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Eloquentia perfecta ex machina

Perfect Eloquence from the Machine


The Podcast


A podcast by and for the Writing Program at Saint Louis University produced in conjunction with the Computer Assisted Instruction (Compass) Lab. We interview instructors about how and why they use multimodal approaches to the teaching of rhetoric and composition. We also have instructors interview other instructors about the nuts and bolts of particular tools and assignments.

Season Four: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Season Three: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Season Two: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Season One: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | Bonus | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | End


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For today’s episode, Byron Gilman-Hernandez spoke with two of Saint Louis University’s newest instructors, Abbey Jarvis and Katie Eck, about how their experience teaching in a High School setting informs their teaching in the University. In this episode, we discuss the difference between both classrooms, the lessons High School and Collegiate teaching have for each other, and the role of support systems, like iMentor, for students, as well as teachers.


Today’s episode features a dialogue between Lindsay Adams, author of “River Like Sin” and winner of the 2016 Judith Barlow Prize, and Alicen Moser, co-founder of Poor Monsters and co-author of “Useful and Necessary Ingredients,” on applying their backgrounds in theatre and playwriting in the rhetoric classroom.


This episode of Eloquentia Perfecta features a discussion of the English Major, refugees, and the immigrant experience, with Joya Uraizee, Professor of Postcolonial Literature and Regional Emmy Award-winner, Haris Fazlić, a Bosnian-American graduate student. In the episode, they discuss St. Louis’s Bosnian community, the challenge of preserving language, and including under-represented regions in literature classes.

Kasimir Malevich's  Black Square

Kasimir Malevich's Black Square

In this episode, Amy Nelson interviews Anessa Kemna about her experiences as a blind teacher and graduate student. They discuss adapting materials for accessibility, the intersections of non-normative mental and physical conditions, and the concept of inspiration porn.

Anessa Kemna’s blog, The Adjunct in the Dark, can be found here.

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In this episode, Natalie Whitaker and Kathryn Polizzi discuss with Byron Gilman-Hernandez their experiences establishing ethos in the classroom. They discuss how gender and age affect the dynamic of their classrooms, and particularly comment on how this might be relevant for new teachers.



For our first episode of Season 4, Dr. Tarrell Campbell, lead organizer of the 2018 Belle da Costa Greene Conference, discusses his experience with planning and developing a conference for Medievalists of Color. In particular, Tarrell charts the process of collaborating with multiple individuals and organizations, the impact of video recording and social media on conferences, and the importance of holding a conference on Belle da Costa Greene. Epiphany “Big Piph” Morrow’s Ballad of Belle da Costa Greene can be found here.


Season THree (Fall 2018)


For our first episode of Season 3, Carol Hogan Downey and Natalie Whitaker enjoy a brief discussion on the use of incorporating social media into the classroom and rhetoric assignments. They cover the opportunities and potential pitfalls associated with discussions from audience awareness in the composition of a text message to the language choices of dating profiles created for hypothetical characters.



In our first episode of our October series, "The (Witch)Craft of Writing," Byron Gilman-Hernandez has a conversation with Carol Hogan-Downey on The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn's influence on Irish theatre in in the 19th Century. Their discussion looks at the Order's mystical practices of tarot and word vibration in philosophy, theatre, and Irish nationalism, and how rhetoricians from Gorgias to Kenneth Burke understood the relationship between Rhetoric and Magic. 


In our second episode of The (Witch)Craft of Writing, Byron Gilman-Hernandez has a conversation with Natalie Whitaker about magic as a language act and what assumptions that brings of an able body. In her experiences teaching contemporary Young Adult authors like Nnedi Okafor, Tomi Adeyemi, and J.K. Rowling, as well as historical attitudes towards witchcraft, Natalie looks to how magic, even as a liberating force, can reinforce assumptions of the Other.


In our final episode of the (Witch)Craft of Writing, a Pentacle of perspectives from Amy Nelson, Anessa Kemna, Natalie Whitaker, Carol Hogan-Downey, and Byron Gilman-Hernandez is brought together around a fire on a chilly October night to discuss the power and practices of rituals. As the finale of our series, this episode ranges from mystical cults of Missouri, the rituals of essay writing in Freshman composition, expressions of grief, and mystic practices to defeat Hitler.

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Looking to learn more about the Vatican Film LibraryCarol Hogan-Downey sits down with Amy Nelson to talk about her role working with The Metascripta Project, biblioclasms, and very large, very old books. Bridging media technologies of the 21st, 20th, and much, much earlier centuries, Amy shows how an often-overlooked library resource can be valuable to multiple disciplines.


In this episode, looking to share her experiences using service learning in the composition classroom, Anessa Kemna sits down with Colten Biro to talk about how she structured her course, some of her biggest successes, and her goals to further this work in the class she’s teaching this semester, as well as how others can incorporate service learning into their own classes.


Following our previous episode, Anessa Kemna and Byron Gilman-Hernandez further developed an Intro to Rhetoric course built around Service Learning. In this episode, they discuss their experiences with the class, ranging from the process and benefits of co-development, making use of new ideas, like the Field Journals or the Service Map of the city, and considerations they’re making for the coming semester.


Season Two (Spring 2018)


In this episode, Byron Gilman-Hernandez sits down with Laura Hardin-Marshall and Carrie Nelson to discuss and workshop their syllabi for teaching Technology, Media, and Rhetoric. Topics covered include how to work with different media for student Rhetoric projects, resolving technological hiccups, and using Classical media technology in the classroom.



On this episode, we share two student media projects from the Fall 2017 semester. While not ready for prime time, these strong audio productions amply demonstrate how students can compose "traditional" first-year writing fare in other ways that don't replace or even supplement but rather work alongside as yet an other mode of composition.


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In this episode, Lauren Terbrock interviews Misa Jeffereis, Assistant Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, about the exhibition Tim Youd: St. Louis Retyped. Lauren and Misa talk about Youd's project and make connections to the SLU writing program: blurring reading and writing processes; public practices; and the importance of his medium, the typewriter. 



In this episode, Byron Gilman-Hernandez schedules a quick conference with Natalie Monzyk to discuss conferencing. Natalie shares how she's made use of early-semester student conferences in teaching her Literature and Rhetoric classes, as well as some tips and best practices she's picked up from her experience.



In this episode, Lauren Terbrock returns to the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis to interview Tim Youd about his exhibition St. Louis: Retyped. Lauren talks with Tim about the ways machines, sound, and video transform his process, as well as the necessary physicality of reading and writing. 



The English Department's Resident Jesuit, Colten Biro, S.J., sits down with Byron Gilman-Hernandez to discuss his work writing for the Jesuit Post—and developing their web content, engaging the community across multiple platforms, moderating discussion, and using his own writing in the classroom. In this episode, Colten discusses his experiences with composition in an internet-mediated dialogue with his audience.



In this episode, Matt Holder sits down with Dr. Toby Benis to discuss her use of the Reacting to the Past curriculum in her English 1900 course. During Part 1, Dr. Benis describes her inspiration for choosing the method and presents an overview of the specific game played by her students, including the typical prep, scaffolding, and time requirements, and provides examples of the ways in which her students embraced the role-playing experience.



In this episode, Matt Holder and Dr. Toby Benis continue their conversation about the Reacting to the Past pedagogy in an English 1900 context. For part two, they turn to discussing the specific assignments and rhetorical principles at play in the game, its strengths and limitations, and potential adaptations for future classes. Dr. Benis closes by providing some useful resources for any instructors looking to incorporate the games into their own courses.


Season One (Fall 2018)

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In our first episode, Dr. Nathaniel Rivers (Coordinator of the Computer Assisted Instruction Lab) interviews Dr. Paul Lynch (Coordinator of the Writing Program) about his approach to running the writing program and teaching as well as how multimodal composition is part and parcel of the Jesuit rhetorical tradition, which is alive and well at Saint Louis University.


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In our second episode, Lauren Terbrock (a doctoral student in rhetoric and composition) sits down with Dr. Heather Bozant Witcher (Assistant Professor of English) to discuss Heather's approach to teaching with new media technologies. In particular, Heather describes the role of new media in cultivating collaboration and creativity.


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In our third episode, Lauren Terbrock (a doctoral student in rhetoric and composition) sits back down with Dr. Heather Bozant Witcher (Assistant Professor of English) to discuss a specific project Heather has assigned in ENGL 1900: a podcast version of the Dissoi Logoi project discussed in Episode One.


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In our forth episode, Dr. Nathaniel Rivers (Coordinator of the Computer Assisted Instruction Lab) sits down with himself to discuss using Tumblr to organize his ENGL 1900 courses. For examples of courses using Tumblr click here (ENGL 1900) and here (ENGL 2650).


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In our fifth episode, Dr. Nathaniel Rivers sits down with Christina Hildebrandt (Instructor and English doctoral candidate) to discuss how Christina uses multimodal projects in both literature and composition courses. This episode also focuses on non-digital projects that resonate with particular course themes. 



We are pleased to present, in its entirety, "The Frankensong," which written, produced and performed by a student in one of Christina Hildebrandt's 2000-level literature courses. This song was discussed in Episode Five ("An Interview with Christina Hildebrandt").


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In our sixth episode Lauren Terbrock (a doctoral student in rhetoric and composition) sits down with Byron Gilman-Hernandez (a doctoral student in rhetoric and composition) to discuss his exploration of "stealing" in the context of pedagogy, which involved Byron interviewing several writing program instructors.


With our seventh episode, we are pleased to rebroadcast an audio essay composed and performed by SLU's own Abigail Lambke (Assistant Professor of English at Avila University) for the journal Harlot. Of this audio essay, she writes, "Many of us are familiar with the name Walter Ong, and some of us have read him, either pieces of his famous Orality and Literacy, or the often anthologized “The Writer’s Audience is Always a Fiction.” Ong’s scholarship was concerned with sound, with the transition from oral culture to literate culture, and the way technology impacts communication. In that way, Ong was a forerunner of Sonic Rhetorics because his scholarship suggests how sounded words, or oral/aural words, affect the relationship of language to knowledge. Many of us have read him, but how many have listened to him? I mean listened not metaphorically, but literally listened to his voice. In this audio essay, I contend that in listening to Walter Ong, we can expand our understanding of his scholarship and approach to sonic rhetoric"



In our eighth episode, Dr. Nathaniel Rivers (Coordinator of the Computer Assisted Instruction Lab) sits down with himself to briefly discuss Field Recording. For examples of audio productions using field recording check out our sister-site Saint Louis Stories.



Our ninth episode is the first part of a two part round table discussion of the dissoi logoi project as discussed on previous episodes. As part of our department's regular brown bag workshops on teaching, faculty and instructors gathered together to discuss the venerable rhetorical tradition of the dissoi logoi. The round table speakers are, in order of appearance, Paul Lynch, Jen Rust, Joya Uraizee, Nathaniel Rivers, Anne Stiles, and Colten Biro.



With episode ten we share the exciting conclusion of our round table on the dissoi logoi project. As part of our department's regular brown bag workshops on teaching, faculty and instructors gathered together to discuss the venerable rhetorical tradition of the dissoi logoi. The round table speakers are, in order of appearance, Jen RustPaul LynchNathaniel RiversJoya Uraizee, Anne Stiles, Colten Biro, Nicole Ramer.



With episode 11 we bring you a short audio essay on teaching (with) language communities by Eloquentia Perfect Ex Machine contributor Byron Gilman-Hernandez. Byron describes and reflects upon his use of language communities in the first-year rhetoric and writing classroom.


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In episode 12, Byron Gilman-Hernandez returns for an interview with first-year Ph.D. student Carrie Nelson. Carrie discusses teaching her first class this semester, with reflections and discussion on attendance policies, teaching different types of media, and making plans for the next semester.



Thanks for listening! We will back in January with a new season for a new semester.




Eloquentia Perfecta Ex Machina is a podcast for but also by the Writing Program at Saint Louis University. If you have a project or an assignment; if you have a tool or platform; if you have an interview you'd like to conduct with a fellow instructor or even students; please share them us and with each other. 

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