"The Intersection of Rhetoric and Technology." This is a phrase we bandy about in Zeugma, the Digital Writing and Research Lab, and the broader field of rhetorical study. But what, exactly, does it mean? On what map is it located?

In this episode, the Zeugma team conducts a series of interviews of people within the vicinity of the University of Texas campus, seeking their sense of what the words "rhetoric" and "technology" mean, and how both manifest in their day-to-day lives. The episode is as much a look backward at the mission that Zeugma has been driving toward during its first two years in operation as it is a look forward to the third season, which is currently underway and increasing the series' interest in exploring matters of interest to the Austin community and the process of community building.

Direct download: Zeugma_3.2_-_Standing_at_the_Corner.m4a
Category:general, technology, community, definition -- posted at: 1:55am CDT

Last year, we debuted a Very Special Episode titled 'Riffing', which we then described as collaboration without communication: an audio relay race in which each member of the team worked from a tiny snippet of sound, branching off into something radically new and different -- and it was so much fun, we decided to try it again.

Riffing is an exercise in freedom … within bounds. We were inspired by the children's collaborative writing game in which each kid writes a sentence of a story, then folds the page down so just a few words are visible and passes it on, leaving the next person to build on that fragment. When the story has gone the whole way round, each one is read aloud -- and everyone revels in the (un)expected forks in the road. In the Zeugma version, each team member puts together a 3-minute segment in secret, then hands over the last 15 seconds to their teammate to inspire their own 3-minute segment: lather, rinse, repeat. Last week we gathered to listen to the fruits of the semester's secretive labors and recorded our reactions -- and we invite you to share your own reactions on our Facebook and Twitter {{DUSTY -- ADD THE LINKS FOR THESE}}. But for now … just follow the music ...
Direct download: Zeugma2015_Ep01_Riffing_mixdown-FINAL.mp3
Category:riffing, music, general -- posted at: 11:26am CDT

In this special summer episode--the last in Zeugma's summer interview series from the 2014 Rhetoric Society of America conference--we talk with Victor Vitanza of Clemson University. Dr. Vitanza talks about Kenneth Burke and Geoffrey Sirc, Immanuel Kant and Internet cats, rhetorics and media old and new, Pre/Text: A Journal of Rhetorical Theory, and Clemson's Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design program.

Direct download: Vitanzing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:47am CDT

This episode of Zeugma is dedicated to poetry, exploring how technology has shaped and continues to shape the market for poetry in general as well as its form, content, and methods of composition.

Direct download: VersingEpisode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:14am CDT

Riffing: What is it? It's a collaborative effort minus communication, an experiment with the unknown; it's developing something creative from a minimal snippet of audio and working extremely freely within very defined parameters. It's Zeugma members developing ideas off of each other--or tripping each other up and deliberately misinterpreting each other. It's a mix of exciting, weird, and hilarious that is hard to explain. Best just give it a listen.

Direct download: RiffingEpisode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57am CDT

In this episode of Zeugma Beck Wise explores hacking broadly conceived as transformative practice and the way it intersects with rhetorical teaching and research. In an audio essay. she introduces her own "Rhetoric of Hacking" class and its pedagogical approach. She also interviews Steven LeMieux about the machinic invention project group at UT's Digital Writing and Research Lab, which explores the rhetorical constraints and affordances of working with objects like 3D printers and single-board micro-computers.

Direct download: Hacking_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:35pm CDT

Have you heard the one about the Lacanian who made a podcast on laughter? They say it's hysterical.

Thank you, thank you. We'll be here all week.

In this episode of Zeugma, Jake Cowan digs into just what tickles our funny bones. To lend a hand, Jake asked Charles Rogers--the co-writer and director of the award-winning satirical film Fort Tilden--and Austin comedian Justin Davidson to talk about just what cracks them up.

Direct download: Laughing_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm CDT

In this episode, Megan Eatman talks with members of the Digital Writing and Research Lab's Digital Archiving Group, as well as a co-chair of the Rappaport Center's Human Rights and Archives Working Group, to learn more about their approaches to and struggles with, archiving. The lab's Cole Wehrle and Sarah Frank discuss the challenges of building an archive from a wide variety of digital and physical materials, and the Rappaport Center's Charlotte Nunes provides suggestions for how scholars can approach archival work in a more radical way.

Direct download: Archiving.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:31pm CDT

In this episode of Zeugma, Axel Bohmann explores the world of sports and fan cultures. A number of fantasy sports players talk about their respective leagues, their motivations for joining them, and the way being a league member has influenced their perspective as fans. We also take a look at roller derby, which has come a long way from its humble beginnings on Austin's 6th Street to currently being the fastest growing sport in the world. Derby announcers Koolaid and Chip Queso explain how the culture of the sport has taken some decisive turns over its history and why derby is about so much more than just sports.

Direct download: sUPporting_mixdown2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:44pm CDT

Are you being watched right now? And if so, what are you going to do about it? In this episode of Zeugma, Beck Wise explores the world of surveillance, from robot baristas to naked body scanners, and the ways people respond to these increasingly prevalent, and increasingly invasive, technologies.

Our first segment introduces you to one of the creepiest technologies on campus, an automated coffee robot that seems like it's making your caffeination process just a little bit easier -- but turns out to be keeping, and sharing, more of your personal information than you might be comfortable with. And we talk with Simone Browne, a professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas, about the raced and gendered experience of surveillance -- and about the ways that surveilled communities use social media and art to turn the surveillant gaze back on the dominant culture.

This episode features music from thefakesaltychips, Peter Chiykowski, and Michael Adams.

Image credit: TSA Communication Plate by Evan Roth. Licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

Direct download: Surveilling.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am CDT