Electric Rhetoric – Technologies of Electric Rhetoric

October 28th, 2010

The Sophistic performance of electronic rhetoric has arrived. …It is on computers. … and it is on television. (137)

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

In this fifth Chapter of Electric Rhetoric, Technologies of Electric Rhetoric, Welch elaborates on her idea of an electric rhetoric–stemming from an Ongian tie to secondary orality, which exists in, and due to, the electronic era. Given the ubiquity of computer use, Welch calls for a digital literacy not only for anyone wanting to enter the workplace, but also for anyone who wants to fully experience that richness that has been brought about by new media and our current state of technology. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Presence of the Word – Word as Sound

October 24th, 2010

[C]ultures which do not reduce words to space but know them only as oral-aural phenomena, in actuality or in the imagination, naturally regard words as more powerful than do literate cultures” (112).

Ong, Walter J. The Presence of the Word: Some Prolegomena for Cultural and Religious History. The Terry Lectures. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967.

That words are powerful is a common idea, meaning that words can hurt, words bring knowledge, words bring action, etc. However, for early man and oral cultures, words actually bring physical power.

It is a commonplace that early man, strongly if by no means exclusively oral-aural, experiences words–which for him typically are spoken words–as powerful, effective, of a piece with other actuality far more than later visualist man is likely to do. A word is a real happening, indeed a happening par excellence. (111).

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Reading Images: Multimodality, Representation and New Media – Kress

July 31st, 2010

“Each mode forces me into making certain kinds of commitments about meaning, intended or not. The choice of mode has profound effects on meaning…” (111).

Kress, Gunther. “Reading Images: Multimodality, Representation and New Media.” Information Design Journal & Document Design 12 2 (2004): 110-19.

In this 2004 article, continues his discussion of multimodality and representation (addressed in my last post). He presents his discussion from he perspective of semiotics and specifically from that of multimodality, “which deals with all he means we have for making meaning–the modes of representation–and considers their specific way of configuring the world” (110). Read the rest of this entry »

Interview with Gunther Kress

July 30th, 2010

Bearne, Eve. “Interview with Gunther Kress.” Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 26 3 (2005): 287-99.

In this 2005 interview, Eve Bearne from the University of Cambridge, UK discusses multimodality and new media with Gunther Kress, a Professor at University of London and expert on the topic. She grounds this discussion in Kress’s statement that language-based practices, influenced by developments in digital technology are creating some new social relations and are giving way to a “new communications landscape” that is inherently multimodal. Furthermore, these changes reshape social practices and views relating to literacy.

What is Literacy? Read the rest of this entry »