Saturday, June 02, 2007

Rhetoric of Cool

Just finished Jeff Rice's Rhetoric of Cool; got it Thursday and went cover-to-cover pretty quickly. I have been very interested in Jeff's work ever since I dreamt about him about 3 years ago; he has brought McLuhan and Ulmer together more consistely than any other scholar I am aware of.

Because I was familiar with some of the content of the book through his earlier journal contributions, what I liked best was actually the repetition--seeing/hearing him re-iterate the historical argument that composition missed an opportunity in 1963 to ground itself in the emerging technology, the emerging new media, and ultimately in "cool rhetoric," but the field in general chose to stick with print, not just in products but in logic. He makes some really compelling arguments that even the most visual texts and scholars in our field who embrace the "visual" do so from a print-logic biased.

I am frequently struggling with how to frame an argument for the role of McLuhan in composition studies, and what Jeff's book seems to do for me (after one quick read-through) is help me more clearly articulate his reading and use of McLuhan, which in turn will help me articulate my position. By linking McLuhan to cool rhetoric, and by really pushing the envelope for digital and electronic thinking, I can see that Jeff, like his mentor Ulmer, is a little more thoroughly immersed in the logic of electracy than I tend to be. I have been using and playing with the idea of "working at the interface" a lot lately, and by "working at the interface" I mean that I see myself working at the interface of literacy and electracy, print culture and visual culture, text and image, visual and acoustic space. Where Jeff offers the cool compositional strategy of juxtaposition in one chapter, I tend to use Scott McCloud's six patterns of word-picture relationships as a more detailed, and probably print-logical, way to approach the general strategy of composing through juxtaposition. Where Jeff emphasizes the rhetoric of cool, his articulation of that made me realize that I try to teach the rhetoric of hot and cool, and that I think students gain an understanding of both by seeing them placed side-by-side: working at the interface.

I'm looking forward to dipping back into Jeff's earlier "textbook," writing about cool, which I am sure will seem like a whole new text now that I have read The Rhetoric of Cool.


Doc Mara said...

I actually think that he's onto something here. I've been arguing in the halls that electracy should have its seat at the table in English departments. I know that orality is generally owned by Communcation depatments, but I'm convinced that electracy is still open for grabs (whether or no we invoke McCluhan).

Jeff said...

Thanks for the comments, Kevin.

Interesting that you should note the "interface" since in my new project on networks and Detroit, I've been thinking about that idea as well. Interface serves as one aspect of network culture. Using Detroit as metaphor for the network, I take up William Mitchell's idea that buildings will become interfaces in digital culture, and (in one chapter) focus on the building I work (or as of now "worked") in as an interface.

Not that the world doesn't have enough blogs or wikis, but given the work you all are doing at ND State, maybe the time has come for another type of electracy-collaborative space that brings together folks in composition (where Invent-L is not really a composition space)?

oakleyses said...

nike free, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet store, tory burch outlet online, coach outlet store online, longchamp handbags, michael kors outlet online sale, polo ralph lauren, michael kors handbags, louis vuitton, prada outlet, ray ban outlet, burberry outlet online, nike air max, coach purses, coach outlet, nike outlet, chanel handbags, true religion outlet, christian louboutin shoes, red bottom shoes, gucci handbags, coach outlet, louis vuitton outlet online, tiffany and co jewelry, michael kors outlet online, oakley vault, cheap oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton handbags, nike air max, prada handbags, true religion, louis vuitton outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany jewelry, kate spade outlet, burberry outlet online, christian louboutin outlet, jordan shoes, christian louboutin, kate spade outlet online, longchamp outlet online, michael kors outlet

oakleyses said...

air max pas cher, hollister, longchamp pas cher, converse pas cher, ralph lauren, nike air max, air jordan, sac vanessa bruno, abercrombie and fitch, scarpe hogan, sac michael kors, louis vuitton uk, michael kors canada, new balance pas cher, ray ban pas cher, nike roshe, hermes pas cher, true religion outlet, ralph lauren pas cher, tn pas cher, nike free, vans pas cher, north face, nike roshe run, nike air force, nike air max, hollister, sac louis vuitton, burberry pas cher, oakley pas cher, michael kors uk, ray ban uk, mulberry uk, north face pas cher, chaussure louboutin, guess pas cher, louis vuitton, nike blazer pas cher, air max, barbour, lululemon outlet online, lacoste pas cher, timberland, longchamp, louis vuitton pas cher, true religion jeans, nike free pas cher

oakleyses said...

bottega veneta, ugg boots clearance, north face jackets, herve leger, wedding dresses, insanity workout, jimmy choo shoes, soccer jerseys, ugg outlet, mcm handbags, beats headphones, canada goose outlet, chi flat iron, ferragamo shoes, ghd, ugg, canada goose outlet, uggs outlet, asics shoes, giuseppe zanotti, nike trainers, longchamp, soccer shoes, vans outlet, p90x workout, valentino shoes, north face jackets, mac cosmetics, mont blanc pens, nike huarache, babyliss, abercrombie and fitch, replica watches, uggs on sale, celine handbags, new balance outlet, reebok shoes, canada goose outlet, nike roshe, marc jacobs outlet, ugg boots, hollister, ugg outlet, birkin bag, canada goose, lululemon outlet, ugg soldes, instyler ionic styler, nfl jerseys

oakleyses said...

iphone 6 case, timberland shoes, louis vuitton canada, nike air max, moncler outlet, toms outlet, hollister, air max, moncler, canada goose, pandora charms, pandora uk, hollister canada, oakley, louboutin, converse, ralph lauren, wedding dress, ray ban, swarovski jewelry, baseball bats, parajumpers outlet, pandora jewelry, canada goose, gucci, moncler, thomas sabo uk, ugg, montre femme, canada goose pas cher, vans, uggs canada, swarovski uk, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, lancel, converse shoes, hollister clothing, coach outlet, links of london uk, moncler outlet, replica watches, karen millen, moncler, supra shoes, moncler, juicy couture outlet, moncler