The Material, Embodied Practices of Composing with Technologies

Authored by: Pamela Takayoshi , Derek Van Ittersum

The Routledge Handbook of Digital Writing and Rhetoric

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138671362
eBook ISBN: 9781315518497
Adobe ISBN:


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Writing is always and always will be a material process of making, crafting, composing. It involves material tools (writing surface and stylus, computer, mobile phones) used by material bodies (intellectual and physical beings) to create a material product (print, digital, mono- or multimodal). Studies of composing technologies focus on the many uses and consequences of computers as composition and communication tools. Even when the word “material” is not used, studies of composing technologies, by centering the material technology through which composing is enacted, are studies of the materiality of writing. Studies of contemporary composing technologies are in this way connected to a longer trajectory of historical studies involving the materials through which writing is conducted, the ways the material possibilities of the tools shape the composing processes and products, and the ways technologies are a product and mediator of human communicative desires. Situated within the larger historical trajectory, composing technologies have revealed, while also pushing the bounds of, the always material, embodied nature of composing.

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