The new issue of JAC contains Halbritter and Taylor's video-essay 'Remembering Composition' on DVD. Apparently, copyright issues delayed its release. Cool piece for pushing at the boundaries of what our scholarship in the field of composition studies might look like. The piece makes a case for the role of new media in writing courses. In part, the it's a documentary, with folks in the field talking about their teaching. In part, it's a rock and roll song, written and performed by the "authors" of the piece (plays over the end credits). In part, a collage of voices. In part, a show-and-tell of interesting student work.
The 'talking head' portion of Remembering Composition seems to me to be the weak link. For a piece that pushes and challenges so successfully and provocatively, hearing soundbites--some of which are somewhat basic ('we need to teach writing technologies')--just seemed like business-as-usual. The student work on the other hand, consisting of documentaries made, I think, by students of Todd Taylor, really demonstrated cool possibilities. And the extended commentary from Halbritter (about midway through the film) nicely and reflexively stated how new media work blurs the editor-author role. And elsewhere, several of the voices make the case for more production of rhetoric--as opposed to getting stuck in the analysis/consumption rut. The latter stands out as one of the piece's motiffs/arguments.
I'm surprised nobody's talking about this piece: the blogosphere, the wpa listserv, etc. Maybe the folks who are interested in these issues already knew about the project and its content, and others are somewhat indifferent. Hope that's not the case.