Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Joseph M. Moxley, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Philip J. Sipiora, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nancy Jane Tyson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jack B. Moore, Ph.D.


In this dissertation, I first briefly examine the history of technology as it impacts on literacy practices, and especially the history of resistance to technological developments in the humanities. In so doing, I also briefly examine some of the possible ideological underpinnings of this resistance, including looking at some of the arguments proposed to counter it. More specifically, I consider how literacy practices, pedagogical practices, and assessment and gatekeeping practices in the field of composition studies impact on and are impacted by the intersection of computer technologies and our field. Finally, I offer some suggestions for ways in which our pedagogical practices may need to be reconsidered in light of changes in how we communicate.

In particular, I propose guidelines for writing teachers to help negotiate the transitional period between traditional and neo-traditional forms, bridging the gaps between existing standards for producing print documents and as yet undetermined standards required by new forms. That is, I present guidelines that I hope, rather than stifle change, can help guide authors in determining which existing standards make sense for new new forms, and which need to be reconsidered, thereby providing the flexibility necessary to cope with change. Because it is imperative that we consider the effect of our teaching of writing and reading on the further development of these technologies, as well as the effect of further development of these technologies on our teaching and study of writing and reading, I also suggest ways we may need to rethink the academy, including the position of the composition classroom itself.