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Chronos, Chronos Again: Composing Media-Rich Timelines with Timeline JS

Apr 4, 2013 @ 9:00 am - 12:15 pm

A Digital Future Workshop

Derek Mueller (Written Communication, Eastern Michigan)
9:00 am – 12:15 pm, Lapham 271

This half-day workshop will introduce Timeline JS, a platform designed by VéritéCo and Knight News Innovation Lab for assembling media-rich timelines. Although timelines risk reducing, simplifying, and imposing linearity on complex events, they can nevertheless be instructive and generative for grasping non-obvious synchronies operating in a wide variety of activities. The workshop will look at some of the ways Timeline JS might be used, for example, to plot the arcs of a course or an academic project’s development; to document time-bounded events, to assemble short pieces associated with history, archival work, or memory; and to speculate about futures. After brief opening remarks, which will include showcasing a few examples like these and suggesting practical and pedagogical opportunities associated with Timeline JS, participants will have time to create their own timelines.

Conceptual aspects of the workshop include—but are not limited to—considerations of chronography, or inscribing time (i.e., capturing time-based activity, representing it dynamically); time series data visualization as it integrates with an array of digital media; and rhetorical principles, such as chronos (systemic, measured time), kairos (opportunity), and metanoia (regret), which are refreshed in the two suggested readings by Kelly A. Myers and John E. Smith (n.b., please consider the Myers and Smith articles as supplements with respect to time-based rhetorical vocabulary, though not necessarily essential to the workshop). The short chapter from Daniel Rosenberg and Anthony Grafton’s Cartographies of Time calls for rethinking assumptions that trivialize and therefore underestimate the value of chronography.

Participants may also find it beneficial to explore the Timeline JS website at http://timeline.verite.co/, as well as Issue 2.2 of EM-Journal, CSW Composite, at http://em-journal.com/22-csw-composite/ in advance of the workshop.

The workshop is free, but please register by April 1 by emailing c21@uwm.edu.

Suggested readings:

Rosenberg and Grafton, “Time in Print,” 10-25 (PDF)
Myers, “Metanoia and the Transformation of Opportunity,” 1-18 (PDF, recommended)
Smith, “Time and Qualitative Time,” 46-57 (PDF, recommended)

Derek Mueller is an Assistant Professor of Written Communication and Associate Director of the First-Year Writing Program at Eastern Michigan. His teaching and research concern the interplay of writing, rhetoric, and technology. More specifically, he studies questions concerning digital writing platforms, networked writing practices, theories of composing, rhetorical aspects of computational methods (e.g. data mining and visualization), archiving and databases, visual and geospatial rhetorics, and discipliniographies or field narratives related to Rhetoric and Composition.


Apr 4, 2013
9:00 am - 12:15 pm
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Lapham 271
3209 North Maryland Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53211 United States