Video and computer games in their cultural contexts.
As the popularity of computer games has exploded over the past decade, both scholars and game industry professionals have recognized the necessity of treating games less as frivolous entertainment and more as artifacts of culture worthy of political, social, economic, rhetorical, and aesthetic analysis. Ken McAllister notes in his introduction to Game Work that, even though games are essentially impractical, they are nevertheless important mediating agents for the broad exercise of socio-political power.
In considering how the languages, images, gestures, and sounds of video games influence those who play them, McAllister highlights the ways in which ideology is coded into games. Computer games, he argues, have transformative effects on the consciousness of players, like poetry, fiction, journalism, and film, but the implications of these transformations are not always clear. Games can work to maintain the status quo or celebrate liberation or tolerate enslavement, and they can conjure feelings of hope or despair, assent or dissent, clarity or confusion. Overall, by making and managing meanings, computer games—and the work they involve and the industry they spring from—are also negotiating power.
This book sets out a method for "recollecting" some of the diverse and copious influences on computer games and the industry they have spawned. Specifically written for use in computer game theory classes, advanced media studies, and communications courses, Game Work will also be welcome by computer gamers and designers.
Ken S. McAllister is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English at the University of Arizona and Co-Director of the Learning Games Initiative, a research collective that studies, teaches with, and builds computer games.
Nan Johnson demonstrates that after the Civil War, nonacademic or “parlor” traditions of rhetorical performance helped to sustain the icon of the white middle class woman as queen of her domestic sphere by promoting a code of rhetorical behavior for women that required the performance of conventional femininity. Through a lucid examination of the boundaries of that gendered rhetorical space—and the debate about who should occupy that space—Johnson explores the codes governing and challenging the American woman’s proper rhetorical sphere in the postbellum years.
While men were learning to preach, practice law, and set political policies, women were reading elocution manuals, letter-writing handbooks, and other conduct literature. These texts reinforced the conservative message that women’s words mattered, but mattered mostly in the home. Postbellum pedagogical materials were designed to educate Americans in rhetorical skills, but they also persistently directed the American woman to the domestic sphere as her proper rhetorical space. Even though these materials appeared to urge the white middle class women to become effective speakers and writers, convention dictated that a woman’s place was at the hearthside where her rhetorical talents were to be used in counseling and instructing as a mother and wife.
Aided by twenty-one illustrations, Johnson has meticulously compiled materials from historical texts no longer readily available to the general public and, in so doing, has illuminated this intersection of rhetoric and feminism in the nineteenth century. The rhetorical pedagogies designed for a postbellum popular audience represent the cultural sites where a rethinking of women’s roles becomes open controversy about how to value their words. Johnson argues this era of uneasiness about shifting gender roles and the icon of the “quiet woman” must be considered as evidence of the need for a more complete revaluing of women’s space in historical discourse.
Donnalee Rubin examines the responses of thirty-one freshman composition teachers to student writing and shows the negative effects of gender bias on assessment to prove that gender perceptions and expectations can influence assessment decisions that seem neutral on the surface. Arguing that certain pedagogies are more likely to minimize gender bias than others, Rubin believes that teachers are more likely to overcome the influence of gender bias on their teaching if they adopt a process-based method and work intimately with their students through nondirective, supportive conferences.
Rubin characterizes the conference/process-centered class as the type of environment in which maternal teaching can be cultivated. She stresses that maternal can describe any teacher, male or female, who exhibits the nurturing and supportive qualities that the conference/process approach embodies. With a primary focus on the student’s well-being and development as a person and a writer, the maternal teacher is in a better position to overcome gender bias that could distort the interpretation of student texts. In order for writing instructors to increase their sensitivity to gender issues in assessment, Rubin recommends that they self-consciously engage in what she calls "responsive reading." Responsive reading occurs when the teacher reads with an eye toward providing the sorts of supportive feedback and dialectic exchange that will encourage student writers to think for themselves and to revise effectively. Rubin argues that when teachers commit to a responsive-reading pedagogy, they are more likely to question their reactions to student writing along the lines of gender influence and to strive for self-conscious awareness of how their own inner male-female voices may distort their reading of student texts. She challenges all writing teachers to become more aware of the inevitable challenge gender influence presents.
Combining anecdotal evidence (the personal stories of rhetoric and composition teachers) with hard data, Theresa Enos offers documentation for what many have long suspected to be true: lower-division writing courses in colleges and universities are staffed primarily by women who receive minimal pay, little prestige, and lessened job security in comparison to their male counterparts. Male writing faculty, however, also are affected by factors such as low salaries because of the undervaluation of a field considered feminized. As Enos notes in her preface: "The rhetoric of our institutional lives is connected especially to the negotiations of gender roles in rhetoric and composition."
Enos describes and classifies narratives gathered from surveys, interviews, and campus visits and interweaves these narratives with statistical data gathered from national surveys that show gendered experiences in the profession. Enos discusses the ways in which these experiences affect the working conditions of writing teachers and administrators in various programs at different types of institutions.
Enos points out that fields in which women excel—and are acknowledged—receive less prestige than other fields. On the university level, those genres in which women have demonstrated competence are not taken as seriously as those dominated by men. In practical terms, academia affords more glory for teaching literature than for teaching rhetoric and composition.
Within the field of rhetoric and composition, however, Enos finds it difficult to determine why the accomplishments of women receive less credit than those of men. She speculates as to whether it is part of the larger pattern in society—and in academia—to value men more than women or something in the field itself that keeps women from real power, even though women make up the majority of composition and rhetoric teachers.
Enos provides fascinating personal histories of composition and rhetoric teachers whose work has been largely disregarded. She also provides information about writing programs, teaching, administrative responsibilities, ranks among teachers, ages, salary, tenure status, distribution of research, service responsibilities, records of publication, and promotion and tenure guidelines.
In this feminist investigation into the art of preaching— one of the oldest and least studied rhetorical traditions— Roxanne Mountford explores the relationship between bodies, space, race, and gender in rhetorical performance and American Protestant culture. Refiguring delivery and physicality as significant components of the rhetorical situation, The Gendered Pulpit: Preaching in American Protestant Spaces examines the strategies of three contemporary women preachers who have transgressed traditions, rearranged rhetorical space, and conquered gender bias to establish greater intimacy with their congregations.
Mountford’ s examinations of the rhetoric inherent in preaching manuals from 1850 to the present provide insight into how “ manliness” has remained a central concept in American preaching since the mid-nineteenth century. The manuals illustrate that the character, style, method of delivery, and theological purpose of preachers focused on white men and their cultural standing, leaving contemporary women preachers searching for ways to accommodate themselves to the physicality of preaching.
Three case studies of women preachers who have succeeded or failed in rearranging rhetorical space provide the foundation for the volume. These contemporary examples have important implications for feminist theology and also reveal the importance of gender, space, and bodies to studies of rhetoric in general. Mountford explores the geographies of St. John’ s Lutheran Church and the preaching of Rev. Patricia O’ Connor who reformed rhetorical space through the delivery of her sermons. At Eastside United Church of Christ, Mountford shows, Rev. Barbara Hill employed narrative style and prophetic utterance in the tradition of black preaching to address gender bias and institute change in her congregation. The final case study details the experiences of Pastor Janet Moore and her struggles at Victory Hills United Methodist Church, where the fractured congregation could not be united even with Pastor Moore’ s focus on theological purpose and invention strategies.
Institutions of higher education are experiencing the largest influx of enrolled veterans since World War II, and these student veterans are transforming post-secondary classroom dynamics. While many campus divisions like admissions and student services are actively moving to accommodate the rise in this demographic, little research about this population and their educational needs is available, and academic departments have been slower to adjust. In Generation Vet, fifteen chapters offer well-researched, pedagogically savvy recommendations for curricular and programmatic responses to student veterans for English and writing studies departments.
In work with veterans in writing-intensive courses and community contexts, questions of citizenship, disability, activism, community-campus relationships, and retention come to the fore. Moreover, writing-intensive courses can be sites of significant cultural exchanges—even clashes—as veterans bring military values, rhetorical traditions, and communication styles that may challenge the values, beliefs, and assumptions of traditional college students and faculty.
This classroom-oriented text addresses a wide range of issues concerning veterans, pedagogy, rhetoric, and writing program administration. Written by diverse scholar-teachers and written in diverse genres, the essays in this collection promise to enhance our understanding of student veterans, composition pedagogy and administration, and the post-9/11 university.
Genre Across The Curriculum
edited by Anne Herrington and Charles Moran Utah State University Press, 2005 Library of Congress PE1404.G398 2005 | Dewey Decimal 808.042071
Genre across the Curriculum will function as a "good" textbook, one not for the student, but for the teacher, and one with an eye on the context of writing. Here you will find models of practice, descriptions written by teachers who have integrated the teaching of genre into their pedagogy in ways that both support and empower the student writer.
While authors here look at courses across disciplines and across a range of genres, they are similar in presenting genre as situated within specific classrooms, disciplines, and institutions. Their assignments embody the pedagogy of a particular teacher, and student responses here embody students' prior experiences with writing. In each chapter, the authors define a particular genre, define the learning goals implicit in assigning that genre, explain how they help their students work through the assignment, and, finally, discuss how they evaluate the writing their students do in response to their teaching.
Second language students not only need strategies for drafting and revising to write effectively, but also a clear understanding of genre so that they can appropriately structure their writing for various contexts. Over that last decade, increasing attention has been paid to the notion of genre and its central place in language teaching and learning. Genre and Second Language Writing enters into this important debate, providing an accessible introduction to current theory and research in the area of written genres-and applying these understandings to the practical concerns of today's EFL/ESL classroom. Each chapter includes discussion and review questions and small-scale practical research activities. Like the other texts in the popular Michigan Series on Teaching Multilingual Writers, this book will interest ESL teachers in training, teacher educators, current ESL instructors, and researchers and scholars in the area of ESL writing.
In a focused and compelling discussion, Anis Bawarshi looks to genre theory for what it can contribute to a refined understanding of invention. In describing what he calls "the genre function," he explores what is at stake for the study and teaching of writing to imagine invention as a way that writers locate themselves, via genres, within various positions and activities. He argues, in fact, that invention is a process in which writers are acted upon by genres as much as they act themselves. Such an approach naturally requires the composition scholar to re-place invention from the writer to the sites of action, the genres, in which the writer participates. This move calls for a thoroughly rhetorical view of invention, roughly in the tradition of Richard Young, Janice Lauer, and those who have followed them.
Instead of mastering notions of "good" writing, Bawarshi feels that students gain more from learning how to adapt socially and rhetorically as they move from one "genred" site of action to the next.
In recent decades, genre studies has focused attention on how genres mediate social activities within workplace and academic settings. Genre and the Performance of Publics moves beyond institutional settings to explore public contexts that are less hierarchical, broadening the theory of how genres contribute to the interconnected and dynamic performances of public life.
Chapters examine how genres develop within publics and how genres tend to mediate performances in public domains, setting up a discussion between public sphere scholarship and rhetorical genre studies. The volume extends the understanding of genres as not only social ways of organizing texts or mediating relationships within institutions but as dynamic performances themselves.
By exploring how genres shape the formation of publics, Genre and the Performance of Publicsbrings rhetoric/composition and public sphere studies into dialogue and enhances the understanding of public genre performances in ways that contribute to research on and teaching of public discourse.
Twenty-first-century technological innovations have revolutionized the way we experience space, causing an increased sense of fragmentation, danger, and placelessness. In Geographies of Writing: Inhabiting Places and Encountering Difference, Nedra Reynolds addresses these problems in the context of higher education, arguing that theories of writing and rhetoric must engage the metaphorical implications of place without ignoring materiality.
Geographies of Writing makes three closely related contributions: one theoretical, to reimagine composing as spatial, material, and visual; one political, to understand the sociospatial construction of difference; and one pedagogical, to teach writing as a set of spatial practices. Aided by seven maps and illustrations that reinforce the book’ s visual rhetoric, Geographies of Writing shows how composition tasks and electronic space function as conduits for navigating reality.
Gertrude Stein is recognized as an iconic and canonical literary modernist. In Gertrude Stein and the Reinvention of Rhetoric, Sharon J. Kirsch broadens our understanding of Stein’s influence to include her impact on the field of rhetoric.
For humanities scholars as well as popular audiences, the relationship between rhetoric and literature remains vexed, in part due to rhetoric’s contemporary affiliation with composition, which makes it separate from, if not subordinate to, the study of literature. Gertrude Stein recognized no such separation, and this disciplinary policing of the study of English has diminished our understanding of her work, Kirsch argues. Stein’s career unfolded at the crossroads of literary composition and rhetorical theory, a site where she alternately challenged, satirized, and reinvented the five classical canons of rhetoric—invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery—even as she invented new trajectories of literary experimentation.
Kirsch follows Stein from her days studying composition and philosophy at Harvard through her expatriate years in France, fame in the 1930s, and experience of the Second World War. She frames Stein’s explorations of language as an inventive poetics that reconceived practices and theories of rhetorical invention during a period that saw the rise of literary studies and the decline of rhetorical studies. Through careful readings of canonical and lesser-known works, Kirsch offers a convincing critical portrait of Stein as a Sophistic provocateur who reinvented the canons by making a productive mess of canonical rhetoric and modernist categories of thought.
Readers will find much of interest in Gertrude Stein and the Reinvention of Rhetoric. Kirsch offers myriad insights to scholars of Stein, to those interested in the interdisciplinary intersections of literature, rhetoric, and philosophy, as well as to scholars and students in the field of rhetoric and communication studies. Positioning Stein as a major twentieth-century rhetorical theorist is particularly timely given increasing interest in historical and theoretical resonances between rhetoric and poetics and given the continued lack of recognition for women theorists in rhetorical studies.
This first book-length study of Irish educator, clergyman, and author Gilbert Austin as an elocutionary rhetor investigates how his work informs contemporary scholarship on delivery, rhetorical history and theory, and embodied communication. Authors Sara Newman and Sigrid Streit study Austin’s theoretical system, outlined in his 1806 book Chironomia; or A Treatise on Rhetorical Delivery—an innovative study of gestures as a viable, independent language—and consider how Austin’s efforts to incorporate movement and integrate texts and images intersect with present-day interdisciplinary studies of embodiment.
Austin did not simply categorize gesture mechanically, separating delivery from rhetoric and the discipline’s overall goals, but instead he provided a theoretical framework of written descriptions and illustrations that positions delivery as central to effective rhetoric and civic interactions. Balancing the variable physical elements of human interactions as well as the demands of communication, Austin’s system fortuitously anticipated contemporary inquiries into embodied and nonverbal communication. Enlightenment rhetoricians, scientists, and physicians relied on sympathy and its attendant vivacious and lively ideas to convey feelings and facts to their varied audiences. During the seventeenth and eighteenth-centuries, as these disciplines formed increasingly distinct, specialized boundaries, they repurposed existing, shared communication conventions to new ends. While the emerging standards necessarily diverged, each was grounded in the subjective, embodied bedrock of the sympathetic, magical tradition.
Globalizing Afghanistan offers a kaleidoscopic view of Afghanistan and the global networks of power, influence, and representation in which it is immersed. The military and nation-building interventions initiated by the United States in reaction to the events of September 11, 2001, are the background and motivation for this collection, but they are not the immediate subject of the essays. Seeking to understand the events of the past decade in a broad frame, the contributors draw on cultural and postcolonial approaches to provide new insights into this ongoing conflict. They focus on matters such as the implications of Afghanistan’s lucrative opium trade, the links between the contemporary Taliban movement and major events in the Islamic world and Central Asia since the early twentieth century, and interactions between transnational feminist organizations and the Afghan women’s movement. Several contributors address questions of representation. One looks at portrayals of Afghan women by the U.S. government and Western media and feminists. Another explores the surprisingly prominent role of Iranian filmmaking in the production of a global cinematic discourse about Afghanistan. A Pakistani journalist describes how coverage of Afghanistan by reporters working from Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa (formerly the North West Frontier Province) has changed over the past decade. This rich panoply of perspectives on Afghanistan concludes with a reflection on how academics might produce meaningful alternative viewpoints on the exercise of American power abroad.
Contributors. Gwen Bergner, Maliha Chishti, Cheshmak Farhoumand-Sims, Nigel C. Gibson, Zubeda Jalalzai, David Jefferess, Altaf Ullah Khan, Kamran Rastegar, Rodney J. Steward, Imre Szeman
A long-time writing program administrator and well-respected iconoclast, Irvin Peckham is strongly identified with progressive ideologies in education. However, in Going North Thinking West, Peckham mounts a serious critique of what is called critical pedagogy—primarily a project of the academic left—in spite of his own sympathies there.
College composition is fundamentally a middle-class enterprise, and is conducted by middle-class professionals, while student demographics show increasing presence of the working class. In spite of best intentions to ameliorate inequitable social class relationships, says Peckham, critical pedagogies can actually contribute to reproducing those relationships in traditional forms—not only perpetuating social inequities, but pushing working class students toward self-alienation, as well.
Peckham argues for more clarity on the history of critical thinking, social class structures and teacher identity (especially as these are theorized by Pierre Bourdieu), while he undertakes a critical inquiry of the teaching practices with which even he identifies.
Going North Thinking West focuses especially on writing teachers who claim a necessary linkage between critical thinking and writing skills; these would include both teachers who promote the fairly a-political position that argumentation is the obvious and necessary form of academic discourse, and more controversial teachers who advocate turning a classroom into a productive site of social transformation.
Ultimately, Peckham argues for a rereading of Freire (an icon of transformational pedagogy), and for a collaborative investigation of students’ worlds as the first step in a successful writing pedagogy. It is an argument for a pedagogy based on service to students rather than on transforming them.
No modern president has had as much influence on American national politics as Franklin D. Roosevelt. During FDR’s administration, power shifted from states and localities to the federal government; within the federal government it shifted from Congress to the president; and internationally, it moved from Europe to the United States. All of these changes required significant effort on the part of the president, who triumphed over fierce opposition and succeeded in remaking the American political system in ways that continue to shape our politics today. Using the metaphor of the good neighbor, Mary E. Stuckey examines the persuasive work that took place to authorize these changes. Through the metaphor, FDR’s administration can be better understood: his emphasis on communal values; the importance of national mobilization in domestic as well as foreign affairs in defense of those values; his use of what he considered a particularly democratic approach to public communication; his treatment of friends and his delineation of enemies; and finally, the ways in which he used this rhetoric to broaden his neighborhood from the limits of the United States to encompass the entire world, laying the groundwork for American ideological dominance in the post–World War II era.
In Gorgias and the New Sophistic Rhetoric, Bruce McComiskey achieves three rhetorical goals: he treats a single sophist's rhetorical technê (art) in the context of the intellectual upheavals of fifth-century bce Greece, thus avoiding the problem of generalizing about a disparate group of individuals; he argues that we must abandon Platonic assumptions regarding the sophists in general and Gorgias in particular, opting instead for a holistic reading of the Gorgianic fragments; and he reexamines the practice of appropriating sophistic doctrines, particularly those of Gorgias, in light of the new interpretation of Gorgianic rhetoric offered in this book.
In the first two chapters, McComiskey deals with a misconception based on selective and Platonic readings of the extant fragments: that Gorgias's rhetorical technê involves the deceptive practice of manipulating public opinion. This popular and ultimately misleading interpretation of Gorgianic doctrines has been the basis for many neosophistic appropriations. The final three chapters deal with the nature and scope of neosophistic rhetoric in light of the non-Platonic and holistic interpretation of Gorgianic rhetoric McComiskey postulates in his opening chapters. He concludes by examining the future of communication studies to discover what roles neosophistic doctrines might play in the twenty-first century.
McComiskey also provides a selective bibliography of scholarship on sophistic rhetoric and philosophy in English since 1900.
The Grammar Crammer is a concise, sensible grammar handbook that explains lucidly how to remember correct word forms and sentence structures. Useful as a reference tool for high school and beyond, it packs an entire grammar encyclopedia into just over a hundred pages.
Guide to College Writing Assessment
Peggy O'Neill, Cindy Moore, and Brian Huot Utah State University Press, 2009 Library of Congress PE1404.O43 2009 | Dewey Decimal 808.042076
While most English professionals feel comfortable with language and literacy theories, assessment theories seem more alien. English professionals often don’t have a clear understanding of the key concepts in educational measurement, such as validity and reliability, nor do they understand the statistical formulas associated with psychometrics. But understanding assessment theory—and applying it—by those who are not psychometricians is critical in developing useful, ethical assessments in college writing programs, and in interpreting and using assessment results.
A Guide to College Writing Assessment is designed as an introduction and source book for WPAs, department chairs, teachers, and administrators. Always cognizant of the critical components of particular teaching contexts, O’Neill, Moore, and Huot have written sophisticated but accessible chapters on the history, theory, application and background of writing assessment, and they offer a dozen appendices of practical samples and models for a range of common assessment needs.
Because there are numerous resources available to assist faculty in assessing the writing of individual students in particular classrooms, A Guide to College Writing Assessment focuses on approaches to the kinds of assessment that typically happen outside of individual classrooms: placement evaluation, exit examination, programmatic assessment, and faculty evaluation. Most of all, the argument of this book is that creating the conditions for meaningful college writing assessment hinges not only on understanding the history and theories informing assessment practice, but also on composition programs availing themselves of the full range of available assessment practices.
When Gorgias, Plato, and Aristotle were discussing and defining rhetoric in ancient Greece, many students in China, including Sun Bin, a descendent of Sun Tzu, who wrote The Art of War, were learning the techniques of persuasion from Guiguzi, “the Master of the Ghost Valley.” This pre–Qin dynasty recluse provided the basis for what is considered the earliest Chinese treatise devoted entirely to the art of persuasion. Called Guiguzi after its author, this translation of the received text provides an indigenous rhetorical theory and key persuasive strategies, some of which are still used by those involved in decision making and negotiations in China today. In “Guiguzi,” China’s First Treatise on Rhetoric, Hui Wu and C. Jan Swearingen present a new critical translation of this foundational work, which has great historical significance for the study of Chinese rhetoric and communication and yet is little known to Western readers.
Wu’s translation includes footnotes that incorporate both past and present scholarly commentary, and is accompanied by a prefatory introduction that situates Guiguzi in the sociopolitical and cultural realities of ancient China, and a glossary of rhetorical terms used in the treatise. Swearingen presents a comparative study suggesting the similarities and differences between emerging Greek and Chinese rhetorics during the same period, including the cultural contexts of warring states and emergent empires that surrounded each.
“Guiguzi,” China’s First Treatise on Rhetoric combines a new translation of a historically significant text with scholarly analysis and critical apparatus that will contribute to the emerging global understanding of Chinese rhetoric and communication.