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.

Aesthetics of Rhetorics During Timbre


New article for enculturation.

Happy to announce my contribution to the sonics rhetorics movement has been published in enculturation. It is a multimodal webtext on sonic aesthetics for writing and rhetoric, hearing timbre as a modality through and during which to perform thinking about sound, writing, and “glitched” composing. Check it out at http://enculturation.net/aesthetics-of-rhetorics. Full abstract below.

This essay performs a “glitching” of the scholarly article by enacting sonic aesthetics heard during the electronic dance music buzz of the early twenty-tens. Its purpose is to situate timbre as a rhetorical parameter within a hybrid of musical and sonic rhetorics discourses. As a case study, textures and timbres from “dubstep” productions are presented here as modalities through and during which to perform thinking about sonic phenomena. While the essay sketches a preliminary “sonic rhetoric of electronic dance music,” it rebegins when excursions toward experimental strains of music historically recognized as “noise,” “glitch,” and “failure” are themselves “glitched” into the article’s sequence. The piece closes by refuting, on the basis of timbre, the common critique of electronic dance music as mere product for popular audiences devoid of aesthetic innovation. Audio samples appear throughout the text and may be cued by mousing-over images below.

Thanks to Steph Ceraso for plugging the piece! I expect her forthcoming Sounding Composition: Multimodal Pedagogies for Embodied Listening will be one of rhet/comp’s most significant statements on sonic rhetorics, so her support was quite meaningful.

Post Image: Screenshot from “KOAN SOUND – SPANISH LOVE @ SALA BE COOL – 2.28.2014” by glenjamn3 / CC BY 3.0.