In advance of Thursday's class session, please take some time to quickly review the following texts (and be sure to bring them to class):
- de Certeau
- Graff and Leff
- Royster and Williams
- Enoch or Campbell (depending on what you read)
- Carr, Carr, Schultz
By "review," perhaps my expectation is that you would remind yourself of the main argument and principal claims in each text, a.k.a., the text's agenda and methodology.
Also, I offer in advance some questions that may drive our discussion. Please select one question and spend some time composing a blog post in response, prior to Thursday's class. Your response need not be a full-fledged essay, but it should reflect more than a casual try. In other words, it should put us all in a good enough position to do more with these questions than we might have done earlier in the semester:
- How is Graff and Leff's understanding of "critical historiography" either complicated by or taken up in (or both) Royster and Williams' project? In Enoch's or Campbell's?
- What would we name Gertrude Buck's "noetic field" if we were challenged by other historians to do so?
- Think back to the day we composed a Brereton grid. If the only texts surviving from this era were the ones you traced for the grid, how would you view the teaching of rhetoric and composition in late 19th-century American colleges? What stories would you construct, or did you construct in your grid, that other historians might see to take up?
- If "Terministic screens" were the primary way we got to know Kenneth Burke as a rhetorical theorist, how could we justify positioning him at the (historical) "end" of our trajectory? In truth, Burke comes much later than the historical "end" of Modernity -- if we want to think of Modernity as an historical movement -- but his essay completes our syllabus nonetheless. Is this viable, or is it misguided? Having read what we have and explored the methodologies that we have, in what ways does ending with Burke make sense? In what ways doesn't it make sense? How would others viewing our course assume we were positioning Burke?
- Before the semester began, I invited you to read the Dissoi Logoi (B/H 47-55) for several things. If you were to return to it now, what do you know with more certainty than before about some of the issues this text takes up? What does (or what could) the Dissoi Logoi represent to you, as a seasoned historian of Modern Rhetoric?
- If you were to return to de Certeau with fresh eyes (albeit tired ones), how would you explain to a novice historian any of his defining statements about "history," "historical discourse," or "historiography" on pp. 19-21, 29-49?
- Where might we fall on the "Cacophony of Historiography Theories" handout? Given that the handout was a first draft of what should be a more careful taxonomy, it's possible we don't fit comfortably anywhere, but I'd be interested in knowing what you think defines our historiographic approach to rhetoric studies. What might we call its "watersheds" (see Carr, Carr, Schultz 202-204)? Alternatively, what could we offer future classes as our unique "methodology" (see Carr, Carr, Schultz 205-206)?
I'm really looking forward to this,