Literacy, hypermedia, and the holocaust: reconfiguring rhetoric in hypermedia environments

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Title: Literacy, hypermedia, and the holocaust: reconfiguring rhetoric in hypermedia environments
Author: Salvo, Michael J
Abstract: Writing teachers face the difficult task of teaching students to read and write in complex situations precisely when h seems these formal literate practices are becoming less valued m mass American culture . As written communication moves online , literacy is indeed changing . However , the ability to understand and manipulate complex texts becomes increasingly important for success in the emerging post -industrial economy . This dissertation , using the example of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's Wexner Learning Center as a representative example , describes the changing nature of Literacy in the information age and offers classroom strategies to meet students' Literacy needs while offering an analysis of hypermedia Literacy . 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 m 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 h , 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 m 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 h is written , stored , and retrieved . Beyond the technical aspects of designing and implementing this system , the system itself signals a shift m 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 m 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 .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /15030
Date: 2000-05


Literacy, hypermedia, and the holocaust: reconfiguring rhetoric in hypermedia environments. Doctoral dissertation, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /15030 .

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