A Gesture Theory of Communication

2016-10-18T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Michael Schandorf
Framed in a critique of digital and new media studies, this dissertation returns to the roots of the study of communication and interaction in rhetoric, linguistics, semiotics, information theory, and cybernetics to develop a philosophy and theory of communication anchored in a pre-symbolic concept of gesture. This reevaluation of communication processes allows for the articulation of communication as dynamic interaction in spacetime, which allows attention to communicative agency and the relations among communicators, communications technologies, and the environments and ecologies in which they are necessarily situated. This, in turn, while drawing from assemblage theory, affect theory, embodied and distributed cognition, interactional sociology, and relational psychology, provides a novel conceptualization of agency in human and non-human forms, as well as the relations among them. The foregoing is anchored in a relational ontology that critiques many of the contemporary, taken-for-granted assumptions about character of ‘information’.