Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design

Committee Chair/Advisor

Vitanza, Victor J.

Committee Member

May , Todd

Committee Member

Haynes , Cynthia

Committee Member

Hung , Christina


This work seeks to open possibilities for rhetorical invention, or perhaps more accurately, to indicate how changes in technology (and the essences of technology) are opening radical possibilities not just for rhetorical invention but also for how we speak, how we think, or even how we live in our worlds. It traces shifts in rhetorical invention: beginning from primary oral cultures, which made linkages via a process of 'AND' or divine inspiration, represented by the +, to literate cultures (or print-cultures), which predominantly invent via analogy and discovery, represented by the =, and to electronic cultures, which revel in the avant-garde art technique of juxtaposition as inventive strategy, represented by the /. Working then with this / as guiding inventional strategy, and turning to Gregory L. Ulmer's conductive logic, puncepts, and choragraphy as / possibilities, this work attempts to re-envision classical rhetoric concepts logos, ethos, and pathos in order to open new considerations and complexities for rhetoric (and for the university) as we move out of 19th century academic traditions (print-culture dissertation) and unfold into the 21st century possibilities (electronic-culture multimedia dissertation).
More specifically, using the / as inventional process, and working with Ulmer's corpus, this work attempts to open radical possibilities for rhetorical invention by seeking to move it out of restrictive economies that limit inventive potential and into more generative (general) economies of possibilities. In doing so, it opens the conversation to issues of absence and 'absencing' (in counter-distinction to Martin Heidegger's notions of presencing), to unstable electrate schizo-nomadic 'sub/ject' possibilities (which become generative, in nomadic/tourism fashion), and to the catastrophic (introducing radical possibilities for restrictive economies).
Additionally, what this work does, aside from reconstituting rhetorical invention as a mix of Ulmer's conductive logic, Lyotard's paralogy, and Leibniz-Borges-Deleuze's vice-diction, is that it works with an inventive methodology. This print-culture product sits on one side of the slash, and an/other, an alternative, rendered in the electronic assemblage platform Sophie2, sits on the other side of the slash. In their juxtaposition, this dissertation and its digital/electronic other, they perform the very possibilities of rhetorical invention being critically offered in this work.



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