Day 21 – 11.10 – Messy Methods, Affect and the Visual

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November 10, 2014 by Brian Harmon


On a piece of paper (with your name and the date) respond to the questions on the board.



Reflect on the John Law that you read for homework.  A few questions to consider:

  • Why are methods important in a technical writing environment?
  • What does Law mean when he asserts that methods “not only describe, but also help to produce the reality that they understand?”
  • What kinds of new research methods does Law suggest?
  • How does Law’s suggestion of the need for new/different kinds of research methods impact (or not) your specific field of academic/professional inquiry?


Discussion & Screenings:

  • John Law and Messy Theory
  • Affect and the Affective Video Project
  • Sensory and Visual Ethnography
  • Jaguar
  • Leviathan
  • Sweetgrass
  • Bombay Beach



On Wednesday, we’ll discuss Fair Use, Copyright, and Multimedia Citations.  As this shouldn’t take the entire class period, I’ll give you some time to get some feedback (from me and/or your peers) on your Affective Video Project, so bring your flash drive with all your information on it.

Read: Best Practices in Fair Use (in DB-Readings-Fair Use Copyright) and peruse the other documents in that folder.

Check out the following affective video links and think about how they tap into (or fail to tap into) an affective register:

Surfing in Namibia

How to Talk to Your Barber

Pick one of these (or another short video you have encountered recently) and compose a blog post that discusses its affective dimensions.



  • As you think about the memo you’ll compose for your Affective Video Project, have a look at THIS site which give some explanation of typical camera angles in cinematography.
  • Note the change in due date for the Affective Video Project (Monday, November 17) and a clarification of what is expected to be delivered.  Check the ASSIGNMENTS page for more details.
  • I had a look through your blogs over the weekend and have made some comments on a few.  I acknowledge that I haven’t been pedantic about policing these, but you should remember that I will return to these at the end of the semester to calculate a “participation” grade, so make sure to keep these up to date as much as possible.  Also, be sure to include an About page that is unique.
  • I have made it through a majority of the social media reports and while they are mostly up to a very high quality, there were some moments that made me question originality.  I typed some phrases into Google and Safe Assign and, as I suspected, there is plagiarism afoot in our class.  It’s not my style to call folks out, so you know who you are, and you know the rules.  I understand the importance of referencing other media when you are composing, and it is incredibly productive for me to see what other folks are saying before I write.  Copyright is a really tricky area.  When you are writing in a technical environment, copyright violations could result in very expensive law suits for you and your company.  It could cost you your job.   Seriously.  This class is for you.  I’m here to help, not to police plagiarism.  For those of you who have borrowed significantly from other writing and media without properly (legally) giving credit, you have some hope.  I will pretend I didn’t see it for your current grade.  For the portfolio however, I’ll reference my notes carefully to make sure the revision of your text is differently structured and attributions are properly made.





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