Off-campus Michigan Tech users: To download campus access theses or dissertations, please use the following button to log in with your Michigan Tech ID and password: log in to proxy server

Non-Michigan Tech users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis or dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Rhetoric and Technical Communication (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Humanities

First Advisor

Nancy M Grimm


Robert R Johnson


There is nothing new or original in stating that the global economy directly impacts the profession of technical communicators. The globalization of the workplace requires that technical communicators be prepared to work in increasingly linguistically and culturally diverse contexts. These new exigencies have natural repercussions on the research and educational practices of the field In this work, I draw on rhetoric, linguistics, and literacy theory to explore the definition, role and meaning of the global context for the disciplinary construction of professional and technical communication. By adopting an interdisciplinary and diachronic perspective, I assert that the global context is a heuristic means for sophisticating the disciplinary identity of the field and for reinforcing its place within the humanities. Consequently, I contend that the globalization of the workplace is a kairotic moment for underscoring the rhetorical dimension of professional and technical communication.