Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

English Language and Literatures

Sub-Department

English

First Advisor

Daniel L Smith

Abstract

This dissertation develops responses to the problem of abundance by locating sites within rhetorical pedagogy that offer flexible and immanently modifiable ways to teach and practice composition within medial multiplicity.

DISS_para>Much of the field's scholarship centering on composition and technology focuses on the idea that composers can be more effective if they are "reflectively aware" of how social conditions along with technological structures pre-determine compositional possibility. I intervene within this discussion by arguing that this approach, critical technological literacy, while useful, unduly restricts many of composition's inventive possibilities. Such restriction occurs because these positions presuppose that compositional possibilities only become achievable by occupying positions of distance or separation from pre-determinative operations. By contrast, a rhetorical orientation that engages abundance argues that "the available means of composition" along with its potential for invention exist within structures of pre-determination.

Put differently, this dissertation focuses on the cultivation of compositional dispositions that facilitate the "discovery" of inventive possibilities by becoming attuned to and involved within pre-determinative structures, all as a complement to critical technological literacy's focus on consciously knowing those structures. Informed by the scholarship of Gilbert Simondon, Bruno Latour, and Bernard Stiegler, I develop transduction as a complimentary mode of composition pedagogy and compositional engagement that does not assume prior separations between human and technological activity. After introducing the problem of abundance and defining transduction, the project pursues possibilities and problems of abundance by examining four sites in the rhetorical tradition that I argue function as pedagogy and activity for attuning to transductive operations of composition. Each site--copia, ethos, topoi, and kairos--offers practices for becoming aware of and attuned to immanent activities of composition. Ultimately, Abundant Rhetoric seeks to engage the problem of abundance by developing concepts and practices for generating abundance in today's domains of multiple media.

Boyle_SED.pdf (467 kB)

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