The control and manipulation of information has long been an element of warfare. Digital rhetoric is a necessary and inescapable component in contemporary conflict. Drawing on scholars from rhetorical, media, military, communications, and visual studies, Rhet Ops explores the relationship of rhetorical strategies in the context of war, social unrest, protest movements, and asymmetrical conflicts by investigating how rhetoric and digital technologies are used by state and non-state actors in these conflicts. There is a growing range of ways digital rhetoric is weaponized. Military and other actors are using rhetorical tools in both tactics and strategy. It is necessary for the field of rhetorical studies to grapple with this reality and to highlight how the knowledge is used and what this use can teach the discipline.
Many of these essays, showing the benefits of seeing rhetoric as a weapon, are excellent models for cutting edge scholarship. The book doesn't have a single political agenda and, in our day of polarized discourse, that ensures that everyone will love and hate something in the collection"-Trish Roberts-Miller, University of Texas-Austin "So important and timely. Each chapter considers in different ways the consequences of our failure to address weaponized digital rhetorics, especially when such rhetorics result in mass disinformation campaigns. What's especially unique about this volume is that it includes both academic and practitioner perspectives. The other thing I really love about this book is the ways it integrates Marxist material rhetorics (and even Foucault) in meaningful, contemporary ways. For all of the ways our field has moved on into `new' materialisms and other re-imaginings of extant theories, we sometimes lose sight of these foundational scholarly contributions."-Christa B. Teston, The Ohio State University.
Jim Ridolfo is an associate professor of writing, rhetoric, and digital studies at the University of Kentucky. Bill Hart-Davidson is a professor of writing, rhetoric, and American cultures at Michigan State University.