Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-5-2023


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Communication and Rhetorical Studies


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Anthony M Wachs

Committee Member

Erik Garrett

Committee Member

Janie Harden Fritz


Media Ecology, Neil Postman, Technopoly, Philosophy of Communication, Modernity, Rhetoric, Communication Pedagogy, Wendell Berry, Robert Caro, Myles Horton


This project walks the work of Neil Postman (1931-2003) into the philosophy of communication. Traditional conceptions of Neil Postman’s body of work position his ideas within the traditions of media ecology, general semantics, or, more broadly, as a form of media studies and criticism. In addition, others label Postman’s work, especially in Technopoly (1992), as pessimistic, deterministic, and/or imbibed with Luddite tendencies. This project articulates a different view and contends that Postman’s scholarship, in particular his articulation of the loving resistance fighter in the final chapter of Technopoly, is committed to resisting the nefarious forces embedded in both technology and modernity. It shows that Postman’s loving resistance fighter provides meaningful communicative practices that prevent one from falling into existential despair or acquiescing to the demands of technopoly. The loving resistance fighter’s emphasis on creating social and psychic distance from technology allows one to view technology with unclouded judgment and to see how technology becomes intertwined with the goods of modernity (progress, efficiency, and individual autonomy). Therefore, this project shows that the loving resistance fighter offers hope and the narrative ground to refuse both technology and modernity.