Contemporary Rhetoric Week 7

Today is our second night discussing the major theorists and theories associated with postmodernity. Katherine developed a spreadsheet to help organize our discussion; let’s try to flush out more of the sheet this week:


Next Weel’s Reading

Next week we will be focusing our attention on James Berlin’s Rhetoric, Poeticsand Cultures. While I would love to read the whole book, but we do not have time for that. I am more interested in Berlin’s treatment of postmodernism, especially given his influence over the discipline. So let’s read pages 1-122. 

I also want to read Victor Vitanza’s response to Berlin. Berlin and Vitanza were close friends and intellectual rivals. They went back and forth across a number of articles over the years. Berlin’s contribution to the discussion is generally re-worked in the book. Unfortunately, Berlin died suddenly before the book was even completed, and before Vitanza had a chance to respond. Victor then revised the introduction to Negation, Subjectivity, and the History of Rhetoric as a response to Berlin–imaging how a conversation between the two of them might (not) go. You’ll read that conversation this week (1-24, pdf). 

I’ll also ask that you read another piece by Vitanza, Abandoned to Writing: Notes Toward Several Provocations, in the online journal Enculturation. The essay was part of a special edition that asked contributors to theorize the meaning of relationship between Rhetoric and Composition (which Victor takes up as the meaning of the slash). 

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