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Computational Rhetoric: Exploring Possibilities, Limits, & Applications

Workshop Leaders:

William Hart-Davidson, Michigan State University
Ryan Omizo, University of Rhode Island


How might our work as rhetoric scholars change as computational tools become an increasingly large part of it? This is the motivating question for a workshop that will engage techno-curious rhetoricians in thinking about the possibilities, limits, and applications of computation on rhetorical analysis and rhetorical invention.

The interactive workshop will engage participants in hands-on dissection, creation, and discussion of computational rhetoric applications in order to explore how the affordances of computer-assisted analysis and synthesis might be influence rhetorical scholarship.  Participants will have the opportunity to use a custom installation of the iPythonNotebooks platform built specifically for the workshop. Each notebook allows for executable code, text, and annotations to be created, edited, and viewed together in a simple web browser. Discussion and reflection can thus be accompanied by experimentation and demonstration as modes of inquiry.  


Prior to the workshop we will provide participants with a reading list and several sample applications—complete with source code—to examine and explore. We invite our colleagues to come with questions about the ways their own work might be enhanced or significantly changed by incorporating computational methods. Participants need not be experienced in particular software languages or platforms to benefit from the workshop. While we welcome “full stack rhetoricians” and those in areas such as critical code studies, participants need only be curious to delve into the world(s) of machine learning, corpus studies, and software development as they intersect rhetorical scholarship.

Questions should be directed to William Hard-Davidson, hartdav2@msu.edu.


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