After hypertext: Other ideas

Johndan Johnson-Eilola, Amy C. Kimme Hea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Early work in and about hypertext suggested dramatic potentials for the medium, primarily in the way it challenged notions of authorial control, linearity, and the status quo in general. This history of hypertext tended to portray contradicting archetypes or pure forms that concrete developments never fulfilled. We argue that hypertext has long been a cultural analogy rather than a simple enactment or fulfillment of desires. To assist in creating a more open, constructive vision of hypertext, we gather three differing but connected tropes for hypertext from this history: hypertext as kinship, hypertext as battlefield, and hypertext as rhizome. Although these tropes are only three among many possibilities, we provisionally play them off one another to deconstruct and reconstruct hypertext theory and practice, and to demonstrate potentials for moving beyond archetypes in theorizing and practicing hypertext.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-425
Number of pages11
JournalComputers and Composition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Critical theory
  • Cultures
  • Hypertext
  • Multiplicity
  • Rhizome
  • Tropes
  • World Wide Web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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