I am Assistant Director of the Critical Writing Program at University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Rhetorics, Communication, and Information Design. My research explores rhetorical dynamics among criticism, information, and art associated with aesthetic, technological, and theoretical innovations. In addition to writing, my teaching experience includes technical communication, science writing, history of infotech, new media theory, document design, and video production. Recent activity below. Drop me a line: matthewjosborn[at]gmail[dot]com.

ENGL 3180: Language and Digital Technologies


Excited to teach in the upper-division at UNCC this Fall.

After teaching both Summer Sessions at UNC Charlotte, I’ve accepted the opportunity to teach a course on Language and Digital Technologies this Fall. Official blurb:

This course will investigate the exchange of primarily written and graphic information in digital contexts from the past, our contemporary moment, and speculative futurisms. We will consider our ever evolving relationships with information—both humanistic and posthuman, both enabling and disabling—as made possible by technological apparatus. Students will learn how information communication technologies (ICTs) might reasonably be construed as rhetorical “grammars” for both alphabetic and non-alphabetic “languages” through which information is variously inscribed, manipulated, accessed, recorded, or obfuscated by means of digital tools—and their forerunners. As it turns out, digital does not necessarily mean electronic, and an understanding of digital technologies may be enhanced by study of the analog. All told, we’ll consider a selective history of computing, the telegraph, early information theory, platforms, interfaces, cloud servers, and the technology of writing itself.

The course will cover select historical (yet, in some cases, enduring) relationships with technology, language, and information prior to digitality, spend most of its time in the present, and speculate about futurisms. Celebrations, critiques, and (re)imaginations of languages associated with digital technologies are included.

Image: “User activity on Wikipedia” by Flickr user viegas and is licensed under CC-BY 2.0.
viegas’ caption: “Visualization of all editing activity by user ‘Pearle’ on Wikipedia (Pearle is a robot).”