The Available Means of Persuasion: Mapping a Theory and Pedagogy of Multimodal Public Rhetoric by David M. Sheridan, Jim Ridolfo, and Anthony J. Michel is another addition to Parlor Press's New Media Theory series that capitalized on the kairotic moment in which it was written and published. This is a moment rife with people, all with various skill levels, composing multimedia pieces across a wide range of platforms. Echoing Michel de Certeau’s (1984) observation of individuals’ interventions in mass cultural production, Sheridan, Ridolfo, and Michel argued that cultural production should not be surrendered to so‐called “creative specialists” (xii), but rather it should be considered the work of ordinary citizens. Coupled with this democratic notion, the authors of The Available Means of Persuasion argued for an increase of multimodal rhetoric in public discourses and habits. The authors also insisted that rhetoric and composition must continue to evolve as a field by teaching dynamic multimodal rhetorics to meet the demands of a changing public sphere. Situating their arguments within a kairotic context, the authors moved their readers through topical, and sometimes ancient, concepts such as kairos and the public sphere as they explored a broader understanding of rhetoric as pertaining to production, reproduction, distribution, human and nonhuman networks, agency, ethics, and materiality.
For your listening and multimodal-enhancing pleasure, a sample of textural music created by Thomas Javier Castillo resides below. Feel free to open it in a new window and play it along with your reading of this review. Castillo used NanoStudio to create “Outlaw” and used SoundCloud to archive the song. This song was specifically selected because of the digital nature in which it was composed and the multimodal nature in which it is presented through Soundcloud. It was also chosen because of the peculiar mood it creates when juxtaposed with the text of this book review.