The following articles and webtexts are meant to serve as theoretical foundations and of multimodal composition. Some of those involved with FYW’s WAT initiative have highlighted certain articles as useful places to start.

Editor’s Picks

Yancey, Kathleen Blake. “Made Not Only in Words: Composition in a New Key.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 56, no. 2, 2004, pp. 297–328. (2003 Chair’s Address at the Conference on College Composition and Communication, San Antonio, TX)

Yancey, Kathleen Blake. “Writing in the 21st Century: A Report from the National Council of Teachers of English.” Urbana: NCTE, 2009.

Brenda Jo Brueggemann

I’d suggest either one of these two pieces by K. B. Yancey. The first is her 2003 Chair’s Address at the Conference on College Composition and Communication; the second is her report to the National Council of Teachers of English, after ending her term as President there as well. They are grounded in pedagogy and also meaningful manifestos.

Selfe, Cynthia. “The Movement of Air, the Breath of Meaning: Aurality and Multimodal Composing.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 60, no. 4, 2009, pp. 616-63.

Ruth Book

This piece was monumental in shaping the scholar of rhetoric and composition I am today. Part history, part manifesto, Selfe carefully articulates the stakes of multimodal composition for instructors and for students through a series of case studies and argues that, as instructors, we are responsible for teaching students about “all available means of communication,” (a la Aristotle), not just the few means available using traditional, text-based composition.

New London Group. “A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures.” Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and the Design of Social Futures, edited by Bill Kope and Mary Kalantzis, Routledge, 2000, 9-37.

Gabe Morrison

This foundational text in interdisciplinary multimodal scholarship changed the way many fields think about literacy. One of the authors’ most important claims is that conversations about multiliteracies are always conversations about access and what educators value about students’ literacy experiences.

Expanded Bibliography by Topic


Brueggemann, Brenda Jo. “Articulating Betweenity: Literacy, Language, Identity, and Technology in the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Collection.” Stories That Speak to Us: Exhibits from the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives. Ed. H. Lewis Ulman, Scott Lloyd DeWitt, & Cynthia L. Selfe. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press, 2013,

Hunter, Leeann. “The Embodied Classroom: Deaf Gain in Multimodal Composition and Digital Studies.” The Journal of Interactive Technology & Pedagogy, vol. 8, 2015,

Yergeau, Melanie, et al. “Multimodality in Motion:  Disability and Kairotic Spaces.” Kairos, vol. 18, no. 1, 2013,

Assignment Building

Dixon, Dwayne. “Imagining the Essay as Digital Assemblage: Collaborative Student Experiments with Writing in Scalar.” Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments, vol. 1, no. 1, 2017,

Shipka, Jody. “This Was (NOT) an Easy Assignment: Negotiating an Activity-Based Framework for Composing.” Computers and Composition Online, 2007,

Digital Humanities

Hayles, Katherine. “The Digital Humanities: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis.” University of Chicago Press, 2012.

—. “How We Read: Close, Hyper, Machine.” ADE Bulletin, vol. 150, 2010,


Ball, Cheryl E. “Assessing Scholarly Multimedia: A Rhetorical Genre Studies Approach.” Technical Communication Quarterly, vol. 21, no. 1, 2012, pp. 61–77.

McKee, Heidi A., and Dànielle Nicole DeVoss, editors. Digital Writing Assessment & Evaluation. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press, 2013,

Shipka, Jody. “Negotiating Rhetorical, Material, Methodological, and Technological Difference: Evaluating Multimodal Designs.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 61, no. 1, 2009, pp. W343-66.

Sorapure, Madeleine. “Between Modes: Assessing Student New Media Compositions.” Kairos, vol. 10, no. 2, 2006,

Multimodal Literacies/Technologies

Cedillo, Christina V.  “Diversity, Technology, and Composition: Honoring Student’s Multimodal Home Places.” Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society, vol 6, no. 2, 2017,

Lauer, Claire. “What’s in a Name?: The Anatomy of Defining New/Multi/Modal/Digital/Media/Texts.” Kairos, vol. 17, no. 1, 2009,

Position Statement on Multimodal Literacies.” NCTE, 2005,

Reid, Gwendolynne, Robin Snead, Keon Pettiway, and Brent Simoneaux. “Multimodal Communication in the University: Surveying Faculty Across Disciplines.” Across the Disciplines, vol. 13, no. 1, 2016,

Selber, Stuart. “Reimagining Computer Literacies.Multiliteracies for a Digital Age. Southern Illinois University Press, 2004.


Davidson, Cathy N. and David Theo Goldberg. The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age. The MIT Press, 2010.

New London Group. “A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures.” Multiliteracies: Literacy Learning and the Design of Social Futures, edited by Bill Kope and Mary Kalantzis, Routledge, 2000, 9-37.

Shipka, Jody. Toward a Composition Made Whole. University of Pittsburgh Press, 2011.

Voss, Julia. “To Teach, Critique, and Compose: Representing Computers and Composition through the CIWIC/DMAC Institute.” Computers and Composition, vol. 36, no. ,2015, pp. 16-31.