Early Notes for New Media Rhetoric

These are early notes from when I was trying to figure out just what to study. Anything beyond a single sentence is a quote.

Uses Aristotle’s appeals and Cicero’s canons to basically construct an ad.

How can studying new media enhance rhetorical thinking and writing? What is the relationship between new media and visual rhetoric? What problems do instructors and students face when adapting traditional rhetorical concepts to new media? Are assignments possible that not only analyze but also utilize new media? What are students’ expectations concerning new media assignments and how might they conflict with our goals as instructors?
The following assignments and discussions suggest a range of approaches to these questions and offer innovative strategies for teaching the visual, textual, and auditory rhetorics of new media.
Includes fb, twitter, youtube, etc. assignments.”

NC State’s PhD program in Comm, Rhet, and Digital Media prepares students to:
analyze the social, cultural, and political dimensions of information technologies, new communication media, and digital texts and to actively engage digital media through research, criticism, production, and practice.”

Miller, Carolyn. “Should We Name the Tools? Concealing and Revealing the Art of Rhetoric.” The Public Work of Rhetoric: Citizen-Scholars and Civic Engagement, ed. David Coogan and John Ackerman. University of South Carolina Press, 2010. 19-38.

Lyne, John and Carolyn Miller. “Rhetoric, Disciplinarity, and Fields of Knowledge,” The Sage Handbook of Rhetorical Studies, ed. Andrea A. Lunsford. Los Angeles: Sage, 2009. 167-174.

Note: Lots of Visual Communication journals to look at for digital rhetoric.

from an NC State CV on Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods in Digital Media Research
Johnson, M. A., & Sink, W. T. (in press). Ethnic museum public relations: Cultural diplomacy and cultural intermediaries in the Digital Age. Public Relations Inquiry.
Johnson, M. A., & Martin, K. (in press). When navigation trumps visual dynamism: Hospital website usability. Journal of Promotion Management.
Johnson, M. A. & Searson, E. (2011). Visual ethics in public relations: An analysis of Latin American government Web sites. Nicolaev, A. (Ed.) Ethical Issues in International Communication. Palgrave MacMillan, pp.183-198.
Martin, K. N. & Johnson, M. (2010). Digital credibility and digital dynamism in public relations blogs. Visual Communication Quarterly, 17(3), 162-174.
Johnson, M. A. (2010). Incorporating self-categorization concepts into ethnic media research. Communication Theory, 20, 105-124.
Johnson, M. A. (2010). Good neighbor, no neighbor: Visual fidelity in U.S. network television’s portrayals of Mexico President Vicente Fox. Visual Communication Quarterly, 17, 18-30.
Searson, E. M., & Johnson, M. A. (2010). Transparency laws and interactive public relations: An analysis of Latin American government Web sites. Public Relations Review, 36(2), 120-126.

“In 2013 the SNCR Fellows will focus on the following topics:?
• How social innovation and social entrepreneurship are resulting in products and services that are being used to enhance society?
• The evolution of intellectual property practices of social networking systems?
• Mobile and wearable technology trends and individuals’ connection and identity with wearable technology?
• Use of digital health technologies and the impact of new communications technologies on the way in which healthcare consumers seek out information and communicate with their providers and peers?
• The valuation of social capital and its effect on discourse and thought leadership?
• How social media is changing the way organizations develop a product and sell to the customer”

accessible rhetoric
–closed captioning, captioning movement, humanizing nameless speakers, etc.

Digital Rhetoric and New Media, junior/grad course
from the background:
“The digital is an inescapable part of everyday life. Nearly every activity that a generation ago required face-to-face contact or interaction with another person can now be accomplished digitally, mediated by phone trees, automated systems, and the web. And countless activities that were unheard of even a few years ago are now possible, thanks to digital technology. Unlike the grand technologies of the 20th century—improbably tall skyscrapers, massive hydroelectric dams, rocket ships to the moon and beyond—the digital technologies that capture our attention today are mostly small and personal. Cell phones, videogame consoles, HDTVs, iPads and ebooks.
While there are countless questions to ask about the social, psychological, and economic implications of ubiquitous digital technology, ENGH 376/508 will focus upon the expressive power of new media. By expressive power, we will mean the way digital media enables and shapes different modes of creative and cultural expression.
We will approach the expressive power of new media through four lenses in ENGH 376/508:
Platforms. This introductory section lays the groundwork for the semester, exploring the history and materiality of new media. We will consider new media not as a vague concept or as something that happens only on screens, but as very specific and historically-situated forms of technology—as what we will call “platforms.”
Literature. This second section considers how artists and writers use new media to create aesthetic and literary works that challenge accepted notions of art, narrative, and poetry.
Data. The third section of the semester focuses on database culture, particularly the aesthetic and narrative potential of seemingly objective infographics, data visualizations, and mapping.
Games. The final section of the course explores the expressive and rhetorical power of videogames. Often dismissed as adolescent entertainment, videogames are in fact complicated and compelling, and can both evoke and provoke.

As for how to actually perform a media-specific analysis, keep in mind the questions that various critics and scholars have raised about new media. For example, consider the following:
Noah Wardrip-Fruin argues that to understand new media “we must read both process and data.” Data refers to the words, images, and sounds that make up a “text,” while processes refer to algorithms, calculations, and other ways the program moves or manipulates the data. Furthermore, Wardrip-Fruin urges us to look at interaction, surface, and context.
Hayles insists that “print is flat, code is deep”—meaning that electronic works have surface texts, but also underlying code (and codes) that shape that surface text. Electronic works are also transformable, recombinant, and reliant upon “cyborg” readers who must do some of the meaning-making work of the text.
Janey Murray suggests that new media works are procedural, participatory, spatial, and encyclopedic.Since her formulation dates back to 1997, it’s intriguing to think about the way her categories might have involved in the past 15 years.
Lev Manovich contrasts narrative and database, arguing that database is the dominant symbolic form of the 21st century.
Robert Simanowski views databases using the language of literary naturalism and literary formalism.
When it comes to finding a work to discuss, I encourage you to browse through Volume One and Volume Two of the Electronic Literature Organization’s anthologies of digital work. An excellent source for database-oriented works is the Rhizome ArtBase. You can also analyze a work that someone (even you) has already blogged about for our class, or which we discussed in class itself (excepting works like Nine, which we thoroughly analyzed in class).”

Update: I misread the post. This is by Doug Eyman, from his forthcoming book, Digital Rhetoric: Theory, Method, Practice, U Michigan P.
by Doug Eyman
“In Virtualpolitik (2009), Elizabeth Losh traces the term “digital rhetoric” to Richard Lanham”s “Digital Rhetoric and the Digital Arts” (1992), which was an early influence on my own thinking about how one would define digital rhetoric. The next time I encountered the term was in an article in College Composition and Communication by Mary Hocks – her definition explains that “digital rhetoric describes a system of ongoing dialogue and negotiations among writers, audiences, and institutional contexts, but it focuses on the multiple modalities available for making meaning using new communication and information technologies” (2003,p. 632). From my perspective, there had been a fairly extensive gap between Lanham’s coining of the term and the next attempt to define and use it. But midway through my doctoral program, I encountered Zappen’s article on digital rhetoric, which serves in a roundabout way as a model for this text. In 2005, James Zappen argued that current work toward developing digital rhetoric has thus far resulted in “an amalgam of more-or-less discrete components rather than a complete and integrated theory in its own right. These discrete components nonetheless provide at least a partial outline for such a theory, which has potential to contribute to the larger body of rhetorical theory and criticism” (p. 323); this lack of “an integrated theory” seemed to me a perfect opening for my own work toward understanding, defining, and shaping a vision of digital rhetoric (although I have moved from seeking an integrated theory to articulating digital rhetoric theories – as well as taking a closer look at methods and practices).
The term “digital rhetoric” is perhaps most simply defined as the application of rhetorical theory (as analytic method or heuristic for production) to digital texts and performances.?I would add, following Zappen (2005), that the primary activities within the field of digital rhetoric include
the use of rhetorical strategies in production and analysis of digital text
identifying characteristics, affordances, and constraints of new media
formation of digital identities
potential for building social communities (p. 319)
but I would add to that list
inquiry and development of rhetorics of technology
the use of rhetorical methods for uncovering and interrogating ideologies and cultural formation in digital work
an examination of the rhetorical function of networks
theorization of agency when interlocutors are as likely to be software agents (or “spimes”) as they are human actors
Finally, I would note that digital rhetoric may use any of the rhetorical fields and methods that may be useful in any given inquiry, including those of traditional/classical rhetoric, contemporary theories of rhetoric, visual rhetoric, computational rhetoric, and procedural rhetoric – and that as an interdisciplinary field, it may also avail itself of methods drawn from a wide range of related disciplines.”

classes from Texas Tech’s Tech Comm & Rhet degrees (Master’s and PhD)
5365 New Media Rhetoric. Introduction to theoretical and practical complexities and practicalities of working with new media and graphics.
5369 Discourse and Technology. Study of the effects of computer networks and digitally mediated knowledge management on theoretical, practical, and pedagogical notions of discourse and discourse communities.
5375 Document Design. Theory and practice of creating comprehensible, usable, and persuasive texts.
5376 Online Publishing. Design and testing of online documents to support instruction and information retrieval.
5377 Visual Rhetoric. Analysis and theory of the persuasive, discursive, and argumentative nature of the visual components of documents.

George Mason U course: Rhetoric and New Media
“Critical reading of new media texts and creation of technology-enriched texts in variety of rhetorical genres. Instructs students in rhetoric of new media, whether produced as hypertext, multimedia, or interactive digital productions. Technology-enriched activities present complex textuality of words, images, word-as-image, and kinetic text.”

“Tracing Rhetorical Style from Prose to New Media: 3.33 Ways”
“This introduces a unit from an advanced undergraduate course in style and technology. I frame the assignment, articulate a rationale for using stylistic principles to link prose discourse and new media genres, and feature an imagetext, a comic, and a Twitter stream—all pieces developed for the unit.”

iRhetoric Placeshifting: A New Media Approach to Teaching Classical Rhetoric
Need to read through this so I can get an idea of what I can add to 652.

CRDM 2013 is a communication/rhetoric/digital media conference
Has some youTube videos up that could watch.

Damage Control: Rhetoric and New Media Technologies in the Aftermath of the BP Oil Spill

University System of Georgia: Teaching & Learning Conference April 4-5, 2013
Video Essays: Engaging Students As Producers of Digital Texts
Note: I could do a version of this for the NCTE proposal. I have lots of student producers and lots of sample digital texts.

New Media-Spaces of Organizational Rhetoric
It is hard to imagine an organization without any virtual interface to the world: the digital revolution has reshaped the way companies, governamental offices and charities communicate with their stakeholders. The Web 2.0 era (O’Reilly 2007) offer widely used new media spaces for organizational discourses: Blogs since 2005, microblogging platforms such as Twitter since 2007, or the Facebook social networking site since 2010. Our case study is aimed at assessing rhetorical devices and visual tools used by three Transylvanian Mayor’s offices in their online communication practices. Assessment criteria include usability, accessibility and e-government facilities offered by these organizational websites.

Digital Rhetoric
James P. Zappen
“Conference Paper 1 should address a significant issue in the field of digital rhetoric/digital media and should be addressed to an appropriate venue in rhetoric or communication, digital media studies, HCI, and/or technical communication. The paper should include (1) a grounding in issues and problems in a relevant current literature, (2) an explication of applicable theories and/or methods, and (3) either (a) a description and analysis of significant digital texts/contexts or (b) a description and evaluation of a significant digital performance or production”

Computers and Writing keynote on digital rhetoric, with video and transcription

Under contract with University of Chicago Press. Estimated publication: Spring 2014 ?Edited by Jim Ridolfo and William Hart-Davidson

List of rhet comp journals
Composition Forum is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal of pedagogical theory in rhetoric and composition.
Computers and Composition: An International Journal ?A refereed professional print journal devoted to exploring the use of computers in composition classes, programs, and scholarly projects. It provides teachers and scholars a forum for discussing issues connected to computer use.
Computers and Composition Online ?A refereed online journal for scholar-teachers interested in the impact of new and emerging media upon the teaching of language and literacy in both virtual and face-to-face forums.
Inventio: “creative thinking about learning and teaching”?Features peer-reviewed articles on instructional research, instructional philosophy, pedagogy, learning theory, and other significant issues related to excellence in learning and teaching.
Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy? Kairos is a refereed online journal exploring the intersections of rhetoric, technology, and pedagogy. Each issue presents varied perspectives on special topics, such as “Critical Issues in Computers and Writing,” “Technology and the Face of Language Arts in the K-12 Classroom,” and “Hypertext Fiction/Hypertext Poetry.”
Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society is a peer-reviewed, blind-refereed, online journal dedicated to exploring contemporary social, cultural, political and economic issues through a rhetorical lens. In addition to examining these subjects as found in written, oral, and visual texts, the journal provides a forum for calls to action in academia, education, and national policy. Seeking to address current or presently unfolding issues, Present Tense publishes short articles of no more than 2,000 words, the length of a conference paper.?
RhetNet ?A cyberjournal for rhetoric and writing.
Writing on the Edge: ?An interdisciplinary journal focusing on writing and the teaching of writing aimed primarily at college-level composition teachers and others interested in writing and writing instruction. TOCs online.*
The Writing Instructor ?A Digital Community and Networked, Refereed Journal.*

new peer-reviewed journal –-Dialogues: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy
will be at SWTXPCA in 2014

review of Rhetorics of Display (ordered from Amazon, used book $8.99)

thought it would have more stuff about Victorian in it, but doesn’t
Talks instead about personal objects that became museum displays.

Speaking with Things: The Rhetoric of Display
list of books including:
Bronner, Simon J., ed. Consuming Visions: Accumulation and Display of Goods in America, 1880-1920. New York: Norton, 1989. H?F5845 .C68 1989 GREEN

“A Collective Haunting”: Torture as a Rhetoric of Display?
Kelin Kitchener, U of Idaho P, 2009

Theory of Visual Rhetoric by Sonja Foss

Visual Rhetoric
mediums and manifestations
cultural theories
modality and visual representations of reality
status of visual rhetoric in the academy

visual rhetoric, 13 pages of assignments and discussions by grad students on visual rhetoric

visual rhetoric visual literacy
covers basic points of photographs: overview, light values, focus, detail, gaze, frame cropping

guide to teaching visual rhetoric

rhetoric lists of bibs, including ones on linguistics

Hocks, Mary E. “Understanding Visual Rhetoric in Digital Writing Environments.” College Composition and Communication 54.4 (June 2003): 629-656.

Sandywell, Barry. “Specular Grammar: The Visual Rhetoric of Modernity.” Interpreting Visual Culture: Explorations in the Hermeneutics of the Vision. Ed. Ian Heywood and Barry Sandywell. New York: Routledge, 1998. 30-56.

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