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Welcome to English 489/689, Information Design

So that we can get to know each other a little better, please post a reply to this message in which you

  • describe where you are from
  • give your course of study and year in your graduate or undergraduate program
  • talk about your areas of interest and career goals
  • tell what you would like to get out of this course
  • describe one of your favorite books and what you like about it

I'll start. I've lived in the Clemson area for two years now, having arrived as the new Campbell Chair in Technical Communication at Clemson in Fall 2010. I came here from Purdue University, where I was the Director of Professional Writing and Professor of English for ten years. I earned my PhD from the University of Southern California in "Rhetoric, Linguistics, and Literature." My areas of specialization include rhetorical theory, digital and visual rhetorics, print and digital publishing, information architecture and content management, and film theory and production. In 2002 I founded Parlor Press, an independent scholarly press that has now published about 150 titles. Parlor Press also manages production and editorial operations for a number of journals, including WAC Journal, WPA: Writing Program Administration, Composition Studies, JAEPL, and PRE/TEXT. Clemson is the new institutional home of the WAC Journal (see for a story about it or the journal site, Clemson now also hosts KB Journal and The Writing Instructor, both of which are open access scholarly journals. One of my current projects is the development of the (new) Production and Design Studio in the 1941 Studio for Student Communication and an Clemson Book Lab

I'm excited for this course because I've been interested in visual rhetoric for quite a while now and have become fairly experienced with book and page design, graphical illustration, and information architecture (both in print and on the Web). One of the most recent books I've read and liked is Ernest Cline's Ready Player One, which is a dystopian novel about a future virtual world that ends up substituting for the real thing for most people since the actual world is a near wasteland after nuclear holocaust.



I'm originally from Ohio, but I came to Clemson with the goal of going somewhere warmer. I told my parents after living here for two months that I wasn't coming back. They are happy to have a reason to retire south. I am a second year masters student studying professional communication. I am currently interested in marketing and publications. I interned with Clemson Creative Services over the summer and I would love to have a career doing what they do in that department. For this course, I'm interested in expanding my technical and design skills. My favorite book is Count of Monte Cristo. I think it appeals to me because it goes through the whole range of human emotion and achievement, from happiness and success, to despair and hopelessness, to anger and revenge, to humility and redemption, and ending on the ultimate message of hope and patience. I'm not sure why I find that so appealing, but I do.

I'm Shelby Livingston.

I'm sliving5. I'm a senior majoring in English (Writing and Publication) with a religion minor. I love to write and report, and I plan to go to grad school for journalism. In this course, I hope to learn to communicate information more efficiently. As for favorite books, it always changes. Constants include The Prince of Tides (Pat Conroy) and On the Road (Kerouac). They are simply great stories that I read at times in my life when I needed them.

I always thought it would be

I always thought it would be fascinating to study religion. I'm kind of sad I didn't the get the opportunity. I majored in Creative Writing in undergrad and I'm studying professional communications as a graduate. So I think our choices of study are pretty similar.

Religion is fascinating to

Religion is fascinating to study! However, we don't have many classes or many great teachers here in the department. Professor Steven Grosby is a GREAT teacher and I'm taking my third class with him. He knows everything. So, if you ever have time, take one of his classes.

Caroline Stec

I'm from High Point, NC - also known as furniture capital of the world!
I'm a senior English WPS major.
I'm interested in TV and movies, basketball, and reading. My career goals are pretty scattered — I'd like to work for a magazine, or a PR/marketing firm. I am also considering Teach for America and maybe law school in the future.
I'd like to become more knowledgable about computer programs and "information design" so I can have those skills for potential employers.
One of my favorite books is Secret Life of Bees. I like it because even though it's a sad story, I love the relationships between the characters and I enjoy reading about that time period in the South.

Hi Caroline

Hi Caroline,
I know how you feel as far as your career goals being scattered. I myself am not all that sure of what I want to do when I grow up and I'm sure my mind will change. I loved The Secret Life of Bees. It's one of my favorites too. I like some stories that take place in the South. So much conflict usually goes on especially during the setting of this particular book.

Secret Life of Bees

I read that book in 9th grade English class, and we had to make a hat for one of the characters. I chose May and put quotes all over it and little scrapbook bees. To this day I think that's been my favorite literature-inspired project!


My name is Brian. I'm a senior and have been curiously watching the change of the book, and how people read--paper to digital. I will be going to listen to Bob Stein. I was in the Marine Corp. I was at the end of my enlisted time and was honorably discharged two weeks before my unit was sent out to Iraq. I worked in the real world for quite a few years before deciding to go back to college. Hopefully it pays off. I have some neat ideas about the future of the book that I've been wanting to share, but I am afraid that without a patent the ideas will easily be duplicated.


My name is Katie and I'm from Summerville, SC. I'm a sophomore and I'm majoring in English and minoring in Psychology. As of now, I am thinking about pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy, even though it has nothing to do with my major. When people asked me why I picked English as my major, I tell them that it's because English is my favorite subject and I wouldn't want to be miserable in college, studying something I don't like. I really enjoy reading, music, surfing, swimming, spending time with my family and friends, going to concerts, and watching movies. I am hoping to become more knowledgable about information design so that I am able to apply it to my career in the future. One of my favorite books is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen because the plot is both comical and serious at the same time and the novel is set in my favorite time period.


I'm originally from Silver Springs, Maryland, but my family moved to Bluffton South Carolina when I was in first grade. Despite living in the south for that long, I don't feel like a conventional southerner, probably due to the fact that Bluffton is pretty much Hilton Head (we're the only way through to Hilton Head and it's about a 10 minute drive from my drive way to The Island), and HH is very touristy so it feels less "southern".

I'm an undergraduate Junior, English major.

I really don't have any career goals as of right now, which I know isn't the best thing in the world. I was leaning towards journalism, but I'm not totally sure that's where I want to head right now. I'd like to do something more informal though, I know that. Something more personal like a broadcasting position or a columnist.

I think my main goal in this course is to learn to more effectively communicate. While I'm not a communications major, I'd like to go for a masters in that after undergraduate and I feel like this course can help with that.

The book coming to mind first is Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower. My friend introduced me to this book last semester because he wanted someone to accompany him to the movie coming out based on the book. I ended up loving it, I think because it was easily relate-able. While not everyone has problems on the grand scale of the main character, I think everyone can find a problem that he had and find a little bit of that in their lives, so it was a good read.


I know I'm really only commenting on books on these introductions, but I love The Perks of Being a Wallflower!! That was my jam in 7th grade, when I was trying to be Indie and cool and whatever. I've heard that the movie is/was good. Is it out yet? I hope the movie did that book justice! Now I want to reread it :)


Im from Annapolis, MD; A senior student majoring in Business Management with a minor in Business writing. Over the course of 4 summers I worked for NASA Goddard Space Center as a project support specialist for finance and scheduling for the TDRSS and the James Webb Space Telescope. I have a high probability of pursuing NASA as a career choice but I may go to officer candidate school to serve for awhile. Information Systems is my emphasis area so I think I will be interested in digital media with literary works. The most recent book I read was not an easy day, a biography of the NAVY Seal that detained Usama Bin Laden. I enjoyed the adventure and pursuit of capturing one of the most recognized terrorist in history and the parallel between the motivations for the Iraq War.

A Little About Me

My name is Elizabeth but I go by Liz. I am from South Florida about an hour north of Miami. I am a Junior currently studying English, writing and publications major with a business minor, hoping to get into the world of advertising when I graduate in May of 2014. Ultimately I would love to work on the company side with in-house marketing but have also experienced the agency side working as a digital intern at Zimmerman Advertising Agency, which was a pretty amazing experience. I'm interested in traveling and writing so if I could ever make money putting those two things together that would be an amazing life path for me. I'm mostly interested in learning about the digital advancements we'll betaught in this course. It was such a downfall during my summer internship to not know programs like InDesign and Illustrator- those are the future with digital and I feel like careers will open up if programs such as those are easy for you to use. I also am excited for our final project, it'll be neat to see what we can come up with and present.
One of my favorite books that I have read cover to cover several times is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. It fascinates me how a man in the 1930s produced such irrational and forward thinking novel. Of course I think it's radical and out there but it's the idea of progressive thinking and innovation where amazing ideas are created. Plus the inner turmoil of independence and self-worth are great sub stories.

Brave New World

Classic! Love that book. It really is one that you can just sit down and read through. I'm a total nerd and a fan of classics such as Brave New World.

Meet Jordan "Like-The-River"

From: Georgia(14 years), North Carolina (3 yrs), South Carolina (6.5 yrs), Argentina, SA (.5 yrs).
Major: Industrial Engineering --Graduate Student 2nd year.
Career: Human Factors and System Safety expert. Work abroad, consult, start a business, do good.
Course Expectations: Practice using the Adobe Creative Suite, laugh and create portfolio worthy content.
Book: A Pearl of Great Price --Autobiography of Pearl Willis, Christian missionary serving in the Roseland community(the Ghetto) of Chicago Illinois. After having met Ms. Pearl, I was touched by reading her story of how the Lord Jesus changed and saved her life. Now she is serving faithfully in the community in which she grew up. I love it when she described how the day care she runs used to be surrounded by drug houses, but eventually she was able to buy the drug houses to expand her day care program.

What exactly is a Human

What exactly is a Human Factors and System Safety expert? And did you do a mission trip in Chicago? Ms. Pearl sounds like she has had a pretty incredible life doing what God's called her to do!

Well Peaches, a human factors

Well Peaches, a human factors engineer works on designing and improving systems that involve both people and technology. We try to make the system user friendly and safe. Donald Norman is sort of a Human Factors guy and I apply lots of his ideas of design among others.
Yes I went on a mission trip to Chicago with CRU.


I'm a Junior communication studies major with a writing minor. I'm from a town called Berkeley Lake, GA which is about half an hour outside of Atlanta. I'm taking this course because I want to improve my ability to communicate in writing. Someday I hope to be writing for a mass media outlet (newspaper, TV/radio, I'm not picky) in a big city. I have an internship at B93.7 in Greenville with their morning show, the Hawk n' Tom show from 6-10am Mondays and Wednesdays. I also have a radio show on WSBF FM Clemson at 2pm on Mondays. I don't have a favorite book because I find something to like about almost everything I read but I'm currently reading Tina Fey's biography Bossypants and I can't put it down. I've been taking it with me everywhere and I find myself reading it when I shouldn't be. What I like most about it is Fey's way of describing something that would ordinarily be a mundane detail in a way that is quippy and interesting to read. My favorite part of the book so far is when she talks about the evolution of her job at SNL and writing 30 Rock. I highly recommend it!


I am the warden. I have lived in Fountain Inn, SC my entire life--it's a very quiet town. I play softball for Clemson Club Sports--it is my first year, but I am very excited! Our team was accepted into a very competitive league and we will get to party...I mean play other colleges, such as Coastal Carolina. I will graduate in Decemeber 2013 with a BA in Writing and Publications as well as a minor in Business Administration. I am currently undecided about pursuing graduate study. Between studies and my job, I don't have much free time; however, when I do have free time, I enjoy going to the gym, sports, watching movies, bingo, hiking, and going downtown. In the past, I enjoyed reading girly Nicholas Sparks books; however, I've come to the conclusion that those books gave me a unrealistic expectation of romance. (A bit cynical, I know.) So, I will have to say that one of my favorite books is Wuthering Heights because it provides a more realistic entanglement of emotions and complications that are present in relationships; I know it is a weird choice, but I like the twisted story line.

There it is--short and sweet. If there is anything else you would like to know, feel free to ask! :)


Just wanted to say that we definitely have the same minor! Are you taking any business classes now? Also, definitely agree with you on the Nicholas Sparks books; I also have the same fantasies! I mean where is Ryan Gosling?!?!

Meet me

Hi everyone, I hail from Augusta, GA, which is just past the SC border and about two hours away. I am a second-year graduate student in the MAPC program (Master of Arts in Professional Communication) and came to Clemson with the intent of pursuing a career in technical writing, but have developed a passion for User-Experience Design since being here and plan to pursue that instead upon graduating in May. What I like about UX Design is how it combines user research and creativity and its focus on humanizing technology. I enrolled in this course out of instinct - it just seemed natural to take a course in Information Design because of my career goals. As a side note, a textbook that I read last semester was called Letting Go Of the Words by Ginny Redish. It's about writing content for the Web and establishing conversations with site visitors. So really, I'm taking this course to become more familiar with proper information design and also improve my design skills. One of my favorite books is called The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay. It centers around a young boy growing up in a boy's boarding school in Apartheid South Africa.

My name is Sdb13 and

My name is Sdb13 and I am from the small town. The town is located about forty-five minutes away from Clemson just outside of Anderson. Belton has two red lights and is populated with about four thousand people. I grew up out in the country of Belton and have enjoyed my time growing up there. I am majoring in management with a minor in business technical writing. I plan to graduate from Clemson in December of 2013. After graduation I want to work in the field of business development, banking, or sales in a fortune 500 company. By taking this course I am looking to increase my design/visual skills in English and use the skills I learn in the course during my everyday activities. My favorite book that I have read recently is “The Big Miss” by Hank Haney. I liked the book because it showed Hank Haney side of coaching Tiger Woods and what he went through during his teaching career trying to make the best player in the world even better. The book is tittle the big miss because it only takes one shot or one chance to screw up a golf round or a person’s life. If you’re interested in golf I encourage you to read the book.

A foreign 500 company is a

A foreign 500 company is a billion dollar company or more that are in the top 500 company's in the U.S. Its just a saying for I want to work in a big organization and I want to work in the United States hopefully in South Carolina or North Carolina.

Hey Y'all

Hey Y'all! I'm Jessica from Anderson, SC. I'm a senior majoring in English (emphasis in writing and publication studies). I graduated from Walhalla High School in 2009 and attended Tri-County Technical College for two years and now here I am in my senior year at Clemson. As far as my career goals go, I'm not really sure exactly what I want to do but I do know that I would like to do pursue a career in publication so I'm in the right place. I hope that this class helps me present information in a more effective way. I'm also a little excited about using the programs we will be learning about. I like spending time outdoors, with friends, and doing anything that I consider fun. I recently joined 9Round (a kickboxing gym) and enjoy going there almost every day. Reading, of course, is one of my interests. However, I do not have a favorite book because, let's face it, there are simply too many to have just one. I'm currently reading The Passage by Justin Cronin. I'll have to see if it's any good. I'll let you know if it is.

A Snippet into Ashley's Life

Hi you guys! I am from Pinopolis, South Carolina. If you guys are like anyone else I have met during my time here in Clemson, then you have absolutely no idea where that is. Pinopolis is somewhat near Charleston. I am a sophmore English (WPS) major with a minor in Business Administration. I either want to go into publishing, marketing/advertising, or teaching with my degree. My advisor recommended that I take this course to see whether I really wanted to go into publishing or not. I hope to gain a lot of information about publishing from this course, so that at the end of the semester I may have a better idea about what I want to do after I graduate! I always have such a hard time when I talk about my favorite book. I never seem to have time for pleasure reading during the semester. I normally like to read Nicholas Spark's books for a quick, relaxing read on the beach. I guess you could say my favorite "classic" would be a tie between A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald simply because of the characters. I am currently reading J.K. Rowling's newest novel, The Casual Vacancy, although I am having a hard time getting into it. Oh, and some of my favorite things to do are watching movies with my friends, biking, playing tennis, and doing community service through Gamma Sigma Sigma here at Clemson!