We Can Do It! Women in the Workforce

A Museum Brochure by Emma Mitchell

Author Interview – Emma Mitchell

Q: Why did you choose to write about your particular topic for the project?

A: I chose to write about the “We Can Do It!” poster because it had great variation over time, and the topic interested me. I wanted to pick something that I was going to enjoy researching and decided to work on the “We Can Do It!” poster because it is a symbol that almost everyone knows but I could expand my knowledge on.

Q: With this contest, we want to feature pieces that challenge and discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion. How do you feel your piece accomplishes that goal?

A: My piece is oriented around the evolution of women in the workplace through time. My piece originated from a timeline that began with 1941 and continued through the present day. Throughout the years, women took major strides in their place in society. 

Q: How do you feel the genre of the project helped you effectively communicate to your audience? What were the advantages of this genre in particular?

A: I chose to make a museum exhibit to cater to older generations and people who are interested in history enough to visit an exhibit about it. This genre was very helpful because I could easily split up sections of the exhibit which made the information flow nicely.

Q: What did you learn through the process of research and completing this project, and/or the experience of preparing it for publication?

A: Through this project, I’m learning a lot about the publication process. I am really enjoying working with collaborators and hearing their advice and ideas without a grading rubric. When originally making this project, I had my professor’s likes and requirements in mind and followed the rubric, but now I am able to change things to make it fitting for additional audiences.

Q: How has your writing process changed throughout your time at Elon? How do you feel English 1100 fostered that change?

A: I feel like my writing has gone through many twists and turns during the last few years. I went into ENG 1100 with creative writing experience. ENG 1100 was a good stepping stone for me to learn some more sophisticated writing techniques. Now I am entering communication classes where the writing style is much more factual and exact. I am so glad I had the ENG 1100 stepping stone to bridge the gaps and give me the basis I needed. 

Q: What advice would you give to students who are currently enrolled in ENG 1100, might want to complete a similar project, or are interested in publishing in Phoenix Rhetorix?

A: I would recommend keeping an open mind when enrolled in ENG 1100. I went into ENG 1100 thinking my class would be packed with heavy essays and reading, but I came out with a whole new appreciation for English and how our society reacts to it. If you are wanting to complete a similar project, I would recommend picking a topic you are curious about or interested in. When brainstorming for this project, I had many ideas that I thought may be easier to accomplish but didn’t interest me as much. In the long run, I was more dedicated to the project and learning while making it.

ENG1100 Faculty Interview – Travis Maynard

Q: What is your overall approach to teaching ENG 1100?

A: In my ENG 1100 classes, I try to prepare students for both academic and public writing by encouraging them to consider writing through the lens of remix. So, we spend a lot of time thinking about how we take inspiration from other texts and re-use pre-existing materials in our own composing, whether that be through quotation, sampling, references and allusion, or even just assembling individual words to form a sentence. The past year or so, I’ve been using memes as a framework to introduce these ideas, which was the inspiration for this assignment.

Q: What do you hope students get out of completing this particular project?

A: I hope students get a few different things out of the project. On the one hand, I hope the research they do helps them see the process of remix in action, seeing how one particular text or idea is remixed and adapted for different contexts; as an extension of that, I hope they gain experience conducting rhetorical analysis and see how the meme works for different purposes and connects to different audiences. Then, as they transition to presenting this research in different contexts, I hope they gain experience remixing themselves: using and re-using aspects of their projects, adapting them to work for different purposes and different rhetorical audiences, and incorporating academic research to support their arguments.

Q: In completing this project, did your student face any particular challenges? If so, how did you help them navigate those challenges, and/or how did they work to overcome them?

A: I think the biggest challenge that Emma and I faced was figuring out which genre would be best to deliver her research and then working to make sure her final design worked within those genre conventions. Given her topic of Rosie the Riveter and World War II, Emma wanted to try to connect with older audiences that might remember the war; so, after some discussion, we decided that envisioning a museum exhibit might be an option, since that exhibit could highlight the role of women in the workforce during WWII and display different versions of Rosie the Riveter as part of that exhibit. Of course, Emma couldn’t curate a museum exhibit, so we envisioned this project as a brochure that would guide museum patrons around the space and provide extra contextual information. Once we had the brochure in mind, Emma worked in Canva to adapt what was an infographic into more of a brochure: ensuring the page sizes were appropriate, designing a cover, and designing a visual theme that both evokes the color scheme of Rosie the Riveter and a manila folder to give patrons the feel that they were browsing through “files” from that time period.

Q: What was the most rewarding part of working with your student on this project?

A: As we were working through the design of this project, I thought it was great to see Emma’s vision come to life in the form of this museum brochure. Further, it was really satisfying to see a thoughtful execution of this project in terms of the outcomes I described above: students remixing their research to make it work within a new context, support a new argument, and connect with new audiences.

Q: What advice would you give to students who are currently enrolled in ENG 1100, might want to complete a similar project, or are interested in publishing in Phoenix Rhetorix?

A: For students in ENG 1100: Take some time to learn about your personal writing process and what works best for you. Don’t procrastinate on brainstorming and drafting; get something out onto the page, step away, spend some time thinking about it, and return to the draft with fresh eyes so you can get a solid draft. Really engage with peer review activities; oftentimes, we can get ideas for our own projects by thinking carefully about how others are approaching a draft and providing commentary on it. Similarly, the comments you receive from peers can offer valuable insight; don’t shrug them off. Finally, go to your professor’s office hours!