Communicating Mobility and Technology: A Material Rhetoric for Persuasive Transportation, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Communicating Mobility and Technology

A Material Rhetoric for Persuasive Transportation, 1st Edition

By Ehren Helmut Pflugfelder


178 pages | 19 B/W Illus.

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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.


"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

Table of Contents


1. Persuasive Transportation

2. Rhetoric and Movement

3. Design

4. Interfaces

5. Logistics

6. Navigation



About the Author

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.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Technical Communication, Rhetoric, and Culture

This series promotes innovative, interdisciplinary research in the theory and practice of technical communication, broadly conceived as including business, scientific, and health communication. Technical communication has an extensive impact on our world and our lives, yet the venues for long-format research in the field are few. This series serves as an outlet for scholars engaged with the theoretical, practical, rhetorical, and cultural implications of this burgeoning field. The editors welcome proposals for book-length studies and edited collections involving qualitative and quantitative research and theoretical inquiry into technical communication and associated fields and topics, including user-centered design; information design; intercultural communication; risk communication; new media; social media; visual communication and rhetoric; disability/accessibility issues; communication ethics; health communication; applied rhetoric; and the history and current practice of technical, business, and scientific communication.

The series is proud to congratulate Ehren Pflugfelder on winning the 2018 CCCC Technical and Scientific Communication Award in the category of Best Book in Technical or Scientific Communication for the book Communicating Technology and Mobility: A Material Rhetoric for Persuasive Transportation!

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / History / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
TRANSPORTATION / Automotive / General