More than Just Remixing: Uptake and New Media Composition

TitleMore than Just Remixing: Uptake and New Media Composition
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsRay, Brian
JournalComputers and Composition
Keywordsconvergence, multimodality, new media composition, pedagogy, remix, uptake

This article turns to genre theory's recent explorations of uptake, broadly defined as the ways genres interact, as a resource for sketching a pedagogy of shuttling between genres. Using uptake, I intend to reconceptualize multimodal compositions as a means of participating in rhetorical ecologies that consist of transactions between genres instead of thinking of remixes as an end in themselves. In this article, I first define the concept of uptake in detail and discuss its use in rhetorical genre studies. After further illustrating uptake through an analysis of transactions between YouTube parodies and the 2005 German language film Downfall, I discuss existing scholarship in multimodal composition that draws on genre but not the idea of uptake in order to lay a foundation for a pedagogy that highlights the links, feedbacks, and rules that coordinate genres. My aim in the last section is to sketch possibilities for how teachers and students can deploy the concept of uptake as a rhetorical tool to strengthen their awareness of genre and multimodality. In doing this, I hope to reposition multimodal projects as beginnings or midpoints that lead to students’ emersion into public discourse rather than culminations or end goals in themselves. Integrating studies of uptake into writing curricula in this way will help students to make sophisticated rhetorical decisions in the age of media convergence.