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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've heard mixed reviews of A

I've heard mixed reviews of A Casual Vacancy. I love Harry Potter for the characters and the storyline, but I find Rowling's actual writing style so-so. I would imagine that transitioning into an adult novel where your writing seems more "bare" would be difficult for her?

JK Rowling

My mom got me The Casual Vacancy for Christmas because I'm such a big Harry Potter fan. I haven't started it yet, but I hope it'll be good! Also, my roommate might be joining Gamma Sigma Sigma!

Chelsie Messenger

Hello! I am a second-year MAPC student. Previously, I taught high school English and speech for 3 years. My research interests include digital publishing, elearning, and education. My thesis compares the ways First-Year Composition students use print textbooks, electronic textbooks, and websites. I've finished data collection, so I just have to analyze my data and write the paper.

Information Design is a hugely relevant topic for educational multimedia. (And one that is, sadly, overlooked much of the time.) I am looking forward to getting a better grasp on the way people process and absorb information.

In May I will be starting a job as a Training and Support Specialist at Hawkes Learning Systems, a math education software company in Charleston, SC. My position will involve training teachers and professors on how to use the software and how to integrate it effectively into their classrooms. In the future, I would love to take on a position as a digital/online learning director at a university.

My husband (who is awesome) and I currently live in Easley, SC. We like watching movies with our cat, Mr. Darcy.

One book I've read recently is Just My Type by Simon Garfield--a part memoir, part history of iconic typefaces. I loved it.

Hey Chelsie!

Hey Chelsie!
That's great you already have a job lined up! I know someone that worked at that company. Charleston is an awesome place.

Hi Chelsie!

Hi Chelsie!
I recently participated in a usability study with Hawkes. They came to Clemson and got cheap data by using usability students as subjects. Haha. It seemed like a neat gig. That is a fun cat name for an English person.

Sarah's Intro

I am from Aiken, SC. It's just about in Georgia. Aiken is a huge horse community; there is a lot of Eventing (a triathalon horse sport), steeplechase racing, polo, flat racing, pacer racing, hunters, foxhunting, and jumpers. We get a lot of snow birds from Canada and up north as well as some Brits, Kiwis, and Aussies that come to Aiken for the Eventing during winter months. That's probably my favorite part of Aiken, there are so many different people but all of them are somehow associated with horses. So, if you haven't guessed, I'm a horse freak. I've been riding forever. I love eventing and would love to go professional and international if the opportunity becomes available.

I'm an English major with a Creative Writing minor. Emphasis in fiction. So logically I need more school. I am thinking Law or an MFA. We will see which becomes more appealing within the next year. I'm unfortunately interested in a lot of things that all require many different paths. I guess I have a good amount of time to pursue everything.

I think this class will be pretty cool. I haven't taken anything like this before, so I think it'll be really interesting and it might open up some other areas of interest for me.

One book of interest I've read lately is Jorges Luis Borjes' "Book of Sand". It's a sweet collection of short fiction with really interesting and eerie magic-realism situations. I highly recommend it. Quick stories!


hahahah yeahhhh. Seriously about half of Aiken's graduates go to Clemson. It's so bizarre! I bet I would know just about every one of those people too :) Small world!

Same Degrees!

I also studied creative writing and with a fiction emphasis in undergrad. What kind of stories do you like to write? I like the fantasy genre.


I'm a mini Raymond Carver with a southern twist. I love minimalism that gets to the climax through interactive tension. I've never tried anything fantasy, but I have read a little and it definitely held my interest well! :)

My Name is zzweibo

I'm from Chappaqua, NY which is a small suburb a little north of NYC.
I was a senior, i am a senior, and will be a senior for the foreseeable future. But in all seriousness, I major in Professional Golf Management, with minors in Bus Admin and writing.
Believe it or not my aspirations have little to do with the golf industry. In fact I hope to one day get into the restaurant industry with a good buddy of mine.
I hope to broaden my horizons in terms of improving my abilities to use computer programs such as InDesign and Photo Shop.
The last book I probably read from cover to cover was "Holes," and was my favorite because each chapter left me wanting more. And I could relate to the main character because he was often in situations which were out of his control.