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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 […]

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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 […]

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digital rhetoric Teaching Uncategorized

Righting Writing Courses

Tomorrow I’m participating in a SUNY Writing Council webinar (at 2pm Eastern) on the challenges of teaching writing online, so here I’m working through some ideas of what I might say in my little 10-minute spiel. (If you are interested and want to know how to join, email me at Alex dot Reid at gmail […]

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Higher Education Rhetoric/Composition Uncategorized

who wants to “own” writing?

There’s this old Steven Wright line that goes something like, “I used to say I wanted to own the world but then I wondered ‘where would I put it all?’” That seems apropos here. To clarify, in higher ed circles the idiom “to own writing” would appear to mean claiming sole disciplinary-intellectual authority and control […]

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partisan politics in an object-oriented democracy

Possibly in an effort to save folks some grief over the holidays, Trish Roberts-Miller offered this recent explanation of what she terms “GOP loyalists” and the effective impossibility of engaging in a rational argument. The basic yet intractable problem is that they are ensured in a propaganda feedback loop extending from their attachment to a […]

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anti-anti-utopian rhetoric

Kim Stanley Robinson as this great essay, “Dystopias Now,” which covers a lot of ground, but one of the central topics is his discussion of anti-anti-utopianism. Basically, you have to imagine a Greimas (or semiotic) square. I’ll just borrow the diagram from KSR. As KSR explains it, dystopias are the “not-concept” of utopias, where things […]

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Books digital humanities digital rhetoric Uncategorized

the most stupid superintelligence possible

I’m reading Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence as a kind of light reading tangentially related to my scholarly interests. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s basically a warning about the dangers of artificial intelligences spinning out of control. There are plenty of respectable folks out there who have echoed these worries—Hawking, Gates, Musk, etc. And Bostrom himself is certainly […]

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podcasting: basic rhetorical questions

As you may have seen, I posted a podcast yesterday. I think I am finding starting up a podcast to be similar in its rhetorical challenges to starting this blog many a year ago. Back then I was asking myself some basic rhetorical questions about audience, genre, and purpose. These are all one question in […]

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digital rhetoric new materialism Uncategorized

A different direction for asking why you heard what you did

So the basic story of the recent “Laurel or Yanny” story, as near as I can figure, is this. You’re listening to a degraded digital recording of a voice that has distorted some of the low frequency sounds a human voice makes. So depending on a number of factors–some physiological, some psychological, some technological (e.g. […]

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Higher Education realist rhetoric Uncategorized

the late age of late ages

 It’s undeniably a quizzical situation. For the middle-aged rhetorician it’s the comically late age of the humanities/English Studies and the tragically late age of humans (cf. climate change) in the midst of a still spry rhetorical universe that will go on without us. I can only imagine a generation of mid-century factory workers punching clocks […]