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Computers and Composition




Elsevier Ltd

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Rhetoric and composition studies have conceptualized and defined digital sampling as a method of composition in many ways and for various pedagogical purposes: from a means of free-play invention that is critical of more formalistic writing practices to a semiotic strategy rooted in African American rhetorical traditions designed to effect political change. The latter view is critical of the former in that the former does not account for student digital sampling projects that unquestioningly appropriate from other people and communities. This is a real pedagogical problem, but students can create unethical and hurtful digital sampling projects, no matter the assignment prompt. To supplement such free-play invention strategies and anticipate problematic student projects, this essay suggests to view digital sampling through a rhetorical ethics of care perspective and offers a pedagogical heuristic for ethical in(ter)vention through the concept of vulnerability. Considering digital sampling through a heuristic of vulnerability entails a questioning of all sampling practices as potential acts of wounding or caring in the hopes of helping students develop into more sophisticated rhetors capable of producing nuanced compositions and engaging with ethical issues of digital media. © 2016 .