Metabolizing Capital
234 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Release Date:01 Jun 2020

Metabolizing Capital

Writing, Information, and the Biophysical Environment

Utah State University Press
Metabolizing Capital outlines a critical ecological framework to guide the theorization of writing and rhetoric in the dynamic contexts of Web 3.0 and environmental crisis.
The rise of the global cloud and the internet-of-things have ushered in a new stage of the internet that marks a transition from the celebrated user-generated content of Web 2.0 to the data-driven networks of Web 3.0. As social media networks have expanded, so has the amount of writing and communication we do online. This has created several valuable sub-layers of data and metadata about consumer-citizens that corporations and governments now routinely collect, store, and monetize. This frenzy to collect more data is contributing to several problematic social and environmental concerns as flows of information and capital dangerously accelerate how energy and matter move through ecosystems at every scale.

This book explores the planetary consequences of Web 3.0 and the vital role that writing and data production play in accelerating capital circulation, from concerns raised by the growing energy demands of the information industries, to growing streams of electronic waste, to the growing socioeconomic tensions arising as a result of information monopolies.

A posthuman, Marxist analysis of digital culture and writing, Metabolizing Capital contributes to and challenges current understandings of rhetorical agency and actor networks. Combining scholarship from writing studies, rhetoric, and composition with research in metabolic ecology, information theory, media studies, cognitive psychology, history, and new materialism, this book should be of interest to scholars in writing studies as well as others who study digital culture, ecological literacies, the history of writing and information, big data, and environmental concerns related to electronics and the information industries.
Metabolizing Capital makes valuable theoretical contributions to the field. C. J. Pulver advances our understanding about materiality in digital spaces, and readers will be inspired by this work.’
—Russell Carpenter, Western Kentucky University
'Pulver provides an outline for composition courses to help readers learn about and reflect on the realities of using internet and computing technologies.'
Christian J. Pulver is associate professor of writing studies, rhetoric, and composition at Roger Williams University and coauthor of Writing Moves: Composing in a Digital World. His research interests include the history of writing technologies, information economies, Marxian approaches to literacy and digital culture, visual rhetorics, writing and memory, and ecological literacy.
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