Literacy, hypermedia, and the Holocaust : reconfiguring rhetoric in hypermedia environments / by Michael J. Salvo.
Accompanying the move from an industrial-based to an information-based economy is a shift from a paper-based to a digit-based culture. As more American households are connected to the Internet there is a shift not only in the speed of communication but also in the mode and media of communication. While some critics are predicting the demise of literacy as we know it, electronic mail, hypertext and the World Wide Web are offering examples of different constructions of literacy. These new forms of writing are contexts for communication—new rhetorical situations. These new rhetorical situations require analysis so that literacy workers (writing teachers, language scholars, as well as other intellectuals in the humanities) can address the literacy needs of twenty-first century students. Literacy, technology, and the Holocaust come together in a technological system signaling a shift in how our culture stores and disseminates its stories and histories. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has constructed The Wexner Learning Center to house a database of Witness narratives. This hypermedia archive represents change in historical narrative and the way it is written, stored, and retrieved. Beyond the technical aspects of designing and implementing this system, the system itself signals a shift in the skills necessary to comprehend the historical stories being told. The images of witnesses retelling their experiences alter the cultural representation of the Holocaust. Utilizing high technology to convert filmed accounts of witnesses into computer-accessible files, the database of witness narratives is an example of a new means of sharing history that requires a sophisticated hyper-literate user. This dissertation investigates both the idea of an emerging high-technology hyper-rhetoric and the hyper-literacy necessary to read, write, and manipulate texts in the twenty-first century. Its theme should interest readers from a variety of humanistic and technical disciplines while contributing a new perspective on literacy in the digital age.
Record last modified: 2018-05-24 14:02:00
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