1st Edition

Communicating Mobility and Technology A Material Rhetoric for Persuasive Transportation

By Ehren Helmut Pflugfelder Copyright 2017
    178 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    192 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Winner of the 2018 CCCC Technical and Scientific Communication Award in the category of Best Book in Technical or Scientific Communication

    Responding to the effects of human mobility and crises such as depleting oil supplies, Ehren Helmut Pflugfelder turns specifically to automobility, a term used to describe the kinds of mobility afforded by autonomous, automobile-based movement technologies and their ramifications. Thus far, few studies in technical communication have explored the development of mobility technologies, the immense power that highly structured, environmentally significant systems have in the world, or the human-machine interactions that take place in such activities. Applying kinaesthetic rhetoric, a rhetoric that is sensitive to and developed from the mobile, material context of these technologies, Pflugfelder looks at transportation projects such as electric taxi cabs from the turn of the century to modern day, open-source vehicle projects, and a large case study of an autonomous, electric pod car network that ultimately failed. Kinaesthetic rhetoric illuminates how mobility technologies have always been persuasive wherever and whenever linguistic symbol systems and material interactions enroll us, often unconsciously, into regimes of movement and ways of experiencing the world. As Pflugfelder shows, mobility technologies involve networks of sustained arguments that are as durable as the bonds between the actors in their networks.


    1. Persuasive Transportation

    2. Rhetoric and Movement

    3. Design

    4. Interfaces

    5. Logistics

    6. Navigation

    7. EPTV



    Ehren Helmut Pflugfelder is Assistant Professor of Professional, Technical, and Scientific Writing in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film at Oregon State University, USA.

    "Technical communicators, engineers, and designers in the automotive industry, as well as researchers with expertise and interest in actor-network theory (ANT), will find Communicating Mobility and Technology: A Material Rhetoric for Persuasive Transportation a valuable book. [It] offers a unique contribution to scholarly work on professional communication in the transportation industry." --Aiee Kendall Roundtree, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 60(1), 2017

    "What Pflugfelder’s book reveals is that when we think about whether transportation technologies are persuasive, we create the possibility for intervention." --Kathleen F. Oswald, Villanova University, Transfers: Interdisciplinary Journal of Mobility Studies 8, No. 1 (2018)

    "Communicating Mobility and Technology: A Material Rhetoric for Persuasive Transportation is a unique contribution to studies in both technical communication and automobility and should be of interest to anyone working in industrial rhetoric,mobility technologies, automotive transportation projects, or the history of rhetorical language." -- Mark W. Shealy, Texas Tech University, Rhetoric Society Quarterly

    "The text will be of particular interest to scholars and practitioners who work within and around large systems and ecologies similar to automobility, including fields and sites like disaster communication, public transportation systems, government agencies, environmental rhetorics, and logistics planning." -- Daniel L. Hocutt, Universtiy of Richmond, Communication Design Quarterly