Current Affairs electrate politics

the meager agency of human individuals

Our culture has a broad understanding of free will. It’s based upon religion, cultural values, and our lived experience of decision-making. At the same time, we all know that a newborn left alone in the wilderness cannot survive. A toddler cannot survive alone. Indeed so few of us can survive alone, even as adults, that […]

Current Affairs electrate politics

ontological quagmires in American politics

[N.b., to be fair, these challenges do not apply solely to us, but that’s where my focus will be.] For Thanksgiving, David Brooks brought us a casserole dish on the “rotting of the Republican mind.” It put me in mind of another article I read recently on the relationship between evangelical Christians and conspiracy theories […]

electrate politics

social media assemblages and “misinformation”

At its core, a new materialist digital rhetoric tells us that media/information is made accessible, strong, and durable through human-nonhuman assemblages in digital media ecologies. This is a basic insight from Latour, DeLanda, and others. To expand briefly on this core: there is a reality in which we participate; part of that participation is our […]


the digital rhetoric-media studies round-trip

There’s a good argument for looking backward now to see the last ten years as the decade of digital rhetoric. Sure the term was coined 30 years ago by Richard Lanham, and some variation of digital rhetoric had already been at work for 10 years before that. But it’s the last decade that saw the […]

digital rhetoric pandemic Teaching

Chekhov’s panopticon

Apparently 80% of the professors at my university forced online in March had never taught an online course before. Now they have been seasoned, left to marinate all summer, and, I am assuming, are ready to be grilled. I’m sure you know Chekhov’s gun. With that in mind, there are two approaches to understanding Chekhov’s […]

digital rhetoric Teaching Uncategorized

discord in the online classroom

Unsurprisingly, when you search the web for information about “discord” in the online college classroom, you get results about unruliness or some such, but I’m talking about the application. There’s an insightful piece on the Digital Rhetoric Collaborative titled “Discord: Gaming App to Rhetoric Class,” by Kristin Ravel and her students, that details their experience […]

Higher Education Teaching

Can college students really not pay attention to the end of a 10-minute video?

On FB yesterday, some of my friends were sharing a piece of research the suggested the optimal length for instructional videos was around six minutes. The specifics of the research aren’t really important here. What is relevant is that academics are trying to come to terms with the realities of fall online instruction. Others are […]

digital rhetoric Digital Scholarship

rhetorics of the digital nonhumanities: the book.

After a week or so of emailing and chin-scratching, this appears to be the title of my forthcoming book: Rhetorics of the Digital Nonhumanities. Not sure when it will appear yet–copy editing, indexing, etc., etc. But someday I expect. So what’s it about? Well, it’s along the lines of what you might expect if you’ve […]

digital rhetoric

free as in beer: speech in the social media market

Harper’s Magazine published a letter signed by 150 journalists, authors, artists, academics, and related folks basically in defense of free speech as we conventionally understand it and in opposition to cancel culture, broadly conceived. American Conservative followed with an op-ed in support of that letter (which, rhetorically speaking, probably doesn’t do many of the people […]

digital rhetoric Teaching

modeling workflow in a synchronous online writing class

I know, I know… me and the sexy, clickbait-y post titles. I just can’t help myself. This is a brass tacks thinking through of something I’ve very rarely done, which is to teach an online course with a synchronous element. Of course many of us did it in an emergency way last spring, but now […]