the superhuman ability to suffer and a superhuman degree of sensitivity represents the soul of my entire fictional output. Not one of all the fictional characters I’ve created since then is as close to my soul as he is. Or put a different way, among all the characters a writer creates, there is always one that stands above all the others. For me, that laconic boy is the one. Though he says nothing, he leads the way for all the others, in all their variety, performing freely on the Northeast Gaomi Township stage.

A person can experience only so much, and once you have exhausted your own stories, you must tell the stories of others. And so, out of the depths of my memories, like conscripted soldiers, rose stories of family members, of fellow villagers, and of long-dead ancestors I learned of from the mouths of old-timers. They waited expectantly for me to tell their stories. My grandfather and grandmother, my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, my aunts and uncles, my wife and my daughter have all appeared in my stories. Even unrelated residents of Northeast Gaomi Township have made cameo appearances. Of course they have undergone literary modification to transform them into larger-than-life fictional characters.

An aunt of mine is the central character of my latest novel, Frogs. The announcement of the Nobel Prize sent journalists swarming to her home with interview requests. At first, she was patiently accommodating, but she soon had to escape their attentions by fleeing to her son’s home in the provincial capital. I don’t deny that she was my model in writing Frogs, but the differences between her and the fictional aunt are extensive. The fictional aunt is arrogant and domineering, in places virtually thuggish, while my real aunt is kind and gentle, the classic caring wife and loving mother. My real aunt’s golden years have been happy and fulfilling; her fictional counterpart suffers insomnia in her late years as a result of spiritual torment, and walks the nights like a specter, wearing a dark robe. I am grateful to my real aunt for not being angry with me for how I changed her in the novel. I also greatly respect her wisdom in comprehending the complex relationship between fictional characters and real people.

After my mother died, in the midst of almost crippling grief, I decided to write a novel for her. Big Breasts and Wide Hips is that novel. Once my plan took shape, I was burning with such emotion that I completed a draft of half a million words in only eighty-three days.

In Big Breasts and Wide Hips I shamelessly used material associated with my mother’s actual experience, but the fictional mother’s emotional state is either a total fabrication or a composite of many of Northeast Gaomi Township’s mothers. Though I wrote “To the spirit of my mother” on the dedication page, the novel was really written for all mothers everywhere, evidence, perhaps, of my overweening ambition, in much the same way as I hope to make tiny Northeast Gaomi Township a microcosm of China, even of the whole world.

The process of creation is unique to every writer. Each of my novels differs from the others in terms of plot and guiding inspiration. Some, such as “The Transparent Carrot,” were born in dreams, while others, like The Garlic Ballads have their origin in actual events. Whether the source of a work is a dream or real life, only if it is integrated with individual experience can it be imbued with individuality, be populated with typical characters molded by lively detail, employ richly evocative language, and boast a well crafted structure. Here I must point out that in The Garlic Ballads I introduced a real-life storyteller and singer in one of the novel’s most important roles. I wish I hadn’t used his real name, though his words and actions were made up. This is a recurring phenomenon with me. I’ll start out using characters’ real names in order to achieve a sense of intimacy, and after the work is finished, it will seem too late to change those names. This has led to people who see their names in my novels going to my father to vent their displeasure. He always apologizes in my place, but then urges them not to take such things so seriously. He’ll say: “The first sentence in Red Sorghum, ‘My father, a bandit’s offspring,’ didn’t upset me, so why should you be unhappy?”

My greatest challenges come with writing novels that deal with social realities, such as The Garlic Ballads, not because I’m afraid of being openly critical of the darker aspects of society, but because heated emotions and anger allow politics to suppress literature and transform a novel into reportage of a social event. As a member of society, a novelist is entitled to his own stance and viewpoint; but when he is writing he must take a humanistic stance, and write accordingly. Only then can literature not just originate in events, but transcend them, not just show concern for politics but be greater than politics.

Possibly because I’ve lived so much of my life in difficult circumstances, I think I have a more profound understanding of life. I know what real courage is, and I understand true compassion. I know that nebulous terrain exists in the hearts and minds of every person, terrain that cannot be adequately characterized in simple terms of right and wrong or good and bad, and this vast territory is where a writer gives free rein to his talent. So long as the work correctly and vividly describes this nebulous, massively contradictory terrain, it will inevitably transcend politics and be endowed with literary excellence.

Prattling on and on about my own work must be annoying, but my life and works are inextricably linked, so if I don’t talk about my work, I don’t know what else to say. I hope you are in a forgiving mood.

I was a modern-day storyteller who hid in the background of his early work; but with the novelSandalwood Death I jumped out of the shadows. My early work can be characterized as a series of soliloquies, with no reader in mind; starting with this novel, however, I visualized myself standing in a public square spiritedly telling my story to a crowd of listeners. This tradition is a worldwide phenomenon in fiction, but is especially so in China. At one time, I was a diligent student of Western modernist fiction, and I experimented with all sorts of narrative styles. But in the end I came back to my traditions. To be sure, this return was not without its modifications. Sandalwood Death and the novels that followed are inheritors of the Chinese classical novel tradition but enhanced by Western literary techniques. What is known as innovative fiction is, for the most part, a result of this mixture, which is not limited to domestic traditions with foreign techniques, but can include mixing fiction with art from other realms.Sandalwood Death, for instance, mixes fiction with local opera, while some of my early work was partly nurtured by fine art, music, even acrobatics.

Finally, I ask your indulgence to talk about my novel Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out. The Chinese title comes from Buddhist scripture, and I’ve been told that my translators have had fits trying to render it into their languages. I am not especially well versed in Buddhist scripture and have but a superficial understanding of the religion. I chose this title because I believe that the basic tenets of the Buddhist faith represent universal knowledge, and that mankind’s many disputes are utterly without meaning in the Buddhist realm. In that lofty view of the universe, the world of man is to be pitied. My novel is not a religious tract; in it I wrote of man’s fate and human emotions, of man’s limitations and human generosity, and of people’s search for happiness and the lengths to which they will go, the sacrifices they will make, to uphold their beliefs. Lan Lian, a character who takes a stand against contemporary trends, is, in my view, a true hero. A peasant in a neighboring village was the model for this character. As a youngster I often saw him pass by our door pushing a creaky, wooden-wheeled cart, with a lame donkey up front, led by his bound-foot wife. Given the collective nature of society back then, this strange labor group presented a bizarre sight that kept them out of step with the times. In the eyes of us children, they were clowns marching against historical trends, provoking in us such indignation that we threw stones at them as they passed us on the street. Years later, after I had begun writing, that peasant and the tableau he presented floated into my mind, and I knew that one day I would write a novel about him, that sooner or later I would tell his story to the world. But it wasn’t until the year 2005, when I viewed the Buddhist mural “The Six Stages of Samsara” on a temple wall that I knew exactly how to go about telling his story.

The announcement of my Nobel Prize has led to controversy. At first I thought I was the target of the disputes, but over time I’ve come to realize that the real target was a person who had nothing to do with me. Like someone watching a play in a theater, I observed the performances around me. I saw the winner of the prize both garlanded with flowers and besieged by stone-throwers and mudslingers. I was afraid he would succumb to the assault, but he emerged from the garlands of flowers and the stones, a smile on his face; he wiped away mud and grime, stood calmly off to the side, and said to the crowd:

For a writer, the best way to speak is by writing. You will find everything I need to say in my works. Speech is carried off by the wind; the written word can never be obliterated. I would like you to find the patience to read my books. I cannot force you to do that, and even if you do, I do not expect your opinion of me to change. No writer has yet appeared, anywhere in the world, who is liked by all his readers; that is especially true during times like these.

Even though I would prefer to say nothing, since it is something I must do on this occasion, let me just say this:

I am a storyteller, so I am going to tell you some stories.

When I was a third-grade student in the 1960s, my school organized a field trip to an exhibit of suffering, where, under the direction of our teacher, we cried bitter tears. I let my tears stay on my cheeks for the benefit of our teacher, and watched as some of my classmates spat in their hands and rubbed it on their faces as pretend tears. I saw one student among all those wailing children – some real, some phony – whose face was dry and who remained silent without covering his face with his hands. He just looked at us, eyes wide open in an expression of surprise or confusion. After the visit I reported him to the teacher, and he was given a disciplinary warning. Years later, when I expressed my remorse over informing on the boy, the teacher said that at least ten students had done what I did. The boy himself had died a decade or more earlier, and my conscience was deeply troubled when I thought of him. But I learned something important from this incident, and that is: When everyone around you is crying, you deserve to be allowed not to cry, and when the tears are all for show, your right not to cry is greater still.

Here is another story: More than thirty years ago, when I was in the army, I was in my office reading one evening when an elderly officer opened the door and came in. He glanced down at the seat in front of me and muttered, “Hm, where is everyone?” I stood up and said in a loud voice, “Are you saying I’m no one?” The old fellow’s ears turned red from embarrassment, and he walked out. For a long time after that I was proud about what I consider a gutsy performance. Years later, that pride turned to intense qualms of conscience.

Bear with me, please, for one last story, one my grandfather told me many years ago: A group of eight out-of-town bricklayers took refuge from a storm in a rundown temple. Thunder rumbled outside, sending fireballs their way. They even heard what sounded like dragon shrieks. The men were terrified, their faces ashen. “Among the eight of us,” one of them said, “is someone who must have offended the heavens with a terrible deed. The guilty person ought to volunteer to step outside to accept his punishment and spare the innocent from suffering. Naturally, there were no volunteers. So one of the others came up with a proposal: Since no one is willing to go outside, let’s all fling our straw hats toward the door. Whoever’s hat flies out through the temple door is the guilty party, and we’ll ask him to go out and accept his punishment.” So they flung their hats toward the door. Seven hats were blown back inside; one went out the door. They pressured the eighth man to go out and accept his punishment, and when he balked, they picked him up and flung him out the door. I’ll bet you all know how the story ends: They had no sooner flung him out the door than the temple collapsed around them.

I am a storyteller.

Telling stories earned me the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Many interesting things have happened to me in the wake of winning the prize, and they have convinced me that truth and justice are alive and well.

So I will continue telling my stories in the days to come.


Thank you all.



Translated by Howard Goldblatt


Building the New Babel by the Digital: Cultivating Critical Thinking & Improve Intercultural Literacy through Composition Assignments


My meditation on this image is that I will copy another big circle. Two circles will have an intersection in which people share two psychological and personal identities should locate. Likewise, the circles can be more than two. I want to use the model I developed in my future dissertation.


Just how powerful the technology God is! The Godly hands are doing a magic on the globe. Beams of light shine during the action.


I can see that the designer of this visual wants to focus the world in this man’s eyes, who represent the entire human being. The human face of the world also implies that communication is alive and dynamic like a human being. I am not sure whether the designer want also to say that each nation is different, but equal, for the two eyes should be the same. What ideas you can think of?

(Intellectual Property rights belongs to the original productor of the above images)


I have been teaching College English to non-English major freshmen and Selected Readings of British and American Literature to English majors who are in their third or fourth year, in this assignment design I have used my old teaching materials and textbooks, as well as the new pedagogical theories and practices I learned here from 8900 Computer and Composition.

The “Selected Readings of British and American Literature” class meet three times a week, and two hours each time. The “College English” class meet twice every week, and two hours each time. Fall semester starts at the end of August and ends at the end of January. Winter semester starts at the end of February, and ends at mid-July.

The British and American Literature course is assigned a classroom where the instructor and the students are equipped with desk top computers. Students’ population is usually around 20. The instructor’s computer has a supervision and teaching operation system that is similar to what we have here in the 8900 classroom.

The College English course classroom, due to the overflow of the students population, usually 60-100, has only one computer for the teacher. The computer is disconnected from the internet, and there is a big screen and a projector that I use often to play off-line multimedia products such as listening comprehension exercises affiliated to the textbook and the exercise book, movie, and music for students. The operation board beside the computer also allow me to play tapes, use microphone, and to record anything I want.

About eight louder speakers equipped along the upper walls of the classroom helps the students to listen to whatever I play or say on the stage. Classrooms have no access to the internet. Students have mp3, mp4, mp5, cellphones, digital cameras, PC of their own, and so on.

Students come from sharply different living background. The English major students usually come from a well-off family background that have provided them with any device they need to access English learning resources. However, a few of them with rural living background have problems with listening, speaking, and even reading comprehension. I have to answer frequently their questions on how to deal with those issues.

Most of the freshmen students are from rural area, which limit their listening comprehension ability and their oral ability. Their English level is relatively speaking, lower than students from big cities. I have to balance what I teach in the classroom so that everyone get what they want. However, the focus of my teaching has always been how to encourage them to learn English while at least one half of them did not enjoy the subject at all due to former teacher’s teaching attitude, high school teaching condition in rural area, lack of motivation and confidence in learning English.

I want to show my students how I learned here and I want them to write in English on their already exist or new blogs about whatever topics we discuss in class. They can then draw ideas from their weekly readings for their final projects. I will persuade them to do multimodal composition. I will use relatively free rubrics as long as their composition is creative and show their sense of social and individual concern, especially their critical thinking. I want to help them to become responsible and critical citizens.

Summary of the Project

The project, using the readings from and pedagogical example of English 8900 Computer and Composition taught by Dr. Mary Hocks, frames three assignments that I designed for my students in China. Through a whole semester’s reading on digital literacy, multimodal composition, digital divide, digital identity, and related issues in the United States, I arrived a conclusion that the teaching of English in my university and similar university classrooms in China has to keep up with the pace of the United States in the following five aspects:

1. Classrooms and dormitories must have access to the internet no matter what will cost in the first stage of doing it;

2. Instructors’ mindset of the useless or diverging nature of technology and new media must be changed in classroom practices; Student-centered pedagogies should not only be in the publications, but be carried out in real classroom practices, and teachers should learn to put aside their dignity when students know better than themselves;

4. National and university fund of supporting science and technology majors and Professors to go abroad should become a little bit balanced to disciplines of social sciences, such as Philosophy, Sociology, Law, and English;

5. Teacher training that is limited to one year or two year exchange programs should be extended to degree programs so that teachers will have a genuine grasp of foreign pedagogies and practices.

Due to the lack of attention in the above mentioned aspects, Chinese students’ English level cannot be truly upgraded because their horizon is limited. Most of Chinese students going abroad are science and technology majors who has little training in critical thinking. To prevent the whole student population to become working machines, I have been suggesting students to think critically about everything in their life, and to become socially concerned and a real world citizen.

Owing to my fortunate opportunity here in the States, I learned a lot in the advanced and even avant-garde theories and pedagogies to teach students how to become engaged citizens and writers with critical thinking. Therefore, I want to propose a new teaching method that will be extremely influential to my university’s English teaching classrooms.

The first two assignments are designed for students who are in the third year or fourth year in the English department. They are the mid-term and final project of the mandatory course for English majors: “Selected Readings of British and American Literature.” For the mid-term, students will have to do a CV that is both in print and digital form. For the final, they can pick up any piece of British and American literature or movie adaptation of literature to compose their final paper or multimodal project. Project must embrace literary theory, contemporary application, real life inspiration, social concern, intercultural thoughts, and so on.

The last assignment is a final project assignment designed for the mandatory College English course. Target students are freshmen who are non-English majors. Students are asked to choose one option of their own interest. Project must embrace social and environmental problems, ways to solve them, and so on.

Rationale of the Assignments

General Rationale

From the Biblical reference of Babel building to the modern and postmodern attempts of communication, human beings has never stopped seeking for spiritual and communicable consensus. However, geographic locations and various elements around the globe hinder human beings from sharing local culture and ways of communication. The advent of the internet and thereafter the digital era has removed, to a large extent, the shackles of cultural communication barriers in terms of location and access. As the demographic changes, globalization requires unprecedented intercultural and multicultural literacy.

Jack Lule in Globalization & Media: Global Village of Babel explains how China’s online forum has become a representative example in globalization and digitization, and how US-China relations is influencing Chinese people’s ideas on politics, economy, and culture(136-139). Cultural convergence that is pushed forward by digital and economic globalization provides a global background where no culture alone can go any further without understanding of other cultures. English pedagogies in China’s underdeveloped regions have to be enhanced to ensure students’ intercultural and multimodal literacies.

Rationale of Digital Literacy and Multimodal Composition

“CCCC Position Statement on Teaching, Learning, and Assessing Writing in Digital Environments” and many other authoritative pieces in the composition field make it clear that we have to teach our students how to express their ideas through new technologies and new media. The multimodal composition trend is irreversible and urgent for me because China has such a long way to go in terms of such pedagogical practices. I wish I can do my little contribution to the future of my homeland through teaching.

I teach English as a foreign language to Chinese students, and I am also a non-native speaker. Living in a developing country like China, my urgent task is to cultivate students’ critical thinking and a sense of world citizen by teaching them foreign culture through language learning. More importantly, I want to raise students’ awareness of the similarities of human beings no matter which country they are from. Students, during and after taking my courses, should feel it an urge to make changes in the society, to make China a better place to live in. I strongly believe that the task of building the new Babel lies in the hands of instructors and students. And I have been using movies and music to share foreign culture with students, but I realized that the digital can be used in such a way for rhetoric and composition’s purpose. I

Kathleen Blake Yancey’s “Made Not Only in Words: Composition in a New Key” is to embrace multi-literacies that have been enabled by digital revolution. She supports a new definition of composition in this new world permitted with multi-literacies. She suspects school education’s function on composition because her own experience is one that proves the unfruitfulness of classroom writing assignments(297-299). According to her, in the future print and the digital technologies will increasingly intertwine to enable multi-genres(307). Yancey lists three changes in our field: “Develop a new curriculum; revisit and revise writing-across-the-curriculum efforts; and develop a major in composition and rhetoric”(308). She claims that the broadened arena of rhetoric and composition embraces mani-fold writing possibilities rather than compartmenting knowledge(308). Her model of composition: “Circulation of composition, cannons of rhetoric, deicity of technology”(311-312) because they easily help us on an epistemology that both inherit the canons and corporate technological advantages. Peer review is important to our composition process because students are the living literature. Her original citation is “on-going compositions”(312). Her idea of “writers use technology rhetorically” is what should be paid attention to in composition classrooms. She incorporate other evidences such as “new composition includes rhetoric and is about literacy”(320) to elaborate that our challenge of multi-literacies, expertise with technologies, and so on demand us to recognize the intertextuality between school education and social education both in the print and on the screen(320). Such an unprecedented cross-disciplinary possibility for teachers, students, and other people alike pushes us to learn more and try to adapt the changes rather than dreaming to reverse history. When she mentions “global, educational, technological changes” at the end of her paper(321), I feel huge pressure as a reader although I know what I should do. What I should do is to help my students in China to keep up with the pace of the technological trend of electracy.

Mary Hocks’ new definition of composition emphasizes contemporary rhetorical practices in both texts and visuals with the rhetorical tradition of the rhetor and the audience(629-630). With a postmodern perspective of the intertextuality between texts and visuals, I cannot agree more with her statement that texts and visuals are inseparable in multimedia composition, which requires a new definition of writing rather than holding fast to the old definition of verbal composition(630). She gives the reason why some of instructors still cannot accept the new notion of multimodal composition that contains both texts and visuals. This is also the reason why most of the English instructors in China cannot accept digital expression of ideas. Pedagogy must be changed or else China will continue to lag behind the rest of the world. Hock’s call for attention in multi-modalities such as touch and sound is of vital importance to any analysis of digital rhetoric(631).

The postmodernist trend of collage, play, simulation, and the like requires us to accept a pluralism that is unprecedented and increasingly diverse. Hocks’ paper shows us how to combine visuals and texts and how to teach multimodal composition in classrooms. Her own course “8900 Computer and Composition” is an effective course that will help us to “do, rather than to tell.”

“Prosumer Approaches—Postmodern Reflections on Learning, Teaching, Identities, and Living” shows how powerful the new media can be in the writing classroom and also in the society as a whole.  Anderson’s “prosumer” approach in composition is such a creative piece that inspires me to incorporate this idea of multimodal composition in my classrooms. I have seen a lot of similar things in Chinese, but I realized that this creativity and multi-layered composition can be used in my English writing assignments because in such a way I can develop Chinese students’ critical thinking by asking them to do a short video. The Chinese culture and teacher-centered method are severely hindering students’ critical thinking. Writing’s function can be strengthened through using of videos and the like. The multi-modal composition also brings forth the issue of new media literacies, which in this post-print era are quite an urgent task for writing instructors. As far as pedagogical method is concerned, new media provides opportunities in teaching innovation and motivating students to compose. I think in a traditional classroom where we ask students to write a composition is too boring for them in this digital era. Whereas there is a necessity to enhance their writings, sometimes we have to allow them to explore creative and new ways to express themselves.

The still image assignment and new media production experiment are good examples for non-textual and multi-modal writing classrooms. The non-textual argument, the students’ engagement in the activity, and what they learn from one another in group work is quite good for a student-centered classroom practice. Further, what he mentions the “intuitive skills” that students have as they group up in this digital era that not only verbal communications and writings are engaged, but also frequent expression of themselves with images, sounds, and videos. The intricate communication systems we have nowadays demand much more profound and wider knowledge to be able to express ourselves and to understand others.

Selber’s advice of helping students to become not only aware of social conventions, but also capable of critically analyze discourses that they are interested in is crucial when we deal with texts and visuals permitted with various issues within different ideological frames. This is especially useful in my classroom because I want to develop students’ critical thinking and their use of logic in composition. Silber also suggests that our functionally literate students should be able to negotiate between and among discourses(16). I think this aspect is of great importance to ESL and EFL learners such as myself and my students.

Cynthis L. Selfe and Richard J. Selfe hold that interface can be the agent for the exertion of power in electronic contact zones because interface automatically enforce the ideology of the designer. Exertion of power is automatically related to gender, race, and other issues that will be influenced by the power hierarchy, no matter the impact is from which level.Wysocki and Jasken prefer to stress the content of the interface because it is ideologically loaded(32-33). This again, relates to the exertion of power, and the function of writing in establishing one’s social position, in expressing oneself to make others act, and so on. I want to show my students that their digital identities are their tools to influence and persuade others, through interface design, web design, and through rhetoric techniques embedded in both verbal and visual composition. Although this is difficult for my classroom settings which is disconnected to the internet due to ideological and financial concenrs, but I will try my best to use screen cut to show how wed design and other digital issues influence the audience. Among my non-English major students, there are some computer majors, and students who may be interested in developing websites, I can show them how this is also rhetoric because they may have been doing it without knowing it.

However, I should first ask my student whether they use blogs and other social networks and how they use it. I will tell them the serious problem of the digital divide and the powerfulness of new media and mass media in delivering rhetoric and exert power. I will refer to Steven Krause’s “A Very Brief and Very Selective History of Computers and Composition” and Lanham’s “The Electronic Word” in order to explain how crucial it is to master digital literacy and interdisciplinary knowledge. I will also tell them that although China is enforcing a good policy of English learning, students’ English level are relatively low, especially in listening and speaking. I will tell them the importance of how this can effect their future study if they go abroad, or their future careers if they go to transnational companies, or even just daily communication with foreigners if they want to learn from foreign friends and show what China is like to foreign friends.

Then I will ask them try to use sina blog for writing assignments. I think the most important thing is to let them know that it is not only used for entertaining purpose, but for social purpose. Through writing blogs in English for my courses, and writing blogs daily in Chinese for the purpose of their own life and the society, I think they will develop critical thinking gradually.

“Voice in the Cultural Soundscape: Sonic Literacy in Composition Studies” really makes me excited on how students’ ability to enhance their words, sentence structures, and voice can become more persuasive to their audience (Introduction). Their mentioning of using film studies, music, psychoacoustics, and audio technology is fascinating. Through the use of sound tracks, students write texts, combine verbal with visual and sonic elements to compose multilayered writings. The authors talk about the relationship between voice and its representation of gender and culture. I think it is peculiarly latent for second language learners, and I want to emphasize this to my students. I want to show them that to have an accent of foreign flavor is not bad, but to learn how to communicate with foreigners are more important than wasting time in practicing and imitate their accents. I will also tell them that correct pronunciation matters in their assignments.

I love to discover the factors that influence students’ lives and experiences and the inspiration that we can become responsible and productive instructors and scholars in the field of rhetoric and composition. I believe that the practice of paying attention to students can also nurture our pedagogical trend in China, especially in the underdeveloped regions.


Assignment One: Midterm Assignment

Curriculum Vitae and resumé both in print and digital forms, and a recorded self-introduction/Autobiographical narrative

Option One: 

  1. This assignment is a practical document you will have to develop for your job or graduate study interview. Pay attention to things such as font and typeface.
  2. Think about the way you arrange your items such as education, internship, extracurricular activities, and so on. How can you CV differ for different employers?
  3. What type of material will you hand to employers if they come to our campus to recruit employees? How will you present yourself in such a short composition?
  4. Record the English self-introduction for a job interview using your cellphone, digital camera, MP3, PC, and so on. Send the record to my email box, or, if you don’t have access to the internet before deadline, copy it into my teaching computer before class begins.
  5. Each student will have to present the self introduction to the entire class on the stage. After the presentation, you will be divided into groups and discuss the presentation.

Option Two:

  1. Recall your English and Chinese learning experience and record your own story into a digital narration. Either video or audio will be good.
  2. Compare and ponder over the two learning experience and see what are the similarities and difficulties. You may also relate cultural, social elements in your argument.
  3. Pay attention to pronunciation and intonation when you do the recording. Don’t speak too fast or too slow. Avoid unclearness in pronunciation.

Assignment Two: Final

Option One:

Choose any text of your own interest and write an essay that is 1500 words in length, which is only one chapter’s length of your 8000 graduation paper. Better relate it with you ideas of graduation paper so that you do not have to do double work. Paper must have a clear and significant title which the argument will hit directly to. Theme must be relevant to the assigned text and related literary criticism. Printed text is preferred if the student thinks his/her hand writing will have a disadvantage for the final score. Format is MLA or Chicago Manuel.

Option Two:

A digital response to texts such as Act 3, scene 3 of Othello or Beloved in our readings. Please compose using your MP3, MP4, cellphone, digital camera, computer, blog, or any device that would be accessible to me. Ask me prior to your recording whether your device is readable to my computer. Digital composition may include visuals and sounds from other digital works, but intellectual property rights should be protected and respected. Creative ideas and critical thinking in using visuals and sounds will be helpful to final grade, however, rationale of using each piece of visual and sound track should be given in the presentation.

NB: Each student should schedule a presentation time with me at the end of this

class, orders of presentations are flexible if student(s) under concern agree to the change. The oral presentation should be a shortened speech on your final project. You can use any form of presentation including oral speech, Powerpoint presentation, handouts, and so on. I will calculate the time of the presentation. Each presentation should be limited to 5-8 minutes so that we can finish all your presentations within the last several sessions of classes. 

Assignment Three: Final Project for freshman who are not English majors

1. You will have to either write an essay or develop a multimodal composition such as video and audio argumentation. Written essay should be at least 300 words in length, which is double of your band 6 English exam. Use as many visual and sonic elements as you like in your multimodal composition. You may also use movie clips, screen cut, and other techniques you know. Pick some ideas from “xuduba” and see how the authors of the multimodal pieces play with collage and other postmodern ideas. You may also use intercultural comparison in the multimodal composition.

2. Those of you who choose to write an essay will still have to do oral presentation for your final project. Arrange the schedule that you would like to do the presentation. Each student will have 3-5 minutes to do your speech on the stage.

3. Hints: We have learned some basic knowledge on how to handle your new life in university as compared to your high school. Think of the following questions when you cannot find an argument to do in the project.

How do you think of your new environment as a small society?

How do you like it or dislike it?

What phenomenon(a) do you as an adult see important in this environment or the society as a whole?

What do you think you and your classmates can do to improve or enhance this phenomenon or these phenomena?

What have you learned in our classroom on Western culture? what are the similarities and differences between Chinese culture and the Western culture?

How do you think we can bridge the cultural gap and communicate smoothly?

What social problems we have talked about when doing the intensive readings? What do you think are the ways that such problems can be solved?

You can refer to various online forums, blogs, news, and other resources. My 163 blog may also give you some general ideas on what to write.


The general rubric of the assessment is that students’ composition, whether multimodal or not, should be creative and endowed with social concern. Arguments should be direct to the point. Plagiarism will result in a zero, and grammatical, format, and pronunciation errors will harm the final grade.

Because I have never give students multimodal assignments, I will refer to students’ audio essays provided by Dr. Mary Hocks and the rubrics she offers us in 8900 course.

I am used to be gentle to students, so if they appear in every lecture, they finish their assignments in not so bad quality, they will make a score that is over 80. Critical thinking, good logic, correct and natural pronunciation will add the merit of the assignment to 85-95 according to the grammatical ability of students. No one will get score over 95 because I think no writing is perfect. Non-native speakers’ writings will always have some problems, no matter big or small.

I pay much a lot attention to the listening and speaking because students in my region are relatively speaking poor in these two respects. Underdeveloped economy, scarce of teacher training in rural and urban areas lead to this status quo. I want to help them to know that the most important part in communication is being able to express themselves in speaking. I do not want to see my students lack behind in the fierce job hunting competition. They wil have to be tortured by me until they are good enough to pronunce correctly and speak smoothy English.


Online Paper and Resources

Michelle Comstock and Mary E. Hocks. “Voice in the Cultural Soundscape.”

Selfe. “The Movement of Air, The Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing.”

Anderson. “Prosumer Approach: Let us go then, you and I.”

Research Guide, Handbook, and Methodology

Bizzell, Patricia, and Herberg, Bruce. The Rhetorical Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present. Boston and New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 2001.

Gibaldi, Joseph. MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. 6th Edition. New York: The Modern Language Association of America. 2003.

Gaillet, Lewis Lynée, and Bryan Horner, Winifred. The Present State of Scholarship in Historical Rhetoric: A Twenty-First Century Guide. Columbia: University of Missouri. 2010.

Miller, Susan. The Norton Book of Composition Studies. New York and London: W. W. Norton & Company. 2009.

Creswell, John W. Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and mixed Methods, Approaches. 


Abasi, R. Ali. “The Pedagogical Value of Intercultural Rhetoric: A Report from a Persian-as-a-Foreign-Language Classroom.” Journal of Second  Language Writing. September 2012 21(3):195-220.

Kubota, R. (2001). Teaching World Englishes to native speakers of English in the USA. World Englishes, 20, 47-64.

Leontovich, O. A. (2005). “American English as a medium of intercultural communication.” World Englishes, 24, 523-532.

Matveeva, Natalia. “Teaching Intercultual Communication in a Basic Technical Writing Course: A Survey of our Current Practices and Methods.” Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, v38 n4 p387-410 2008.

Maylath, B. (1997). “Writing Globally: Teaching the Technical Writing Student to Prepare Documents for Translation.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 11, 339-352.

Sheila Aikman. Intercultural Education and Literacy : An Ethnographic Study of Indigenous Knowledge and Learning in the Peruvian Amazon. Amsterdam; Philadelphia : John Benjamins Pub.,1999.

Li, X. (1996). ‘Good writing’ in cross-cultural context. Albany: SUNY Press.

—————. (2002). ‘Track (Dis)connecting’: Chinese high school and university writing in a time of change. In D. Foster, & D. Russell (Eds.), Writing and learning in cross-national perspective: Transitions from secondary to higher education (pp. 49–87). Urbana, IL: NCTE.

Matsuda, P. K. (2002). Mission Impossible? An Agenda for Contrastive Rhetoric in the 21st Century. Paper Presented at the Contrastive Rhetoric Roundtable, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, October, 2002.

Mauranen, A. (2001). “Descriptions or Explanations? Some Methodological Issues in Contrastive Rhetoric. In M. Hewings (Ed.), Academic Writing in Context (pp. 43–54). Birmingham, UK: University of Birmingham Press.

Moreno, A. I. (1997). Genre Constraints across Languages: Causal Metatext in Spanish and English RAs.English for Specific Purposes, 16, 161–179.

Moreno, A. I. (1998). The Explicit Signaling of Premise-Conclusion Sequences in Research Articles: A Contrastive Framework. Text, 18, 545–585.

Moreno, A. I. (this issue). Retrospective labelling in premise-conclusion metatext: An English–Spanish contrastive study of research articles on business and economics [Special issue on Contrastive Rhetoric]. Journal of English of Academic Purposes.

Petrić, B. (2005). Contrastive rhetoric in the writing classroom: A case study. English for Specific Purposes, 24, 213–228.

Precht, K. (2000). Patterns of stance in English. Unpublished dissertation, Northern ArizonaUniversity, Flagstaff.

Scollon, R., & Scollon, S. W. (1995). Intercultural communication: a discourse approach. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Shen, F. (1989). The classroom and the wider culture: Identity as a key to learning English composition. College Compositions and Communication, 40, 459–466.

Swales, J. M. (1990). Genre analysis: English in academic and research settings. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Swales, J. M., & Feak, C. B. (1994). Academic writing for graduate students. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Swales, J. M., & Feak, C. B. (2001). English in today’s research world: A writing guide. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Upton, T., & Connor, U. (2001). Using computerized corpus analysis to investigate the textlinguistic discourse moves of a genre. English for Specific Purposes, 20, 313–329.

van Dijk, T. A. (1985). Handbook of discourse analysis (Vol.1–4). New York: Academic Press.

Yli-Jokipii, H. (1996). An approach to contrasting languages and cultures in the corporate context: Finnish, British and American business letters and telefax messages. Multilingua, 15, 305–327.

Yli-Jokipii, H., & Jorgensen, P. E. F. (this issue). Academic journalese for the Internet: a study of native English-speaking editors’ changes to texts written by Danish and Finnish professionals [Special issue on Contrastive Rhetoric]. Journal of English for Academic Purposes.

 Intercultural Communication, Rhetoric & Composition

Atkinson, D. (2004). Contrasting rhetorics/contrasting cultures: Why contrastive rhetoric needs a better conceptualization of culture. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 3, 277–289.

Beamer, Linda. “Learning Intercultural Communication Competence.” Journal of Business Communication 29.3 (1992): 285-303.

Boiten, J. “Intercultural Business Communication: An Interactive Approach.” In C. R. Lovitt & D. Goswami (Eds.), Exploring the Rhetoric of International

Professional Communication. New York: Baywood. (1999): 139-156.

Bosley, D. S.  “Visual elements in cross-cultural technical commmucation: Recognition and comprehension as function of cultural conventions.” In G. R. Lovitt & D. Goswami (Eds.), Exploring the Rhetoric of International Professional Communication. New York: Baywood. (1999): 253-276.

Byram, Michael. Teaching and Assessing Intercultural Communicative Competence. Electronic Book. In Multilingual Matters. Multilingual Matters. 1997.

Canagarajah, S. A. “The Place of World Englishes in Composition: Pluralization Continued.” College Composition and Communication, 57.4 (2006): 586-618.

Carol Severino, Juan C. Guerra, and Johnnella E. Butler. Writing in multicultural settings. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 1997.

Caswell-Coward, Nancy. “Cross-Cultural Communication: Is it Greek to You?” Technical Communication 39.2 (1992): 264-66.

Cardenas, Diana L.. “Challenges and Rewards of Teaching Intellectual Communication in a Technical Writing Course: A Case Study”. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, v42 n2 p143-158 2012.

Connor, Ulla. Intercultural Rhetoric in the Writing Classroom. Ann Arbor, MI: The University of Michigan Press, 2011.

—————. “Intercultural Rhetoric Research: beyond Texts”. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 3 (2004) 291-304.

—————. Contrastive Rhetoric: Cross-Cultural Aspects of Second Language Writing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.1996.

—————. “New Directions in Contrastive Rhetoric.” TESOL Quarterly, 36, 493-510. 2000.

Connor, U., & Moreno, A. I. The Concept of ‘Tertium Comparationis’ in Contrastive Analysis and Translation Studies. In P. Bruthiaux, A. Atkinson, W. G. Eggington,

Foster, D., & Russell, D. (2002). Writing and Learning in Cross-National Perspective: Transitions from Secondary to Higher Education. Urbana, IL: NCTE.

Holliday, A. (1999). Small Cultures. Applied Linguistics, 20, 237-264.

Kaplan, R. B. (1966). “Cultural Thought Patterns in Intercultural Education.” Language Learning, 16(1), 1–20.

Lu, Xing. (2012). “A Burkean Analysis of China Is Not Happy: a rhetoric of nationalism.” Chinese Journal of Communication. Vol. 5, No. 2, June 2012, 194-209.

—————. (2011). “From ‘Ideological Enemies’ to ‘Strategic Partners’: A Rhetorical Analysis of US-China Relations in Intercultural Contexts.” The Howard Journal of Communications, 22: 336-357.

—————. (2011). “Language Change and Value Orientations in Chinese Culture.” China Media Research, 7(3).

—————. (2006). “Studies and Development of Comparative Rhetoric in the U.S.A.: Chinese and Western Rhetoric in Focus.” China media Research, 2(2).

Martine Cardel Gertsen, Anne-Marie Soderberg, Mette Zolner. Global Collaboration: Intercultural Experiences and Learning. Palgrave Macmillan. 2012.

Matsuda, P. K., & Atkinson, D. (2008). A conversation on contrastive rhetoric: Dwight Atkinson and Paul Kei Matsuda talk about issues, conceptualizations, and the future of contrastive rhetoric. In U. Connor, E. Nagelhout, & W. Rozycki (Eds.), Contrastive rhetoric: Reaching to intercultural rhetoric (pp. 277–298). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Mauranen, A. (2001). Descriptions or explanations? Some methodological issues  in contrastive rhetoric. In M. Hewings (Ed.), Academic writing in context: Implications and applications (pp. 43–54). Birmingham, UK: University of Birmingham Press.

Severino, Carol, Juan C. Guerra, and Johnnella E. Butler, eds. (1997). Writing in Multicultural Settings. New York: MLA.

Thatcher, Barry and St. Amant, Kirk. Teaching intercultural rhetoric and technical communication theories, curriculum, pedagogies, and practices. Amityville, N.Y. : Baywood Pub. Co., c2011.

Flower, Linda; Long, Elenore; Higgins, Lorraine. “Learning to Rival: A Literate Practice for Intercultural Inquiry.” In: Rhetoric, Knowledge, and Society. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 2000. eBook. 332p.

Gesteland, Richard R. “Cross-Cultural Compromises.” Sky May 1993: 20+.

Hohan Fornäs, Kajsa Klein, Martina Ladendorf, Jenny Sundén, Malin Sveningsson. Digital Borderlands: Cultural Studies of Identity and Interactivity on the Internet. Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York. 2002.

McCool, Matthew. Writing around the World. New York: Continuum.2009.

Sharifian, F. (2006). A cultural-conceptual approach and World Englishes: The case of Aboriginal English. World Englishes, 25, 11-22. 

Thatcher, Barry. Intercultural Rhetoric and Professional Communication: Technological Advances and Organizational Behavior. Hershey PA:Information Science Reference.

—————. (2010). Understanding digital literacy across cultures. In (eds.) Spilka, Rachel. Anthology of digital literacy for technical communication: 21st Century Theory and Practice. Routledge Press.

—————. (2010). Reading and writing new media across cultures: Issues of fit, reciprocity, and cultural change. In (eds.) Kalmbach, Jim and Ball, Cheryl, Reading and writing new media. Hampton Press Series New Dimensions in Computers and Composition.

—————. (2004). Rhetorics and communication media across cultures. Journal of English for Academic Purposes 3: 305-320.

New Media, Digital Literacy, Digital Rhetoric, and Multimodal Compostion

Andrew Root. “Identity in a Digital Age”. Word & World Volume 30, Number 3 Summer 2010.

Bosah Ebo. Cyberimperialism?: Global Relations in the New Electronic Frontier. Westport, Connecticut. 2001.

David Buckingham.Youth, Identity, and Digital Media. The MIT Press. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England. 2008.

Heidi. A. McKee and .Dànielle Nicole DeVoss. Digital Writing Research: Technoogies, Methodologies, and Ethical Issues. hampton press, Inc. Cresskill, New Jersey. 2007. 

Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe. “Globalism and Multimodality in a Digitized World.” Computers and Composition Studies.

Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe. with Gorjana Kisa and Shafinaz Ahmed. Passions, Pedagogies, and 21st Century Technologies. Utah State University Press, Logan, Utah. 1999.

Gail E. Hawisher and Cynthia L. Selfe. with Gorjana Kisa and Shafinaz Ahmed. Multimodal Composition: Resources for Teachers. Hampton Press, Inc. 2007.

Gina Maranto, Matt Barton. “Paradox and promise: MySpace, Facebok, and the Sociopolitics of Social Networking in the Writing Classroom”. Computers and Composition 27 (2010) 36-47.

Gian S. Pagnucci and Nicholas Mauriello. “The Masquerade: Gender, Identity, and Writing for the Web”. Computers and Composition 16, 141-151 (1999).

Jeff Rice and Marrel O’Gorman. New Media/New Methods: The Academic Turn from Literacy to Electracy. Parlor Press, West Lafayette, Indiana. 2008.

Jeff Rice. The Rhetoric of Cool: Composition Studies and New Media. Southern Illinois University Press. 2006.

Jonathan Alexander, William P. Banks. ”Sexualities, technologies, and the teaching of writing: A critical overview.” Computers and Composition 21 (2004) 273–293

Laura Davis and Linda Stewart. Teachers as Avatars: English Studies in the Digital Age.Hampton Press, Inc. New York, New York. 2011.

L.E. Sujo de Montes, Sally M. Oran, Elizabeth M. Willis. “Power, language, and identity: Voices from an online course”. Computers and Composition 19 (2002) 251–271.

Lule, Jack. Globalization & Media: Global Village of Babel. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. UK. 2011.

L. Selfe, Cynthia. Multimodal Composition: Resources for Teachers. Hampton Press Inc. Cresskill, New Jersey. 2007.

Natasha Lvovich. “Sociocultural Identity and Academic Writing: A Second Language Learner Profile.” TETYC, December 2003.

Reid, Alexander. The Two Virtuals: New Media and Composition. Parlor Press. West Lafayette, Indiana. 2007.

Rice, Jeff, and O’Gorman, Marcel. New Media/New Methods: the Academic Turn from Literacy to Electracy. Parlor Press. West Lafayette, Indiana. 2008.

Richard J. Selfe and Cynthia L. Selfe. “‘Convince me!’ Valuing Multimodal Literacies and Composing Public Service Announcements”.

Scott Lloyd Dewitt. ”Out There on the Web: Pedagogy and Identity in Face of Opposition.” Computers and Composition 14, 229-243 (1997).

Susan Kirtley. “Rendering technology visible: The technological literacy narrative.” Computers and Composition (2012).

I’m Gonna Getcha Good! Up! Live In Chicago!


Somehow I learned to do two things at the same time back when I did all those interpretation practices.


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