In addition to their obvious roles in American politics, race and gender also work in hidden ways to profoundly influence the way we think—and vote—about a vast array of issues that don’t seem related to either category. As Nicholas Winter reveals in Dangerous Frames, politicians and leaders often frame these seemingly unrelated issues in ways that prime audiences to respond not to the policy at hand but instead to the way its presentation resonates with their deeply held beliefs about race and gender. Winter shows, for example, how official rhetoric about welfare and Social Security has tapped into white Americans’ racial biases to shape their opinions on both issues for the past two decades. Similarly, the way politicians presented health care reform in the 1990s divided Americans along the lines of their attitudes toward gender. Combining cognitive and political psychology with innovative empirical research, Dangerous Frames ultimatelyilluminates the emotional underpinnings of American politics.
Building on recent work in rhetoric and composition that takes an historical materialist approach, Dangerous Writing outlines a political economic theory of composition. The book connects pedagogical practices in writing classes to their broader political economic contexts, and argues that the analytical power of students’ writing is prevented from reaching its potential by pressures within the academy and without, that tend to wed higher education with the aims and logics of “fast-capitalism.”
Since the 1980s and the “social turn” in composition studies and other disciplines, scholars in this field have conceived writing in college as explicitly embedded in socio-rhetorical situations beyond the classroom. From this conviction develops a commitment to teach writing with an emphasis on analyzing the social and political dimensions of rhetoric.
Ironically, though a leftist himself, Tony Scott’s analysis finds the academic left complicit with the forces in American culture that tend, in his view, to compromise education. By focusing on the structures of labor and of institutions that enforce those structures, Scott finds teachers and administrators are too easily swept along with the inertia of a hyper-commodified society in which students---especially working class students---are often positioned as commodities, themselves. Dangerous Writing, then, is a critique of the field as much as it is a critique of capitalism. Ultimately, Scott’s eye is on the institution and its structures, and it is these that he finds most in need of transformation.
Daniel Webster (1782–1852) embodied the golden age of oratory in America by mastering each of the major genres of public speaking of the time. Even today, many of his victories before the Supreme Court remain as precedents. Webster served in the House, the Senate, and twice as secretary of state. He was so famous as a political orator that his reply “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!” to Senator Robert Hayne in a debate in 1830 was memorized by schoolboys and was on the lips of Northern soldiers as they charged forward in the Civil War. There would have been no 1850 Compromise without Webster, and without the Compromise, the Civil War might well have come earlier to an unprepared North.
Webster was also the consummate ceremonial speaker. He advanced Whig virtues and solidified support for the Union through civil religion, creating a transcendent symbol for the nation that became a metaphor for the working constitutional framework.
While several biographies have been written about Webster, none has focused on his oratorical talent. This study examines Webster’s incredible career from the perspective of his great speeches and how they created a civil religion that moved citizens beyond loyalty and civic virtue to true romantic patriotism. Craig R. Smith places Webster’s speeches in their historical context and then uses the tools of rhetorical criticism to analyze them. He demonstrates that Webster understood not only how rhetorical genres function to meet the expectations of the moment but also how they could be braided to produce long-lasting and literate discourse.
Employing the methodology successfully used to explore other social movements in America, this meticulous study examines the rhetorical foundation that motivated Deaf people to work for social change during the past two centuries. In clear, concise prose, Jankowski begins by explaining her use of the term social movement in relation to the desire for change among Deaf people and analyzes the rhetoric they used, not limited to spoken language, to galvanize effective action.
Central to Deaf Empowerment is the struggle between the dominant hearing society and Deaf people over the best means of communication, with the educational setting as the constant battleground. This evocative work first tracks the history of interaction between these two factions, highlighting the speaking majority’s desire to compel Deaf people to conform to “the human sciences” conventionality by learning speech. Then, it sharply focuses on the development of the Deaf social movement's ideology to seek general recognition of sign language as a valid cultural variation. Also, the influence of social movements of the 60s and 70s is examined in relation to the changing context and perception of the Deaf movement, as well as to its rhetorical refinement.
Deaf Empowerment delineates the apex of effective Deaf rhetoric in describing the success of the Deaf President Now! protest at Gallaudet University in 1988, its aftermath, and ensuing strategies. It concludes with an assessment of the goal of a multicultural society and offers suggestions for community building through a new humanitarianism. Scholars of social movements and Deaf studies will find it to be a uniquely provocative addition to their libraries and classrooms.
Spanning a historical period that begins with women’s exclusion from university debates and continues through their participation in coeducational intercollegiate competitions, Debating Women highlights the crucial role that debating organizations played as women sought to access the fruits of higher education in the United States and United Kingdom. Despite various obstacles, women transformed forests, parlors, dining rooms, ocean liners, classrooms, auditoriums, and prisons into vibrant spaces for ritual argument. There, they not only learned to speak eloquently and argue persuasively but also used debate to establish a legacy, explore difference, engage in intercultural encounter, and articulate themselves as citizens. These debaters engaged with the issues of the day, often performing, questioning, and occasionally refining norms of gender, race, class, and nation. In tracing their involvement in an activity at the heart of civic culture, Woods demonstrates that debating women have much to teach us about the ongoing potential for debate to move arguments, ideas, and people to new spaces.
Decisions, Agency, and Advising considers the role of students’ own agency in the placement of multilingual writers—including international students and US residents or citizens who are nonnative users of English—in US college composition programs. Grounded in qualitative research and concerned equally with theory and practice, the book explores how multilingual students exercise agency in their placement decisions and how student agency can inform the overall programmatic placement of multilingual students into first-year composition courses.
Tanita Saenkhum follows eleven multilingual students who made their decisions about placement into first-year composition courses during one academic year at a large public university. She identifies the need for the process of making placement decisions to be understood more clearly, describes how to use that knowledge to improve placement practices for these students—particularly in advising—and offers hands-on recommendations for writing programs.
Decisions, Agency, and Advising is a significant contribution to the field and particularly valuable to writing program administrators, academic advisors, writing teachers, researchers investigating second language writing and writing program administration, composition and second language writing scholars, and graduate students.
Condit provides a close look at how pro-life and pro-choice arguments have helped shape the development of public policy and private practice. She offers readers an orderly way through the barrage of rhetoric and an opportunity to identify and clarify our own opinions on a very difficult subject.
"Deeds Done in Words is an impressive piece of work. It is the first attempt to identify and assess the principal genres of rhetoric, and to interpret the panoply of those genres in terms of the needs of, and the needs for, ritual in American politics."—Jeffrey Tulis, author of The Rhetorical Presidency
"Deeds Done in Words is a thoughtful survey of how a democracy uses language to transact its business. Based on an enlivened understanding of genre theory and on numerous pieces of original criticism, Campbell and Jamieson vividly show how central public discourse has become the lifeblood of the American polity."—Roderick Hart, author of The Sound of Leadership
"The rhetoric that issues from the White House is becoming an ever more salient part of what the presidency means and does. This acute inquiry provides a great many insights into the forms, meanings, and functions of presidential discourse. It is an enlightening contribution to our understanding of American politics."—Murray Edelman, author of Constructing the Political Spectacle
“Rhetoric is the counterpart of logic,” claimed Aristotle. “Rhetoric is the first part of logic rightly understood,” Martin Heidegger concurred. “Rhetoric is the universal form of human communication,” opined Hans-Georg Gadamer. But in Deep Rhetoric, James Crosswhite offers a groundbreaking new conception of rhetoric, one that builds a definitive case for an understanding of the discipline as a philosophical enterprise beyond basic argumentation and is fully conversant with the advances of the New Rhetoric of Chaïm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca.
Chapter by chapter, Deep Rhetoric develops an understanding of rhetoric not only in its philosophical dimension but also as a means of guiding and conducting conflicts, achieving justice, and understanding the human condition. Along the way, Crosswhite restores the traditional dignity and importance of the discipline and illuminates the twentieth-century resurgence of rhetoric among philosophers, as well as the role that rhetoric can play in future discussions of ontology, epistemology, and ethics. At a time when the fields of philosophy and rhetoric have diverged, Crosswhite returns them to their common moorings and shows us an invigorating new way forward.
In Defining Reality, Edward Schiappa argues that definitional disputes should be treated less as philosophical questions of “is”and more as sociopolitical questions of “ought.” Instead of asking “What is X?” he advocates that definitions be considered as proposals for shared knowledge and institutional norms, as in “What should count as X in context Y, given our needs and interests?”
Covering a broad scope of argument in rhetorical theory, as well as in legal, medical, scientific, and environmental debates, Schiappa shows the act of defining to be a specialized and learned behavior, and therefore one that can be studied and improved. In response to theories that deem discourse to be persuasive, the author asserts that all discourse is definitive discourse that contributes to our construction of a shared reality.
Defining Reality sheds light on our methods of creating common truths through language and argumentation and forces us to reconsider the contexts, limitations, and adaptability of our definitions. Hinging on a synthesis of arguments regarding the significance of definitional practices, the book is bolstered by a series of case studies of debates about rape, euthanasia, abortion, and political and environmental issues. These case studies ground Schiappa’s concepts in reality and delineate the power of public discourse within legal contexts. Ranging widely among disciplines from philosophy and classical philology to constitutional law and cognitive psychology, this study substantially contributes to the scholarship of rhetoric and argumentation, particularly as they function in the realm of public discourse.
In Deliberate Conflict: Argument, Political Theory, and Composition Classes, Patricia Roberts-Miller argues that much current discourse about argument pedagogy is hampered by fundamental unspoken disagreements over what democratic public discourse should look like. The book’s pivotal question is, In what kind of public discourse do we want our students to engage? To answer this, the text provides a taxonomy, discussion, and evaluation of political theories that underpin democratic discourse, highlighting the relationship between various models of the public sphere and rhetorical theory.
Deliberate Conflict cogently advocates reintegrating instruction in argumentation with the composition curriculum. By linking effective argumentation in the public sphere with the ability to effect social change, Roberts-Miller pushes compositionists beyond a simplistic Aristotelian conception of how argumentation works and offers a means by which to prepare students for active participation in public discourse.
Candice Rai’s Democracy’s Lot is an incisive exploration of the limitations and possibilities of democratic discourse for resolving conflicts in urban communities. Rai roots her study of democratic politics and publics in a range of urban case studies focused on public art, community policing, and urban development. These studies examine the issues that erupted within an ethnically and economically diverse Chicago neighborhood over conflicting visions for a vacant lot called Wilson Yard. Tracing how residents with disparate agendas organized factions and deployed language, symbols, and other rhetorical devices in the struggle over Wilson Yard’s redevelopment and other contested public spaces, Rai demonstrates that rhetoric is not solely a tool of elite communicators, but rather a framework for understanding the agile communication strategies that are improvised in the rough-and-tumble work of democratic life.
Wilson Yard, a lot eight blocks north of Wrigley Field in Chicago’s gentrifying Uptown neighborhood, is a diverse enclave of residents enlivened by recent immigrants from Guatemala, Mexico, Vietnam, Ethiopia, and elsewhere. The neighborhood’s North Broadway Street witnesses a daily multilingual hubbub of people from a wide spectrum of income levels, religions, sexual identifications, and interest groups. When a fire left the lot vacant, this divided community projected on Wilson Yard disparate and conflicting aspirations, the resolution of which not only determined the fate of this particular urban space, but also revealed the lot of democracy itself as a process of complex problem-solving. Rai’s detailed study of one block in an iconic American city brings into vivid focus the remarkable challenges that beset democratic urban populations anywhere on the globe—and how rhetoric supplies a framework to understand and resolve those challenges.
Based on exhaustive field work, Rai uses rhetorical ethnography to study competing publics, citizenship, and rhetoric in action, exploring “rhetorical invention,” the discovery or development by individuals of the resources or methods of engaging with and persuading others. She builds a case for democratic processes and behaviors based not on reflexive idealism but rather on the hard work and practice of democracy, which must address apathy, passion, conflict, and ambivalence.
Demosthenes’ speech On the Crown (330 B.C.E.), in which the master orator spectacularly defended his public career, has long been recognized as a masterpiece. The speech has been in continuous circulation from Demosthenes’ lifetime to the present day, and multiple generations have acclaimed it as the greatest speech ever written. In addition to a clear and accessible translation, Demosthenes’“On the Crown”:Rhetorical Perspectives includes eight essays that provide a thorough analysis—based on Aristotelian principles—of Demosthenes’ superb rhetoric.
The volume includes biographical and historical background on Demosthenes and his political situation; a structural analysis of On the Crown; and an abstract of Aeschines’ speech Against Ctesiphon to which Demosthenes was responding. Four essays by contributors analyze Demosthenes’ speech using key elements of rhetoric defined by Aristotle: ethos, the speaker’s character or authority; pathos, or emotional appeals; logos, or logical appeals; and lexis, a speaker’s style. An introduction and an epilogue by Murphy frame the speech and the rhetorical analysis of it.
By bringing together contextual material about Demosthenes and his speech with a translation and astute rhetorical analyses, Demosthenes’“On the Crown”:Rhetorical Perspectives highlights the oratorical artistry of Demosthenes and provides scholars and students with fresh insights into a landmark speech.
A careful analysis of the rhetorical thought of René Descartes and of a distinguished group of post-Cartesians. Covering a unique range of authors, including Bernard Lamy and Nicolas Malebranche, Carr attacks the idea, which has become commonplace in contemporary criticism, that the Cartesian system is incompatible with rhetoric.
Carr analyzes the writings of Balzac, the Port-Royalists Arnauld and Nicole, Malebranche, and Lamy, exploring the evolution of Descartes’ thought into their different theories of rhetoric. He constructs his arguments, probing each author’s writings on rhetoric, persuasion, and attention, to demonstrate the basis for rhetorical thought present in Descartes’ theory of persuasion when it is combined with his psychophysiology of attention.
A timely interdisciplinary study that applies psychoanalysis and the rhetorical tradition of the sublime to examine the cultural aftermath of the Atomic Age
Every culture throughout history has obsessed over various “end of the world” scenarios. The dawn of the Atomic Age marked a new twist in this tale. For the first time, our species became aware of its capacity to deliberately destroy itself. Since that time the Bomb has served as an organizing metaphor, a symbol of human annihilation, a stand-in for the unspeakable void of extinction, and a discursive construct that challenges the limits of communication itself. The parallel fascination with and abhorrence of nuclear weapons has metastasized into a host of other end-of-the-world scenarios, from global pandemics and climate change to zombie uprisings and asteroid collisions.
Desiring the Bomb: Communication, Psychoanalysis, and the Atomic Age explores these world-ending fantasies through the lens of psychoanalysis to reveal their implications for both contemporary apocalyptic culture and the operations of language itself. What accounts for the enduring power of the Bomb as a symbol? What does the prospect of annihilation suggest about language and its limits? Thoroughly researched and accessibly written, this study expands on the theories of Kenneth Burke, Jacques Lacan, Sigmund Freud, and many others from a variety of disciplines to arrive at some answers to these questions.
Calum L. Matheson undertakes a series of case studies—including the Trinity test site, nuclear war games, urban shelter schemes, and contemporary survivalism—and argues that contending with the anxieties (individual, social, cultural, and political) born of the Atomic Age depends on rhetorical conceptions of the “real,” an order of experience that cannot be easily negotiated in language. Using aspects of media studies, rhetorical theory, and psychoanalysis, the author deftly engages the topics of Atomic Age survival, extinction, religion, and fantasy, along with their enduring cultural legacies, to develop an account of the Bomb as a signifier and to explore why some Americans have become fascinated with fantasies of nuclear warfare and narratives of postapocalyptic rebirth.
For undergraduates following any course of study, it is essential to develop the ability to write effectively. Yet the processes by which students become more capable and ready to meet the challenges of writing for employers, the wider public, and their own purposes remain largely invisible. Developing Writers in Higher Education shows how learning to write for various purposes in multiple disciplines leads college students to new levels of competence.
This volume draws on an in-depth study of the writing and experiences of 169 University of Michigan undergraduates, using statistical analysis of 322 surveys, qualitative analysis of 131 interviews, use of corpus linguistics on 94 electronic portfolios and 2,406 pieces of student writing, and case studies of individual students to trace the multiple paths taken by student writers. Topics include student writers’ interaction with feedback; perceptions of genre; the role of disciplinary writing; generality and certainty in student writing; students’ concepts of voice and style; students’ understanding of multimodal and digital writing; high school’s influence on college writers; and writing development after college. The digital edition offers samples of student writing, electronic portfolios produced by student writers, transcripts of interviews with students, and explanations of some of the analysis conducted by the contributors.
This is an important book for researchers and graduate students in multiple fields. Those in writing studies get an overview of other longitudinal studies as well as key questions currently circulating. For linguists, it demonstrates how corpus linguistics can inform writing studies. Scholars in higher education will gain a new perspective on college student development. The book also adds to current understandings of sociocultural theories of literacy and offers prospective teachers insights into how students learn to write. Finally, for high school teachers, this volume will answer questions about college writing.
Bruce Mccomiskey Utah State University Press, 2015 Library of Congress P301.5.P47M323 2015 | Dewey Decimal 808
In Dialectical Rhetoric, Bruce McComiskey argues that the historical conflict between rhetoric and dialectic can be overcome in ways useful to both composition theory and the composition classroom.
Historically, dialectic has taken two forms in relation to rhetoric. First, it has been the logical development of linear propositions leading to necessary conclusions, a one-dimensional form that was the counterpart of rhetorics in which philosophical, metaphysical, and scientific truths were conveyed with as little cognitive interference from language as possible. Second, dialectic has been the topical development of opposed arguments on controversial issues and the judgment of their relative strengths and weaknesses, usually in political and legal contexts, a two-dimensional form that was the counterpart of rhetorics in which verbal battles over competing probabilities in public institutions revealed distinct winners and losers.
The discipline of writing studies is on the brink of developing a new relationship between dialectic and rhetoric, one in which dialectics and rhetorics mediate and negotiate different arguments and orientations that are engaged in any rhetorical situation. This new relationship consists of a three-dimensional hybrid art called “dialectical rhetoric,” whose method is based on five topoi: deconstruction, dialogue, identification, critique, and juxtaposition. Three-dimensional dialectical rhetorics function effectively in a wide variety of discursive contexts, including digital environments, since they can invoke contrasts in stagnant contexts and promote associations in chaotic contexts. Dialectical Rhetoric focuses more attention on three-dimensional rhetorics from the rhetoric and composition community.
In this landmark volume of contemporary communication theory, Ronald C. Arnett applies the metaphor of dialogic confession—which enables historical moments to be addressed from a confessed standpoint and through a communicative lens—to the works of German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who pointed to an era of postmodern difference with his notion of "a world come of age." Arnett’s interpretations of Bonhoeffer’s life and scholarship in contention with Nazi dominance offer implications for a dialogic confession that engages the complexity of postmodern narrative contention.
Rooted in classical theory, the field of communication ethics is abstract and arguably outmoded. In Dialogic Confession: Bonhoeffer’s Rhetoric of Responsibility, Arnett locates cross-cultural and comparative anchors that not only bring legitimacy and relevance to the field but also develop a conceptual framework that will advance and inspire future scholarship.
This book articulates an ethics for reading that places primary responsibility for the social influences of a text on the response of its readers.
We write and read as participants in a process through which we negotiate with others whom we must live or work with and with whom we share values, beliefs, and actions. Clark draws on current literary theory, rhetoric, philosophy, communication theory, and composition studies as he builds on this argument.
Because reading and writing are public actions that address and direct matters of shared belief, values, and action, reading and writing should be taught as public discourse. We should teach not writing or reading so much as the larger practice of public discourse—a discourse that sustains the many important communities of which students are and will be active members.
Since the 1967 riots that ripped apart the city, Detroit has traditionally been viewed either as a place in ruins or a metropolis on the verge of rejuvenation. In Digital Detroit: Rhetoric and Space in the Age of the Network, author Jeff Rice goes beyond the notion of Detroit as simply a city of two ideas. Instead he explores the city as a web of multiple meanings which, in the digital age, come together in the city’s spaces to form a network that shapes the writing, the activity, and the very thinking of those around it.
Rice focuses his study on four of Detroit’s most iconic places—Woodward Avenue, the Maccabees Building, Michigan Central Station, and 8 Mile—covering each in a separate chapter. Each of these chapters explains one of the four features of network rhetoric: folksono(me), the affective interface, response, and decision making. As these rhetorical features connect, they form the overall network called Digital Detroit. Rice demonstrates how new media, such as podcasts, wikis, blogs, interactive maps, and the Internet in general, knit together Detroit into a digital network whose identity is fluid and ever-changing. In telling Detroit’s spatial story, Rice deftly illustrates how this new media, as a rhetorical practice, ultimately shapes understandings of space in ways that computer applications and city planning often cannot. The result is a model for a new way of thinking and interacting with space and the imagination, and for a better understanding of the challenges network rhetorics pose for writing.
Scholar Adam J. Banks offers a mixtape of African American digital rhetoric in his innovative study Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age. Presenting the DJ as a quintessential example of the digital griot-high-tech storyteller-this book shows how African American storytelling traditions and their digital manifestations can help scholars and teachers shape composition studies, thoroughly linking oral, print, and digital production in ways that centralize African American discursive practices as part of a multicultural set of ideas and pedagogical commitments.
DJs are models of rhetorical excellence; canon makers; time binders who link past, present, and future in the groove and mix; and intellectuals continuously interpreting the history and current realities of their communities in real time. Banks uses the DJ's practices of the mix, remix, and mixtape as tropes for reimagining writing instruction and the study of rhetoric. He combines many of the debates and tensions that mark black rhetorical traditions and points to ways for scholars and students to embrace those tensions rather than minimize them. This commitment to both honoring traditions and embracing futuristic visions makes this text unique, as do the sites of study included in the examination: mixtape culture, black theology as an activist movement, everyday narratives, and discussions of community engagement. Banks makes explicit these connections, rarely found in African American rhetoric scholarship, to illustrate how competing ideologies, vernacular and academic writing, sacred and secular texts, and oral, print, and digital literacies all must be brought together in the study of African American rhetoric and in the teaching of culturally relevant writing.
A remarkable addition to the study of African American rhetorical theory and composition studies, Digital Griots: African American Rhetoric in a Multimedia Age will compel scholars and students alike to think about what they know of African American rhetoric in fresh and useful ways.
What is “digital rhetoric”? This book aims to answer that question by looking at a number of interrelated histories, as well as evaluating a wide range of methods and practices from fields in the humanities, social sciences, and information sciences to determine what might constitute the work and the world of digital rhetoric. The advent of digital and networked communication technologies prompts renewed interest in basic questions such as What counts as a text? and Can traditional rhetoric operate in digital spheres or will it need to be revised? Or will we need to invent new rhetorical practices altogether?
Through examples and consideration of digital rhetoric theories, methods for both researching and making in digital rhetoric fields, and examples of digital rhetoric pedagogy, scholarship, and public performance, this book delivers a broad overview of digital rhetoric. In addition, Douglas Eyman provides historical context by investigating the histories and boundaries that arise from mapping this emerging field and by focusing on the theories that have been taken up and revised by digital rhetoric scholars and practitioners. Both traditional and new methods are examined for the tools they provide that can be used to both study digital rhetoric and to potentially make new forms that draw on digital rhetoric for their persuasive power.
Dirty Words: The Rhetoric of Public Sex Education, 1870-1924, details the approaches and outcomes of sex-education initiatives in the Progressive Era. In analyzing the rhetorical strategies of sex education advocates, Robin E. Jensen engages with rich sources such as lectures, books, movies, and posters that were often shaped by female health advocates and instructors. She offers a revised narrative that demonstrates how women were both leaders and innovators in early U.S. sex-education movements, striving to provide education to underserved populations of women, minorities, and the working class. Investigating the communicative and rhetorical practices surrounding the emergence of public sex education in the United States, Jensen shows how women in particular struggled for a platform to create and circulate arguments concerning this controversial issue.
The book also provides insight into overlooked discourses about public sex education by analyzing a previously understudied campaign targeted at African American men in the 1920s, offering theoretical categorizations of discursive strategies that citizens have used to discuss sex education over time, and laying out implications for health communicators and sexual educators in the present day.
In North America, immigration has never been about immigration. That was true in the early twentieth century when anti-immigrant rhetoric led to draconian crackdowns on the movement of bodies, and it is true today as new measures seek to construct migrants as dangerous and undesirable. This premise forms the crux of Jay Timothy Dolmage’s new book Disabled Upon Arrival: Eugenics, Immigration, and the Construction of Race and Disability, a compelling examination of the spaces, technologies, and discourses of immigration restriction during the peak period of North American immigration in the early twentieth century.
Through careful archival research and consideration of the larger ideologies of racialization and xenophobia, Disabled Upon Arrival links anti-immigration rhetoric to eugenics—the flawed “science” of controlling human population based on racist and ableist ideas about bodily values. Dolmage casts an enlightening perspective on immigration restriction, showing how eugenic ideas about the value of bodies have never really gone away and revealing how such ideas and attitudes continue to cast groups and individuals as disabled upon arrival.
The argument of this collection is that the cultural and intellectual legacies of postmodernism impinge, significantly and daily, on the practice of the Writing Program Administrator. WPAs work in spaces where they must assume responsibility for a multifaceted program, a diverse curriculum, instructors with varying pedagogies and technological expertise—and where they must position their program in relation to a university with its own conflicted mission, and a state with its unpredictable views of accountability and assessment.
The collection further argues that postmodernism offers a useful lens through which to understand the work of WPAs and to examine the discordant cultural and institutional issues that shape their work. Each chapter tackles a problem local to its author’s writing program or experience as a WPA, and each responds to existing discord in creative ways that move toward rebuilding and redirection.
It is a given that accepting the role of WPA will land you squarely in the bind between modernism and postmodernism: while composition studies as a field arguably still reflects a modernist ethos, the WPA must grapple daily with postmodern habits of thought and ways of being. The effort to live in this role may or may not mean that a WPA will adopt a postmodern stance; it does mean, however, that being a WPA requires dealing with the postmodern.
Captured by German forces shortly after Dunkirk, and not relinquished until May of 1945, nearly a year after the Normandy invasion, the British Channel Islands (Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney, Sark, and Herm) were characterized during their occupation by severe deprivation and powerlessness. The Islanders, with few resources to stage an armed resistance, constructed a rhetorical resistance based upon the manipulation of discourse, construction of new symbols, and defiance of German restrictions on information. Though much of modern history has focused on the possibility that Islanders may have collaborated with the Germans, this eye-opening history turns to secret war diaries kept in Guernsey. A close reading of these private accounts, written at great risk to the diarists, allows those who actually experienced the Occupation to reclaim their voice and reveals new understandings of Island resistance. What emerges is a stirring account of the unquenchable spirit and deft improvisation of otherwise ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Under the most dangerous of conditions, Guernsey civilians used imaginative methods in reacting to their position as a subjugated population, devising a covert resistance of nuance and sustainability. Violence, this book and the people of Guernsey demonstrate, is not at all the only means with which to confront evil.
In Discursive Ideologies, C. H. Knoblauch argues that European rhetorical theory comprises several distinct and fundamentally opposed traditions of discourse. Writing accessibly for the upper division student, Knoblauch resists the conventional narrative of a unified Western rhetorical tradition. He identifies deep ideological and epistemological differences that exist among strands of Western thought and that are based in divergent "grounds of meaningfulness.” These conflicts underlie and influence current discourse about vital public issues.
Knoblauch considers six "stories” about the meaning of meaning in an attempt to answer the question, what encourages us to believe that language acts are meaningful? Six distinctive ideologies of Western rhetoric emerge: magical rhetoric, ontological rhetoric, objectivist rhetoric, expressivist rhetoric, sociological rhetoric, and deconstructive rhetoric. He explores the nature of language and the important role these rhetorics play in the discourses that matter most to people, such as religion, education, public policy, science, law, and history.
The first book-length rhetorical history and analysis of the insanity defense
The insanity defense is considered one of the most controversial, most misunderstood, and least straightforward subjects in the American legal system. Disorder in the Court: Morality, Myth, and the Insanity Defense traces the US legal standards for the insanity defense as they have evolved from 1843, when they were first codified in England, to 1984, when the US government attempted to revise them through the Insanity Defense Reform Act. Throughout this period “insanity” existed primarily as a legal term rather than a medical one; yet the testimony of psychiatric experts is required in cases in which an insanity defense is raised.
The adjudication of such cases by courtroom practice is caught between two different but overlapping discourses, the legal and the medical, both of which have historically sought to assert and maintain firm disciplinary boundaries. Both expert and lay audiences have struggled to understand and apply commonplace definitions of sanity, and the portrayal of the insanity defense in popular culture has only served to further frustrate such understandings.
Andrea L. Alden argues that the problems with understanding the insanity defense are, at their foundation, rhetorical. The legal concept of what constitutes insanity and, therefore, an abdication of responsibility for one’s actions does not map neatly onto the mental health professions’ understandings of mental illness and how that affects an individual’s ability to understand or control his or her actions. Additionally, there are multiple layers of persuasion involved in any effort to convince a judge, jury—or a public, for that matter—that a defendant is or is not responsible for his or her actions at a particular moment in time.
Alden examines landmark court cases such as the trial of Daniel McNaughtan, Durham v. United States, and the trial of John Hinckley Jr. that signal the major shifts in the legal definitions of the insanity defense. Combining archival, textual, and rhetorical analysis, Alden offers a close reading of texts including trial transcripts, appellate court opinions, and relevant medical literature from the time period. She contextualizes these analyses through popular texts—for example, newspaper articles and editorials—showing that while all societies have maintained some version of mental illness as a mitigating factor in their penal systems, the insanity defense has always been fraught with controversy.
Dissing Elizabeth focuses on the criticism that cast a shadow on the otherwise celebrated reign of Elizabeth I. The essays in this politically and historically revealing book demonstrate the sheer pervasiveness and range of rhetoric against the queen, illuminating the provocative discourse of disrespect and dissent that existed over an eighty-year period, from her troubled days as a princess to the decades after her death in 1603. As editor Julia M. Walker suggests, the breadth of dissent considered in this collection points to a dark side of the Cult of Elizabeth. Reevaluating neglected texts that had not previously been perceived as critical of the queen or worthy of critical appraisal, contributors consider dissent in a variety of forms, including artwork representing (and mocking) the queen, erotic and pornographic metaphors for Elizabeth in the popular press, sermons subtly critiquing her actions, and even the hostility encoded in her epitaph and in the placement of her tomb. Other chapters discuss gossip about Elizabeth, effigies of the queen, polemics against her marriage to the Duke of Alençon, common verbal slander, violence against emblems of her authority, and the criticism embedded in the riddles, satires, and literature of the period.
Urban sprawl is omnipresent in America and has left many citizens questioning their ability to stop it. In Distant Publics, Jenny Rice examines patterns of public discourse that have evolved in response to development in urban and suburban environments. Centering her study on Austin, Texas, Rice finds a city that has simultaneously celebrated and despised development.
Rice outlines three distinct ways that the rhetoric of publics counteracts development: through injury claims, memory claims, and equivalence claims. In injury claims, rhetors frame themselves as victims in a dispute. Memory claims allow rhetors to anchor themselves to an older, deliberative space, rather than to a newly evolving one. Equivalence claims see the benefits on both sides of an issue, and here rhetors effectively become nonactors.
Rice provides case studies of development disputes that place the reader in the middle of real-life controversies and evidence her theories of claims-based public rhetorics. She finds that these methods comprise the most common (though not exclusive) vernacular surrounding development and shows how each is often counterproductive to its own goals. Rice further demonstrates that these claims create a particular role or public subjectivity grounded in one’s own feelings, which serves to distance publics from each other and the issues at hand.
Rice argues that rhetoricians have a duty to transform current patterns of public development discourse so that all individuals may engage in matters of crisis. She articulates its sustainability as both a goal and future disciplinary challenge of rhetorical studies and offers tools and methodologies toward that end.
Winner, Coalition for Community Writing Outstanding Book Award 2019
Doing Time, Writing Lives offers a much-needed analysis of the teaching of college writing in U.S. prisons, a racialized space that—despite housing more than 2 million people—remains nearly invisible to the general public. Through the examination of a college-in-prison program that promotes the belief that higher education in prison can reduce recidivism and improve life prospects for the incarcerated and their families, author Patrick W. Berry exposes not only incarcerated students’ hopes and dreams for their futures but also their anxieties about whether education will help them.
Combining case studies and interviews with the author’s own personal experience of teaching writing in prison, this book chronicles the attempts of incarcerated students to write themselves back into a society that has erased their lived histories. It challenges polarizing rhetoric often used to describe what literacy can and cannot deliver, suggesting more nuanced and ethical ways of understanding literacy and possibility in an age of mass incarceration.
In literary theory, the philosophy of law, and the sociology of knowledge, no issue has been more central to current debate than the status of our interpretations. Do they rest on a ground of rationality or are they subjective impositions of a merely personal point of view? In Doing What Comes Naturally, Stanley Fish refuses the dilemma posed by this question and argues that while we can never separate our judgments from the contexts in which they are made, those judgments are nevertheless authoritative and even, in the only way that matters, objective. He thus rejects both the demand for an ahistorical foundation, and the conclusion that in the absence of such a foundation we reside in an indeterminate world. In a succession of provocative and wide-ranging chapters, Fish explores the implications of his position for our understanding of legal, literary, and psychoanalytic interpretation, the nature of professional and institutional culture, and the place of reason in a world that is rhetorical through and through.
This feminist rhetorical history explores women’s complex and changing relationship to the home and how that affected their entry into the workplace. Author Jessica Enoch examines the spatial rhetorics that defined the home in the mid- to late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and considers how its construction and reconstruction—from discursive description to physical composition—has greatly shaped women’s efforts at taking on new kinds of work. In doing so, Enoch exposes the ways dominant discourses regarding women’s home life and work life—rhetorics that often assumed a white middle-class status—were complicated when differently raced, cultured, and classed women encountered them.
Enoch explores how three different groups of women workers—teachers, domestic scientists, and World War II factory employees—contended with the physical and ideological space of the home, examining how this everyday yet powerful space thwarted or enabled their financial and familial security as well as their intellectual engagements and work-related opportunities.
Domestic Occupations demonstrates a multimodal and multigenre research method for conducting spatio-rhetorical analysis that serves as a model for new kinds of thinking and new kinds of scholarship. This study adds historical depth and exigency to an important contemporary conversation in the public sphere about how women’s ties to the home inflect their access to work and professional advancement.
In the past decade, the United States has rapidly deployed militarized drones in theaters of war for surveillance as well as targeted killing. The swiftness with which drones were created and put into service has outstripped the development of an associated framework for discussing them, with the result that basic conversations about these lethal weapons have been stymied for a lack of a shared rhetoric. Marouf Hasian’s Drone Warfare and Lawfare in a Post-Heroic Age fills that critical gap.
With a growing fleet of more than 7,500 drones, these emblems of what one commentary has dubbed “push-button, bloodless wars” comprise as much as a third of the US aircraft force. Their use is hotly debated, some championing air power that doesn’t risk the lives of pilots, others arguing that drone strikes encourage cycles of violence against the United States, its allies, and interests.
In this landmark study, Hasian illuminates both the discursive and visual argumentative strategies that drone supporters and critics both rely on. He comprehensively reviews how advocates and detractors parse and re-contextualize drone images, casualty figures, governmental “white papers,” NGO reports, documentaries, and blogs to support their points of view. He unpacks the ideological reflexes and assumptions behind these legal, ethical, and military arguments.
Visiting both formal legal language used by legislators, political leaders, and policy makers as well as public, vernacular commentaries about drones, Drone Warfare and Lawfare in a Post-Heroic Age dispassionately illuminates the emotive, cognitive, and behavioral strategies partisans use to influence public and official opinion.