the available means of persuasion

The authors argue that we have not fully realized the full potential of multimodal public rhetoric, and realizing that potential brings up a handful of issues:

  • What should teachers teach?

As an example case study, the authors consider 3D printers, questioning whether or not composition and rhetoric should take up 3D printing as a possible resource/mode of delivery. This example is meant to mirror related questions about technological inclusionism.

  • Note, like Alexander and Rhodes, these authors are thinking in contemporary and historical terms à 3D printer as the ancestor to the desktop printer
  • As a rhetor, what should I use?

“Our pedagogy is kairotic, aimed at creating the conditions within which students – as members of various and overlapping publics and counterpublics – can theorize their own situated decisions about public participation”

In other words, the book “offers an approach that seeks to discover in each situation what kind of rhetorical action is important” (read: a kairotic approach)

  • What happens when a composition is done? In other words, “Once I make it, how will it get where it needs to go in order to do the work it is meant to do?”
  • “Composition anticipates circulation”
  • “We find it essential to revise models of rhetorical invention so that they adequately account for the relationship between composing and the processes of reproduction and distribution that happen when composition is done.”
  • In other words, part of composing includes thinking about an effective method of distribution


Kairos –> refers to before a rhetoric commits to a rhetorical option and after composing

Includes anticipating future distribution of the text

Includes recomposition/rhetorical velocity, circulation and format

Kairos and agency –> “references the struggle of the prepared rhetor within complex and multifaceted contexts that are simultaneously material, discursive, social, cultural, and historical”


“Education, broadly conceived, plays a key role in shaping out conception and use of technologies, both at the systematic/macroscopic level (e.g. citizens voting on policies that dictate access to the Internet) and at the microscopic level of the individual and the small group).” à In other words, education plays a role in norming technology (see: Alexander and Rhodes)


  • Semiotic potential: processes of meaning making that a given rhetorical option (mode, medium, genre, or technology) makes available
  • Cultural position: the cultural value assigned to a particular rhetorical option; this is particularly significant for the cultural positioning of visual and verbal rhetoric
  • Infrastructional accessibility: The material and intellectual resources necessary for an intellectual option to be deployed: time, money, technologies, space, raw materials, intellectual and cultural capital
  • De/specialization: The range of perceptions concerning the use of a given rhetorical form by nonspecialists

They offer a pedagogy:

  • Give students the opportunity to write within settings that provide information about audience, exigence, and purpose
  • Give students to opportunity to select among rhetorical options
  • Involve students in discussions about rhetorical options
  • Ask students to attend to both production and circulation
  • Ask students to think about addressing exigences through multiple compositions in multiple media
  • Ask students to participate in broadband collaboration
  • To confront the materiality of rhetoric via its infrastructures
  • Provide experience in assessing rhetorical effectiveness re: circulation, distribution, and impact

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