Whether in family life, social interactions, or business negotiations, half the people in the world speak more than one language every day. Yet many myths persist about bilingualism and bilinguals. In a lively and entertaining book, an international authority on bilingualism explores the many facets of life with two or more languages.
Martin Buber’s work suggests that real life begins with two individuals engaged in dialogue, not just taking care of one’s own needs as described in social Darwinism.
Arnett argues that the end of the age of abundance demands that we give up the communicative strategies of the past and seek to work together in the midst of limited resources and an uncertain future. Today’s situation calls for an unwavering commitment to Buber’s “narrow ridge” concern for both self and community.
Arnett illustrates the narrow ridge definition of interpersonal communication with rich examples. His vignettes demonstrate effective and ineffective approaches to human community. An effective approach, he makes clear, incorporates not only openness to others’ points of view but also a willingness to be persuaded.
Gerald M. Phillips draws on his twenty-five-year, five-thousand-client experience with the Pennsylvania State University Reticence Program to present a new theory of modification of “inept” communication behavior.
That experience has convinced Phillips that communication is arbitrary and rulebound rather than a process of inspiration. He demonstrates that communication problems can be described as errors that can be detected and classified in order to fit a remediation pattern. Regardless of the source of error, the remedy is to train the individual to avoid or eliminate errors—thus, orderly procedure will result in competent performance.
Inept communicators must be made aware of the obligations and constraints imposed by deep structures that require us to achieve a degree of formal order in our language, without which our discourse becomes incomprehensible.
Winner, 2020 Outstanding Book Award, Critical/Cultural Studies Division of the National Communication Association
Recent pieces by NPR, the BBC, and Forbes have called attention to the power of voice—positing that “your voice is the secret to getting hired” and that “voice can accelerate or hold back a career.” While it has become clearer that such things as pitch and intonation can be tied to assumptions about one’s gender, race/ethnicity, and class, studying voice as a socially constructed artifact carries with it unique challenges. In response, Culturally Speaking: The Rhetoric of Voice and Identity in a Mediated Culture presents an innovative approach to studying the spoken voice in media, showing how racial and gendered oppression bubble beneath the surface of American culture’s most recognized speaking voices, spreading invisible messages about which kinds of vocal identities are privileged and which kinds should be silenced.
Through her analysis of prominent voices in American culture—including Morgan Freeman, Tina Fey, Barack Obama, Adele, Dave Chappelle, Richard Pryor, and George Lopez—Amanda Nell Edgar argues that voices carry a residue of the particular cultural environments in which they are formed, and that these environments can be traced and analyzed to add a sonic dimension to our understanding of race and gender as rhetorically situated identities—pushing back against the often-unnoticed systems of sound-based discrimination.
The Debater's Guide, 3rd Edition
Jon M. Ericson, James J. Murphy, and Raymond Bud Zeuschner Southern Illinois University Press, 2003 Library of Congress PN4181.E65 2003 | Dewey Decimal 808.53
Thousands of debaters at all levels have relied on this practical guide for reference and instruction in argumentation and communication since it was first published in 1961. Now in a third, fully revised edition featuring restructured chapters, updated examples, and the addition of parliamentary debate as a form, The Debater’s Guide continues to be the leading handbook for helping both novice and advanced students develop the skills necessary to successfully apply the basic principles of debate.
Cutting through theory with clear explanations and specific applications, this compact volume with a broad scope offers students and teachers no-frills assistance in resolving the major problem faced by debaters: the need to present arguments forcefully and cogently while reacting effectively to criticism. Readers are advised on matters from budgeting time in a debate to speaking in outline form through a well-organized series of explanations, specific examples, and graphic presentations related to both policy and value issues.
Beginning with a clear explication of basic principles, The Debater’s Guide presents chronologically the steps of building a debate case, reviews the strategy of planning for refutation and defense, and offers sound advice on presenting the case in oral discourse. Expanded contents pages and effective use of subheadings allow for quick reference to any particular aspect of debate, making it an excellent classroom text as well as a valuable, hands-on tool during actual debates. A glossary of key terms used in debate complements the volume.
The Debater's Guide, Fourth Edition
Jon M. Ericson, James J. Murphy, and Raymond Bud Zeuschner Southern Illinois University Press, 2011 Library of Congress PN4181.E65 2011 | Dewey Decimal 808.53
Tens of thousands of readers have studied and applied this practical guide to instruction in argumentation and communication since it was first published in 1961. In this fourth edition-the Fiftieth Anniversary Edition-authors Jon M. Ericson, James J. Murphy, and Raymond Bud Zeuschner have made significant revisions to improve the depth, flow, and clarity of this popular debater's handbook.
With straightforward explanations and specific applications geared toward contemporary debate practice, this compact volume offers students and teachers clear-cut assistance in resolving the key problem faced by debaters: the need to present arguments forcefully and cogently while reacting effectively to criticism. Beginning with a candid explanation of the basic principles of debate, The Debater's Guide then introduces the steps to building a case, from reviewing strategies for refutation and defense to engaging in cross-examination, solid research, and critical thinking. It advises readers on a wide range of important topics, from budgeting time in a debate to speaking in outline form by using a well-organized series of explanations, specific examples, and graphic presentations related to both policy and value issues. The authors apply these concepts to a variety of formats and situations commonly found in high school and collegiate debating.
Avoiding jargon and complex theory discussions, The Debater's Guide offers sound advice on presenting an effective case in oral discourse, helps students build their understanding of how and why debate functions, and provides a solid foundation for success in any format. The expanded contents pages and new subheadings allow for quick reference to any particular aspect of debate, making this new edition an excellent choice for classroom use as well as a valuable hands-on tool during debates.
Demosthenes’ speech On the Crown (330 B.C.E.), in which the master orator spectacularly defended his public career, has long been recognized as a masterpiece. The speech has been in continuous circulation from Demosthenes’ lifetime to the present day, and multiple generations have acclaimed it as the greatest speech ever written. In addition to a clear and accessible translation, Demosthenes’“On the Crown”:Rhetorical Perspectives includes eight essays that provide a thorough analysis—based on Aristotelian principles—of Demosthenes’ superb rhetoric.
The volume includes biographical and historical background on Demosthenes and his political situation; a structural analysis of On the Crown; and an abstract of Aeschines’ speech Against Ctesiphon to which Demosthenes was responding. Four essays by contributors analyze Demosthenes’ speech using key elements of rhetoric defined by Aristotle: ēthos, the speaker’s character or authority; pathos, or emotional appeals; logos, or logical appeals; and lexis, a speaker’s style. An introduction and an epilogue by Murphy frame the speech and the rhetorical analysis of it.
By bringing together contextual material about Demosthenes and his speech with a translation and astute rhetorical analyses, Demosthenes’“On the Crown”:Rhetorical Perspectives highlights the oratorical artistry of Demosthenes and provides scholars and students with fresh insights into a landmark speech.
This textbook is an accessible introduction to discourse intonation for ESL/EFL instructors, whether practicing or in pre-service graduate programs. Because intonation is used to form impressions about a speaker’s attitude, it is crucial that instructors understand the details of the underlying linguistic system so that they can help students avoid the more common intonation-related pitfalls they experience when communicating in an academic setting.
This textbook relies heavily on the Brazil model; chapters are organized around different parts of that model and how they can be most effectively taught. Readers will learn the conventions underlying, for example, how we group words in prosodic units, how we understand turn-taking cues in conversation, and how we assess whether someone is feeling angry or sad.
This text features Check Your Learning sections, discussion questions, and hands-on activities at the end of every chapter. Chapters 3-9 also include a section on pedagogical implications. Some of the example sentences that illustrate intonation have accompanying short audio (MP3) files, which can be found online at www.press.umich.edu/elt/compsite/DI.
From the end of Reconstruction through World War II, a network of public colleges for white women flourished throughout the South. Founded primarily as vocational colleges to educate women of modest economic means for life in the emerging “new” South, these schools soon transformed themselves into comprehensive liberal arts–industrial institutions, proving so popular that they became among the largest women’s colleges in the nation. In this illuminating volume, David Gold and Catherine L. Hobbs examine rhetorical education at all eight of these colleges, providing a better understanding of not only how women learned to read, write, and speak in American colleges but also how they used their education in their lives beyond college.
With a collective enrollment and impact rivaling that of the Seven Sisters, the schools examined in this study—Mississippi State College for Women (1884), Georgia State College for Women (1889), North Carolina College for Women (1891), Winthrop College in South Carolina (1891), Alabama College for Women (1896), Texas State College for Women (1901), Florida State College for Women (1905), and Oklahoma College for Women (1908)—served as important centers of women’s education in their states, together educating over a hundred thousand students before World War II and contributing to an emerging professional class of women in the South. After tracing the establishment and evolution of these institutions, Gold and Hobbs explore education in speech arts and public speaking at the colleges and discuss writing instruction, setting faculty and departmental goals and methods against larger institutional, professional, and cultural contexts. In addition to covering the various ways the public women’s colleges prepared women to succeed in available occupations, the authors also consider how women’s education in rhetoric and writing affected their career choices, the role of race at these schools, and the legacy of public women’s colleges in relation to the history of women’s education and contemporary challenges in the teaching of rhetoric and writing.
The experiences of students and educators at these institutions speak to important conversations among scholars in rhetoric, education, women’s studies, and history. By examining these previously unexplored but important institutional sites, Educating the New Southern Woman provides a richer and more complex history of women’s rhetorical education and experiences.
Direct, comprehensive, well organized, simple in statement, Elements of Rhetoric is in all respects well fitted to fulfill its assigned role as a textbook. The remarks on practical problems and the examples and analogies confirm contemporary reports that Whately was himself a talented and stimulating teacher.
The modern field of speech was born near the beginning of the twentieth century, some seventy years after Whately wrote. But influential leaders in the new field endorsed Whately’s judgments, and courses and textbooks in public address have remained strongly influenced by his ideas. Whately’s views on a number of major questions in rhetoric have proved sound and fruitful during many decades of practice, and his book remains one of the most influential works on the subject.
Much has been written about Ralph Waldo Emerson’s fundamental contributions to American literature and culture as an essayist, philosopher, lecturer, and poet. But despite wide agreement among literary and rhetorical scholars on the need for further study of Emerson as a rhetorical theorist, little has been published on the subject. This book fills that gap, reenvisioning Emerson’s work through his significant engagement with rhetorical theory in the course of his career and providing a more profound understanding of Emerson’s influence on American ideology.
Moving beyond dominant literary critical thinking, Thompson argues that for Emerson, rhetoric was both imaginative and nonsystematic. This book covers the influences of rhetoricians from a range of periods on Emerson’s model of rhetoric. Drawing on Emerson’s manuscript notes, journal entries, and some of his rarely discussed essays and lectures as well as his more famous works, the author bridges the divide between literary and rhetorical studies, expanding our understanding of this iconic nineteenth-century man of letters.
Errors, Lies, and Libel
Peter E. Kane. Foreword by Elmer Gertz Southern Illinois University Press, 1992 Library of Congress KF221.L5K36 1992 | Dewey Decimal 345.730256
Peter E. Kane takes a critical look at the development of the present law through a discussion of seventeen landmark libel cases.
One of the many points Kane clarifies is the important distinction between an error and a lie when judging whether someone is guilty of libel. For example, in the series of events that led to Goldwater vs. Ginzburg, Ralph Ginzburg, publisher of fact magazine, compiled and printed in fact a montage of quotes he had collected from psychiatrists about Barry Goldwater. It took five years of legal sparring for the courts to conclude that Ginzburg had deliberately published a malicious and irresponsible document and to rule in favor of Goldwater. Kane closes with a discussion of current thinking on possible libel reform.
In this book, first published in 1985, Ernest G. Bormann explores mass persuasion in America from 1620 to 1860, examining closely four rhetorical communities: the revivals of 1739–1740, the hot gospel of the postrevolutionary period, the evangelical revival and reform of the 1830s, and the Free Soil and Republican parties. Each community varies greatly, but Bormann asserts that each succeeding community shares a rhetorical vision of restoring the “American Dream” that is essentially a modification of the previous visions. Thus, they form a family of rhetorical visions that constitutes a rhetorical tradition of importance in nineteenth-century American popular culture.
When Gorgias, Plato, and Aristotle were discussing and defining rhetoric in ancient Greece, many students in China, including Sun Bin, a descendent of Sun Tzu, who wrote The Art of War, were learning the techniques of persuasion from Guiguzi, “the Master of the Ghost Valley.” This pre–Qin dynasty recluse provided the basis for what is considered the earliest Chinese treatise devoted entirely to the art of persuasion. Called Guiguzi after its author, this translation of the received text provides an indigenous rhetorical theory and key persuasive strategies, some of which are still used by those involved in decision making and negotiations in China today. In “Guiguzi,” China’s First Treatise on Rhetoric, Hui Wu and C. Jan Swearingen present a new critical translation of this foundational work, which has great historical significance for the study of Chinese rhetoric and communication and yet is little known to Western readers.
Wu’s translation includes footnotes that incorporate both past and present scholarly commentary, and is accompanied by a prefatory introduction that situates Guiguzi in the sociopolitical and cultural realities of ancient China, and a glossary of rhetorical terms used in the treatise. Swearingen presents a comparative study suggesting the similarities and differences between emerging Greek and Chinese rhetorics during the same period, including the cultural contexts of warring states and emergent empires that surrounded each.
“Guiguzi,” China’s First Treatise on Rhetoric combines a new translation of a historically significant text with scholarly analysis and critical apparatus that will contribute to the emerging global understanding of Chinese rhetoric and communication.
Many nonverbal behaviors—smiling, blushing, shrugging—reveal our emotions. One nonverbal behavior, gesturing, exposes our thoughts. This book explores how we move our hands when we talk, and what it means when we do so.
Susan Goldin-Meadow begins with an intriguing discovery: when explaining their answer to a task, children sometimes communicate different ideas with their hand gestures than with their spoken words. Moreover, children whose gestures do not match their speech are particularly likely to benefit from instruction in that task. Not only do gestures provide insight into the unspoken thoughts of children (one of Goldin-Meadow’s central claims), but gestures reveal a child’s readiness to learn, and even suggest which teaching strategies might be most beneficial.
In addition, Goldin-Meadow characterizes gesture when it fulfills the entire function of language (as in the case of Sign Languages of the Deaf), when it is reshaped to suit different cultures (American and Chinese), and even when it occurs in children who are blind from birth.
Focusing on what we can discover about speakers—adults and children alike—by watching their hands, this book discloses the active role that gesture plays in conversation and, more fundamentally, in thinking. In general, we are unaware of gesture, which occurs as an undercurrent alongside an acknowledged verbal exchange. In this book, Susan Goldin-Meadow makes clear why we must not ignore the background conversation.
Gregory Clark and S. Michael Halloran bring together nine essays that explore change in both the theory and the practice of rhetoric in the nineteenth-century United States.
In their introductory essay, Clark and Halloran argue that at the beginning of the nineteenth century, rhetoric encompassed a neoclassical oratorical culture in which speakers articulated common values to establish consensual moral authority that directed community thought and action. As the century progressed, however, moral authority shifted from the civic realm to the professional, thus expanding participation in the community as it fragmented the community itself. Clark and Halloran argue that this shift was a transformation in which rhetoric was reconceived to meet changing cultural needs.
Part I examines the theories and practices of rhetoric that dominated at the beginning of the century. The essays in this section include "Edward Everett and Neoclassical Oratory in Genteel America" by Ronald F. Reid, "The Oratorical Poetic of Timothy Dwight" by Gregory Clark, "The Sermon as Public Discourse: Austin Phelps and the Conservative Homiletic Tradition in Nineteenth-Century America" by Russel Hirst, and "A Rhetoric of Citizenship in Nineteenth-Century America" by P. Joy Rouse.
Part 2 examines rhetorical changes in the culture that developed during that century. The essays include "The Popularization of Nineteenth-Century Rhetoric: Elocution and the Private Learner" by Nan Johnson, "Rhetorical Power in the Victorian Parlor: Godey’s Lady’s Book and the Gendering of Nineteenth-Century Rhetoric" by Nicole Tonkovich, "Jane Addams and the Social Rhetoric of Democracy" by Catherine Peaden, "The Divergence of Purpose and Practice on the Chatauqua: Keith Vawter’s Self-Defense" by Frederick J.Antczak and Edith Siemers, and "The Rhetoric of Picturesque Scenery: A Nineteenth-Century Epideictic" by S. Michael Halloran.
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.
Quintilian on the Teaching of Speaking and Writing, edited by James J. Murphy and Cleve Wiese, offers scholars and students insights into the pedagogies of Marcus Fabius Quintilianus (ca. 35–ca. 95 CE), one of Rome’s most famous teachers of rhetoric. Providing translations of three key sections from Quintilian’s important and influential Institutio oratoria (Education of the Orator), this volume outlines the systematic educational processes that Quintilian inherited from the Greeks, foregrounding his rationale for a rhetorical education on the interrelationship between reading, speaking, listening, and writing, and emphasizing the blending of moral purpose and artistic skill.
Translated here, Books One, Two, and Ten of the Institutio oratoria offer the essence of Quintilian’s holistic rhetorical educational plan that ranges from early interplay between written and spoken language to later honing of facilitas, the readiness to use language in any situation. Along with these translations, this new edition of Quintilian on the Teaching of Speaking and Writing contains an expanded scholarly introduction with an enhanced theoretical and historical section, an expanded discussion of teaching methods, and a new analytic guide directing the reader to a closer examination of the translations themselves.
A contemporary approach to one of the most influential educational works in the history of Western culture, Quintilian on the Teaching of Speaking and Writing provides access not only to translations of key sections of Quintilian’s educational program but also a robust contemporary framework for the training of humane and effective citizens through the teaching of speaking and writing.
What distinguishes the study of rhetoric from other pursuits in the liberal arts? From what realms of human existence and expression, of human history, does such study draw its defining character? What, in the end, should be the purposes of rhetorical inquiry? And amid so many competing accounts of discourse, power, and judgment in the contemporary world, how might scholars achieve these purposes through the attitudes and strategies that animate their work?
Rethinking Rhetorical Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy: The Living Art of Michael C. Leff offers answers to these questions by introducing the central insights of one of the most innovative and prolific rhetoricians of the twentieth century, Michael C. Leff. This volume charts Leff ’s decades-long development as a scholar, revealing both the variety of topics and the approach that marked his oeuvre, as well as his long-standing critique of the disciplinary assumptions of classical, Hellenistic, renaissance, modern, and postmodern rhetoric.
Rethinking Rhetorical Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy includes a synoptic introduction to the evolution of Leff ’s thought from his time as a graduate student in the late 1960s to his death in 2010, as well as specific commentary on twenty-four of his most illuminating essays and lectures.
Why did Gerald Ford speak in public once every six hours during 1976? Why did no president spreak in Massachusetts during one ten-year period? Why did Jimmy Carter conduct public ceremonies four times more often than Harry Truman? Why are television viewers two-and-a-half times more likely to see a president speak on the nightly news than to hear him speak?
The Sound of Leadership answers these questions and many more. Based on analysis of nearly 10,000 presidential speeches delivered between 1945 and 1985, this book is the first comprehensive examination of the ways in which presidents Truman through Reagan have used the powers of communication to advance their political goals. This communication revolution has produced, Roderick P. Hart argues, a new form of governance, one in which public speech has come to be taken as political action. Using a rhetorical appraoch, Hart details the features of this new American presidency by carefully examining when and where presidents spoke in public during the last four decades and what they said. Even though presidents have been speaking more and more, Hart reveals, they have been saying less and less. Rather than leading the nation, the modern president usually offers only the hollow "sound" of leadership. Written with great flair and acuteness, The Sound of Leadership will become a standard guide to the voices of modern presidential politics.
Drawing upon nearly two hundred years of recorded African American oratory, The Will of a People: A Critical Anthology of Great African American Speeches,edited by Richard W. Leeman and Bernard K. Duffy, brings together in one unique volume some of this tradition’s most noteworthy speeches, each paired with an astute introduction designed to highlight its most significant elements.
Arranged chronologically, from Maria Miller Stewart’s 1832 speech “Why Sit Ye Here and Die?” to President Barack Obama’s 2009 inaugural address, these orations are tied to many of the key themes and events of American history, as well as the many issues and developments in American race relations. These themes, events, and issues include the changing roles of women, Native American relations, American “manifest destiny,” abolitionism, the industrial revolution, Jim Crow, lynching, World War I and American self-determination, the rise of the New Deal and government social programs, the Civil Rights Movement and desegregation, the Vietnam War, Nixon and Watergate, gay and lesbian rights, immigration, and the rise of a mediated culture. Leeman and Duffy have carefully selected the most eloquent and relevant speeches by African Americans, including those by Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Booker T. Washington, Mary Church Terrell, W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Barbara Jordan, Jesse Jackson, and Marian Wright Edelman, many of which have never received significant scholarly attention.
The Will of a People is the first book to pair the full texts of the most important African American orations with substantial introductory essays intended to guide the reader’s understanding of the speaker, the speech, its rhetorical interpretation, and the historical context in which it occurred. Broadly representative of the African American experience, as well as what it means to be American, this valuable collection will serve as an essential guide to the African American oratory tradition.
"Owoman, woman! upon you I call; for upon your exertions almost entirely depends whether the rising generation shall be any thing more than we have been or not. Owoman, woman! your example is powerful, your influence great."—Maria W. Stewart, "An Address Delivered Before the Afric-American Female Intelligence Society of Boston" (1832)
Here—in the only collection of speeches by nineteenth-century African-American women—is the battle of words these brave women waged to address the social ills of their century. While there have been some scattered references to the unique roles these early "race women" played in effecting social change, until now few scholars have considered the rhetorical strategies they adopted to develop their powerful arguments.
In this chronological anthology, Shirley Wilson Logan highlights the public addresses of these women, beginning with Maria W. Stewart’s speech at Franklin Hall in 1832, believed to be the first delivered to an audience of men and women by an American-born woman. In her speech, she focused on the plight of the Northern free black. Sojourner Truth spoke in 1851 at the Akron, Ohio, Women’s Rights Convention not only for the rights of black women but also for the rights of all oppressed nineteenth-century women. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper struggled with the conflict between universal suffrage and suffrage for black men. Anna Julia Cooper chastised her unique audience of black Episcopalian clergy for their failure to continue the tradition of the elevation of womanhood initiated by Christianity and especially for their failure to support the struggling Southern black woman. Ida B. Wells’s rhetoric targeted mob violence directed at Southern black men. Her speech was delivered less than a year after her inaugural lecture on this issue—following a personal encounter with mob violence in Memphis. Fannie Barrier Williams and Victoria Earle Matthews advocated social and educational reforms to improve the plight of Southern black women. These speeches—all delivered between 1832 and 1895—are stirring proof that, despite obstacles of race and gender, these women still had the courage to mount the platform in defense of the oppressed.
Introductory essays focus on each speaker’s life and rhetoric, considering the ways in which these women selected evidence and adapted language to particular occasions, purposes, and audiences in order to persuade. This analysis of the rhetorical contexts and major rhetorical tactics in the speeches aids understanding of both the speeches and the skill of the speakers. A rhetorical timeline serves as a point of reference.
Historically grounded, this book provides a black feminist perspective on significant events of the nineteenth century and reveals how black women of that era influenced and were influenced by the social problems they addressed.
"A government which can protect and defend its citizens from wrong and outrage and does not is vicious. A government which would do itand cannot is weak; and where human life is insecure through either weakness or viciousness in the administration of law, there must be a lack of justice, and where this is wanting nothing can make up the deficiency."—Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, "Duty to Dependent Races," National Council of Women of the United States, Washington, D.C. (1891)
Writing Histories of Rhetoric
Edited by Victor J. Vitanza Southern Illinois University Press, 1994 Library of Congress PN183.W75 1994 | Dewey Decimal 808.009
This collection of essays, edited by Victor J. Vitanza, is a historiography of rhetoric, summarizing what has recently been accomplished in the revision of traditional histories of rhetoric and discussing what might be accomplished in the future. Featuring a variety of approaches—classical, revisionary, and avant-garde—it includes articles by Janet M. Atwill, James A. Berlin, William A. Covino, Sharon Crowley, Hans Kellner, John Poulakos, Takis Poulakos, John Schilb, Jane Sutton, Kathleen Ethel Welch, Lynn Worsham, and Victor J. Vitanza.
In the first essay, Sharon Crowley identifies the major players and primary issues in a chronological narrative of the debate about the writing of the history of rhetoric that has arisen between traditionalists / essentialists and revisionists/constructionists. In recent years, traditionalists have demanded a more complete and accurate history, while revisionists have sought a critical understanding of the various epistemological-ideological grounds upon which a history of rhetoric had been and could be constructed. Revisionists, in their search for multiple, contestatory histories, have begun to critique one another, breaking into two general groups: one favoring a political-social program, the other resisting and disrupting such an approach.
Vitanza echoes Crowley’s review of this ongoing debate by asking a crucial question: What exactly does it mean to be a revisionist historian? By combining the disintegration of various revisionist and subversive positions into a communal "we," he asks an additional question: Who is the "we" writing histories of rhetoric?
The essays that follow give a rich answer to Vitanza’s questions. They bring the writing of histories of rhetoric into the larger area of postmodern theory, raising neglected issues of race, gender, and class. Written with a variety of intentions, some of the essays are expository and highly argumentative while others are manifestos, innovative and far-reaching in tone. Still others are summaries and background studies, providing useful information to both the novice student and the experienced scholar.
This book, situated at a juncture between two disciplines, composition studies and speech, will be a landmark collection for many years.