CORNFIELD REVIEW: Now Taking Submissions

Posted: January 23rd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Bookshelf, Teaching, Writing | Tags: | No Comments »

It’s that time of year again, The Ohio State University at Marion … Now taking submissions for this year’s CORNFIELD REVIEW. Go to and share your best work with us. Deadline: February 20.
cornfield flyer(image courtesy Rebecca Wagner-Hopkins)


MIX 2012: The Aftermath…

Posted: October 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Research, Rhetoric, Self-Promotion, Teaching, Typography/Graphic Design, Writing | Tags: , | No Comments »

You’ll recall in my previous post that I presented a talk this past Friday on using comics to teach rhetoric at the MIX 2012 Conference, CCAD’s Celebration of Comics. My panelists, Wendy Chrisman (CCAD), Nathan Wallace (OSU Marion), and Gretchen Scharnagl (Florida Int’l U) all gave great talks as well on, respectively, representations of psychiatric and mental disorders in comics, using comics to interpret British literature, and a service learning project which involved a team of art students producing a comic book for a hospital to raise awareness about childhood cancer. If you’re curious, here’s my slideshow from the event (and, if you’re even more curious, shoot me an email at; I can send you the transcript of my remarks).

Upcoming Panel Presentation: MIX 2012

Posted: October 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Rhetoric, Teaching, Typography/Graphic Design, Writing | Tags: , | No Comments »

MIX 2012 CCADThis Friday, I’ll be a panelist at this year’s MIX 2012 conference/exhibit, an event hosted by CCAD. You should go, not so much for my presentation (although it will be pretty cool), but because Chris Ware will be there—he of Jimmy Corrigan fame. But in case you’re interested in my part, I’ll be on the panel titled “A Pedagogical Mix: Utilizing Comics in Higher Education” along with Wendy Chrisman, Nathan Wallace, and Gretchen Scharnagl, talking about comics’ potential for teaching about rhetorical theory. And as my grandmother used to say, “See you in the funny papers!”

TIME/LOCATION: 11 a.m., Canzani Center Auditorium

Cornfield Review: Online–Out Now!

Posted: August 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Bookshelf, Teaching, Typography/Graphic Design, Writing | No Comments »

splash graphicHot on the heels of the release of the 2012 print edition of Cornfield Review comes the latest installment of CR:Online, the digital media supplement featuring artists, photographers, writers, and designers from the OSUM/MTC/CSCC community. Give it  a gander.

Cornfield Review 2012 Out Now

Posted: August 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Bookshelf, Teaching, Typography/Graphic Design, Writing | No Comments »

CR2012 coverHey, you guys: The latest installment of Cornfield Review, OSU Marion’s long-lived student-edited literary magazine, is currently available for your reading pleasure. Print copies are available for free at various locations around campus, and a downloadable version of it is available at: Get yours today!

Two Recent Pubs… From Lil’ Ol’ Me

Posted: August 17th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Bookshelf, Research, Rhetoric, Self-Promotion, Teaching, Writing | No Comments »

I would like to bring my dear readers’ attentions to a couple of recent publications penned by mine own hands (or, if you prefer, “typed,” although in one case, a good bit of video editing was involved… you know what? why are you insisting on me being so literal? “Penned” is a perfectly good bit of figurative flourish). One is a smaller piece in the current edition of Kairos. “Keeping It Real: The Spaces and Places of the Digital Citizen” is a short film (with some write-up) chronicling my digital media composing course’s participation in a student philanthropy program from two years ago. The other piece, “Whose Body? Looking Critically at New Interface Designs,” is a chapter in an edited collection entitled composing (media) = composing (embodiment), and it argues that we need to develop a critical stance for analyzing the next-gen crop of user interfaces in order to avoid repeating the same old practices of marginalizing and ignoring certain types of bodies (I just re-read it, and I think I actually make sense in this one, if I do say so myself). Here’s me enjoying the collection, hot off the presses:

The author, pleased to be included in this collection...

McCorkle, Ben. “Whose Body? Looking Critically at New Interface Designs.” composing (media) = composing (embodiment). Eds. Kristin Arola and Anne Wysocki. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 2012. 174-187. Print.

McCorkle, Ben. “Keeping it Real: The Spaces & Places of the Digital Citizen.”  Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy (PraxisWiki section) 17.1 (Fall 2012): n. pag. Web.

Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing

Posted: August 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Bookshelf, Rhetoric, Teaching, Writing | No Comments »

Framework for Sucess in Postsecondary WritingA joint project between National Council for Teachers of English, the Council of Writing Program Administrators, and the National Writing Project, the “Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing” whitepaper outlines the common goals/outcomes for writing at the college and university level. Although it was originally issued February of 2011, it’s back on people’s radars now thanks to the latest issue of College English, which features a symposium on the document. Obviously, this is one of those professional documents that will please some, incite others to pure, seething rage, and leave some going “meh.”

How I Got Here: An Autobiographical Audit

Posted: July 25th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Research, Self-Promotion, video, Writing | No Comments »

The blogger as a young man...The other day, I found myself in a reflective, Benjaminian mood brought about by cleaning out my office and finding notes from an old grad school presentation that dealt with the historical contours of textual design and medium–specifically, positioning the Cixous/Calle-Gruber book Rootprints on a continuum flanked on one side by medieval manuscript culture, on the other by the emerging hypertext culture of the late 20th century. It reminded me that I had been pursuing my current interest in the connections among rhetoric, technology, and textual production for a long time; as a graduate student, this topic began taking shape before the turn of the century.

But really, my professional identity was quietly taking shape in the background for much, much longer… As I began pondering how this incubation process unfolded, I realized it reached well into my early childhood, and thus began this audit of the hobbies, interests, and external factors that led me to where I am today:

  • Getting an Atari 2600 when I was 6 years old led to a lifelong interest in gaming and computers.
  • The Commodore 64 fueled this initial fire ignited by the Atari. Even in those early days (3rd grade on), I was interested in coding in BASIC, but the machine would become a big part of my later interests in digital media production. And more gaming. And file swapping.
  • My brother and I had our own newspaper for part of a summer, which we produced in geoPublish on the C64 (we got our “scoops” by watching the evening news and interviewing our grandparents).
  • Cassette tape recorder: For a number of years, I had a wonky cassette recorder that I used to record various radio dramas (I used my action figure and stuffed animal collection for inspiration on plot points, local radio station for soundtracks, and assembled a slew of items like margarine containers and aluminum cans for sound effects).
  • QUEST: in elementary school, I was in one of those nerd programs, where we got to do special projects and what-not… I remember hand-making a series of children’s books, featuring a young rhinocerous (Li’l Rhino) and an elderly space alien (Zolly) getting into various adventures. Written, illustrated, and bound by moi. I also did a couple of “issue” brochures featuring the pair, on topics like responsible energy consumption and environmental tips. I need to dig up those gems from my childhood closet, for sure.
  • Radio-controlled car racing: this was a big hobby for about 5 years or so, and it involved a lot of technological knowledge and skills, surprisingly. How electric motors work, as well as radio frequencies, servos, batteries, etc. We used soldering irons a lot during this spell, in addition to hoes, shovels, and axes (we specialized in 1/10-scale off-road cars, so we spent a lot of time in the woods building elaborate tracks with berms, jumps, ruts, and ditches.
  • VHS Camcorder: My parents got one when I was about 10, and my brother and I used it for all sorts of movie projects. Because we didn’t have a fancy AVID video-editing bay (or iMovie, or Final Cut, etc.), we had to edit linearly, re-recording new takes on top of the bad ones. These were mostly stupid little shorts about wars, zombies, music, and skateboarding, but we experimented with incorporating some production values into them, including audio overdubs, video effects, and even title sequences that we designed on the C64 and recorded indirectly off of the monitor (I may try digitizing some of these in the near future, for kicks).
  • Skateboarding: this sport/lifestyle was in itself creative enough, but it actually led to a whole subculture that was extremely invested in graphic design, amateur filmmaking, photography, ‘zine production, music, etc. Skate culture had its own ethos and aesthetic characterized by a sense of independence, of DIY… The scene often challenged the staus quo of mainstream athletic/popular culture, oftentimes using parody in its visual designs.
  • Music: as with skateboarding, the hardcore/punk/DIY scenes that I was into contributed to my interest in guerilla-style graphic design… when I started my own band, one of the most satisfying aspects aside from composing and performing, was coming up with our own marketing materials–gig flyers, tape/album designs, web content (back in the early/mid 90s, mind you).  To this day, I’m a font junkie–not a professional designer by any stretch, but definitely an enthusiast with a fondness for sharp layouts.
  • My uncle’s printing presses: my first semi-legitimate summer job was with my uncle’s printing business, where I saw first-hand how the so-called sausage was made. He had a bunch of mid-century Heidelberg presses, which I’d oversee, re-stock, and bundle jobs. For me, this reinforced quite intimately the fact that printed texts are designed, manufactured products.
  • Newspaper biz: for about three years, I worked on the editorial (arts/entertainment reporter) and production (paste-up/layout artist) sides of the process, so I was intimately tied up in both the form and content sides of print culture. Also, I was lucky to be working at a time of technological transition, when the industry moved from tools like hot wax, x-acto blades, and acrylic rollers to Macs, Quark, and Photoshop.

Oh, and obviously my lifelong interest in reading/writing has greatly informed my professional trajectory, but I won’t belabor that point…

O Brave NUI World! Computers & Writing 2012 Follow-up

Posted: May 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Research, Rhetoric, Writing | Tags: , , | No Comments »

A couple of folks mentioned wanting access to my presentation at last week’s Computers & Writing Conference at NCSU–which was loads of fun, incidentally–so here goes (warning: may not make sense decontextualized like this):

“In My Own Words” Student Writing Forum (CSCC-OSUM Delaware Campus)

Posted: March 9th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Teaching, Writing | No Comments »

In My Own Words poster Students attending the OSUM/CSCC Delaware Campus participated in the “In My Own Words” Student Writing Forum earlier this week… It was a well attended event, with lots of great personal narratives (exploding houses, embezzlement, and a near-mauling by a bear were all featured). I put a flickr photo set up at Go see!




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