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ENGL 667 Infrastructure Tales Narrative, Persuasion, and the Built Environment of Modernity
The emergence of nonhuman rhetorical theory (eg Kennedy, Rickert, Cooper) has meant, amongst other things, recent attention paid to the role infrastructure plays in facilitating, sustaining, and ultimately shaping rhetorical performances both public and private. As such, this seminar will consider the often unseen aspects of the built environment as a ground for human (and nonhuman) rhetorical performance. Course content will primarily be drawn from the growing field of “infrastructure studies” and rhetorical adaptation of social-scientific and humanistic methods used to study the built world. Specifically, our seminar readings will focus on works that use narrative and tropes of storytelling as tools for mapping rhetorical engagement across and with infrastructure. Seminar members can expect to participate in the emergence of a new mode of rhetorical theory that has started appearing in recent conferences and journal articles. Readings may include works by Nicole Starosielski (on oceanic telecommunication cables), Bruno Latour (on trains), Matthew Kirschenbaum (on word processing), Jonathan Sterne (on MP3s), John Law (on airplanes), Janet Abbate (on Internet architecture), and Bernard Seigert (on doors).
Meeting Time / Location
Thursdays from 12:45 to 3:45 in LAAH 535