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 4271: Writing, Rhetoric, and New Media


Teaching one last time at Charlotte, Summer ’17.

Happy to lead an upper division elective for Charlotte before heading out at the end of the summer. The course is English 4271: Studies in Rhetoric, Writing, and New Media. Official blurb:

This course investigates the persuasive capacities video, audio, games, podcasts, virtual reality, social platforms, fine digital arts, and other forms that capitalize on the rhetoric of new media. Although we often use the term “content” to refer to media on our devices, both writing and new media make possible rhetorical effects and affects not entirely dependent on content in the sense of what media messages actually say or articulate. How new media harness their formal and aesthetic qualities—visual, sonic, tactile, immersive, mobile, and so on—is often just as important. As media theorist Marshall McLuhan would say, “the medium is the message.”

McLuhan and Walter Ong will ground the course before it moves to contemporary writers including Ulmer, Manovich, Turkle, Jenkins, Bogost, and others. True to its “content,” the course also integrates new media as formal objects of study, e.g., podcasts, videos, and digital art works from Holly Herndon, for example.


I will also be running an online version of English 3180: Language and Digital Technologies, which I taught face-to-face last Fall.

Post Image: Lev Manovich’s “Instagramism” data set.