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Race, Rhetoric, and Technology: Searching for Higher Ground

Non-Member Price: $39.95

NCTE Member Price: $39.95

Author(s): Adam J. Banks

Adam Banks uses the concept of the Digital Divide as a metonym for America’s larger racial divide, in an attempt to figure out what meaningful access for African Americans to technologies and the larger American society can or should mean. NCTE-Routledge Research Series

Level(s): College

ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-8058-5313-1

Stock No.: 55073

Description

In this, the first book in the NCTE-Routledge Research Series, Adam Banks uses the concept of the Digital Divide as a metonym for America’s larger racial divide, in an attempt to figure out what meaningful access for African Americans to technologies and the larger American society can or should mean. He argues that African American rhetorical traditions—the traditions of struggle for justice and equitable participation in American society—exhibit complex and nuanced ways of understanding the difficulties inherent in the attempt to navigate through the seemingly impossible contradictions of gaining meaningful access to technological systems with the good they seem to make possible and at the same time resisting the exploitative impulses that such systems always seem to present.

Banks examines moments in these rhetorical traditions of appeals, warning, demands, and debates to make explicit the connections between technological issues and African Americans’ equal and just participation in the society. He shows that the big questions we must ask of our technologies and answer for them are exactly the same questions leaders and lay people from Martin Luther King to Malcolm X to slave quilters to Critical Race Theorists to pseudonymous chatters across cyberspace and legions have been asking all along. According to Banks the central ethical questions for the field of rhetoric and composition are technology access and the ability to address questions of race and racism. He uses this book to imagine what writing instruction, technology theory, literacy instruction, and rhetorical education can look like for all of us in a new century.

Just as Race, Rhetoric, and Technology: Searching for Higher Ground is a call for a new orientation among those who study and profess African American rhetoric, it is also a call for those in the fields that make up mainstream English studies to change their perspectives as well. This volume is intended  for researchers,  professionals, and students  in rhetoric and composition and related fields such as computers and composition and technical communication, and in history of science and society and African American studies.

NCTE-Routledge Research Series. 162 pp. 2005. College. ISBN 0-8058-5313-8. NCTE and Routledge.

No. 55073

“I think Adam Banks has a real winner here—a book that would knock the socks off of readers who are used to the same-old-stuff about technology.”
—Cynthia Selfe, Michigan Technological University

“. . . an impressive piece of scholarship about a neglected topic of huge importance for the field of rhetoric/composition . . . . The field needs to hear what Adam Banks has to say.”
—James Porter, Michigan State University

“With this debut book, Adam Banks has taken . . . the study of African American Rhetoric, perhaps even the field of Rhetoric and Composition more broadly, fully into the twenty-first century, for this is the most sweeping, intelligent, and provocative articulation we have of racialized rhetoric and social justice, and their connections to issues of technology and design.”
—Keith Gilyard, from the Foreword

 

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