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CCR 633

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Textual Machinery & Rhetorical Agency, Ancient to Digital
Look out honey, ‘cause I’m using technology. - Iggy Pop, “Search and Destroy”

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We are becoming the servants in thought as in action, of the machine we have created to serve us. - John Kenneth Galbraith

Contact Prof. Krista Kennedy Email: krista01@syr.edu (Preferred. With rare exceptions, I respond to all emails within 48 hours.) IM: drkristakennedy on gTalk, iamkristak on AIM (If you see me online, you’re welcome to ping me. After 5 p.m. and on weekends, I may or may not respond.) Twitter: kakennedy Office Hours: 1:00 - 2:00 T/Th Office: HBC 228 Course Description Technologies of writing and reading are ubiquitous to the point of invisibility in our daily lives. As we go about mundane communicative tasks, we seldom pause to consider our essential tools: styluses, the alphabet, handwriting, paper, printing, screens, and pixels. These technologies have immense rhetorical consequences that influence the formation of knowledge, power, and community identities. In this course, we will explore intersections of rhetorical agency and the material aspects of textual production. We’ll begin at the beginning and work our way toward the digital age, using the following questions to focus our inquiry: • • • • • How have humans historically created and refined technologies to meet communicative needs? How do technologies influence the form, content, and distribution of human writing? Can technologies (particularly communicative technologies) possess agency? How do publishing technologies shape the formation of communities and power? How have we rhetorically constructed narratives of our complex interactions with communicative technologies?

Meeting Spaces, Physical and Digital HBC 020, which needs no introduction, is our default meeting space. We will also meet in the Antje Bultmann Lemke Room, located on the 6th floor of Byrd Library in the Special Collections Research Center. See the schedule for dates. Our course website is located at http://www.kristakennedy.net/ccr633/. Texts Required: (Prices listed are for new books via Amazon.) • Brooke, C.G. (2009). Lingua fracta: Toward a rhetoric of new media. Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press. $24.95. • Gitelman, L. (2000). Scripts, Grooves, and Writing Machines. Stanford: Stanford University Press. $26.95. • Hayles, N.K. (2002). Writing machines. Cambridge: MIT Press. $14.05 • Lanham, R.A. (1995). The electronic word: Democracy, technology, and the arts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. $30.00 • Schmandt-Besserat, D. (1996). How writing came about. Austin, University of Texas Press. $17.37 ***Note that this is the first abridged edition: ISBN 0292777043.*** Recommended: • Anderson, B. (2006). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. Verso. • Baron, D. (2009). A better pencil: Readers, writers, and the digital revolution. New York: Oxford University Press. • Duncombe, S. (2008). Notes from the underground: Zines and the politics of alternative culture. Microcosm Publishing. • Eisenstein, E. (1979). The printing press as an agent of change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. • McMillian, J. (2011, available for pre-order as of January). Smoking typewriters: The sixties underground press and the rise of alternative media in America. New York: Oxford University Press. • Morley, D. & Worpole, K. (2009). The republic of letters: Working class writing and local publishing. Philadelphia: New City Community Press. • Smith, M.R. & Marx, L. (Ed.), (1994). Does technology drive history? Cambridge: MIT Press. Major Assignments Blogging (15%): You will consider and discuss the weekly topics on our course blog. This is an open-ended assignment: you may focus on any aspect of the week’s readings that interests you, bores you, disturbs you, or sends you looking for more stuff. It should conclude with at least three potential questions for discussion. There are many
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ways to succeed in this assignment, but your response should comprise more than just notes. In the best of all worlds, these responses will result in both digital and classroom conversations. Blog posts are due each week by midnight on Monday. Class Facilitation (15%): You will facilitate our opening discussion two times during the semester by providing an overview of 1-2 of the texts assigned for that week. If you choose a debate between scholars (i.e. the Giesler, Lundberg & Gunn debate or the Eisenstein/Johns debate), you’ll be responsible for facilitating the entire exchange. If you choose a book-length work, then you’ll be expected to handle the book as a whole. Your facilitation, which should be 10-15 minutes, should provide us with: • • • • information about the author a quick summary of the text(s) identification of the central argument/concerns of the text 2-3 discussion questions

You should prepare some form of visual aid for your discussion; this might be a handout, a blog post, or some form of text that we can view in projection. Dead Technology Project (30%): You will develop and provide connective commentary for a curated collection on a dead technology of your choice. Your focus should be historical and/or critical in nature. The collection may include written text, audio, or visual materials, and should be the equivalent of a 2,000 word paper. (We can confer over exactly what that means, depending on your individual project designs.) Alternative Technological Narrative (40%): Over the course of the term, you will develop an extended research project focused on less-commonly-discussed technological narratives. For example, you might choose to focus on cultural issues, overlooked technologies, or a particular technological moment. You will develop a multimodal exploration of your topic in just about any way that you choose - a database; an interactive timeline and meta-commentary; a media-rich syllabus and course site; or some other web-based scholarly resource. I am open to the use of a wide range of technologies to create this end product and am happy to discuss possibilities with you. Expectations As with all graduate-level courses, you’re expected to show up, be collegial, and contribute consistently in an engaged and original fashion. You’re also expected to meet deadlines unless an emergency arises. These simple tenets will take you a long way in the field. I’m happy to meet with you, whether before or after class, during office hours, by appointment, or online. If I don’t hear from you, then I will assume that you’re doing just fine.

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Schedule of Events Module 1: Recent Conversations on Agency and Technology
Jan. 18: Defining Technology and Rhetorical Agency Introductions Syllabus Review Weekly Responsibilities Sign-Up • • • Baron, D. (2009). Writing it down. In A better pencil: Readers, writers, and the digital revolution. New York: Oxford UP. 3-18. Kline, S.J. (1985). What is technology? In Philosophy of technology: The technological condition. Eds. Scharff, R.C. & Dusek, V. Malden, MA: Blackwell. 210-212. Campbell, K.K. (2005). Agency: promiscuous and protean. Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 2.1, 1-19.

Jan. 20: Aspects of Rhetorical Agency • Leff, M. (2003). Tradition and agency in humanistic rhetoric. Philosophy and Rhetoric, 36.2, 135-147. • Geisler, C. (2004). How ought we to understand the concept of rhetorical agency? Report from the ARS. Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 34.3, 9-17. • Lundberg, C., & Gunn, J. (2005). Ouija board, are there any communications? Agency, ontotheology, and the death of the humanist subject, or, continuing the ARS conversation. Rhetoric Society Quarterly 35.4, 83-105. • Geisler, C. (2005). Teaching the post-modern rhetor: continuing the conversation on rhetorical agency. Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 35.4, 107-113. Jan. 25: Technological Determinism Smith, M.R. & Marx, L. (Ed.), (1994). Does technology drive history? Cambridge: MIT Press. 1-100. Jan. 27: Nonhuman Agency • Johnson, J. (1988). Mixing humans and nonhumans together: the sociology of a door-closer. Social Problems, 35.3, 298-310. • Miller, C.R. (2007). What can automation tell us about agency? Rhetoric Society Quarterly, 37.2, 137-157. • Miller, C.R. (2004.) Expertise and agency: transformation of ethos in humancomputer interaction. In Hyde, M. (Ed.), The ethos of rhetoric, (pp. 197–218). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.

Module 2: Historical Development of Writing Technologies
Feb. 1: How Writing Came About Schmandt-Besserat, D. (1996). How writing came about. Austin, University of Texas Press.
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Feb. 3: Writing, Memory, and Thought • Aristotle. (2004). On the Soul ; And, On Memory and Recollection. 449b2 - 450a27. • Plato. (2006). Phaedrus. 274b-276a. • Plato. (2008). Protagoras. 338e-348a. • Plato. (2007). Theatetus. 142a, 191c. • Ong, W. (1986). Writing is a technology that restructures thought. In Bauman, G. (Ed.), The written word: Literacy in transition. Wolfson College Lectures 1985. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Available http://www.scribd.com/doc/36156900/Writing-is-a-Technology-That-Restructures -Thought-PDF-by-Walter-J-Ong. Feb. 8: Writing, Publishing, and Piracy in Ancient Greece • Enos, R. Literacy in Athens during the archaic period: A prolegomenon to rhetorical invention. In Atwill, J.M. & Lauer, J.M. (Ed), Perspectives on rhetorical invention. (pp. 176-191.) Knoxville: Tennessee Studies in Literature. • Davison, J.A. (1962). Literature & literacy in ancient Greece. Phoenix 16.3, 141-156. • Davison, J.A. (1962). Literature & literacy in ancient Greece II: Caging the muses. Phoenix 16.4, 219-233. Feb. 10: In Praise of Scribes Meet in Lemke Room Introduction to Special Collections • Trimethius (1492). De laude scriptorum. • Gold, D. (2008). The accidental archivist: Embracing chance and confusion in historical scholarship. In Kirsch, G.E. & Rohan, L. (Eds.), Beyond the archives: Research as a lived process. Carbondale: Southern Illinois Press. 13-27. • Mastrangelo, L. & L’Eplattenier, B. (2008). Stumbling in the archives: A tale of two novices. In Kirsch, G.E. & Rohan, L. (Eds.), Beyond the archives: Research as a lived process. Carbondale: Southern Illinois Press. 161-169. • The SU Special Collections Research Center website: http://library.syr.edu/find/scrc/. Click around and familiarize yourselves with who they are and what they do. Feb. 15: The Printing Press as Agent Meet in Lemke Room Eisenstein, E. (1979). The printing press as an agent of change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 3-113. Feb. 17: The Printing Press as Agent, Cont. • Eisenstein, E. (1979). The printing press as an agent of change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 114-162 • Johns, A. (1998). The book of nature and the nature of the book. In The nature of the book: Print and knowledge in the making. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 157. Optional: Visit to the Grandin Print Shop, Palmyra NY
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Feb. 22: Images and Reproducibility Meet in Lemke Room • Maynard, P. (2010). Working light. Philosophy of Photography 1.1. 29-34. • Roh, F. Mechanism & expression. In Trachtenberg, A. (Ed.), Classic essays on photography. (pp. 154-163.) New Haven, CT: Leete’s Island Books. • Benjamin, W. (1936). The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction. Available http://www.dzignism.com/articles/benjamin.pdf. Feb. 24: Documentary Photography in the American Midwest Meet in Lemke Room • Ward, J. (2010). Solomon Butcher and the great white turkey. In Sullivan, D., Maylath, B., & Hirst, R. (Eds.) Revisiting the past through rhetorics of memory and amnesia. Cambridge Scholars Press. • Hoelscher, S.D. (2008). Picturing Indians: Photographic encounters and tourist fantasies in H.H. Bennett’s Wisconsin Dells. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 353, Optional: Visit to Eastman House, Rochester NY March 1: Handwriting • Thornton, T.P. (1998). Handwriting in America. New Haven: Yale UP. (ix-xiv, 3-41, 143-175.) • Douglass, F. “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” (excerpts) • Baron, D. (2009). Thoreau’s pencil. In A better pencil: Readers, writers, and the digital revolution. (pp. 33-48.) New York: Oxford UP. March 3: Writing Machines: Phonographs and Typewriters Meet in Lemke Room Gitelman, L. (2000). Scripts, Grooves, and Writing Machines. Stanford: Stanford UP. 1147. March 8: Writing Machines: Phonographs and Typewriters, II Meet in Lemke Room Gitelman, L. (2000). Scripts, Grooves, and Writing Machines. Stanford: Stanford UP. 148-229. March 10: The Politics of Paper • Mortensen, P. (2001). Reading material. Written communication 18. 395-439. • Prendergrast, C. & Ličko, R. (2009). The ethos of paper: Here and there. JAC 29.1-2. 199-228. March 13 - 20 SPRING BREAK

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Module 3: Alt text, alt communities
March 22: Print and the Formation of Community Anderson, B. (2006). Imagined communities: Reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. Verso. (excerpt) March 24: Textual Undergrounds I: Early 20c. Zine Culture Meet in Lemke Room Duncombe, S. (2008). Notes from the underground: Zines and the politics of alternative culture. Microcosm Publishing. 6-110. March 29: Textual Undergrounds II: Local Publishing and Class Guest: Steve Parks Morley, D. & Worpole, K. The republic of letters: Working class writing and local publishing. (2009). 1-87. March 31: Textual Undergrounds III: Local Publishing and Politics Guest: Margaret Himley McMillian, J. (2011). Smoking typewriters: The sixties underground press and the rise of alternative media in America. Oxford University Press. Excerpt. April 4-9 ATTW & CCCC

Module 4: Digitalities
April 12: Dreams of a New Machine • Chambers, E. (1734). Considerations preparatory to a new edition, available to the publick. • Wells, H.G. (1938). Contribution to the new Encyclopédie Française, August, 1937. In The World Brain. Garden City: Doubleday, Doran & Co., Inc. 39-80. • Bush, V. (1945). As we may think. The Atlantic. Retrieved Jan. 7, 2010 from http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/194507/bush . • Licklider, J.C.R & Taylor, R.W. (1968). The computer as a communication device. Science and Technology (September), 20-41. April 14: Code and Power: Gender, Eugenics, Tabulation • ENIAC. In Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ENIAC • Light, J.S. (1999). When computers were women. Technology and culture (July), 40.3. 455-477. Available http://labweb.education.wisc.edu/steinkuehler/elpa940/readings/Light.pdf • Black, E. (2001). IBM and the holocaust: the strategic alliance between Nazi Germany and America’s most powerful corporation. Dialog Press. 7-22, 75-104. • Haynes, C. (2010). <meta> Casuistic code. In From A to <A>: Keywords of markup. Eds. Dilger, B. & Rice, J. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 228-235.

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April 19: The Electronic Word Lanham, R.A. (1995). The electronic word: Democracy, technology, and the arts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1-137. April 21: The Electronic Word, Cont. Lanham, R.A. (1995). The electronic word: Democracy, technology, and the arts. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 138-276. April 26: Multimedia Hayles, N.K. (2002). Writing machines. Cambridge: MIT Press. April 28: A Rhetoric of New Media Brooke, C.G. (2009). Lingua fracta: Toward a rhetoric of new media. Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press.1-112. May 3: A Rhetoric of New Media, Cont. Guest: Collin Brooke Brooke, C.G. (2009). Lingua fracta: Toward a rhetoric of new media. Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press. 113-201. May 5: Presentations, Feasting

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