Techne: Queer Meditations on Writing the Self

Jacqueline Rhodes and Jonathan Alexander

Banner for Techne: Queer Meditations on Writing the Self. Cover image features a black and white photo of a two hands pressing into a person's bare back.

View eBook

Three photos tiled vertically, each of a person's bare back. In the first, a hand is scratching the back; in the second, the person's back is alone and exposed; in the third, two hands press into the person's back.

File types: Web

Copyright & ISBN

Promo video

How to cite


Techne: Queer Meditations on Writing the Self is a book-length multimodal exploration of technologies, subjectivities, and affects. Blending phenomenology and auto-ethnography with queer theories, we delve into the multiple layerings of text, image, and technology as sites from which to perform/write/read ourselves in the digital age. Through image, text, video, and sound, Techne offers a multiplicitous and changing experience of reading and viewing to probe the often contradictory interplay between digital and traditional writing technologies and the author/ed self. Our goal, ultimately, is to create an excess of experience and observation, not always linking in predictable ways, and leaving room for getting lost—and thus asking for our readers’ active engagement in order to make sense of the changeable experience of Techne. As such, the experience of the book itself enacts a generative, multimodal techne of self, with both somatic and representational consequence. Selves in text and technology must move in multiple directions at once, embracing multimodality, multi-genre texts, multimedia. While we cannot deny the material need for stability and composure, we also need to make room for the kind of writing—and the kind of subjects—that challenge such composure, that offers rich, capacious, and excessive ways of writing, reading, and experiencing. Our hope is that Techne serves as one way of making that room.

Promo video

Description of visuals in promo video: Set to a bass guitar track, the trailer presents clips and images from videos in Techne. The trailer opens with the cover image from Techne: the title on a purple block overlaying a dark, sepia-toned image of a naked back. After the cover image fades, the videos appear. The largely black and white clips move quickly, overlapping, fading into and out of one another: First there is a naked human back, with the left hand coming over to scratch an itch, and then images of Jonathan and Jackie rotate. Next, Jonathan swipes through the Mood Map program on his iPhone, and then Jackie talks into the camera: "Here is a story. I was 18." Next, Jonathan’s uncle’s image is superimposed on a clip of Jonathan talking, followed by Jackie turning in slow-motion circles, and then back to Jonathan holding up his iPhone with a picture of his uncle on it. Then the camera pans Jackie, first in a mirror and then face on, looking into her iPhone at a crowded conference hall. Next, a clip from behind as Jonathan plays piano and a transparent image of sheet music is superimposed. Finally, there is closeup of Jackie’s right eye, slowly opening, and then we are back to the naked back. Is it a woman or a man? The word TECHNE appears in the lower right-hand corner before the video fades to rest on the cover image again.

How to cite this book

Rhodes, J., and J. Alexander. (2015). Techne: Queer meditations on writing the self. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press. Retrieved from

Rhodes, Jacqueline, and Jonathan Alexander. Techne: Queer Meditations on Writing the Self. Logan, UT: Computers and Composition Digital Press/Utah State University Press, 2015. Web.