Remix Reading and Composing Culture

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  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-12-01
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
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With a mix of humor and analysis, a collection of fresh readings, lively assignments, and an enticing design, ReMix is not your ordinary textbook. It asks students to re-examine everyday concepts (such as identity, entertainment, and technology); to question assumptions about everyday life and culture; and to respond critically and creatively to some of the most imaginative projects you’ll find in a composition reader.

Built on the idea that students live in a do-it-yourself world in which they are the writers, designers, and inventors, ReMix invites students to bring their own creativity into the composition classroom. It inspires them 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"? This question-posing approach allows students to write about culture and identity in a meaningful way.

Author Biography

Catherine G. Latterell is associate professor of English at Penn State Altoona where she teaches first-year composition as well as a range of other rhetoric and writing courses. In addition to composition and cultural studies, her scholarly interests include post-critical pedagogy, literacy studies, and computers and composition. Her published essays consider the interstection of theory and practice in writing programs, writing centers, and composition classrooms.

Table of Contents

Preface for Instructors

Introduction for Students
What is Remix?
Investigating Cultural Assumptions
Reading and Thinking Like a Cultural Critic: 4 Steps
Composing with Words and Images
*An MLA-style Sample Student Paper
Why the Everyday Matters…A Message from the Author

1. Identity . . . or, who do you think you are?

1. Identity is what we’re born with.
2. Identity is shaped by culture.

3. Identity is shaped by personal choices.

(essay) Emily White, High School’s Secret Life

*(artifacts) eHow.com, How to Dress Goth, Hip Hop, and Emo

*(comic) Tak Toyoshima, Secret Asian Man
*(essay) Queen Latifah, Who You Callin’ Bitch?
*(essay & images) Julian Dibbell, Alter Egos: Avatars and Their Creators
*(essay & profile) Mrigaa Sethi, Facebook: Editing the Self
(essay) Lucy Grealy, Masks

(photo essay) September 11 Tattoos
(essay) Gloria Anzaldúa, How to Tame a Wild Tongue

(essay) Firoozeh Dumas, The "F Word"

2. Community . . . or, are these your people?

1. Communities provide us with a sense of stability
2. Communities serve our needs
3. Communities accept us for who we are.

*(essay) Sarah Adams, Be Cool to the Pizza Dude

*(essay) Azar Nafisi, I Believe in Empathy
(essay) Garrison Keillor, A Wobegon Holiday Dinner

(essay) David Berreby, It Takes a Tribe

(essay) Jon Stewart, Commencement Address
*(essay) Alex Espinosa, My Filipino Roots

*(artifacts) Passiveaggressive.com, Notes

(essay) John A. Hostetler, The Amish Charter

(essay) Mim Udovitch, A Secret Society of the Starving

*(essay) The Onion, MySpace Outage Leaves Millions Friendless

*(essay) Theodora Stites, Someone to Watch Over Me: Google Maps

*(essay) Shari Caudron, Befriending Barbie

*(comics) Aaron McGruder, Boondocks

(essay) David Brooks, Our Sprawling, Supersize Utopia

3. *Competition . . . or, is it in you?

1) Competition is part of our DNA.
2) Competition makes us better.
3) Competitions define winners and losers.

*(essay) Bruce Glassman, We Can Work it Out: The Beatles’

Creative Competition
*(comments) George Martin and the Beatles, On Collaboration
*(essay) Kate Ludeman and Eddie Erlandson, Alpha Male Syndrome

*(blogpost) Donald Trump, Yes, I am Competitive

*(Web page) Jennifer Lopez, "Give it all you got"

*(essay & profiles) Janny Scott and David Leonhardt, Class Matters

*(essay) Alexandra Robbins, Overachievers: Julie, The Superstar
*(essay) Kumi Hodge, Making the Grade

*(essay) Joshua Davis, Team USA!
*(sidebar) David Suitts, Soccer Parents

*(profile) Mia Hamm, On Being the Best

*(interview) Tom Brady, On Winning

*(essay) Alfie Kohn, No Contest: An Argument Against Competition
*(essay) Tammy Johnson, A Model Minority Mess: Race & Beauty in America’s

Next Top Model

*(brief essay) Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence

People: Try This

*(brief essay) Stephen R. Covey, The Habits of Highly Effective

People: Think Win/Win

*(brief essay) Lois P. Frankel, Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner

Office 101: Mistakes and Coaching Tips

4. Romance…or, what’s love got to do with it?

1. Love conquers all.

2. Chemistry = love.

3. My true love will be my soul mate.

4. True love is forever.

(essay) David Sedaris, The End of the Affair
*(essay) Tim Neville, Once Upon a Time in a Tent
(brief essay) Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider, The Rules: Don’t

Talk to a Man First

(brief essay) Samantha Daniels, 20 Simple Tips for the Perfect Date
(brief essay) David Singleton, The MANdates: 25 Rules for Successful

Gay Dating

(essay) Laura Kipnis, Against Love

(essay) bell hooks, Baba and Daddy Gus

*(essay) Sarita James, Let Me Find My Own Husband

(essay) Scott Russell Sanders, Looking at Women

(essay) Jon Katz, Petophilia

(essay) Benedict Carey, The Brain in Love

*(tale /cultural artifact) The Grimm Brothers, Cinderella

5. Entertainment…or, why are we so bored?


1. Entertainment is just for fun.

2. Entertainment is merely a reflection of culture.

3. Entertainment is a personal choice.

*(essay, photo) Rebecca Traister, Hit Her Baby One More Time
*(artifacts) A Collection of Cultural Artifacts: Tabloid Coverage

of Britney Spears

(essay) Katie Roiphe, Profiles Encouraged
*(essay) Heather Havrilesky, Stalking Celebrities

*(artifact) Gawker Stalker
(essay) David Sterritt, Face of an Angel
(essay) Samuel L. Jackson, In Character
*(essay) Steven Johnson, Everything Bad is Good for You: Games

*(artifact) Steven Bogost, Fat World

(essay) Pete Rojas, Bootleg Culture

*(essay) Gene Weingarten, Pearls Before Breakfast: Joshua

Bell on the Subway

*(essay) DeSean Robinson Walker, Hip Hop Life

(essay) David Nasaw, The Pernicious "Moving Picture" Abomination

6. Nature….or, what’s so natural about nature?

1. Nature is a spiritual and nurturing force
2. Nature is a person’s essential character

3. Nature cannot be improved upon

(essay) Eric Schlosser, Why McDonald’s Fries Taste so Good

*(essay) Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food
*(essay & charts) Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth

*(webscreens) National Geographic, Calculating Your Human Footprint

*(essay) Alan Weisman, Polymers Are Forever

*(image) Katherine Hubbard, The Private Life of Trash
*(essay) Jonah Lehrer, The Living City

(essay & images) Susan Orlean, Lifelike
*(essay) Sparrow, Cockroach Diary

(essay) Wangari Maathai, Trees for Democracy
*(artifacts) The (RED) Campaign and Buylesscrap.org: Should You

Shop to Help Africa?

(essay) Christine Rosen, You, Only Better

7. Technology….or, what’s so great about progress?


1. Technologies are machines.

2. Technologies bring progress or peril

3. Technologies are neutral.

(essay) Ellen DeGeneres, This Is How We Live

(essay) Langdon Winner, Technological Somnambulism
*(essay) Christine Kenneally, The First Word: Origins of Language
*(sidebar) Jared Diamond, On Grammar and Evolution

*(essay) Sanovia Jackson, Slang

*(memoirs) Smith Magazine, Six-Word Memoirs

*(comic) Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics
*(essay & images) Henry Petroski, The Toothpick
*(essay) Donald A. Norman, The Psychology of People and Machines

(sidebar) Malcolm Gladwell, On the Perfect Invention

(annotated object) Gustav Peebles, A Wicked Cheat
*(essay) Henry Jenkins, What is Convergence Culture?
(essay) The Onion, New Technological Breakthrough to Fix

Problems of Previous Breakthrough

*(sidebar) Albert Einstein, On Science and Ethics

* new to this edition

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