Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis


English Language and Literatures


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Byron Hawk


In response to the development of multimodal composition over the last twenty years, significant questions regarding its relationship to traditional composition and the discipline’s pedagogical practices have been posed. These questions are most often raised regarding the way that multimodal composition isolates media and modes, and is thus “tacked on” to composition courses. These concerns are primarily due to the way that multimodality has been theorized, which is usually rooted in the work of the New London Group. Developing a version of multimodal composition that can avoid both isolating its various parts and being tacked on to traditional concerns requires moving from a focus on the multi to the modal of multimodality. This move requires a shift in two parts. First, because the representational, semiotic version of modality found in most scholarship cannot avoid the issue of isolation, it must be thought through the effects and affects of sensory pathways. Second, the various sensory pathways must be thought through what Brian Massumi has called the logic of relation—an effort which is significantly aided by using musical modality as a framework for thinking sensation.


© 2016, Sebastian Ivy