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date: 31 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The digital computer has been an influential feature of contemporary work and culture since before World War II, but rhetoricians have only formed theories of and approaches to digital or computational rhetoric since the 1980s, when the rise of the personal computer made these devices a part of everyday life. This chapter traces the history of rhetoric and computation in information theory, cybernetics, computer science, and media theory, in addition to outlining the variety of contemporary approaches to digital and computational rhetoric. By digging deeper into the computational foundations of software and hardware systems and elucidating those systems as participants in meaning creation as much as engineering practice, rhetoric has the potential to offer a complement or “counterpart” (antistrophos) to computer science and engineering.

Keywords: rhetoric, computation, cybernetics, digital media, digital rhetoric, hypertext, material culture, media studies, software

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