Rhetoric on the Internet:
The Screen as Rhetorical Space

A Summary



Jim Sparrow, coordinator of Technology Across the Curriculum in the College of Arts and Sciences, discussed the thinking behind the in-progress construction of the CAS website. The goal of the site is the creation of a sense of community and coherence amidst the diversity that marks George Mason University. However, considering that the major goal of the audience will be to locate information about CAS easily, Sparrow and his team have had to consider ways of presenting this "coherence amidst diversity" theme in a spare, straightforward venue that loads quickly and transparently. In the current version of the site, this concept has been enacted through a depiction of RaphaelĖs painting School of Athens, chosen as an allegory of the liberal arts in society depicting both the unity of learning and learning as a dialogue. In addition, the CAS logo is that of a topical representation of a mathematics problem in which interlocking rings exist interdependently. While not touching, they are connected but discrete; however, if one ring is removed, they fall apart. In addition, links have been created as navigational tools to prevent disorientation. Early responses to this site have expressed concern that the Raphael painting represented education for an elite white male population and did not account for GMUĖs diversity. Based on these responses, the design team is considering the addition of multiple timed images that account for this diversity.


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