Electric Rhetoric – A New Literacy

October 26th, 2010

Electronic technologies have led to electronic consciousness, an awareness or mentalité that now changes literacy but in no way diminishes it. (104)

Welch, Kathleen E. Electric Rhetoric: Classical Rhetoric, Oralism, and a New Literacy. The MIT Press, 1999.

Welch begins this work noting that computer screens dominate the workplace and other key places in our daily lives, and this was published in 1999. Today, we interact with screens even more so with touch-screen payment systems, watches, menus, and of course our cell-phones, which now perform virtually any online task we desire. She goes on to discuss how the use of video is used in many beneficial ways, exampling its use in the medical industry. These conditions of our current use of the internet, static and interactive screens, and video have created a literacy that previous generations did not posses. It is important, here to define literacy for this discussion and to clarify that it does not merely refer to an ability to read and write or to simply understand the technology. Welch defines literacy as follows: Read the rest of this entry »