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Remix: Reading and Composing Culture


Remix: Reading and Composing Culture Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Students live in a "remix culture" — a do-it-yourself, collaborative, and creative culture in which they are the writers, designers, and creators. ReMix brings this creativity to the composition classroom by asking students to investigate the world around them, to question the assumptions behind everyday concepts such as identity, community, and technology, and to compose meaningful verbal and visual texts that speak to the culture they live in. With a mix of humor and analysis, ReMix inspires students to ask: Why do I think the way I do? What is my relationship to the culture around me? Am I truly, as one advertisement claims, "my playlist"? At last, here is a cultural studies reader that students will want to respond to.

About the Author

CATHERINE G. LATTERELL (Ph.D Michigan Tech) is associate professor of English at Penn State – Altoona where she teaches first-year rhetoric and composition, as well as advanced writing courses. Her research combines composition theory, cultural theory, and critical pedagogy to explore issues such as teacher training and curriculum development. Her publications include "Re-experiencing the Ordinary: Assignments that Map Technology's Impact on Everyday Life," in Practice in Context: Situating the Work of Writing Teachers from NCTE, and The Dissertation and the Discipline: Reinventing Composition Studies (coedited with Nancy Welch, Cindy Moore, and Sheila Carter-Tod) from Boynton Cook.

Table of Contents



  1. Identity... or, What's in Your Wallet?

    Visuals Include: wallet, birth certificate, identikit, Mean Girls poster, self-portraits, tattoos, cartoon, photo-booth portraits, Dave Chapelle, Bono, Jim Morrison, Ray Orbison, Elvis


       Examining the Everyday: Wallets and Identity


    In the Mix

       Emily White, High School's Secret Life

       Found Document: The common features of cliques (from

       Paired Readings: Focus on Gender

          Kathy Wilson, Dude Looks Like a Lady

          Andrew Sullivan, "The ‘He' Hormone"

       Adam Cline, Defining My Identity

       Photo Essay: September 11 tattoos

       Paired Readings: Focus on Language

          Gloria Anzaldúa, How to Tame a Wild Tongue

          Firoozeh Dumas, The ‘F' Word

          Comic Sidebar: Dave Chapelle on identity

       Russell Thornton, What the Census Doesn't Count

       Michelle Lee, The Fashion Victim's Ten Commandments

       Cartoon: Shannon Wheeler, I Hated Journey, from Too Much Coffee Man

       SAMPLING THE OLD & NEW: In the photobooth: 1927 v. 2005


       Mixing Words and Images:

          Creating an Identi-Kit

       Connecting to Culture: Suggestions for Writing

          1. How to Belong: A Critical Analysis of Cool

          2. Looking the Part: Deconstructing Personal Fashion

          3. Interrogating Assumptions: What Makes Us Who We Are?


  2. Community... or, Are These Your People?

    Visuals Include: Nike poster, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, New Yorker cartoons, Cameron Crowe, Janeane Garafalo, Friendster screens, a Florida retirement community, graffiti, Chicago's Westside High School


       Examining the Everyday: Community and Shoes


    In the Mix

       Cameron Crowe, The Backstage Pass

       John A. Hostetler, The Amish Charter

       Mim Udovitch, A Secret Society of the Starving

       Richard Rodriguez, "Blaxicans" and other Invented Americans

       Paired Readings: Focus on Place

          Kathleen Norris, Can you Tell the Truth in a Small Town?

          Maya Angelou, Reclaiming our Home Place

       Adam Karo, Ruminations on College Life: Campus Characters

       David Brooks, Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia

          Comic Sidebar: Janeane Garafalo on (Not) Being Nice

       Paired Readings: Focus on Networks

          Andrew Leonard, You Are Who You Know

          Jennifer Bishop Fullwiler, An Ode to Friendster

          Found Document: Communities about Town (from, San Francisco)

       Photo Essay: Peter Granser and Bill Donahue, The Land of the Setting Sun

       SAMPLING THE OLD & NEW: Marking community: Graffiti v. Warchalks


       Mixing Words and Images: Picturing Communities

          Connecting to Culture: Suggestions for Writing

          1. Network Connections: Mapping Your Social Identity

          2. Reality Check: Evaluating Virtual Communities

          3. Interrogating Assumptions: How Do Communities Function?


  3. Tradition... or, Why Would You Eat That?

    Visuals Include: deep-fried Twinkie, Polish holiday stamp, political statement ribbons, last meals photos, Jon Stewart, holiday cartoons, Norman Rockwell painting, memorial tee-shirts, WW I memorial, 9/11 beams of light, Adbusters' poster


       Examining the Everyday: Tradition and Deep-Fried Twinkies


          Found Document: Dyngus Day: Prepare to Polka (from

    In the Mix

       Paired Readings: Focus on Family

          Ana Castillo, Bowing Out

          Richard Pillsbury, Thoroughly Modern Dining

       Charles Bowden, Last Meals and the People who Eat Them"

       Photo Essay: Celia A. Shapiro, Last Meals

       Jon Stewart, Commencement Address

       Paired Readings: Focus on Campus

          David Berreby, It Takes a Tribe

          Laura Randall, Things You Only Do in College

       Ayana D. Bryd and Lori L. Tharps, The Rituals of Black Hair Culture

       Garrison Keillor, A Wobegon Holiday Dinner

          Comic Sidebar: David Sedaris on holidays

       Natalie Guice Adams and Pamela J. Bettis, Cheerleader! An American Icon

       Brent Staples, The Star-Spangled Hard Hat

       Jen Shreve, A Fitting Memorial: The Commemorative T-Shirt

       SAMPLING THE OLD & NEW: Memorials: 1918 v. 2005

       Gamaliel Padilla, Moshing Etiquette


       Mixing Words and Images: Inventing an American Holiday

       Connecting to Culture: Suggestions for Writing

          1. Rocking the Mainstream: An Analysis of Counter Traditions

          2. Defining America: A Look at Civic Rituals and Public Spectacles

          3. American Diet as Tradition: Are we What We Eat?

          4. Interrogating Assumptions: How Do Traditions Define Us?


  4. Romance... or, What's Love Got to Do With It?

    Visuals Include: ladder, Onion article, screen, screen, New Yorker cartoon, same-sex wedding figurines, P. Diddy, vintage valentine, online profile, couples photos, Chris Rock, wedding announcements, "Bittersweets" candy hearts


       Examining the Everyday: Love and Ladders


    In the Mix

       David Sedaris, The End of the Affair

          Comic Sidebar: P. Diddy on Love Story

       Jennifer Egan, Love in the Time of No Time

          Found Document: Abbreviations in Personal Ads (from

          SAMPLING THE OLD & NEW: Inviting love: a 19th C valentine v. an online profile

       Sasha Cagen, People Like Us: The Quirkyalones

       Clustered Readings: Focus on Dating Rules

          Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, Rule: Don't Talk to a Man First

          Samantha Daniels, 20 Simple Tips for the Perfect Date

          Dave Singleton, The ManDates: Rules for Successful Gay Dating

       Laura Kipnis, Against Love

          Comic Sidebar: Chris Rock on marriage

       bell hooks, Baba and Daddy Gus

       Mo Brownsey, The L Word

       Jon Katz, Petophilia

       Paired Readings: Focus on Women

          Scott Russell Sanders, Looking at Women

          Benedict Carey, The Brain in Love

       Clustered Readings: Focus on the Wedding

          Caitlin Leffel, The Look of Love: Wedding Announcements

          Lois Smith Brady, Announcement: Victoria Dunn and Terrance Jones

          New York Times, Announcement: Daniel Gross and Steven Goldstein


       Mixing Words and Images:

          Creating an Alternative Valentine

       Connecting to Culture: Suggestions for Writing

          1. A Dialogue Essay on Romance What is Love Now?

          2. Investigating Attraction: Are You Hot Or Not?

          3. A Critical Analysis: Is TV Love Anything Like Real-Life Love?

          4. Interrogating Assumptions: What's Love Got to Do with it?


  5. Entertainment... or, Why are You so Bored?

    Visuals Include: iPod ad, Miss America of 1921, Marilyn Manson, The Simpsons, Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres, Team America poster, New Yorker cartoons, roadside attractions, early movie theater photos, Samuel L. Jackson, "The Lords of Light" gamers


       Examining the Everyday: Entertainment and Playlists


    In the Mix

       Paired Readings: Focus on Pop-stardom

          Adam Sternbergh, Britney Spears: The Pop Tart in Winter

          Britney Spears, Letter of Truth

          Comic Sidebar: Ellen DeGeneres on celebrity

       Katie Roiphe, Profiles Encouraged

       Pete Rojas, Bootleg Culture

       Alain de Botton, Comedy

       John Margolies, Amazing! Incredible! Roadside Attractions

       David Nasaw, The Pernicious "Moving Picture" Abomination

       Paired Readings: Focus on Hollywood

          David Sterritt, Face of an Angel

          Samuel L. Jackson, In Character

       Ira Glass, Howard and Me

       Paired Readings: Focus on Reality TV

          Jennifer Pozner, The Unreal World

          Kevin Arnovitz, Virtual Dictionary

          Found Document: Reality Casting Call: MTV "Trash Talking" (from

       SAMPLING THE OLD & NEW: TV Families: The Partridge Family v. The Osbournes

       Hemal Jhaveri, Queer Eye: Searching for a Real Gay Man

       Sarah Vowell, Pop-a-Shot


       Mixing Words and Images:

          Creating a Blog

       Connecting to Culture: Suggestions for Writing

          1. Boredom Overload: A Diary of TV-Watching

          2. From block parties to fairs: How does your community have fun?

          3. Why This Does(n't) Matter: Making Your Case about Reality TV

          4. Defining Modern American Humor

          5. Interrogating Assumptions: Is this Entertaining?


  6. Nature... or, What's so Natural About Nature?

    Visuals Include: Ivory Soap package, Royal Pine air freshener, taxidermy convention, "jackalope" postcard, nature calendars, Wangari Maathai, Jonathan Swift, plastic surgery Web sites, phrenology diagram, MRI photo, The Clones movie poster


       Examining the Everyday: Nature and Soap


    In the Mix

       Susan Orlean, Lifelike

       Barry Lopez, The American Geographies

       Diane Ackerman, We Are All a Part of Nature

       Wangari Maathai, Nobel Speech

       Paired Readings: Focus on Medicine

          Carl Elliott, American Bioscience Meets the American Dream

          Christine Rosen, You, Only Better

          Found Document: Most popular plastic surgeries

       SAMPLING THE OLD & NEW: Ideas in science: phrenology v. the MRI

       Jason Hill, Save Lives! Defy Nature!

       Four responses to Hill's essay

          Comic Sidebar: Jonathan Swift on a modest proposal

       Lewis Thomas, On Cloning a Human Being

       Steven Pinker, Against Nature

       Susan McCarthy, On Immortality

       Eric Schlosser, Why McDonald's Fries Taste so Good

          Found Document: Ingredients of McDonald's French Fries

       Annie Dillard, Living Like Weasels

          Found Document: Weasels Explained

          Comic Sidebar: George Carlin on his Favorite Animals


       Mixing Words and Images:

          "Unidealizing Nature: Designing a Calendar, Poster, Postcard, or Cartoon

       Connecting to Culture: Suggestions for Writing

          1. Analyzing Advertising: How is nature sold (out)?

          2. Investigating the Food Industry: What makes apples red and tomatoes juicy?

          3. Preserving Nature: Proposing a Nature Trail

          4. Integrating Assumptions: What's "natural"?


  7. Technology... or, Could You Live Without the Zipper?

    Visuals Include: 19th Century "hookless fastener," Swiss Army Knife, images of "The Future," lifelike products, ATM receipt, sample Weblogs, cartoons, Mir space station, Ben Stiller, 1964 ad for "Picturephone," Web cam image


       Examining the Everyday: Technology and the Zipper


    In the Mix

       Ellen DeGeneres, This Is How We Live

          Found Document: "Dear Cell Phone User" card

       Langdon Winner, Technological Somnambulism

       Thomas Hine, Looking Alive: The Objects Around Us

          Found Document: Predictions from the 1950s

       Clustered Readings: Focus on Everyday Objects

          Malcolm Gladwell, Smaller: The Disposable Diaper and the Meaning of Progress

          Gustav Peebles, A Wicked Cheat

          Harper's, An Annotated ATM Receipt

       Neil Postman, Invisible Technologies

       Clustered Readings: Focus on the Blog

          Bonnie Nardi, et al., Why We Blog

          Sample Blogs: Carmel's blog, student at Simmons College; Garret's profile and blog, student at the University of Missouri;, a blog for women in technology

          Found Document: A Definition of Weblog (from Jill Walker)

       Ellen Ullman, The Museum of Me

       The Onion, New Technological Breakthrough to Fix Problems of Previous Breakthrough

          Comic Sidebar: Ben Stiller on failed inventions

       SAMPLING THE OLD & NEW: Talking face 2 face: The 1964 "Picturephone" v. Web cam

       Clarence Page, Should We Still Be Involved in Space Exploration?

       Atul Gawande, The Learning Curve

       Daniel Harris, Cleanness


       Mixing Words and Images: Annotating a Technological Object

       Connecting to Culture: Suggestions for Writing

          1. Examining Technology: How does it affect community?

          2. Blog This: Responding to Technology Cheerleaders and Critics

          3. Tracing the Transformation of the Internet: Using the WayBack Machine

          4. Integrating Assumptions: What is progress?

Product Details

Reading and Composing Culture
Bedford/St. Martin's
Latterell, Catherine
Latterell, Catherine G.
Composition & Creative Writing
Composition & Creative Writing - General
United States Social life and customs.
English language -- Composition and exercises.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
9.13 x 6.50 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
Reference » Writing » General

Remix: Reading and Composing Culture
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Product details 848 pages Bedford Books - English 9780312430184 Reviews:
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