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Title:From Manuscript to Multimedia: Illuminating Memory and Re[image]ning Composition
Author(s):Gossett, Katherine E.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Camargo, Martin; Gail Hawisher
Department / Program:English
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Mass Communications
Abstract:This study is an examination of the historical relationship between rhetorical theory and compositional practices in both medieval and 21st century multimodal texts. Rather than further widening the schism between textual and visual rhetorics and compositional practices, I argue that these modes cannot be theorized independently. Following claims by several new media theorists that multimodal texts are "closer in spirit to the medieval illuminated codex than [they are] to either ancient speech or the modern printed book" (Bolter, 1993), I turn to these illuminated manuscripts, and their underlying rhetorics, to begin the work of interrogating and substantiating these similarities. Ultimately, I argue that twenty-first century multimodal texts, like medieval illuminated manuscripts, are a synthesis of the visual and the textual and thus require a unified rhetorical theory, which will in turn require an expansion of compositional theory and practice to include such texts. In order to further substantiate the claims of similarity between the two periods, I identify several key conceptual convergences between modern and medieval compositional practices by tracing the intersections of knowledge creation, emerging technologies and organizational practices in each period. I then turn to the medieval praxis of memory with its development of complex, multimodal internal imagines agentes, which used color, design, text and image in learning and composing, as a theory of multimodal composing. Arguing that the importance of the trained memory in medieval culture coupled with the technology of the manuscript tradition eventually led to the external application of the multimodal methods developed in the ars memoriae, I trace these methods through their manifestations in the programmes of illustration, organization and marginalia in several medieval manuscripts. As this examination shows, the canon of memory, rather than simply being the practice of memorization or mnemonics, as it is conceived in current-traditional rhetoric, was an essential canon for multimodal composing and learning. Returning to the conceptual convergences identified earlier in my study, I argue, therefore, that the canon of memory needs to be reexamined and reclaimed for use in twenty-first century composition.
Issue Date:2008
Description:153 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3337759
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2008

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