The Immediacy of Rhetoric:

Definitions, Illustrations, and Implications

An update as of March 26, 2002: I haven't changed any of the content (though I did delete the links page since they are out of date and the like), but I have noticed that in the early part of 2002, I started to get a bunch more "hits" on this page. I'm sort of curious as to why. So if you visit this site and get a chance and could drop me an email about why you're here and what you think of what you're seeing, let me know. You can email me at and you can learn a bit more about me by visiting my homepage at

This is the World Wide Web Version of my dissertation. I submitted the traditional paper form of my dissertation as part of my degree in Rhetoric and Writing from Bowling Green State University. I defended this work on June 12, 1996 and I was granted my PhD in August 1996. Like most dissertations, mine is available in the traditional form at BGSU's libraries and through UMI in addition to this electronic forum. There are some obvious differences between the web version and the print version of my dissertation--for example, this document is not paginated, and my paper version did not have any "links"-- but otherwise, the electronic and print versions of my dissertation are the same.

I've decided to make my dissertation available on the Web for a couple of reasons. First, with the aid of software like "rtftohtml" for the Macintosh, I was easily able to convert my word processed documents into html. In other words, I did it because I could. Second, while there are problems with this dissertation and many things I would change if I were to do it all over again, I think this is a resource that may be of some use to scholars of both rhetoric and the Internet. Finally, I think it is important for Web scholars and theorists to continue to enrich this environment with diverse and intellectually engaging texts. Too much of the Web is shallow and uninteresting-- we all know that. But instead of complaining about this vacuous content, it seems to me that the solution to this problem is to make more texts available.

During the summer of 1996, I corrected most of the minor typographic and MLA Style errors I made before I converted this document to html. Undoubtably, other minor errors remain in both the paper and the WWW version of this document. During the summer of 1997, I shifted this document from BGSU's servers to my private commercial provider in Ashland, Oregon. I also am adding some links to related resources based on my works cited page. If you have any comments/suggestions, don't hesitate to let me know.

Table of Contents



Introduction: "Introducing Immediacy"

Chapter One: The Context of Context: An Abridged History of "Kairos" and "The Rhetorical Situation"

Chapter Two: Postmodernity, Rhetorical Situations, and a Definition of Immediacy

Chapter Three: Defining the Internet: What is It and Who is It

Chapter Four: The Internet as an Immediate Rhetorical Situation

Chapter Five: The Immediate Future: Concluding Observations

Works Cited

Copyright 1996, Steven D. Krause. All rights reserved. For more information on this document, contact me at Web site updated August 1997 and slightly in March 2002