Rhetorics and Technologies
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Recognizing an increasingly technological context for rhetorical activity, the thirteen contributors to this volume illuminate the challenges and opportunities inherent in successfully navigating intersections between rhetoric and technology in existing and emergent literacy practices. Edited by Stuart A. Selber, Rhetorics and Technologies positions technology as an inevitable aspect of the rhetorical situation and as a potent force in writing and communication activities.

Taking a broad approach, this volume is not limited to discussion of particular technological systems (such as new media or wikis) or rhetorical contexts (such as invention or ethics). The essays instead offer a comprehensive treatment of the rhetoric-technology nexus. The book's first section considers the ways in which the social and material realities of using technology to support writing and communication activities have altered the borders and boundaries of rhetorical studies. The second section explores the discourse practices employed by users, designers, and scholars of technology when communicating in technological contexts. In the final section, projects and endeavors that illuminate the ways in which discourse activities can evolve to reflect emerging sociopolitical realties, technologies, and educational issues are examined. The resulting text bridges past and future by offering new understandings of traditional canons of rhetoric—invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery—as they present themselves in technological contexts without discarding the rich history of the field before the advent of these technological innovations. Rhetorics and Technologies includes a foreword by Carolyn R. Miller and essays by John M. Carroll, Marilyn M. Cooper, Paul Heilker, Johndan Johnson-Eilola, Debra Journet, M. Jimmie Killingsworth, Jason King, James E. Porter, Stuart A. Selber, Geoffrey Sirc, Susan Wells, and Anne Frances Wysocki.



Publié par
Date de parution 05 décembre 2012
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781611172348
Langue English

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Studies in Rhetoric/Communication Thomas W. Benson, Series Editor
Rhetorics and Technologies
New Directions in Writing and Communication
Edited by Stuart A. Selber
                       The University of South Carolina Press
© 2010 University of South Carolina
Cloth edition published by the University of South Carolina Press, 2010 Ebook edition published in Columbia, South Carolina, by the University of South Carolina Press, 2013
22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13      10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
The Library of Congress has cataloged the cloth edition as follows:
Rhetorics and technologies : new directions in writing and communication / edited by Stuart A. Selber.   p. cm. — (Studies in rhetoric/communication)   Includes bibliographical references and index.   ISBN 978-1-57003-889-1 (cloth : alk. paper)   1. English language—Rhetoric—Research. 2. English language— Rhetoric—Computer-assisted instruction. 3. Communication and technology. 4. Discourse analysis. I. Selber, Stuart A.    PE1408.R54 2010    808'.042028—dc22
ISBN 978-1-61117-234-8 (ebook)
List of Illustrations
Foreword Carolyn R. Miller
Introduction Stuart A. Selber
1   Redrawing Borders and Boundaries
Being Linked to the Matrix: Biology, Technology, and Writing Marilyn M. Cooper
Among Texts Johndan Johnson-Eilola
Serial Composition Geoffrey Sirc
2   Constructing Discourses and Communities
Appeals to the Body in Eco-Rhetoric and Techno-Rhetoric M. Jimmie Killingsworth
Unfitting Beauties of Transducing Bodies Anne Frances Wysocki
The Rhetorics of Online Autism Advocacy: A Case for Rhetorical Listening Paul Heilker and Jason King
Narrating the Future: Scenarios and the Cult of Specification John M. Carroll
3   Understanding Writing and Communication Practices
Technology, Genre, and Gender: The Case of Power Structure Research Susan Wells
Rhetoric in (as) a Digital Economy James E. Porter
Literate Acts in Convergence Culture: Lost as Transmedia Narrative Debra Journet
1.1. Source theories
1.2. Cognitive shortcuts
2.1. Image from “Text in a Machine” series
2.2. Strahav Monastery library
2.3. Ramelli's book-wheel
2.4. Petroglyphs in Chilas, Pakistan
2.5. Masses of mass-produced books
2.6. Work spaces of Johndan Johnson-Eilola, Dennis Jerz, and Charlie Lowe
2.7. Multiple views of one text in Tinderbox
2.8. Two views of Hitachi's μ-Chip
2.9. Partial listing of reader activity on a Weblog post
2.10. Ego surfing via a Technorati search
2.11. Scanning physical items into Delicious Library
2.12. Access of Web sites via eXtreme and Google Analytics
4.1. The earth-organism-machine continuum
4.2. Body divided from mind and bracketed with earth
7.1. Virginia Tech publicity collage
7.2. Web site of Spring Creek Watershed Community in 2003
8.1. Tools of the trade, 1960
8.2. Tools of the trade, 1976
8.3. Red River Women's Press, Austin 1973
8.4. Writing at the Freedom School, 1964
8.5. Who Rules Columbia? , cover
8.6. How Harvard Rules Women , cover
8.7. How Harvard Rules Women , table of contents
8.8. How Harvard Rules Women , first page
8.9. Women and Their Bodies , 1970, cover
8.10. Women and Their Bodies , 1970, table of contents
8.11. Women and Their Bodies , 1970, first page
9.1. The long tail of digital economics
9.2. Web 1.0 online version of Teacher Knowledge Standards
9.3. Web 2.0 social networking site for teacher-educators
Rhetoric, Technology, and the Pushmi-Pullyu
Carolyn R. Miller
In his recent book, Saving Persuasion , Bryan Garsten observes that there are two “forms of corruption” to which rhetoric is susceptible. These “twin dangers” stem from the very nature of persuasion, “which consists partly in ruling and partly in following” (2). In seeking to influence the beliefs, feelings, and attitudes of others, we may try too hard to rule, that is, to manipulate others for our own purposes. Or we may try too hard to gain their goodwill and assent, that is, to follow them by pandering to their presumptions and prejudices. In either case, truth and justice, cooperation and disclosure, will suffer.
This dilemma has the same structure as the push-pull model of technological development. In this model, technological change has two possible causes, supply and demand: it can be “pushed” along by the supply of discoveries and developments internal to technology itself (or derived from science), or it can be “pulled” by external forces, primarily market demand. Given the widely accepted premise that technological change promotes economic growth, one question that exercises economists and policy analysts is which of the two causes of change is more important and which factors government policy should target in order to promote economic growth, those that influence supply or those that influence demand.
Technology, like rhetoric, can both push and pull at us. Not only do “artifacts have politics,” as Langdon Winner has claimed, they also have rhetorics. Technology pushes or manipulates us by requiring us to do certain things and in certain ways; our communication technologies, highlighted in this collection, push us to send SMS messages with no more than 160 characters or to access a point on a scroll or a magnetic tape linearly, in one direction; a library card catalog (remember those?) requires us to seek information using one search strategy at a time. A technology pulls from us, or panders to us, by reconfirming and strengthening our inclinations and propensities; blogging, for example, hooked into the already pervasive celebrity culture of exhibitionism and voyeurism, enrolling many eager participants in an activity that they welcomed without knowing in advance that they wanted it. Many mobile devices similarly gain assent and consumer dollars by offering information that we had no idea we wanted but that we then find it hard to live without.
The ways that technology pushes and pulls at us are called “affordances.” In psychologist James Gibson's original formulation, affordances are what an environment offers to an animal, “what it provides or furnishes , either for good or ill” (127, emphasis original). For example, a given natural environment affords materials and locations for birds to build certain kinds of nests but not others. In the context of communication technologies, affordances take the form not of material properties or ecological niches but rather properties of information and interaction that can be put to particular cognitive and communicative uses. Thus a technological affordance, or a suite of affordances, is directional , it appeals to us, by making some forms of communicative interaction possible or easy and others difficult or impossible, by leading us to engage in or to attempt certain kinds of rhetorical actions rather than others. Affordances both enable and constrain, they both pull on us and push at us.
This pushmi-pullyu dynamic is central to rhetoric, and Garsten is only the most recent scholar to have highlighted it. For example, Donald Bryant's influential explanation of “how rhetoric works” has the same structure: rhetoric, he says, has the function of adjusting “ideas to people and…people to ideas” (413). The well-known exchange between Lloyd Bitzer and Richard Vatz regarding the “forces” in a rhetorical situation reveals the same dynamic. For Bitzer (the “market-pull” version), an objectively existing situation “demands” a “response”; for Vatz (the “supply-push” version), the rhetor creates the situation for the audience.
Rhetoric and technology share this dynamic and its twin dangers because they are both arts of design: they are both in the business of balancing innovation with tradition, of initiating change and then compensating for it. If rhetoric is the art that adjusts ideas to people and people to ideas, we might characterize technology as the art that accommodates the material world to people and people to the material world. This shared dynamic gives rhetoric and technology a shared ambivalence toward both tradition and innovation (or what Kenneth Burke called “permanence and change”). In an essay called “The Fear of Innovation,” Donald Schön discusses this ambivalence in the corporate setting: “Companies want new technology, new ideas. We all know this. Then why do they fight so hard to prevent anything new from ever happening?” (70). He observes that “technological innovation disrupts the stable state of corporate society” (78), pointing to the changes in production, marketing, quality control, management, labor, and accounting that may be required by the introduction of a new product,

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