Gail Hawisher and Cynthia Selfe created a volume that set the agenda in the field of computers and composition scholarship for a decade. The technology changes that scholars of composition studies faced as the new century opened couldn't have been more deserving of passionate study. While we have always used technologies (e.g., the pencil) to communicate with each other, the electronic technologies we now use have changed the world in ways that we have yet to identify or appreciate fully. Likewise, the study of language and literate exchange, even our understanding of terms like literacy, text, and visual, has changed beyond recognition, challenging even our capacity to articulate them.
As Hawisher, Selfe, and their contributors engage these challenges and explore their importance, they "find themselves engaged in the messy, contradictory, and fascinating work of understanding how to live in a new world and a new century." The result is a broad, deep, and rewarding anthology of work still among the standard works of computers and composition study.
In a book that itself exemplifies the dialogic scholarship it proposes, Kay Halasek reconceives composition studies from a Bakhtinian perspective, focusing on both the discipline's theoretical assumptions and its pedagogies.
Framing her discussions at every level of the discipline—theoretical, historical, pedagogical—Halasek provides an overview of portions of the Bakhtinian canon relevant to composition studies, explores the implications of Mikhail Bakhtin's work in the teaching of writing and for current debates about the role of theory in composition studies, and provides a model of scholarship that strives to maintain dialogic balance between practice and theory, between composition studies and Bakhtinian thought.
Halasek's study ranges broadly across the field of composition, painting in wide strokes a new picture of the discipline, focusing on the finer details of the rhetorical situation, and teasing out the implications of Bakhtinian thought for classroom practice by examining the nature of critical reading and writing, the efficacy and ethics of academic discourse, student resistance, and critical and conflict pedagogy. The book ends by setting out a pedagogy of possibility, what Halasek terms elsewhere a "post-critical pedagogy" that redefines and redirects current discussions of home versus academic literacies and discourses.
Peer response in which students work together to provide feedback on one another's writing in both written and oral formats through active engagement with each other's progress over multiple drafts, has been discussed in L2 writing literature since the early 1980s. While peer response activities have now become a common feature of L2 writing instruction, much of the research in peer response studies presents conflicting data. There is a need for a comprehensive survey of it in an effort to help teachers sort out what may or may not be useful to them in the classroom. Peer Response in Second Language Writing Classrooms was written to fill that void.
Peer Response in Second Language Writing Classrooms will provide teachers with practical guidelines for making peer response effective in the classroom and will offer a theoretical grounding on the purposes and importance of peer review, or feedback, as it relates to current writing instruction pedagogy.
In Performing Antiracist Pedagogy, Frankie Condon and Vershawn Ashanti Young seek to help create openings to address race and racism not only in course readings and class discussion in writing, rhetoric, and communication courses but also in wider public settings. The contributors to this collection, drawn from a wide range of disciplines, urge readers to renew their commitment to intelligently and publicly deliberate race and to counteract the effects of racism. The book is both theoretically rigorous and practical, providing readers with insightful analyses of race and racism and useful classroom suggestions and examples.
Contributors: Chiara Bacigalupa, Sophia Bell, Susan Leigh Brooks, Frankie Condon, Rasha Diab, John Dean, Thomas Ferrell, Beth Godbee, Dae-Joong Kim, Timothy Lensmire, Calvin M. Logue, Aja Y. Martinez, Rebecca Nathan, Bobbi Olson, Jessica Parker, Charise Pimentel, Octavio Pimentel, Mya Poe, Neil Simpkins, Nathan Snaza, Deatra Sullivan, Vershawn Ashanti Young
Peripheral Visions for Writing Centers aims to inspire a re-conception and re-envisioning of the boundaries of writing center work. Moving beyond the grand narrative of the writing center—that it is solely a comfortable, yet iconoclastic place where all students go to get one-to-one tutoring on their writing—McKinney shines light on other representations of writing center work.
McKinney argues that this grand narrative neglects the extent to which writing center work is theoretically and pedagogically complex, with ever-changing work and conditions, and results in a straitjacket for writing center scholars, practitioners, students, and outsiders alike. Peripheral Visions for Writing Centers makes the case for a broader narrative of writing center work that recognizes and theorizes the various spaces of writing center labor, allows for professionalization of administrators, and sees tutoring as just one way to perform writing center work.
McKinney explores possibilities that lie outside the grand narrative, allowing scholars and practitioners to open the field to a fuller, richer, and more realistic representation of their material labor and intellectual work.
edited by Deborah H. Holdstein & David Bleich Utah State University Press, 2002 Library of Congress PE1404.P457 2001 | Dewey Decimal 808.0420711
In Personal Effects, Holdstein and Bleich compile a volume that cuts across the grain of current orthodoxy. These editors and contributors argue that it is fundamental in humanistic scholarship to take account of the personal and collective experiences of scholars, researchers, critics, and teachers.
With this volume, then, these scholars move us to explore the intersections of the social with subjectivity, with voice, ideology, and culture, and to consider the roles of these in the work of academics who study writing and literature. Taken together, the essays in this collection carry forward the idea that the personal, the candidly subjective and intersubjective, must be part of the subject of study in humanities scholarship. They propose an understanding of the personal in scholarship that is more helpful because more clearly anchored in human experience.
Responding to contemporary discussion about using personal accounts in academic writing, Personally Speaking: Experience as Evidence in Academic Discourse draws on classical and current rhetorical theory, feminist theory, and relevant examples from both published writers and first-year writing students to illustrate the advantages of blending experiential and academic perspectives.
Candace Spigelman examines how merging personal and scholarly worldviews produces useful contradictions and contributes to a more a complex understanding in academic writing. This rhetorical move allows for greater insights than the reading or writing of experiential or academic modes separately does. Personally Speaking foregrounds the semi-fictitious nature of personal stories and the rhetorical possibilities of evidence as Spigelman provides strategies for writing instructors who want to teach personal academic argument while supplying practical mechanisms for evaluating experiential claims.
The volume seeks to complicate and intensify disciplinary debates about how compositionists should write for publication and what kinds of writing should be taught to composition students. Spigelman not only supplies evidence as to why the personal can count as evidence but also relates how to use it effectively by including student samples that reflect particular features of personal writing. Finally, she lays the groundwork to move narrative from its current site as confessional writing to the domain of academic discourse.
In June 2015, Bree Newsome scaled the flagpole in front of South Carolina’s state capitol and removed the Confederate flag. The following month, the Confederate flag was permanently removed from the state capitol. Newsome is a compelling example of a twenty-first-century woman rhetor, along with bloggers, writers, politicians, activists, artists, and everyday social media users, who give new meaning to Aristotle’s ubiquitous definition of rhetoric as the discovery of the “available means of persuasion.” Women’s persuasive acts from the first two decades of the twenty-first century include new technologies and repurposed old ones, engaged not only to persuade, but also to tell their stories, to sponsor change, and to challenge cultural forces that repress and oppress.
Persuasive Acts: Women’s Rhetorics in the Twenty-First Century gathers an expansive array of voices and texts from well-known figures including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, Michelle Obama, Lindy West, Sonia Sotomayor, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, so that readers may converse with them, and build rhetorics of their own. Editors Shari J. Stenberg and Charlotte Hogg have complied timely and provocative rhetorics that represent critical issues and rhetorical affordances of the twenty-first century.
In Philosophy as Agôn: A Study of Plato's Gorgias and Related Texts, Robert Metcalf offers a fresh interpretation of Plato's dialogues as dramatic texts whose philosophy is not so much a matter of doctrine as it is a dynamic, nondogmatic, and open-ended practice of engaging others in agonistic dialogue.
Metcalf challenges prevailing interpretations according to which the agôn (contest or struggle) between the interlocutors in the dialogues is inessential to Plato's philosophical purpose, or simply a reflection of the cultural background of ancient Greek life. Instead, he argues that Plato understands philosophy as essentially agonistic—involving the adversarial engagement of others in dialogue such that one's integrity is put to the test through this engagement, and where the agôn is structured so as to draw adversaries together in agreement about the matters at issue, though that agreement is always open to future contest.
Based on a careful reading of the Gorgias and related Socratic dialogues, such as Apology and Theaetetus, Metcalf contends that agôn is indispensable to the critique of prevailing opinions, to the transformation of the interlocutor through shame-inducing refutation, and to philosophy as a lifelong training (askêsis) of oneself in relation to others.
The Philosophy of Rhetoric
George Campbell. Edited by Lloyd F. Bitzer Southern Illinois University Press, 1988 Library of Congress PN173.C3 1988 | Dewey Decimal 808
Here, after a quarter century of additional study and reflection, Bitzer presents a new critical edition of George Campbell’s classic. Bitzer provides a more complete review and assessment of Campbell’s work, giving particular emphasis to Campbell’s theological views, which he demonstrates played an important part in Campbell’s overall view of reasoning, feeling, and moral and religious truth. The Rhetoric is widely regarded as the most important statement of a theory of rhetoric produced in the 18th century. Its importance lies, in part, in the fact that the theory is informed by the leading assumptions and themes of the Scottish Enlightenment—the prevailing empiricism, the theory of the association of ideas, the effort to explain natural phenomena by reference to principles and processes of human nature. Campbell’s work engages such themes in an attempt to formulate a universal theory of human communication. Campbell attempts to develop his theory by discovering deep principles in human nature that account for all instances and kinds of human communication. He seeks to derive all communication principles and processes empirically. In addition, all statements in discourse that have to do with matters of fact and human affairs are likewise to be empirically derived. Thus, his theory of rhetoric is vastly wider than, and different from, such classical theories as those proposed by Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian, whose theories focused on discourse related to civic affairs.
Bitzer shows that, by attempting to elaborate a general theory of rhetoric through empirical procedures, Campbell’s project reveals the limitations of his method. He cannot ground all statements empirically and it is at this point that his theological position comes into play. Inspection of his religious views shows that God’s design of human nature, and God’s revelations to humankind, make moral and spiritual truths known and quite secure to human beings, although not empirically.
Gary A. Olson presents six in-depth interviews with internationally prominent scholars outside of the discipline and twelve response essays written by noted rhetoric and composition scholars on subjects related to language, rhetoric, writing, philosophy, feminism, and literary criticism. The interviews are with philosopher of language Donald Davidson, literary critic and critical legal studies scholar Stanley Fish, cultural studies and African American studies scholar bell hooks, internationally renowned deconstructionist J. Hillis Miller, feminist literary critic Jane Tompkins, and British logician and philosopher of science Stephen Toulmin.
Susan Wells and Reed Way Dasenbrock provide distinctly divergent assessments of the application of Donald Davidson’ s language theory to rhetoric and composition, and especially to writing pedagogy. Patricia Bizzell and John Trimbur explore how Stanley Fish’ s neopragmatism might be useful both to composition theory and to literacy education. And Joyce Irene Middleton and Tom Fox discuss bell hooks’ s notions of how race and gender affect pedagogy. In two frank and sometimes angry responses, Patricia Harkin and Jasper Neel take J. Hillis Miller to task for seeming to support rhetoric and composition while continuing to maintain the political status quo. Similarly, Susan C. Jarratt and Elizabeth A. Flynn express skepticism about Jane Tompkins’ s vocal support of composition and of radical pedagogy particularly. And Arabella Lyon and C. Jan Swearingen analyze Stephen Toulmin’ s thoughts on argumentation and postmodernism.
Internationally respected anthropologist Clifford Geertz provides a foreword; literacy expert Patricia Bizzell contributes an introduction to the text; and noted reader-response critic David Bleich supplies critical commentary.
This book is a follow-up to the editor’ s (Inter)views: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Rhetoric and Literacy, already a major work of scholarship in the field.
In A Place for Dialogue, Sharon McKenzie Stevens views the contradictions and collaborations involved in the management of public land in southern Arizona—and by extension the entire arid West—through the lens of political rhetoric. Revealing the socioecological relationships among cattlemen and environmentalists as well as developers and recreationists, she analyzes the ways that language shapes landscape by shaping decisions about land use.
Stevens focuses on the collaborative Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan initiated by Pima County, Arizona, the ubiquitous use of scientific argument to defend contradictory practices, and the construction and negotiation of rancher/environmentalist identities to illuminate both literally and metaphorically the dynamics of land use politics. Drawing specifically upon extensive interviews with a diverse array of agents on all sides of the debate—ranchers, environmentalists, scientists, land managers, government officials—on historical narratives, and on her own conflicting experiences as someone who grew up with those who work the western lands, she demonstrates that it is possible to use differences to solve, rather than to aggravate, the entrenched problems that bridge land and language.
By integrating her richly textured case study of a fragile region with rhetorical approaches to narrative, science-based argument, and collective identities, Stevens makes a significant contribution to the fields of rhetoric, land management, and cultural studies.
Planting the Anthropocene is a rhetorical look into the world of industrial tree planting in Canada that engages the themes of nature, culture, and environmental change. Bringing together the work of material ecocriticism and critical affect studies in service of a new materialist environmental rhetoric, Planting the Anthropocene forwards a frame that can be used to work through complex scenes of anthropogenic labor.
Using the results of interviews with seasonal Canadian tree planters, Jennifer Clary-Lemon interrogates the complex and messy imbrication of nature-culture through the inadequate terminology used to describe the actual circumstances of the planters’ work and lives—and offers alternative ways to conceptualize them. Although silvicultural workers do engage with the limiting rhetoric of efficiency and humanism, they also make rhetorical choices that break down the nature-culture divide and orient them on a continuum that blurs the boundaries between the given and the constructed, the human and nonhuman. Tree-planting work is approached as a site of a deep-seated materiality—a continued re-creation of the land’s “disturbance”—rather than a simplistic form of doing good that further separates humans from landscapes.
Jennifer Clary-Lemon’s view of nature and the Anthropocene through the lens of material rhetorical studies is thoroughly original and will be of great interest to students and scholars of rhetoric and composition, especially those focused on the environment.
In Plateau IndianWays with Words, Barbara Monroe makes visible the arts of persuasion of the Plateau Indians, whose ancestral grounds stretch from the Cascades to the Rockies, revealing a chain of cultural identification that predates the colonial period and continues to this day. Culling from hundreds of student writings from grades 7-12 in two reservation schools, Monroe finds that students employ the same persuasive techniques as their forebears, as evidenced in dozens of post-conquest speech transcriptions and historical writings. These persuasive strategies have survived not just across generations, but also across languages from Indian to English and across multiple genres from telegrams and Supreme Court briefs to school essays and hip hop lyrics.
Anecdotal evidence, often dramatically recreated; sarcasm and humor; suspended or unstated thesis; suspenseful arrangement; intimacy with and respect for one’s audience as co-authors of meaning—these are among the privileged markers in this particular indigenous rhetorical tradition. Such strategies of personalization, as Monroe terms them, run exactly counter to Euro-American academic standards that value secondary, distant sources; “objective” evidence; explicit theses; “logical” arrangement. Not surprisingly, scores for Native students on mandated tests are among the lowest in the nation.
While Monroe questions the construction of this so-called achievement gap on multiple levels, she argues that educators serving Native students need to seek out points of cultural congruence, selecting assignments and assessments where culturally marked norms converge, rather than collide. New media have opened up many possibilities for this kind of communicative inclusivity. But seizing such opportunities is predicated on educators, first, recognizing Plateau Indian students’ distinctive rhetoric, and then honoring their sovereign right to use it. This book provides that first step.
Plato, Derrida, and Writing
Jasper Neel Southern Illinois University Press, 1988 Library of Congress PN175.N44 1988 | Dewey Decimal 808.001
Winner, Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize
Achieving the remarkable feat of linking composition theory, deconstruction, and classical rhetoric, this book has been admirably summarized by the theorist G. Douglas Atkins, who writes: "This lively and engaging, informed and informative book constitutes an important contribution. Though its ‘field’ is most obviously composition, composition theory, and pedagogy, part of its importance derives from the way it transcends disciplinary boundaries to bear on writing in general. . . I know of no book that so fully and well discusses, and evaluates, the implications of deconstruction for composition and pedagogy. That [it] goes ‘beyond deconstruction,’ rather than merely ‘applying’ it, increases its importance and signals a clear contribution to the understanding of writing."
Jasper Neel analyzes the emerging field of composition studies within the epistemological and ontological debate over writing precipitated by Plato, who would have us abandon writing entirely, and continued by Derrida, who argues that all human beings are written. This book offers a three-part exploration of that debate. In the first part, a deconstructive reading of Plato’s Phaedrus, Neel shows the elaborate sleight-of-hand that Plato must employ as he uses writing to engage in a semblance of spoken dialogue.
The second part describes Derrida’s theory of writing and presents his famous argument that "the history of truth, of the truth of truth, has always been. . .the debasement of writing, and its repression outside full speech." A lexicon of nine Derridean terms, the key to his theory of writing, is also included. At the end of this section, Neel turns deconstruction against itself, demonstrating that Derridean analysis collapses of its own weight.
The concluding section of the book juxtaposes the implications of Platonic and Derridean views of writing, warning that Derrida’s approach may lock writing inside philosophy. The conclusion suggests that writing may be liberated from philosophical judgment by turning to Derrida’s predecessors, the sophists, particularly Protagoras and Gorgias. Drawing on Protagoras’s idea of strong discourse, Neel shows that sophistry is the foundation of democracy: "Strong discourse is public discourse, which, though based on probability and not truth, remains persuasive over a long period of time to a great number of people. This publicly tested discourse exists only among competitors, never alone, but its ability to remain persuasive even when surrounded by other discourses enables the ideas of democracy to emerge and then keeps democracy alive."
Since the cultural conflicts over the Vietnam War and civil rights protests, poets and poetry have consistently raised questions surrounding public address, social relations, friction between global policies and democratic institutions, and the interpretation of political events and ideas. In Poets Beyond the Barricade: Rhetoric, Citizenship, and Dissent after 1960, Dale Smith makes meaningful links among rhetoric, literature, and cultural studies, illustrating how poetry and discussions of it shaped public consciousness from the socially volatile era of the 1960s to the War on Terror of today.
The book begins by inspecting the correspondence and poetry of Robert Duncan and Denise Levertov, which embodies competing perspectives on the role of writers in the Vietnam War and in the peace movement. The work addresses the rational-critical mode of public discourse initiated by Jürgen Habermas and the relevance of rhetorical studies to literary practice. Smith also analyses letters and poetry by Charles Olson that appeared in a New England newspaper in the 1960sand drew attention to city management conflicts, land-use issues, and architectural preservation. Public identity and U.S. social practice are explored in the 1970s and ‘80s poetry of Lorenzo Thomas and Edward Dorn, whose poems articulate tensions between private and public life. The book concludes by examining more recent attempts by poets to influence public reflection on crucial events that led to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. By using digital media, public performance, and civic encounters mediated by texts, these poetic initiatives play a critical role in the formation of cultural identity today.
Points of Departure encourages a return to empirical research about writing, presenting a wealth of transparent, reproducible studies of student sources. The volume shows how to develop methods for coding and characterizing student texts, their choice of source material, and the resources used to teach information literacy. In so doing, the volume advances our understanding of how students actually write.
The contributors offer methodologies, techniques, and suggestions for research that move beyond decontextualized guides to grapple with the messiness of research-in-process, as well as design, development, and expansion. Serviss and Jamieson’s model of RAD writing studies research is transcontextual and based on hybridized or mixed methods. Among these methods are citation context analysis, research-aloud protocols, textual and genre analysis, surveys, interviews, and focus groups, with an emphasis on process and knowledge as contingent. Chapters report on research projects at different stages and across institution types—from pilot to multi-site, from community college to research university—focusing on the methods and artifacts employed.
A rich mosaic of research about research, Points of Departure advances knowledge about student writing and serves as a guide for both new and experienced researchers in writing studies.
Contributors: Crystal Benedicks, Katt Blackwell-Starnes, Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch, Kristi Murray Costello, Anne Diekema, Rebecca Moore Howard, Sandra Jamieson, Elizabeth Kleinfeld, Brian N. Larson, Karen J. Lunsford, M. Whitney Olsen, Tricia Serviss, Janice R. Walker
In Policy Debate: A Guide for High School and College Debaters, Shawn F. Briscoe introduces educators, coaches, and students at the high school and college levels to the concepts at the foundation of policy debate, also known as cross-examination debate, and uses conceptual analysis and real-world examples to help students engage in competitive debates and deploy winning strategies.
Briscoe addresses all aspects of policy debate, including stock issues, judging paradigms and effective engagement with judges, the responsibilities of both affirmative and negative teams, and the evaluation of policy proposals through the use of disadvantages, counterplans, and critical argumentation. In addition, Briscoe helps debaters better establish their credibility, improve their cross-examination skills, and understand the specialized notetaking method called flowing. The book models for readers how to effectively cross-examine an opposing team, features a transcript of a mock debate designed to help clarify the lessons taught in previous chapters, and includes a glossary of key terms. Briscoe also considers contemporary trends in the debate community, exploring the evolution of policy debate and the rise of performance-based approaches, while providing insight into how best to engage with performance teams.
Offering a unique approach presented by a seasoned debate coach, Policy Debate: A Guide for High School and College Debaters goes beyond the basics to explore how policy is an ever-evolving form of debate. This attention to the progression of policy styles will make readers better at adapting to opponents during a debate and will make them more adept at arguing against a wider range of cases.
In Political Literacy in Composition and Rhetoric, Donald Lazere calls for revival of NCTE resolutions in the 1970s for teaching the “critical reading, listening, viewing, and thinking skills necessary to enable students to cope with the persuasive techniques in political statements, advertising, entertainment, and news,” and explores the reasons these goals have been eclipsed in composition studies over recent decades. Obstacles to those goals have included the emphasis in the profession on basic and first year writing at the expense of more advanced study in argumentative rhetoric, and on the privileging of students’ personal writing over critical study of both academic and political discourse. Lazere further argues that theorists who legitimately champion students’ pluralistic local communities sometimes fail to recognize that liberal education can enable students to grow beyond their home cultures to critical awareness of national and international politics. Finally, he argues that the fixation in recent composition studies on liberally-inclined students and communities “on the margins” has eclipsed attention to the conservative conformity long prevalent in mainstream American society and education. His proposals for curriculum and pedagogy seek to introduce students to a more highly-informed, cogent, and open-ended level of debate between the political left and right.
When Trump became president, much of the country was repelled by what they saw as the vulgar spectacle of his ascent, a perversion of the highest office in the land. In his bold, innovative book, Political Perversion, rhetorician Joshua Gunn argues that this “mean-spirited turn” in American politics (of which Trump is the paragon) is best understood as a structural perversion in our common culture, on a continuum with infantile and “gotcha” forms of entertainment meant to engender provocation and sadistic enjoyment.
Drawing on insights from critical theory, media ecology, and psychoanalysis, Gunn argues that perverse rhetorics dominate not only the political sphere but also our daily interactions with others, in person and online. From sexting to campaign rhetoric, Gunn advances a new way to interpret our contemporary political context that explains why so many of us have difficulty deciphering the appeal of aberrant public figures. In this book, Trump is only the tip of a sinister, rapidly growing iceberg, one to which we ourselves unwittingly contribute on a daily basis.
The turbulent history of the United States has provided a fertile ground for conspiracies, both real and imagined. From the American Revolution to the present day, conspiracy discourse—linguistic and symbolic practices and artifacts revolving around themes, claims, or accusations of conspiracy—has been a staple of political rhetoric. Some conspiracy theories never catch on with the public, while others achieve widespread popularity. Whether successful or not, the means by which particular conspiracy theories spread is a rhetorical process, a process in which persuasive language, symbolism, and arguments act upon individual minds within concrete historical and political settings.
Conspiracy rhetoric was a driving force in the evolution of antebellum political culture, contributing to the rise and fall of the great parties in the nineteenth century. One conspiracy theory in particular—the "slave power" conspiracy—was instrumental in facilitating the growth of the young Republican Party's membership and ideology. The Political Style of Conspiracy analyzes the concept and reality of the "slave power" in the rhetorical discourse of the mid-nineteenth-century, in particular the speeches and writing of politicians Salmon P. Chase, Charles Sumner, and Abraham Lincoln. By examining their mainstream texts, Pfau reveals that, in addition to the "paranoid style" of conspiracy rhetoric that inhabits the margins of political life, Lincoln, Chase, and Sumner also engaged in a distinctive form of conspiracy rhetoric that is often found at the center of mainstream American society and politics.
In this book, Robert Hariman demonstrates how matters of style—of diction, manners, sensibility, decor, and charisma—influence politics.
In critical studies of classic texts, Hariman identifies four dominant political styles. The realist style, as found in Machiavelli's The Prince, creates a world of sheer power, constant calculation, and emotional control; this style is the common sense of modern political science. The courtly style, depicted in Kapuscinski's The Emperor, is characterized by high decorousness, hierarchies, and fixation on the body of the sovereign; this style infuses mass media coverage of the American presidency. The republican style, reflected in Cicero's letters to Atticus, promotes the art of oratory, consensus, and civility; it informs our ideal of democratic conversation. The bureaucratic style, as captured in Kafka's The Castle, emphasizes institutional procedures, official character, and the priority of writing; this style structures everday life.
Hariman looks at effective political artistry in figures from antiquity to modern politicians such as Vaclav Havel, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. He discusses the crises to which each style is susceptible, as well as the social and moral consequences of each style's success.
It’s not what you say, but how you say it. Solving problems with words is the essence of politics, and finding the right words for the moment can make or break a politician’s career. Yet very little has been said in political science about the elusive element of tone.
In Political Tone, Roderick P. Hart, Jay P. Childers, and Colene J. Lind analyze a range of texts—from speeches and debates to advertising and print and broadcast campaign coverage— using a sophisticated computer program, DICTION, that parses their content for semantic features like realism, commonality, and certainty, as well as references to religion, party, or patriotic terms. Beginning with a look at how societal forces like diversity and modernity manifest themselves as political tones in the contexts of particular leaders and events, the authors proceed to consider how individual leaders have used tone to convey their messages: How did Bill Clinton’s clever dexterity help him recover from the Monica Lewinsky scandal? How did Barack Obama draw on his experience as a talented community activist to overcome his inexperience as a national leader? And how does Sarah Palin’s wandering tone indicate that she trusts her listeners and is open to their ideas?
By focusing not on the substance of political arguments but on how they were phrased, Political Tone provides powerful and unexpected insights into American politics.
Political Vocabularies: FDR, the Clergy Letters, and the Elements of Political Argument uses a set of letters sent to Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935 by American clergymen to make a larger argument about the rhetorical processes of our national politics. At any given moment, national politics are constituted by competing political imaginaries, through which citizens understand and participate in politics. Different imaginaries locate political authority in different places, and so political authority is very much a site of dispute between differing political vocabularies. Opposing political vocabularies are grounded in opposing characterizations of the specific political moment, its central issues, and its citizens, for we cannot imagine a political community without populating it and giving it purpose. These issues and people are hierarchically ordered, which provides the imaginary with a sense of internal cohesion and which also is a central point of disputation between competing vocabularies in a specific epoch. Each vocabulary is grounded in a political tradition, read through our national myths, which authorize the visions of national identity and purpose and which contain significant deliberative aspects, for each vision of the nation impels distinct political imperatives. Such imaginaries are our political priorities in action. Taking one specific moment of political change, the author illuminates the larger processes of change, competition, and stability in national politics.
Chronic pain is a medical mystery, debilitating to patients and a source of frustration for practitioners. It often eludes both cause and cure and serves as a reminder of how much further we have to go in unlocking the secrets of the body. A new field of pain medicine has evolved from this landscape, one that intersects with dozens of disciplines and subspecialties ranging from psychology and physiology to anesthesia and chiropractic medicine. Over the past three decades, researchers, policy makers, and practitioners have struggled to define this complex and often contentious field as they work to establish standards while navigating some of the most challenging philosophical issues of Western science.
In The Politics of Pain Medicine: A Rhetorical-Ontological Inquiry, S. Scott Graham offers a rich and detailed exploration of the medical rhetoric surrounding pain medicine. Graham chronicles the work of interdisciplinary pain management specialists to found a new science of pain and a new approach to pain medicine grounded in a more comprehensive biospychosocial model. His insightful analysis demonstrates how these materials ultimately shape the healthcare community’s understanding of what pain medicine is, how the medicine should be practiced and regulated, and how practitioner-patient relationships are best managed. It is a fascinating, novel examination of one of the most vexing issues in contemporary medicine.
In The Politics of the Superficial: Visual Rhetoric and the Protocol of Display, Brett Ommen explores the increasing reliance on images as a mode of communication in contemporary life. He shows that graphic design is a layered experience of images and space. Before images, viewers engage in the personal experience of aesthetics and individual identity. In space, viewers engage in the negotiation of meaning and collective belonging. Graphic design, then, fits the consumerist present precisely because it prompts viewers to differentiate between our collective commitments and individual sense of self.
Ommen argues, for example, that on viewing a billboard, a driver isn’t merely being exposed to a set of commercial messages or exhortations, but rather responding in a self-aware way that differentiates her from her collective associations like Democrat, Republican, rich, poor, Catholic, or Jewish.
By examining graphic design—as a profession, practice, and academic field—as the nexus for understanding visual display in public culture, The Politics of the Superficial develops two arguments about contemporary visual communication practices: first, that the study of visual communication privileges visual content at the expense of other dynamics, such as context; and second, that interpretations focusing on content conceal the most persuasive and subversive dimensions of the visual.
Wide-ranging and stimulating, The Politics of the Superficial ultimately posits that, far from serving as a communal oasis for public imagination, contemporary visual culture offers the possibility for politically engaged communication and persuasion while simultaneously threatening the health of public discourse by atomizing its constituent parts. It will serve as a vital contribution to the field of visual rhetoric.
A friendly critique of the field, The Politics of Writing Studies examines a set of recent pivotal texts in composition to show how writing scholarship, in an effort to improve disciplinary prestige and garner institutional resources, inadvertently reproduces structures of inequality within American higher education. Not only does this enable the exploitation of contingent faculty, but it also puts writing studies—a field that inherently challenges many institutional hierarchies—in a debased institutional position and at odds with itself.
Instead of aligning with the dominant paradigm of research universities, where research is privileged over teaching, theory over practice, the sciences over the humanities, and graduate education over undergraduate, writing studies should conceive itself in terms more often associated with labor. By identifying more profoundly as workers, as a collective in solidarity with contingent faculty, writing professionals can achieve solutions to the material problems that the field, in its best moments, wants to address. Ultimately, the change compositionists want to see in the university will not come from high theory or the social science research agenda; it must come from below.
Offering new insight into a complex issue, The Politics of Writing Studies will be of great interest to writing studies professionals, university administrators, and anyone interested in the political economy of education and the reform of institutions of higher education in America.
Contemporary scholarship illustrates the law’s increasingly powerful role in American life; legal education, in turn, has focused on the problems and techniques of communication. This book addresses these interests through critical study of eight popular trials: the 17th-century trial of Dr. Henry Sacheverell, and the 20th-century trials of Scopes, the Rosenbergs, the Chicago Seven, the Catonsville Nine, John Hinckley, Claus von Bulow, and San Diego Mayor Larry Hedgecock. Such trials spark major public debates, become symbols of public life, and legitimize particular beliefs and institutions. Despite high visibility and drama, however, the popular trial has not received sufficient study as persuasive event. Lying at the intersection of the institutional practices of law and the mass media, the popular trial has confounded study according to the conventional assumptions of scholarship in both law and communication studies.
This volume defines popular trials as a genre of public communication, a genre that includes trials unusually prominent within public discourse. Further, popular trials are often characterize by special media presentations through televised coverage of the trial itself and news analysis, intense audience identification with the principal actors, and political and social consequences independent of the legal action. The essays in this volume stress the rhetorical functions of popular trials. Contributors in addition to the editor include Lawrance M. Bernabo, Barry Brummett, Celeste Michelle Condit, Juliet Dee, Susan J. Drucker, J. Justin Gustainis, Janice Platt Hunold, William Lewis, John Louis Lucaites, and Larry A. Williamson.
Sidney I. Dobrin Southern Illinois University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PE1404.D637 2011 | Dewey Decimal 808.042071
Leading a burgeoning self-critical moment in composition studies and writing program administration, Postcomposition is a fundamental reconsideration of the field that attempts to shift the focus away from pedagogy and writing subjects and toward writing itself. In this forceful and reasoned critique of many of the primary tenets and widely accepted institutional structures of composition studies, Sidney I. Dobrin delivers a series of shocks to the system meant to disrupt the pedagogical imperative and move beyond the existing limits of the discipline.
Dobrin evaluates the current state of composition studies, underscoring the difference between composition and writing and arguing that the field's focus on the administration of writing students and its historically imposed prohibition on theory greatly limit what can be understood about writing. Instead he envisions a more significant approach to writing, one that questions the field's conservative allegiance to subject and administration and reconsiders writing as spatial and ecological. Using concepts from ecocomposition, spatial theory, network theory, complexity theory, and systems theory, Postcomposition lays the groundwork for a networked theory of writing, and advocates the abandonment of administration as a useful part of the field. He also challenges the usefulness of rhetoric in writing studies, showing how writing exceeds rhetoric.
Postcomposition is a detailed consideration of how posthumanism affects the field's understanding of subjectivity. It also tears at the seams of the "contingent labor problem." As he articulates his own frustrations with the conservatism of composition studies and builds on previous critiques of the discipline, Dobrin stages a courageous-and inevitably polemical-intellectual challenge to the entrenched ideas and assumptions that have defined composition studies.
The proliferation of smart devices, digital media, and network technologies has led to everyday people experiencing everyday things increasingly on and through the screen. In fact, much of the world has become so saturated by digital mediations that many individuals have adopted digitally inflected sensibilities. This gestures not simply toward posthumanism, but more fundamentally toward an altogether post-digital condition—one in which the boundaries between the “real” and the “digital” have become blurred and technology has fundamentally reconfigured how we make sense of the world.
Post-Digital Rhetoric and the New Aesthetic takes stock of these reconfigurations and their implications for rhetorical studies by taking up the New Aesthetic—a movement introduced by artist/digital futurist James Bridle that was meant to capture something of a digital way of seeing by identifying aesthetic values that could not exist without computational and digital technologies. Bringing together work in rhetoric, art, and digital media studies, Hodgson treats the New Aesthetic as a rhetorical ecology rather than simply an aesthetic movement, allowing him to provide operative guides for the knowing, doing, and making of rhetoric in a post-digital culture.
Breaking with the still-dominant process tradition in composition studies, post-process theory—or at least the different incarnations of post-process theory discussed by the contributors represented in this collection of original essays—endorses the fundamental idea that no codifiable or generalizable writing process exists or could exist. Post-process theorists hold that the practice of writing cannot be captured by a generalized process or a "big" theory.
Most post-process theorists hold three assumptions about the act of writing: writing is public; writing is interpretive; and writing is situated. The first assumption is the commonsensical claim that writing constitutes a public interchange. By "interpretive act," post-process theorists generally mean something as broad as "making sense of" and not exclusively the ability to move from one code to another. To interpret means more than merely to paraphrase; it means to enter into a relationship of understanding with other language users. And finally, because writing is a public act that requires interpretive interaction with others, writers always write from some position or some place. Writers are never nowhere; they are "situated."
Leading theorists and widely published scholars in the field, contributors are Nancy Blyler, John Clifford, Barbara Couture, Nancy C. DeJoy, Sidney I. Dobrin, Elizabeth Ervin, Helen Ewald, David Foster, Debra Journet, Thomas Kent, Gary A. Olson, Joseph Petraglia, George Pullman, David Russell, and John Schilb.
The end of the Cold War encourages new perspectives on international relations. Beer and Hariman provide a comprehensive set of essays that challenge and reinterpret the tradition of realism which has dominated the thinking of academics and foreign policy makers. Post-Realism: The Rhetorical Turn in International Relations systematically discusses the major realist writers of the Post-War era, the foundational concepts of international politics, and representative case studies of foreign policy discourse.
These essays demonstrate how realism operates rhetorically and point the way toward a richer understanding of world politics.
Post-Truth Rhetoric and Composition is a timely exploration of the increasingly widespread and disturbing effect of “post-truth” on public discourse in the United States. Bruce McComiskey analyzes the instances of bullshit, fake news, feigned ethos, hyperbole, and other forms of post-truth rhetoric employed in recent political discourse.
The book frames “post-truth” within rhetorical theory, referring to the classic triad of logos, ethos, and pathos. McComiskey shows that it is the loss of grounding in logos that exposes us to the dangers of post-truth. As logos is the realm of fact, logic, truth, and valid reasoning, Western society faces increased risks—including violence, unchecked libel, and tainted elections—when the value of reason is diminished and audiences allow themselves to be swayed by pathos and ethos. Evaluations of truth are deferred or avoided, and mendacity convincingly masquerades as a valid form of argument.
In a post-truth world, where neither truth nor falsehood has reliable meaning, language becomes purely strategic, without reference to anything other than itself. This scenario has serious consequences not only for our public discourse but also for the study of composition.
At the 1966 Dartmouth Seminar, scholars gathered to debate the direction of English Studies in the academy. This debate had far-reaching effects and arguably forever changed writing instruction in the United States. To commemorate the 45th anniversary of this gathering, Dartmouth College hosted an event both celebrating the past and looking toward the future. Then as now, there is this simple truth: writing well matters, and it matters in institutions of higher education across disciplines. Yet what it means to be a good writer in the academy and in the public sphere remains a site of controversy and discussion. The Power of Writing: Dartmouth ’66 in the Twenty-First Century argues that any discussion of why writing well matters should extend beyond composition and rhetoric scholars to capture the knowledge that outstanding teachers and writers themselves put to work every day. The editors have brought together scholars and public intellectuals (including New York Times best-selling authors David McCullough and Steve Strogatz) from the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and interdisciplinary fields to engage in a dialogue about some of the controversial questions related to writing today. Readers will engage with questions about what it means to write well and how different answers affect the teaching and learning of writing in higher education. Each anchor article—representing disciplines as varied as musicology, African studies, mathematics, and history—receives responses from Dartmouth faculty and nationally renowned faculty members in writing studies programs. This timely and wide-ranging collection will have appeal far beyond writing instructors and is specifically designed for readers across disciplines.
Practicing Writing examines a pivotal era in the history of the most ubiquitous-and possibly most problematic-course in North American colleges and universities: the requireAd first-year writing course generally known as “freshman English.”
Thomas Masters's focus is the mid-twentieth century, beginning with the returning waves of World War II veterans attending college on the GI Bill. He then traces the education reforms that took place in the late 1950s after the launch of Sputnik and the establishment of composition as a separate discipline in 1963. This study draws upon archives at three midwestern schools that reflect a range of higher education options: Wheaton, a small, sectarian liberal arts college; Northwestern, a large private university; and Illinois, a large public university.
Practicing Writing gives voice to those whose work is often taken for granted or forgotten in other studies of the subject: freshman English students and their instructors. Masters examines students' papers, professors' letters, and course descriptions, and draws upon interviews conducted with teachers to present the practitioners' points of view.
Unlike other studies of the subject, which have tended to focus more on the philosophy, theory, and ideology of teaching composition and rhetoric, Masters reveals freshman English to be a practice-based phenomenon with a durable ideological apparatus. By reexamining texts that had previously been considered insignificant, he reveals the substance of first-year composition courses and the reasons for their durability.
In Praising Girls, Henrietta Rix Wood explores how ordinary schoolgirls engaged in extraordinary rhetorical activities during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in the United States. Focusing on high school girls’ public writing, Wood analyzes newspaper editorials and articles, creative writing projects, yearbook entries, and literary magazines, revealing how young women employed epideictic rhetoric—traditionally used to praise and blame in ceremonial situations—to define their individual and collective identities. Many girls, Wood argues, intervened rhetorically in national and international discourses on class, race, education, immigration, racism, and imperialism, confronting the gender politics that denigrated young women and often deprived them of positions of authority.
The site of the study—Kansas City, Missouri—reflects the diverse rhetorical experiences of girls in cities across the United States at the beginning of the last century. Four case studies examine the writing of privileged white girls at a college preparatory school, Native American girls at an off-reservation boarding school, African American girls at a segregated high school, and working- and middle-class girls at a large whites-only public high school. Wood’s analysis reveals a contemporary concept of epideictic rhetoric that accounts for issues of gender, race, class, and age.
Wendy S. Hesford, Adela C. Licona, Christa Teston The Ohio State University Press, 2018 Library of Congress P301.5.P67P74 2018 | Dewey Decimal 808
Across disciplines, scholars have employed theories of precarity to help explain the pervasiveness of problems related to labor, migration, biopolitics, global and state governance, economies of war and violence, poverty, environmental degradation, and a host of other pressing issues. Precarous Rhetorics is the first work to bring precarity studies to the field of rhetoric and communication—and to couple it with new materialist frameworks—in order to unearth and analyze the material conditions and structuring logics of inequality.
This collection features cross-disciplinary contributions from leading scholars, including the editors of the volume as well as James J. Brown Jr., Gale Coskan-Johnson, Ronald Greene, Lavinia Hirsu, Arabella Lyon, Louis Maraj, Sara McKinnon, Alexandra Schultheis Moore, Kimberlee Pérez, Margaret Price, Amy Shuman, Kristin Swenson, Becca Tarsa, and Belinda Walzer. Chapters emphasize a materialist-rhetorical approach while also drawing on feminist studies, women of color feminisms, affect studies, critical disability studies, critical race and ethnic studies, medical humanities, sexuality studies, queer migration studies, and human rights and humanitarian studies. While theoretically rich, this volume intentionally features chapters that explore precarious rhetorics as they operate in practice—whether in borderlands, politics, public policy, or the quotidian spaces of human activity, such as school, work, social media, and medicine.
Through two previous editions, The Present State of Scholarship in Historical and Contemporary Rhetoric has not only introduced new scholars to interdisciplinary research but also become a standard research tool in a number of fields and pointed the way toward future study.
Adopting research methodologies of revision and recovery, this latest edition includes all new material while still following the format of the original and is constructed around bibliographical surveys of both primary and secondary works addressing the Classical, Medieval, Renaissance, and eighteenth through twentieth century periods within the history of rhetoric. The Present State of Scholarship in the History of Rhetoric doesn’t simply update but rather recasts study in the history of rhetoric.
The authors—experienced and well-known scholars in their respective fields—redefine existing strands of rhetorical study within the periods, expand the scope of rhetorical engagement, and include additional figures and their works. The globalization and expansion of rhetoric are demonstrated in each of these parts and seen clearly in the inclusion of more female rhetors, discussions of historical and contemporary electronic resources, and examinations of rhetorical practices falling outside the academy and the traditional canon.
New to this edition is a cumulative review of twentieth-century rhetoric along with a thematic index designed to facilitate interdisciplinary or specialized study and scholarly research across the traditional historical periods.
As programs incorporating rhetorical studies continue to expand at the university level, students and researchers are in need of up-to-date bibliographical resources. No other work matches the scope and approach of The Present Stateof Scholarship in the History of Rhetoric, which carries scholarship on rhetoric into the twenty-first century.
In January 1964, in his first State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson announced a declaration of “unconditional war” on poverty. By the end of the year the Economic Opportunity Act became law.
The War on Poverty illustrates the interweaving of rhetorical and historical forces in shaping public policy. Zarefsky suggest that an important problem in the War on Poverty lay in its discourse. He assumes that language plays a central role in the formulation of social policy by shaping the context within which people view the social world. By terming the anti-poverty effort a war, President Johnson imparted significant symbolism to the effort: it called for total victory and gave confidence that the “war” was winnable. It influenced the definition of the enemy as an intergenerational cycle of poverty, rather than the shortcomings of the individual; and it led to the choice of community action, manpower programs, and prudent management as weapons and tactics. Each of these implications involves a choice of language and symbols, a decision about how to characterize and discuss the world. Zarefsky contends that each of these rhetorical choices was helpful to the Johnson administration in obtaining passage of the Economic Opportunity Ac of 1964, but that each choice invited redefinition or reinterpretation of a symbol in a way that threatened the program.
The decade of the 1960s was a time of passionate politics and resounding rhetoric. The “resounding rhetoric,” from Kennedy’s celebrated inaugural address, to the outlandish antics of the Yippies, is the focus of this book. The importance of this volume is its consideration of both people in power (presidents) and people out of power (protesters), and its delineation of the different rhetorical bases that each had to work from in participating in the politics of the 1960s.
An excellent and lucid introduction to the study of political rhetoric, Presidents and Protesters places rhetorical acts within their specific political contexts, changing the direction of previous rhetorical studies from the sociological to the historical-political.
Above all, this is an intellectual history of the 1960s as seen through the rhetoric of the participants, which ultimately shows that the major participants utilized every form of political discourse available and, consequently, exhausted not only themselves but the rhetorical forms as well.
Arguing that “the presidency” is not defined by the Constitution—which doesn’t use the term—but by what presidents say and how they say it, Deeds Done in Words has been the definitive book on presidential rhetoric for more than a decade. In Presidents Creating the Presidency, Karlyn Kohrs Campbell and Kathleen Hall Jamieson expand and recast their classic work for the YouTube era, revealing how our media-saturated age has transformed the ever-evolving rhetorical strategies that presidents use to increase and sustain the executive branch’s powers.
Identifying the primary genres of presidential oratory, Campbell and Jamieson add new analyses of signing statements and national eulogies to their explorations of inaugural addresses, veto messages, and war rhetoric, among other types. They explain that in some of these genres, such as farewell addresses intended to leave an individual legacy, the president acts alone; in others, such as State of the Union speeches that urge a legislative agenda, the executive solicits reaction from the other branches. Updating their coverage through the current administration, the authors contend that many of these rhetorical acts extend over time: George W. Bush’s post-September 11 statements, for example, culminated in a speech at the National Cathedral and became a touchstone for his subsequent address to Congress.
For two centuries, presidential discourse has both succeeded brilliantly and failed miserably at satisfying the demands of audience, occasion, and institution—and in the process, it has increased and depleted political capital by enhancing presidential authority or ceding it to the other branches. Illuminating the reasons behind each outcome, Campbell and Jamieson draw an authoritative picture of how presidents have used rhetoric to shape the presidency—and how they continue to re-create it.
An anthology of the most important historical sources, classical and modern, on the subjects of presumptions and burdens of proof
In the last fifty years, the study of argumentation has become one of the most exciting intellectual crossroads in the modern academy. Two of the most central concepts of argumentation theory are presumptions and burdens of proof. Their functions have been explicitly recognized in legal theory since the middle ages, but their pervasive presence in all forms of argumentation and in inquiries beyond the law—including politics, science, religion, philosophy, and interpersonal communication—have been the object of study since the nineteenth century.
However, the documents and essays central to any discussion of presumptions and burdens of proof as devices of argumentation are scattered across a variety of remote sources in rhetoric, law, and philosophy. Presumptions and Burdens of Proof: An Anthology of Argumentation and the Law brings together for the first time key texts relating to the history of the theory of presumptions along with contemporary studies that identify and give insight into the issues facing students and scholars today.
The collection’s first half contains historical sources and begins with excerpts from Aristotle’s Topics and goes on to include the locus classicus chapter from Bishop Whately’s crucial Elements of Rhetoric as well as later reactions to Whately’s views. The second half of the collection contains contemporary essays by contributors from the fields of law, philosophy, rhetoric, and argumentation and communication theory. These essays explore contemporary understandings of presumptions and burdens of proof and their role in numerous contexts today. This anthology is the definitive resource on the subject of these crucial rhetorical modes and will be a vital resource to all scholars of communication and rhetoric, as well as legal scholars and practicing jurists.
PRE/TEXT: The First Decade
Victor Vitanza University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993 Library of Congress P301.P684 1993 | Dewey Decimal 808
After the first issue of PRE/TEXT appeared in 1981, a colleague told Victor Vitanza, the creator, editor and publisher of the journal, how disgusted she was by it, how unreadable it was, how devoted to self-aggrandizement-and how much she enjoyed two articles in it. Devoted to exploring and expanding the field of rhetoric and composition by publishing articles considered “inappropriate” by other journals in the field, PRE/TEXT has, from its inception, made people angry. Yet it has survived, and thrived. This collection of essays pays tribute to the first ten years of the journal, and each reprinted article is paired with a short comment by the author. Also included is Victor Vitanza's retrospective history of the journal and prospectives for the future.
Essays in the The Prettier Doll focus on the same local controversy: in 2001,a third-grade girl in Colorado submitted an experiment to the school science fair. She asked 30 adults and 30 fifth-graders which of two Barbie dolls was prettier. One doll was black, the other white, and each wore a different colored dress. All of the adults picked the Barbie in the purple dress, while nearly all of the fifth graders picked the white Barbie. When the student’s experiment was banned an uproar resulted that spread to the national media. School board meetings and other public exchanges highlighted the potent intersection of local and national social concerns: education, censorship, science, racism, and tensions in foundation values such as liberty, democracy, and free speech.
For the authors of these essays, the exchanges that arose from “Barbiegate” illustrate vividly the role of rhetoric at the grassroots level, fundamental to civic judgment in a democratic state and at the core of “ordinary democracy.”
At the 2003 "Rock the Vote" debate, one of the questions posed by a student to the eight Democratic candidates for the presidential nomination was "have you ever used marijuana?" Amazingly, all but one of the candidates voluntarily answered the question. Add to this example the multiple ways in which we now see public intrusion into private lives (security cameras, electronic access to personal data, scanning and "wanding" at the airport) or private self-exposure in public forums (cell phones, web cams, confessional talk shows, voyeuristic "reality" TV). That matters so private could be treated as legitimate-in some cases even vital-for public discourse indicates how intertwined the realms of private and public have become in our era. Reverse examples exist as well. Around the world, public authorities look the other way while individual rights are abused--calling it a private matter--or officials appeal to sectarian morés to justify discrimination in public policies.
The authors of The Private, the Public, and the Published feel that scholarship needs to explore and understand this phenomenon, and needs to address it in the college classroom. There are consequences of conflating public and private, they argue--consequences that have implications especially for what is known as the public good. The changing distinctions between "private" and "public," and the various practices of private and public expression, are explored in these essays with an eye toward what they teach us about those consequences and implications.
In Process This, Nancy DeJoy argues that even recent revisions to composition studies, cultural studies, service learning, and social process movements--continue to repress the subjects and methodologies that should be central, especially at the level of classroom practice. Designed to move student discourses beyond the classroom, these approaches nonetheless continue to position composition students (and teachers) as mere consumers of the discipline. This means that the subjects, methodologies, and theory/practice relationships that define the field are often absent in composition classrooms.
Arguing that the world inside and outside of the academy cannot be any different if the profession stays the same, DeJoy creates a pedagogy and a plan for faculty development that revisions the prewrite/write/rewrite triad to open spaces for participation and contribution to all members of first-year writing classrooms.
In Professional Academic Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Susan Peck MacDonald tackles important and often controversial contemporary questions regarding the rhetoric of inquiry, the social construction of knowledge, and the professionalization of the academy. MacDonald argues that the academy has devoted more effort to analyzing theory and method than to analyzing its own texts. Professional texts need further attention because they not only create but are also shaped by the knowledge that is special to each discipline. Her assumption is that knowledge-making is the distinctive activity of the academy at the professional level; for that reason, it is important to examine differences in the ways the professional texts of subdisciplinary communities focus on and consolidate knowledge within their fields.
Throughout the book, MacDonald stresses her conviction that academics need to do a better job of explaining their text-making axioms, clarifying their expectations of students at all levels, and monitoring their own professional practices. MacDonald’s proposals for both textual and sentence-level analysis will help academic professionals better understand how they might improve communication within their professional communities and with their students.
Sergey Brin, a cofounder of Google, once compared the perfect search engine to “the mind of God.” As the modern face of promiscuous knowledge, however, Google’s divine omniscience traffics in news, maps, weather, and porn indifferently. This book, begun by the late Kenneth Cmiel and completed by his close friend John Durham Peters, provides a genealogy of the information age from its early origins up to the reign of Google. It examines how we think about fact, image, and knowledge, centering on the different ways that claims of truth are complicated when they pass to a larger public. To explore these ideas, Cmiel and Peters focus on three main periods—the late nineteenth century, 1925 to 1945, and 1975 to 2000, with constant reference to the present. Cmiel’s original text examines the growing gulf between politics and aesthetics in postmodern architecture, the distancing of images from everyday life in magical realist cinema, the waning support for national betterment through taxation, and the inability of a single presentational strategy to contain the social whole. Peters brings Cmiel’s study into the present moment, providing the backstory to current controversies about the slipperiness of facts in a digital age. A hybrid work from two innovative thinkers, Promiscuous Knowledge enlightens our understanding of the internet and the profuse visual culture of our time.
No single work is more responsible for the heightened interest in argumentation and informal reasoning—and their relation to ethics and jurisprudence in the late twentieth century—than Chaïm Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca’s monumental study of argumentation, La Nouvelle Rhétorique: Traité de l'Argumentation. Published in 1958 and translated into English as The New Rhetoric in 1969, this influential volume returned the study of reason to classical concepts of rhetoric. In The Promise of Reason: Studies in The New Rhetoric, leading scholars of rhetoric Barbara Warnick, Jeanne Fahnestock, Alan G. Gross, Ray D. Dearin, and James Crosswhite are joined by prominent and emerging European and American scholars from different disciplines to demonstrate the broad scope and continued relevance of The New Rhetoric more than fifty years after its initial publication.
Divided into four sections—Conceptual Understandings of The New Rhetoric, Extensions of The New Rhetoric, The Ethical Turn in Perelman and The New Rhetoric, and Uses of The New Rhetoric—this insightful volume covers a wide variety of topics. It includes general assessments of The New Rhetoric and its central concepts, as well as applications of those concepts to innovative areas in which argumentation is being studied, such as scientific reasoning, visual media, and literary texts. Additional essays compare Perelman’s ideas with those of other significant thinkers like Kenneth Burke and Richard McKeon, explore his career as a philosopher and activist, and shed new light on Perelman and Olbrechts- Tyteca’s collaboration. Two contributions present new scholarship based on recent access to letters, interviews, and archival materials housed in the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Among the volume’s unique gifts is a personal memoir from Perelman’s daughter, Noémi Perelman Mattis, published here for the first time.
The Promise of Reason, expertly compiled and edited by John T. Gage, is the first to investigate the pedagogical implications of Perelman and Olbrechts- Tyteca’s groundbreaking work and will lead the way to the next generation of argumentation studies.
The study of propaganda’s uses in modern democracy highlights important theoretical questions about normative rhetorical practices. Is rhetoric ethically neutral? Is propaganda? How can facticity, accuracy, and truth be determined? Do any circumstances justify misrepresentation? Edited by Gae Lyn Henderson and M. J. Braun, Propaganda and Rhetoric in Democracy: History, Theory, Analysis advances our understanding of propaganda and rhetoric. Essays focus on historical figures—Edward Bernays, Jane Addams, Kenneth Burke, and Elizabeth Bowen—examining the development of the theory of propaganda during the rise of industrialism and the later changes of a mass-mediated society. Modeling a variety of approaches, case studies in the book consider contemporary propaganda and analyze the means and methods of propaganda production and distribution, including broadcast news, rumor production and globalized multimedia, political party manifestos, and university public relations.
Propaganda and Rhetoric in Democracy offers new perspectives on the history of propaganda, explores how it has evolved during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and advances a much more nuanced understanding of what it means to call discourse propaganda.
Prophecy without Contempt
Cathleen Kaveny Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress BL633.K38 2016 | Dewey Decimal 322.1014
The culture wars have as much to do with rhetorical style as moral substance. Cathleen Kaveny focuses on a powerful stream of religious discourse in American political speech: the Biblical rhetoric of prophetic indictment. It can be strong medicine against threats to the body politic, she shows, but used injudiciously it does more harm than good.
In Prophets, Gurus, and Pundits, author Anna M. Young proposes that the difficulty of bridging the gap between intellectuals and the public is not a failure of ideas; rather, it is an issue of rhetorical strategy. By laying a rhetorical foundation and presenting analytical case studies of contemporary “public intellectuals,” Young creates a training manual for intellectuals who seek to connect with a public audience and effect change writ large.
Young begins by defining key aspects of rhetorical style before moving on to discuss the specific ways in which intellectuals may present ideas to a general audience in order to tackle large-scale social problems. Next, she defines the ways in which five crucial turning points in our nation—the rise of religious fundamentalism, a growing lack of trust in our institutions, the continued destruction of the environment, the ubiquity of media and information in our daily lives, and the decline of evidence-based reasoning—have set the stage for opportunities in the current public-intellectual dialogue.
Via case studies of such well-known personalities as Deepak Chopra and Professor Cornel West, Young goes on to reveal the six types of public intellectuals who achieve success in presenting scholarly ideas to audiences at large:
The Prophet presents the public’s sins for contemplation, then offers a path to redemption.
The Guru shepherds his or her flock to enlightenment and a higher power.
The Sustainer draws upon our natural and human resources to proffer solutions for social, political, and ecological systems.
The Pundit utilizes wit and brevity to bring crucial issues to the attention of the public.
The Narrator combines a variety of perspectives to create a story the average person can connect with and understand.
The Scientist taps into the dreams of the public to offer ideas from above and beyond the typical scope of public discourse.
At once a rallying cry and roadmap, The Politics of Thinking Out Loud draws upon rhetorical expertise and analysis of contemporary public intellectuals to offer a model for scholars to effectively engage the public—and in doing so, perhaps forever change the world in which we live.
Virginia Woolf once commented that the central image in Robinson Crusoe is an object—a large earthenware pot. Woolf and other critics pointed out that early modern prose is full of things but bare of setting and description. Explaining how the empty, unvisualized spaces of such writings were transformed into the elaborate landscapes and richly upholstered interiors of the Victorian novel, Cynthia Sundberg Wall argues that the shift involved not just literary representation but an evolution in cultural perception.
In The Prose of Things, Wall analyzes literary works in the contexts of natural science, consumer culture, and philosophical change to show how and why the perception and representation of space in the eighteenth-century novel and other prose narratives became so textually visible. Wall examines maps, scientific publications, country house guides, and auction catalogs to highlight the thickening descriptions of domestic interiors. Considering the prose works of John Bunyan, Samuel Pepys, Aphra Behn, Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson, David Hume, Ann Radcliffe, and Sir Walter Scott, The Prose of Things is the first full account of the historic shift in the art of describing.
Wolfgang Mieder, widely considered the world’s greatest proverb scholar, here considers the role of proverbial speech on the American political stage from the Revolutionary War to the present. He begins his survey by discussing the origins and characteristics American proverbs and their spread across the globe hand in hand with America’s international political role. He then looks at the history of the defining proverb of American democracy, "government of the people, by the people, for the people." Subsequent essays consider such matters as Abigail Adams’s masterful use of politically charged proverbs; the conversion of the biblical proverb "a house divided against itself cannot stand" into a political expression; Frederick Douglass’s proverbial prowess in the battle against racial injustice; how United States presidents have employed proverbial speech in their inaugural addresses; and the proverbial language in the World War II correspondence between Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, which sharpened their communication and helped forge bonds of cooperation. Mieder concludes with an insightful, relevant examination of the significance of the ambiguous proverb "good fences make good neighbors."
In Provocations of Virtue, John Duffy explores the indispensable role of writing teachers and scholars in counteracting the polarized, venomous “post-truth” character of contemporary public argument. Teachers of writing are uniquely positioned to address the crisis of public discourse because their work in the writing classroom is tied to the teaching of ethical language practices that are known to moral philosophers as “the virtues”—truthfulness, accountability, open-mindedness, generosity, and intellectual courage.
Drawing upon Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and the branch of philosophical inquiry known as “virtue ethics,” Provocations of Virtue calls for the reclamation of “rhetorical virtues” as a core function in the writing classroom. Duffy considers what these virtues actually are, how they might be taught, and whether they can prepare students to begin repairing the broken state of public argument. In the discourse of the virtues, teachers and scholars of writing are offered a common language and a shared narrative—a story that speaks to the inherent purpose of the writing class and to what is at stake in teaching writing in the twenty-first century.
This book is a timely and historically significant contribution to the field and will be of major interest to scholars and administrators in writing studies, rhetoric, composition, and linguistics as well as philosophers and those exploring ethics.
Edited by Daniel C. Brouwer and Robert Asen University of Alabama Press, 2010 Library of Congress JA75.7.P83 2010 | Dewey Decimal 306.20973
This book explores the ways that scholars, journalists, politicians, and citizens conceive of “the public” or “public life,” and how those entities are defined and invented. For decades, scholars have used the metaphors of spheres, systems, webs, or networks to talk about, describe, and map various practices. This volume proposes a new metaphor—modalities—to suggest that publics are forever in flux, and much more fluid and dynamic than the static models of systems or spheres would indicate—especially in the digital age, where various publics rapidly evolve and dissipate.
Contributors to the volume—employing approaches from the fields of communication studies, English, sociology, psychology, and history—explore a broad range of texts and artifacts that give rise to publics, and discuss what they reveal about conceptualizations of social space. By focusing on process in public engagement, these scholars highlight questions of how people advance their interests and identities, and how they adapt to situational constraints.
Bringing together scholars in rhetorical, cultural, and media studies, this collection of new case studies illustrates a modalities approach to the study of publics. These case studies explore the implications of different ways of forming publics, including alternative means of expression (protests, culture jamming); the intersection of politics and consumerism (how people express their identities and interests through their consumer behavior); and online engagement (blogs as increasingly important public fora). In doing so, they raise important questions of access, community, and political efficacy.
The nature of Puritanism in America and the role of emotion in religion is the subject of this important and useful collection of five religious orations, discussed and appraised by Professor White for students of Puritanism and rhetoric. The five orations presented here consist of three by Jonathan Edwards, “Future Punishment,” “Distinguishing Marks,” and “The Nature of the Affections”; one by Charles Chauncy, “Enthusiasm Described and Caution’d Against”; and one by Ebenezer Gay, “Natural Religion, as Distinguished from Revealed.”
In the first or introductory part of the book, Professor White discusses in considerable detail the broader implications of the confrontation between rationalists and revivalists in New England, represented by the following orations, during this most important upheaval in the Colonies prior to the Revolution. The orations themselves are arranged to represent the force and counterforce of reason versus emotionalism and the precarious balance maintained momentarily and, eventually, lost. And in the third part of the book Professor White provides critical analysis and suggested appraisal for further interpretation and inquiry.