Composing Place

Digital Rhetorics for a Mobile World

Author Jacob Greene

Honorable Mention, 2024 CCCC Research Impact Award

"Composing Place" takes an innovative approach to engaging with the compositional affordances of mobile technologies. Mobile, wearable, and spatial computing technologies are more than the latest marketing gimmick from a perpetually proximate future; they are rather an emerging composing platform through which digital writers will increasingly create and distribute place-based multimodal texts. Jacob Greene utilizes and develops a rhetorical framework through which writers can leverage the affordances of these technologies by drawing on theoretical approaches within rhetorical studies, multimodal composition, and spatial theory, as well as emerging “maker” practices within digital humanities and critical media studies, to show how emerging mobile technologies are poised to transform theories, practices, and pedagogies of digital writing.

Greene identifies three emerging “modalities” through which mobile technologies are being used by digital writers. First, to counter dominant discourses in contested spaces; second, to historicize entrenched narratives in iconic spaces; and third, to amplify marginalized voices in mundane spaces. Through these modalities, Greene employs Indigenous philosophies and theories that upend the ways that the discipline has centered placed-based rhetorics, offering digital writers better strategies for using mobile media as a platform for civic deliberation, social advocacy, and political action.

"Composing Place" offers close analyses of mobile media experiences created by various artists and digital media practitioners, as well as detailed overviews of Greene’s own projects (also accessible through the companion website: These projects include a digital “countertour” of SeaWorld that demonstrates the ways in which the attraction is driven by capitalism; an augmented reality tour of Detroit’s Woodward Avenue; and a mobile advocacy project in Jacksonville, Florida, that demonstrates the inequitable effects of car-centric public infrastructure. Ultimately, by engaging with these theoretical frameworks, rhetorical design principles, and pedagogical practices of mobile writing, readers can utilize the unique affordances of mobile media in various teaching and research contexts.


Jacob Greene is an assistant professor in the Department of English at ASU.

Praise for this book

A deep dive into location-based consulting that provides an excellent and thorough introduction to mobile composing.

Wendi Sierra Texas Christian University

Well done, with a good balance of theory, argument, and application. Greene’s pedagogical discussion of copious and relevant examples is very useful in thinking through how one might teach place-based digital composition.

Annette Vee University of Pittsburgh
Book title in different shades of blue and green across the entirety of cover
Date published
Utah State University Press

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