Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tongue, Nib, Block, Bit: Rhetorical Delivery and Technologies of Writing
by McCorkle, Warren Benson, Jr., Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2005, 246; 10834919
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation argues that the rhetorical canon of delivery is inherently a technological discourse. That is, theories of delivery (traditionally pertaining to vocal tone and inflection, physical gesture, posture, dress, and the like) have historically fostered the cultural reception of emergent writing technologies by prescribing rules that cause old and new communications media to resemble one another, thus helping new technologies gain cultural relevancy. By considering various historical “case studies” throughout the Western rhetorical tradition, this dissertation analyzes rhetorical delivery as a site wherein given technologies of writing (chirography, print, or hypertext) enter the cultural sphere. Such key moments of technological and epistemological flux include: 1) the shift from an oral to a literate culture in Ancient Greece, 2) the early modern Western European shift from manuscript to print culture, 3) the growth of print into a dominant communication medium in the nineteenth century, and 4) our current shift away from the hegemonic influence of print to the proliferation of electronic and digital media such as television, radio, film, and the Internet. These emergent technologies are fostered by the surrounding rhetorical treatises and handbooks of the time, which apply features and conventions idiomatic to the new technology to the pre-existing technology (and vice versa) so that culture more readily accepts this transformation in technological dominance. Not only is this dynamic affected by explicit references to delivery, it is also affected by implicit rules prescribing how the material dimension of a media form should be shaped, or hidden theories of delivery.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Johnson, Nancy
School: The Ohio State University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: British and Irish literature
Keywords: Delivery, Media theory, Rhetoric, Writing technologies
Publication Number: 10834919
ISBN: 978-0-355-94699-4
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