Interface Rhetoric, or A Theory for Interface Analysis: Principles from Modern Imagetext Media -- Late 18th Century to Present
AuthorNeill, Frederick Vance
Committee ChairMcAllister, Ken
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study sought to determine the principles of interface rhetoric through a review of the relevant history and theory involved in imagetext media. Defining interface as the surface that limits the view of an artifact’s content, it focuses on the media of the illustrated book, comics, and the video game, particularly artifacts of those media inspired by the content of Lewis Carroll’s Alice books. Methodologically, it used the history of aesthetics and technology related to imagetext and the theories of these media in order to discern the rhetorical principles of interface distinctive to each medium. It takes the perspective of W. J. T. Mitchell’s concept of "imagetext," Umberto Eco’s sense of semiotics, Maurice Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of perception, and Don Ihde's phenomenology of technology in its analysis of the media’s artifacts. The results of the analyses are a group of rhetorical principles for each medium that explain the operation of logos, pathos, and ethos in each medium’s interface. The explanations refer to Wayne Booth’s “implied author” and Kenneth Burke’s "terminological screens." In the final analysis, this study argues for understanding the relative ubiquity of imagetext in media stemming from the 1830s to present. It takes the stance that changes in aesthetics and technology enabled the rise of imagetext interfaces and the media that had them. More importantly, it formulates the architectonic principles of interface rhetoric regardless of the specific media.
Degree ProgramRhetoric, Composition & the Teaching of English