Video Composition As Multimodal Writing: Rethinking the Essay As Post-Literacy


This essay describes an academic experience that both authors shared during a research visit to Russia in November 2018. The goal of this experience was to introduce participants (students and professors) to the notion of multimodal writing as an alternative to how we create texts in class. The essay first contextualizes the idea of “post-literacy” as part of a worldwide move to rethink literacy,  especially in this century. The essay then conceptualizes the notion of multimodality as a feature of these “post-literacies” and contextualizes this concept within the practical experience as both authors undertook in a masterclass at a Russian institution. For the masterclass, the authors asked everybody to make videos using only one smartphone and any other resources they had right beside them. After sharing what the activity was about and what attendants did, the authors provide a final moment of reflexivity for others who may want to consider implementing multimodal texts in their classrooms.

Keywords: Post-literacy, multimodality, design, video essays, text creation

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