The Available Means of Persuasion: Mapping A Theory and Pedagogy of Multimodal Public Rhetoric
by David M. Sheridan, Jim Ridolfo, and Anthony J. Michel

Book Review by Rachel Dortin, the University of Findlay


Cultural Connection:

By embracing multimodality, we are becoming contributors to culture. Although there are situations when a multimodal composition is not the most appropriate method by which to convey one’s message, embracing the possibilities provides access to all available means of persuasion. When our daily experiences are inherently multimodal, it correlates to human culture’s multimodality (153). Sheridan, Ridolfo, and Michel explain that “the tools by which race, class, gender, place, and other key cultural categories are established and maintained are intensely multimodal” (155), with the message encoded in the language of television and film, music, and other forms. If rhetorical education continues to focus on words alone, citizens will be prepared to “participate in only a small fraction of the rhetorical practices that matter” (155). Teachers who provide students the opportunity to experiment in multimodality prepare students to transform the dominant culture through an understanding of the different mediums.