The current trend toward machine-scoring of student work, Ericsson and Haswell argue, has created an emerging issue with implications for higher education across the disciplines, but with particular importance for those in English departments and in administration. The academic community has been silent on the issue—some would say excluded from it—while the commercial entities who develop essay-scoring software have been very active.
Machine Scoring of Student Essays is the first volume to seriously consider the educational mechanisms and consequences of this trend, and it offers important discussions from some of the leading scholars in writing assessment.
Reading and evaluating student writing is a time-consuming process, yet it is a vital part of both student placement and coursework at post-secondary institutions. In recent years, commercial computer-evaluation programs have been developed to score student essays in both of these contexts. Two-year colleges have been especially drawn to these programs, but four-year institutions are moving to them as well, because of the cost-savings they promise. Unfortunately, to a large extent, the programs have been written, and institutions are installing them, without attention to their instructional validity or adequacy.
Since the education software companies are moving so rapidly into what they perceive as a promising new market, a wider discussion of machine-scoring is vital if scholars hope to influence development and/or implementation of the programs being created. What is needed, then, is a critical resource to help teachers and administrators evaluate programs they might be considering, and to more fully envision the instructional consequences of adopting them. And this is the resource that Ericsson and Haswell are providing here.
Making Camp examines the rhetoric and conventions of “camp” in contemporary popular culture and the ways it both subverts and is co-opted by mainstream ideology and discourse, especially as it pertains to issues of gender and sexuality.
Camp has long been aligned with gay male culture and performance. Helene Shugart and Catherine Waggoner contend that camp in the popular media—whether visual, dramatic, or musical—is equally pervasive. While aesthetic and performative in nature, the authors argue that camp—female camp in particular—is also highly political and that conventions of femininity and female sexuality are negotiated, if not always resisted, in female camp performances.
The authors draw on a wide range of references and figures representative of camp, both historical and contemporary, in presenting the evolution of female camp and its negotiation of gender, political, and identity issues. Antecedents such as Joan Crawford, Wonder Woman, Marilyn Monroe, and Pam Grier are discussed as archetypes for contemporary popular culture figures—Macy Gray, Gwen Stefani, and the characters of Xena from Xena: Warrior Princess and Karen Walker from Will & Grace.
Shugart and Waggoner find that these and other female camp performances are liminal, occupying a space between conformity and resistance. The result is a study that demonstrates the prevalence of camp as a historical and evolving phenomenon in popular culture, its role as a site for the rupture of conventional notions of gender and sexuality, and how camp is configured in mainstream culture and in ways that resist its being reduced to merely a style.
In an era when the value of the humanities and qualitative inquiry has been questioned in academia and beyond, Making the Case is an engaging and timely collection that brings together a veritable who’s who of public address scholars to illustrate the power of case-based scholarly argument and to demonstrate how critical inquiry into a specific moment speaks to general contexts and theories. Providing both a theoretical framework and a wealth of historically situated texts, Making the Case spans from Homeric Greece to twenty-first-century America. The authors examine the dynamic interplay of texts and their concomitant rhetorical situations by drawing on a number of case studies, including controversial constitutional arguments put forward by activists and presidents in the nineteenth century, inventive economic pivots by Franklin Roosevelt and Alan Greenspan, and the rhetorical trajectory and method of Barack Obama.
Few figures haunt the collective American psyche like Malcolm X. Hoodlum, convict, convert, prophet, nationalist, and martyr, Malcolm’s life spans the Civil Rights era like an index of America’s racial anxiety. Dozens of books and hundreds of articles have analyzed his life, his work, and the various ways that his image has been appropriated by American culture. Not much has been done, however, to analyze his speeches. This would be a glaring omission in the body of scholarship about almost any public figure, but is especially troubling with regard to Malcolm X. His legacy does not consist of marches preserved on newsreels, legislation passed by Congress, or holidays observed by the state; his legacy consists almost exclusively of his words.
Malcolm X, like any orator, did not fashion his discourse in a vacuum but worked within and modified modes fashioned by his predecessors. Malcolm X: Inventing Radical Judgment begins by exploring the interpretive strategies presented in key texts from the history of African American protest, establishing a spectrum against which Malcolm’s oratory can be assessed. The texts of speeches that Malcolm delivered while he was a minister for the Nation of Islam and the texts of speeches and statements he made after he left the Nation are analyzed carefully to discern the strategies of interpretation and judgment that he enacted and fostered in his audiences. Finally, this radical judgment, presented in and through Malcolm’s public discourse, is re-contextualized by using three disparate theoretical approaches. The purpose of this triangulation is not to contain the rhetoric of Malcolm X within the limitations of these vocabularies, but rather to show that the changing potential of Malcolm’s rhetoric lies, in part, in its iconoclastic refusal to be constrained by definitive boundaries.
In this pointed appraisal of composition studies, Donna Strickland contends the rise of writing program administration is crucial to understanding the history of the field. Noting existing histories of composition studies that offer little to no exploration of administration, Strickland argues the field suffers from a “managerial unconscious” that ignores or denies the dependence of the teaching of writing on administrative structures.
The Managerial Unconscious in the History of Composition Studies is the first book to address the history of composition studies as a profession rather than focusing on its pedagogical theories and systems. Strickland questions why writing and the teaching of writing have been the major areas of scholarly inquiry in the field when specialists often work primarily as writing program administrators, not teachers.
Strickland traces the emergence of writing programs in the early twentieth century, the founding of two professional organizations by and for writing program administrators, and the managerial overtones of the “social turn” of the field during the 1990s. She illustrates how these managerial imperatives not only have provided much of the impetus for the growth of composition studies over the past three decades but also have contributed to the stratified workplaces and managed writing practices the field’s pedagogical research often decries.
The Managerial Unconscious in the History of Composition Studies makes the case that administrative work should not be separated from intellectual work, calling attention to the interplay between these two kinds of work in academia at large and to the pronounced hierarchies of contingent faculty and tenure-track administrators endemic to college writing programs. The result is a reasoned plea for an alternative understanding of the very mission of the field itself.
In this critical history of the gendered politics of rhetoric and the rise of composition, Miriam Brody argues that nothing about words or their arrangement is innately gendered. Yet since the English Enlightenment, teachers have encouraged their students to admire and imitate "manly" writing, writing that is plain, forceful, cogent, and true. Similarly, students have been enjoined to avoid so-called effeminate or feminine writing—writing characterized as vague, unorganized, ornate, and deceitful.
Such advice, part of what Brody terms the hidden curriculum, has served the interests of discourse communities as various as the early Enlightenment Royal Society in seventeenth-century London (by urging a clear and masculine style for the work of science) and the land-grant universities of nineteenth-century America (by claiming that the work of writing was similar to clearing the land and pushing back the frontier). Brody’s discussion in fact becomes a social history of canonical rhetorical essays and important late Enlightenment, nineteenth-century, and early modern school texts. She points out that in their advice to writers even the Strunks and Whites and Peter Elbows of more recent times have extolled masculine virtues and urged control over invasive and problematic feminine qualities.
Brody’s book not only clarifies rhetoric’s inheritance and transformation of the classical ideal of manliness, it also is the first critical work to explore the ideological significance of gendered imagery and to interpret in light of this imagery rhetorical essays and hard-to-locate early composition texts against a background of previously unpublished archival materials.
Mansfield and Vietnam: A Study in Rhetorical Adaptation is the first major work to examine the role played by Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield, Democrat from Montana, in the formulation and execution of U.S. Vietnam policy. Drawing upon material from the Mansfield Papers, personal interviews, public speeches, and recently declassified documents, Olson traces Mansfield's journey from ardent supporter of Diem in the late 1950s to quiet critic of LBJ in the mid-1960s, and finally, to outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Olson focuses his attention on Mansfield's speaking ability and his use of the written word, analyzing the ways in which they proved crucial in shaping the policies of the Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford presidential administrations. He also examines the way personal and political situations converged to force Mansfield into the center of the stormy Vietnam controversy, and eventually into a position of leadership in the campaign to end America's military presence in Southeast Asia. To date, little has been done to evaluate the roles played by key congressional figures in the Vietnam War debate; thus, Mansfield and Vietnam is bound to become a significant contribution, not only to rhetorical studies, but also to twentieth-century diplomatic history and to the study of congressional-presidential relations.
The second Red Scare was a charade orchestrated by a tyrant with the express goal of undermining the New Deal—so argues Stephen M. Underhill in this hard-hitting analysis of J. Edgar Hoover’s rhetorical agency. Drawing on Classification 94, a vast trove of recently declassified records that documents the longtime FBI director’s domestic propaganda campaigns in the mid-twentieth century, Underhill shows that Hoover used the growing power of his office to subvert the presidencies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman and redirect the trajectory of U.S. culture away from social democracy toward a toxic brand of neoliberalism. He did so with help from Republicans who opposed organized labor and Southern Democrats who supported Jim Crow in what is arguably the most culturally significant documented political conspiracy in U.S. history, a wholesale domestic propaganda program that brainwashed Americans and remade their politics. Hoover also forged ties with the powerful fascist leaders of the period to promote his own political ambitions. All the while, as a love letter to Clyde Tolson still preserved in Hoover’s papers attests, he strove to pass for straight while promoting a culture that demonized same-sex love. The erosion of democratic traditions Hoover fostered continues to haunt Americans today.
Illustrates the ways that the “war on crime” became conjoined—aesthetically, politically, and rhetorically—with the emergence of gangsta rap as a lucrative and deeply controversial subgenre of hip-hop
In The Mark of Criminality: Rhetoric, Race, and Gangsta Rap in the War-on-Crime Era, Bryan J. McCann argues that gangsta rap should be viewed as more than a damaging reinforcement of an era’s worst racial stereotypes. Rather, he positions the works of key gangsta rap artists, as well as the controversies their work produced, squarely within the law-and-order politics and popular culture of the 1980s and 1990s to reveal a profoundly complex period in American history when the meanings of crime and criminality were incredibly unstable.
At the center of this era—when politicians sought to prove their “tough-on-crime” credentials—was the mark of criminality, a set of discourses that labeled members of predominantly poor, urban, and minority communities as threats to the social order. Through their use of the mark of criminality, public figures implemented extremely harsh penal polices that have helped make the United States the world’s leading jailer of its adult population.
At the same time when politicians like Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton and television shows such as COPS and America’s Most Wanted perpetuated images of gang and drug-filled ghettos, gangsta rap burst out of the hip-hop nation, emanating mainly from the predominantly black neighborhoods of South Central Los Angeles. Groups like NWA and solo artists (including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur) became millionaires by marketing the very discourses political and cultural leaders used to justify their war on crime. For these artists, the mark of criminality was a source of power, credibility, and revenue. By understanding gangsta rap as a potent, if deeply imperfect, enactment of the mark of criminality, we can better understand how crime is always a site of struggle over meaning. Furthermore, by underscoring the nimble rhetorical character of criminality, we can learn lessons that may inform efforts to challenge our nation’s failed policies of mass incarceration.
The attacks of 9/11 led to a war on Iraq, although there was neither tangible evidence that the nation's leader, Saddam Hussein, was linked to Osama bin Laden nor proof of weapons of mass destruction. Why, then, did the Iraq war garner so much acceptance in the United States during its primary stages?
Mass Deception argues that the George W. Bush administration manufactured public support for the war on Iraq. Scott A. Bonn introduces a unique, integrated, and interdisciplinary theory called "critical communication" to explain how and why political elites and the news media periodically create public panics that benefit both parties. Using quantitative analysis of public opinion polls and presidential rhetoric pre- and post-9/11 in the news media, Bonn applies the moral panic concept to the Iraq war. He critiques the war and occupation of Iraq as violations of domestic and international law. Finally, Mass Deception connects propaganda and distortion efforts by the Bush administration to more general theories of elite deviance and state crime.
In the face of the continuing discourse of crisis in US education, The Meaningful Writing Project offers readers an affirming story of writing in higher education that shares students’ experiences in their own voices. In presenting the results of a three-year study consisting of surveys and interviews of university seniors and their faculty across three diverse institutions, authors Michele Eodice, Anne Ellen Geller, and Neal Lerner consider students’ perceptions of their meaningful writing experiences, the qualities of those experiences, and instructors’ perspectives on assignment design and delivery.
This study confirms that meaningful assignments offer students opportunities to engage with instructors, peers, and texts and are relevant to past experiences and passions as well as to future aspirations and identities. Meaningful writing occurs across majors, in both required and elective courses, and beyond students’ years at college. Additionally, the study makes clear that faculty across the curriculum devote significant care and attention to creating writing assignments that support student learning, as they understand writing performance to be a developmental process connected to overall cognitive and social development, student engagement with learning, and success in a wide variety of disciplines and professions.
The Meaningful Writing Project provides writing center directors, WPAs, other composition scholars, and all faculty interested in teaching and learning with writing an unprecedented look into the writing projects students find meaningful.
After World War II, an unprecedented age of global development began. The formation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund allowed war torn and poverty stricken nations to become willing debtors in their desire to entice Western investment and trade. New capital, it was foretold, would pave the way to political and economic stability, and the benefits would “trickle down” to even the poorest citizens. The hyperbole of this neocolonialism, however, has left many of these countries with nothing but compounded debt and unfulfilled promises. The Megarhetorics of Global Development examines rhetorical strategies used by multinational corporations, NGOs, governments, banks, and others to further their own economic, political, or technological agendas. These wide-ranging case studies employ rhetorical theory, globalization scholarship, and analysis of cultural and historical dynamics to offer in-depth critiques of development practices and their material effects. By deconstructing megarhetorics, at both the local and global level, and following their paths of mobilization and diffusion, the concepts of “progress” and “growth” can be reevaluated, with the end goal of encouraging self-sustaining and ethical outcomes.
The Memoir of Ednah Shepard Thomas offers an in-depth look at what it was to be a Writing Program Administrator during the period from after World War II up to the time of the early 1970s, a time for which we have little in the way of documentation for the work of early WPAs. Written at a time when the civil rights movement and the women's movement were just beginning to influence the way one thought and wrote about issues of race, class, and gender, this memoir offers insights into a period of time when the field was only beginning to come into focus. A foreword by Susan McLeod, an introduction and extensive footnotes by David Stock, and an afterword by David Fleming contextualize the memoir and highlight its relevance to scholars, teachers, and program administrators in composition-rhetoric. As a local history of writing program administration in its pre-professional era, the memoir offers a vital counternarrative to David Fleming's (2011) award-winning account of the abolition of UW-Madison's Freshman English program in 1969-70.
This critical bilingual anthology collects and contextualizes thirty-four primary writings of understudied revolutionary mexicana rhetors and social activists who published with presses within the United States and Mexico during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—a time of cross-border revolutionary upheaval and change. These mexicana newspaperwomen leveraged diverse and compelling rhetorical strategies and used the press to advance the early feminist movement in Mexico and the U.S. Southwest; to define their rights and roles in and confront the hypocrisies of their societies’ patriarchal systems; to engage in important debates about education, women’s rights, and language instruction; and to protest injustices in society and construct possible solutions. Because these presses were in both Mexico and the United States, their writings offer opportunities to explore the concerns, struggles, and triumphs of mexicanas in both U.S. and Mexican cities and throughout the borderlands.
Mestiza Rhetorics is the first anthology dedicated to mexicana rhetors and provides unmatched access to mexicana rhetorics. This collection puts forward the work of mexicana newspaperwomen in Spanish and English, provides evidence of their participation in political and educational debates at the turn of the twentieth century, and demonstrates how the Spanish-language press operated as a rhetorical space for mexicanas.
Metabolizing Capital outlines a critical ecological framework to guide the theorization of writing and rhetoric in the dynamic contexts of Web 3.0 and environmental crisis.
The rise of the global cloud and the internet-of-things have ushered in a new stage of the internet that marks a transition from the celebrated user-generated content of Web 2.0 to the data-driven networks of Web 3.0. As social media networks have expanded, so has the amount of writing and communication we do online. This has created several valuable sub-layers of data and metadata about consumer-citizens that corporations and governments now routinely collect, store, and monetize. This frenzy to collect more data is contributing to several problematic social and environmental concerns as flows of information and capital dangerously accelerate how energy and matter move through ecosystems at every scale.
This book explores the planetary consequences of Web 3.0 and the vital role that writing and data production play in accelerating capital circulation, from concerns raised by the growing energy demands of the information industries, to growing streams of electronic waste, to the growing socioeconomic tensions arising as a result of information monopolies.
A posthuman, Marxist analysis of digital culture and writing, Metabolizing Capital contributes to and challenges current understandings of rhetorical agency and actor networks. Combining scholarship from writing studies, rhetoric, and composition with research in metabolic ecology, information theory, media studies, cognitive psychology, history, and new materialism, this book should be of interest to scholars in writing studies as well as others who study digital culture, ecological literacies, the history of writing and information, big data, and environmental concerns related to electronics and the information industries.
In Metafilm: Materialist Rhetoric and Reflexive Cinema, Christopher Carter examines paradoxical rhetoric in visual culture, analyzing movies that immerse viewers in violent narratives while examining the ethics of the transaction. Featuring the films of Michael Haneke, Atom Egoyan, Icíar Bollaín, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Ryan Coogler, Carter analyzes how personal conflict intermingles with the inherent violence of warfare, transnational economics, labor exploitation, and racism in genres ranging from horror to historical recreation and from depictions of genocide to records of police brutality. These films, Carter argues, reflect on their construction, distribution, and audience engagement, emphasizing the material design and the economics of rhetoric in ways most films do not.
Ultimately, Metafilm reframes materialism as a multimodal composing-in-action, or reflexive materialism, focusing on movies that dramatize their entanglement in economic and historical trauma while provoking forms of resistance during and after viewing. Carter contends that even as we recognize the division of social power in the films, we must also recognize how the concept is subversive and eludes control. In looking at the interplay between the films’ content and their production, circulation, and reception, Carter explores how the films persuade us to identify with onscreen worlds before probing our expectations—validating some, rejecting others, and sometimes proposing new ways of watching altogether.
Metaphorical World Politics
Francis A. Beer Michigan State University Press, 2004 Library of Congress JA85.M45 2004 | Dewey Decimal 320.014
Metaphorical World Politics argues that language and metaphor are important parts of international political reality. Metaphors and world politics have appeared together many times in recent history. The blended space that results is metaphorical world politics, a real- world game for political and scientific actors. This collection picks up the challenge to unravel the game, to examine its rules, to clarify the mixture of images and facts that is so real in politics but so exceptional in science. Scholars have studied metaphor mostly from a linguistic or a literary point of view. This work forces those primarily interested in metaphors to think about applications and implications beyond the text. Others concerned mainly with world politics may consider how metaphors may help to energize and structure international political thought and action.
Scholars have most often studied world politics embedded in so-called "facts." Metaphorical World Politics shows that facts are misleading in their compactness, that facts are often meaningless, that metaphors in contrast are energetic processors of meaning, and that facts in world politics are nothing more than weak emulsions of metaphor. This work outlines the general place of metaphor on the map of politics and highlights the location of specific metaphors on the political terrain.
In this first sustained critique of current-traditional rhetorical theory, Sharon Crowley uses a postmodern, deconstructive reading to reexamine the historical development of current-traditional rhetoric. She identifies it (as well as the British new rhetoric from which it developed) as a philosophy of language use that posits universal principles of mind and discourse. Crowley argues that these philosophies are not appropriate bases for the construction of rhetorical theories, much less guides for the teaching of composition. She explains that current-traditional rhetoric is not a rhetorical theory, and she argues that its use as such has led to a misrepresentation of invention.
Crowley contends that current-traditional rhetoric continues to prosper because a considerable number of college composition teachers—graduate students, part-time instructors, and teachers of literature—are not involved in the development of the curricula they are asked to teach. As a result, their voices, necessary to create any true representation of the composition teaching experience, are denied access to the scholarly conversations evaluating the soundness of the institutionalized teaching methods derived from the current-traditional approach.
In original essays, fourteen nationally known scholars examine the practical, philosophical, and epistemological implications of a variety of research traditions. Included are discussions of historical, theoretical, and feminist scholarship; case-study and ethnographic research; text and conversation analysis; and cognitive, experimental, and descriptive research. Issues that cross methodological boundaries, such as the nature of collaborative research and writing, methodological pluralism, the classification and coding of research data, and the politics of composition research, are also examined. Contributors reflect on their own research practices, and so reflect the current state of composition research itself.
Not afraid to tackle provocative topics in American culture, from gun violence and labor policies to terrorism and health care, Michael Moore has earned both applause and invective in his career as a documentarian. In such polarizing films as Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, and Sicko, Moore has established a unique voice of radical nostalgia for progressivism, and in doing so has become one of the most recognized documentary filmmakers of all time.
In the first in-depth study of Moore’s feature-length documentary films, editors Thomas W. Benson and Brian J. Snee have gathered leading rhetoric scholars to examine the production, rhetorical appeals, and audience reception of these films. Contributors critique the films primarily as modes of public argument and political art. Each essay is devoted to one of Moore’s films and traces in detail how each film invites specific audience responses. Michael Moore and the Rhetoric of Documentary reveals not only the art, the argument, and the emotional appeals of Moore’s documentaries but also how these films have revolutionized the genre of documentary filmmaking.
This volume features two dimensions of Michael Osborn’s work with rhetorical metaphor. The first focuses on his early efforts to develop a conception of metaphor to advance the understanding of rhetoric, while the second concerns more recent efforts to apply this enriched conception in the analysis and criticism of significant rhetorical practice. The older emphasis features four of Osborn’s more prominent published essays, revealing the personal context in which they were generated, their strengths and shortcomings, and how they may have inspired the work of others. His more recent unpublished work analyzes patterns of metaphor in the major speeches of Demosthenes, the evolution of metaphors of illness and cure in speeches across several millennia, the exploitation of the birth-death-rebirth metaphor in Riefenstahl’s masterpiece of Nazi propaganda Triumph of the Will, and the contrasting forms of spatial imagery in the speeches of Edmund Burke and Barack Obama and what these contrasts may portend.
Writing studies has been dominated throughout its history by grand narratives of the discipline, but in this volume Bruce McComiskey begins to explore microhistory as a way to understand, enrich, and complicate how the field relates to its past. Microhistory investigates the dialectical interaction of social history and cultural history, enabling historians to examine uncommon sites, objects, and agents of historical significance overlooked by social history and restricted to local effects by cultural history. This approach to historical scholarship is ideally suited for exploring the complexities of a discipline like composition.
Through an introduction and eleven chapters, McComiskey and his contributors—including major figures in the historical research of writing studies, such as Louise Wetherbee Phelps, Kelly Ritter, and Neal Lerner—develop focused narratives of particular significant moments or themes in disciplinary history. They introduce microhistorical methodologies and illustrate their application and value for composition historians, contributing to the complexity and adding momentum to the emerging trend within writing studies toward a richer reading of the field’s past and future. Scholars and historians of both composition and rhetoric will appreciate the fresh perspectives on institutional and disciplinary histories and larger issues of rhetorical agency and engagement enacted in writing classrooms that are found in Microhistories of Composition.
Other contributors include Cheryl E. Ball, Suzanne Bordelon, Jacob Craig, Matt Davis, Douglas Eyman, Brian Gogan, David Gold, Christine Martorana, Bruce McComiskey, Josh Mehler, Annie S. Mendenhall, Kendra Mitchell, Antony N. Ricks, David Stock, Kathleen Blake Yancey, Bret Zawilski, and James T. Zebroski.
This expanded edition serves as a comprehensive reference guide as well as a systematic, learner-centered approach for native English-speaking students. The author addresses the most common problems of writing in French, and progresses from words to sentences to paragraphs to the elaboration of accurate and authentic expository prose.
In A Minefield of Dreams: Triumphs and Travails of Independent Writing Programs, Justin Everett and Cristina Hanganu-Bresch highlight both cautionary tales and stories of resounding success that can inspire and provide paths toward addressing the challenges faced by faculty who lead independent writing programs (IWPs). More than a decade after O'Neill, Crow, and Burton's survey of IWPs—and with attention to some of the same programs addressed in that collection—the contributors to this collection assess the state of IWPs at a variety of American and Canadian institutions. The four sections in the book address key issues faced by IWPs: the quest for independence; disciplinarity, labor, and professionalization; curricular reforms, program design, and faculty training and empowerment; and rhetorics of transformation and justice.
Through a blend of personal narrative, cultural and literary analysis, and discussions about teaching, Minor Re/Visions: Asian American Literacy Narratives as a Rhetoric of Citizenship shows how people of color use reading and writing to develop and articulate notions of citizenship. Morris Young begins with a narration of his own literacy experiences to illustrate the complicated relationship among literacy, race, and citizenship and to reveal the tensions that exist between competing beliefs and uses of literacy among those who are part of dominant American culture and those who are positioned as minorities.
Influenced by the literacy narratives of other writers of color, Young theorizes an Asian American rhetoric by examining the rhetorical construction of American citizenship in works such as Richard Rodriguez’s Hunger of Memory, Victor Villanueva’s Bootstraps: From an American Academic of Color, Carlos Bulosan’s America Is in the Heart, and Maxine Hong Kingston’s “Song for a Barbarian Reed Pipe” from Woman Warrior. These narratives, Young shows, tell stories of transformation through education, the acquisition of literacy, and cultural assimilation and resistance. They also offer an important revision to the American story by inserting the minor and creating a tension amid dominant discourses about literacy, race, and citizenship. Through a consideration of the literacy narratives of Hawai`i, Young also provides a context for reading literacy narratives as responses to racism, linguistic discrimination, and attempts at “othering” in a particular region.
As we are faced with dominant discourses that construct race and citizenship in problematic ways and as official institutions become even more powerful and prevalent in silencing minor voices, Minor Re/Visions reveals the critical need for revising minority and dominant discourses. Young’s observations and conclusions have important implications for the ways rhetoricians and compositionists read, teach, and assign literacy narratives.
The Mirror in the Text
Lucien Dällenbach University of Chicago Press, 1989 Library of Congress PN3355.D2313 1989 | Dewey Decimal 808.3
The Mirror in the Text is concerned with the literary and artistic device of mise en abyme, the use of an element within a work which mirrors the work as a whole—like the 'play within a play' in Hamlet.
In this classic study, Lucien Dällenbach provides the first systematic analysis of this device and its literary and artistic applications from Van Eyck and Velasquez to Gide, Beckett and the French nouveau roman.
Alongside this wealth of examples, Dällenbach constructs his theoretical argument with elegance and clarity, assuming no previous knowledge of arcane and specialized theory, but guiding the reader helpfully through the maze of literary criticism. The result is a new conceptual field, a new grammar of the mise en abyme, and an examination of its function within the work of art and literature.
The highly original study has been acclaimed as one of the most important works of contemporary literary theory. It will be of interest to all students of English and European literature, as well as to students of the visual arts.
When we make phone calls and use computers, electronic devices mediate how we communicate. In each instance, we exchange symbols and information just as we have since humans began speaking and writing. What, then—besides economy of space and time—differentiates electronic communications from ordinary speech and writing?
The difference, Mark Poster argues, is the profound effect electronic mediation exerts on the very way we perceive ourselves and reality. To help decode the linguistic dimensions of our multiple forms of social interaction, he plays upon Marx's theory of the mode of production—the shift to late capitalism has a parallel in the shift from the mode of production to that of information.
Enlisting poststructuralist theory, he links four modes of communication with four poststructuralists: TV ads with Baudrillard, data bases with Foucault, electronic writing with Derrida, and computer science with Lyotard. Mode of Information points the way to a poststructuralist strategy for writing history, a framework well suited to unearthing structures of domination and the means to their disruption.
"An informed, insightful, provocative account of phenomena that have transformed virtually every area of public and private life on our time."—Robert Anchor, American Historical Review
"The importance of Poster's book is unmistakable for he skillfully negotiates between and juxtaposes two wide theoretical domains—electronically mediated communications and poststructuralist theory—about which much has been written, but hardly with the acumen that he brings to bear in a long-awaited critical rapprochement."—Charles J. Stivale, Criticism
When should I change my mind? What can I believe and what must I doubt? In this new "philosophy of good reasons" Wayne C. Booth exposes five dogmas of modernism that have too often inhibited efforts to answer these questions. Modern dogmas teach that "you cannot reason about values" and that "the job of thought is to doubt whatever can be doubted," and they leave those who accept them crippled in their efforts to think and talk together about whatever concerns them most. They have willed upon us a "befouled rhetorical climate" in which people are driven to two self-destructive extremes—defenders of reason becoming confined to ever narrower notions of logical or experimental proof and defenders of "values" becoming more and more irresponsible in trying to defend the heart, the gut, or the gonads.
Booth traces the consequences of modernist assumptions through a wide range of inquiry and action: in politics, art, music, literature, and in personal efforts to find "identity" or a "self." In casting doubt on systematic doubt, the author finds that the dogmas are being questioned in almost every modern discipline. Suggesting that they be replaced with a rhetoric of "systematic assent," Booth discovers a vast, neglected reservoir of "good reasons"—many of them known to classical students of rhetoric, some still to be explored. These "good reasons" are here restored to intellectual respectability, suggesting the possibility of widespread new inquiry, in all fields, into the question, "When should I change my mind?"
In The Modern Invention of Information: Discourse, History, and Power, Ronald E. Day provides a historically informed critical analysis of the concept and politics of information. Analyzing texts in Europe and the United States, his critical reading method goes beyond traditional historiographical readings of communication and information by engaging specific historical texts in terms of their attempts to construct and reshape history.
After laying the groundwork and justifying his method of close reading for this study, Day examines the texts of two pre–World War II documentalists, Paul Otlet and Suzanne Briet. Through the work of Otlet and Briet, Day shows how documentation and information were associated with concepts of cultural progress. Day also discusses the social expansion of the conduit metaphor in the works of Warren Weaver and Norbert Wiener. He then shows how the work of contemporary French multimedia theorist Pierre Lévy refracts the earlier philosophical writings of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari through the prism of the capitalist understanding of the “virtual society.”
Turning back to the pre–World War II period, Day examines two critics of the information society: Martin Heidegger and Walter Benjamin. He explains Heidegger’s philosophical critique of the information culture’s model of language and truth as well as Benjamin’s aesthetic and historical critique of mass information and communication. Day concludes by contemplating the relation of critical theory and information, particularly in regard to the information culture’s transformation of history, historiography, and historicity into positive categories of assumed and represented knowledge.
A broadly interdisciplinary study of the pervasive secrecy in America cultural, political, and religious discourse.
The occult has traditionally been understood as the study of secrets of the practice of mysticism or magic. This book broadens our understanding of the occult by treating it as a rhetorical phenomenon tied to language and symbols and more central to American culture than is commonly assumed.
Joshua Gunn approaches the occult as an idiom, examining the ways in which acts of textual criticism and interpretation are occultic in nature, as evident in practices as diverse as academic scholarship, Freemasonry, and television production. Gunn probes, for instance, the ways in which jargon employed by various social and professional groups creates barriers and fosters secrecy. From the theory wars of cultural studies to the Satanic Panic that swept the national mass media in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Gunn shows how the paradox of a hidden, buried, or secret meaning that cannot be expressed in language appears time and time again in Western culture.
These recurrent patterns, Gunn argues, arise from a generalized, popular anxiety about language and its limitations. Ultimately, Modern Occult Rhetoric demonstrates the indissoluble relationship between language, secrecy, and publicity, and the centrality of suspicion in our daily lives.
The Motherhood Business is a piercing collection of ten original essays that reveal the rhetoric of the motherhood industry. Focusing on the consumer life of mothers and the emerging entrepreneurship associated with motherhood, the collection considers how different forms of privilege (class, race, and nationality) inform discourses about mothering, consumption, mobility, and leisure.
The Motherhood Business follows the harried mother’s path into the anxious maelstrom of intelligent toys, healthy foods and meals, and educational choices. It also traces how some enterprising mothers leverage cultural capital and rhetorical vision to create thriving baby- and child-based businesses of their own, as evidenced by the rise of mommy bloggers and “mompreneurs”over the last decade.
Starting with the rapidly expanding global fertility market, The Motherhood Business explores the intersection of motherhood, consumption, and privilege in the context of fertility tourism, international adoption, and transnational surrogacy. The synergy between motherhood and the marketplace demonstrated across the essays affirms the stronghold of “intensive mothering ideology” in decisions over what mothers buy and how they brand their businesses even as that ideology evolves. Across diverse contexts, the volume also identifies how different forms or privilege shape how mothers construct their identities through their consumption and entrepreneurship.
Although social observers have long commented on the link between motherhood and consumerism, little has been written within the field of rhetoric. Penetrating and interdisciplinary, The Motherhood Business illuminates how consumer culture not only shapes contemporary motherhood but also changes in response to mothers who constitute a driving force of the economy.
Despite urgent calls for reform, composition, literature, and creative writing, remain territorial, competitive fields. This book imagines ways in which the three English camps can reconnect. Seitz contends that the study of metaphor can advance curriculum reform precisely because of its unusual institutional position. By pronouncing equivalence in the very face of difference, metaphor performs an irrational discursive act that takes us to the nexus of textual, social, and ideological questions that have stirred such contentious debate in recent years over the function of English studies itself. As perhaps the most radical (yet also quotidian) means by which language negotiates difference, metaphor can help us to think about the politics of identification and the curricular movements such a politics has inspired.
Moving student writing beyond academic discourse and into larger public spheres is a difficult task, but Christian R. Weisser’s study challenges composition instructors to do just that. This highly accessible book does what no other study has attempted to do: place the most current, cutting-edge theories and pedagogies in rhetoric and composition in their intellectual and historical contexts, while at the same time offering a unique, practical theory and pedagogy of public writing for use both inside and outside of the classroom.
By positing a theory of the public for composition studies, one which envisions the public sphere as a highly contested, historically textured, multilayered, and sometimes contradictory site, Weisser offers a new approach to the roles that compositionists might assume in their attempts to initiate progressive political and social change.
After first providing a historical context that situates composition’s recent interest in public writing, Weisser next examines recent theories in composition studies that consider writing an act of social engagement before outlining a more complex theory of the public based on the work of Jürgen Habermas. The resulting re-envisioning of the public sphere expands current conversations in rhetoric and composition concerning the public.
Weisser concludes with a holistic vision that places greater political and social import on addressing public issues and conversations in the composition classroom and that elucidates the role of the public intellectual as it relates specifically to compositionists in postmodern society.
Just as the majority of books about computer literacy deal more with technological issues than with literacy issues, most computer literacy programs overemphasize technical skills and fail to adequately prepare students for the writing and communications tasks in a technology-driven era. Multiliteracies for a Digital Age serves as a guide for composition teachers to develop effective, full-scale computer literacy programs that are also professionally responsible by emphasizing different kinds of literacies and proposing methods for helping students move among them in strategic ways.
Defining computer literacy as a domain of writing and communication, Stuart A. Selber addresses the questions that few other computer literacy texts consider: What should a computer literate student be able to do? What is required of literacy teachers to educate such a student? How can functional computer literacy fit within the values of teaching writing and communication as a profession? Reimagining functional literacy in ways that speak to teachers of writing and communication, he builds a framework for computer literacy instruction that blends functional, critical, and rhetorical concerns in the interest of social action and change.
Multiliteracies for a Digital Age reviews the extensive literature on computer literacy and critiques it from a humanistic perspective. This approach, which will remain useful as new versions of computer hardware and software inevitably replace old versions, helps to usher students into an understanding of the biases, belief systems, and politics inherent in technological contexts. Selber redefines rhetoric at the nexus of technology and literacy and argues that students should be prepared as authors of twenty-first-century texts that defy the established purview of English departments. The result is a rich portrait of the ideal multiliterate student in a digital age and a social approach to computer literacy envisioned with the requirements for systemic change in mind.
Multimodal Composing provides strategies for writing center directors and consultants working with writers whose texts are visual, technological, creative, and performative—texts they may be unaccustomed to reading, producing, or tutoring. This book is a focused conversation on how rhetorical, design, and multimodal principles inform consultation strategies, especially when working with genres that are less familiar or traditional.
Multimodal Composing explores the relationship between rhetorical choices, design thinking, accessibility, and technological awareness in the writing center. Each chapter deepens consultants’ understanding of multimodal composing by introducing them to important features and practices in a variety of multimodal texts. The chapters’ activities provide consultants with an experience that familiarizes them with design thinking and multimodal projects, and a companion website (www.multimodalwritingcenter.org) offers access to additional resources that are difficult to reproduce in print (and includes updated links to resources and tools).
Multimodal projects are becoming the norm across disciplines, and writers expect consultants to have a working knowledge of how to answer their questions. Multimodal Composing introduces consultants to key elements in design, technology, audio, and visual media and explains how these elements relate to the rhetorical and expressive nature of written, visual, and spoken communication. Peer, graduate student, professional tutors and writing center directors will benefit from the activities and strategies presented in this guide.
Patrick Anderson, Shawn Apostel, Jarrod Barben, Brandy Ball Blake, Sarah Blazer, Brenta Blevins, Russell Carpenter, Florence Davies, Kate Flom Derrick, Lauri Dietz, Clint Gardner, Karen J. Head, Alyse Knorr, Jarret Krone, Sohui Lee, Joe McCormick, Courtnie Morin, Alice Johnston Myatt, Molly Schoen, James C. W. Truman
A student’s avatar navigates a virtual world and communicates the desires, emotions, and fears of its creator. Yet, how can her writing instructor interpret this form
Today, multiple modes of communication and information technology are challenging pedagogies in composition and across the disciplines. Writing instructors grapple with incorporating new forms into their curriculums and relating them to established literary practices. Administrators confront the application of new technologies to the restructuring of courses and the classroom itself.
Multimodal Literacies and Emerging Genres examines the possibilities, challenges, and realities of mutimodal composition as an effective means of communication. The chapters view the ways that writing instructors and their students are exploring the spaces where communication occurs, while also asking “what else is possible.” The genres of film, audio, photography, graphics, speeches, storyboards, PowerPoint presentations, virtual environments, written works, and others are investigated to discern both their capabilities and limitations. The contributors highlight the responsibility of instructors to guide students in the consideration of their audience and ethical responsibility, while also maintaining the ability to “speak well.” Additionally, they focus on the need for programmatic changes and a shift in institutional philosophy to close a possible “digital divide” and remain relevant in digital and global economies.
Embracing and advancing multimodal communication is essential to both higher education and students. The contributors therefore call for the examination of how writing programs, faculty, and administrators are responding to change, and how the many purposes writing serves can effectively converge within composition curricula.
In Mutuality in the Rhetoric and Composition Classroom, David L. Wallace and Helen Rothschild Ewald point out the centrality of rhetoric in the academy, asserting the intimate connection between language and knowledge making. They also stress the need for a change in the roles of teachers and students in today’s classroom. Their goal is mutuality, a sharing of authority among teachers and students in the classroom that would allow everyone an equal voice in the communication of ideas.
Arguing that the impetus to empower students by engaging them in liberatory and emancipatory pedagogies is simply not enough, Wallace and Ewald seek to “help readers identify, theorize, and work through problems faced by teachers who already value alternative approaches but who are struggling to implement them in the classroom." It is not the teacher’s job merely to convey a received body of knowledge, nor is knowledge a prepackaged commodity to be delivered by the teacher. It is “constituted in the classroom through the dialogic interaction between teachers and students alike.”
Wallace and Ewald see mutuality as potentially transformative, but they “do not believe that the nature or that transformation can be designated in advance.” Rather it is located in the interaction between teachers and students. Wallace and Ewald look at how the transformative notion of mutuality can be effected in classrooms in three important ways: reconstituting classroom speech genres, redesigning the architecture of rhetoric and writing courses, and valuing students’ interpretive agency in classroom discourse. Mutuality in alternative pedagogy, they assert, is neither a single approach nor a specific set of valued practices; it is a continuous collaboration between teachers and students.
The subject of Mystical Languages of Unsaying is an important but neglected mode of mystical discourse, apophasis. which literally means "speaking away." Sometimes translated as "negative theology," apophatic discourse embraces the impossibility of naming something that is ineffable by continually turning back upon its own propositions and names. In this close study of apophasis in Greek, Christian, and Islamic texts, Michael Sells offers a sustained, critical account of how apophatic language works, the conventions, logic, and paradoxes it employs, and the dilemmas encountered in any attempt to analyze it.
This book includes readings of the most rigorously apophatic texts of Plotinus, John the Scot Eriugena, Ibn Arabi, Marguerite Porete, and Meister Eckhart, with comparative reference to important apophatic writers in the Jewish tradition, such as Abraham Abulafia and Moses de Leon. Sells reveals essential common features in the writings of these authors, despite their
wide-ranging differences in era, tradition, and theology.
By showing how apophasis works as a mode of discourse rather than as a negative theology, this work opens a rich heritage to reevaluation. Sells demonstrates that the more radical claims of apophatic writers—claims that critics have often dismissed as hyperbolic or condemned as pantheistic or nihilistic—are vital to an adequate account of the mystical languages of unsaying. This work also has important implications for the relationship of classical apophasis to contemporary languages of the unsayable. Sells challenges many widely circulated characterizations of apophasis among deconstructionists as well as a number of common notions about medieval thought and gender relations in medieval mysticism.