Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Michael M. Williamson, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Jeannine Fontaine, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jean Nienkamp, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study is to articulate the nature and extent of the dissonance between the views of technology held by the discipline of Composition Studies and those espoused in composition handbooks, focusing on Selfe’s notion of critical technological literacy. Because of the American cultural paradigm that reifies technology and because of the social, educational, and economic inequities that the technology-literacy link potentially perpetuates, students and faculty alike must critically examine the myriad influences on and of technology in the writing classroom. Using a cross-case analysis, constructivist grounded theory, and content analysis, this study examines the role and representation of technology in five composition handbooks, in order to ascertain the extent to which each alludes to notions of critical technological literacy, as advocated by the scholarship of the field. Though the handbooks did not reveal an awareness of critical technological literacy or the concomitant political issues, several other findings regarding the treatment of technology did emerge from the handbooks. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for teaching and for future research.