Making and Unmaking the Prospects for Rhetoric: Selected Papers from the 1996 Rhetoric Society of America Conference

By Theresa Enos; Richard McNabb et al. | Go to book overview
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Thanks to Jerry Murphy, who saved materials from his role as a Steering Committee member for the National Developmental Project. The two conditions I have specified -- political activities of the 1960s and the rhetoric-communication tiff -- are topics in almost all of the position papers submitted by would-be participants in Pheasant Run.
The questions posed by the position papers written by those who applied to participate in the Pheasant Run conference are striking in their resemblance to contemporary cultural studies. Ehninger suggested that rhetoricians must not only deal with the techniques of "cajoling or persuading those who are like us in background and values" but also learn to "speak across class, race, age, and culture lines to those who are in some way 'different (4). Smith posed as the most important task for Pheasant Run to address the question of whether rhetoric is a uniquely Western phenomenon (24). Although issues of "otherness" are not the only ones that cultural studies poses and explores to advantage, they are among the most prominent. And they have to do always with issues of Power and of what rhetoric does.
There is little agreement about what a post-"new rhetoric" should be, and perhaps there need be no agreement. Generally speaking, however, there are two "camps" -- one that values the return and reformation of public address studies, in the narrow sense of formalist or structuralist readings of public, persuasive speeches, and one that values cultural readings of rhetorical practices and that has as its chief patrons French poststructuralism, critical race theory, feminism, and British and American cultural studies. The two camps do not agree on very many significant issues, for example, on the import of audience response, symbolicity/materiality, or political effectivity of discourse. However, both tend to place traditional notions of theory in a subordinate position to rhetorical practices.

Works Cited

Bitzer Lloyd F., and Edwin Black, eds. The Prospect of Rhetoric: Report of' the National Developmental Project. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice, 1971.

Black Edwin. "The Mutability of Rhetoric". Rhetoric in Transition: Studies in the Nature and Uses of Rhetoric-. Ed. Eugene E. White. University Park: Pennsylvania State UP, 1980. 71-85.

Brummett Barry. "Rhetorical Theory as Heuristic and Moral: A Pedagogical Justification". Communication Education 33 ( 1984): 97-107.

Bryant Donald C. Rhetorical Dimensions in Criticism. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State UP, 1973.

Cohen Herman. The Histon, of Speech Communication: The Emergence of a Discipline, 1914- 1945. Annandale, VA: SCA, 1994.

Ehninger Douglas. "Introduction". Contemporary Rhetoric: A Reader's Coursebook. Ed. Douglas Ehninger . Glenview, IL: Scott, 1972. 1-14.

----. Position paper, compiled with "Statements by Conference Participants." Pheasant Run Conference, May 10-15, 1970. 3-4.

Farrell Thomas B. "On the Disappearance of the Rhetorical Aura". Western Journal of Communication 57 ( 1993): 147-58.

Felder Don, Don Henley, and Glenn Frey. "Hotel California". Cass County Music/Red Cloud Music ASCAP, 1976. The Eagles. Hotel California. Elektra/Asylum/Nonsuch Records, 1976.

Fogarty Daniel S. J. Rools for a New Rhetoric. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University, 1959.

Foss Sonja K. Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration and Practice. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland, 1989.

Frentz Thomas S., and Janice Hocker Rushing. "Commentary". Critical Questions, Ed. William L. Nothstine , Carole Blair, and Gary Copeland. 155-60.

Hart Roderick P. Modern Rhetorical Criticism. Glenview, IL: Scott, 1990.

Hochmuth Marie. "The Criticism of Rhetoric", A History and Criticism ofAmerican Public Address. Vol. 3. Ed. Marie Hochmuth. New York: Russell, 1955. 1-23.

----. "I. A. Richards and the'New Rhetoric". Quarterly Journal of Speech 44 ( 1958): 1-16.

----. "Kenneth Burke and the 'New Rhetoric". Quarterly Journal of Speech 38 ( 1952): 133-44.

Hudson Hoyt. "The Field of Rhetoric". Quarterly Journal of Speech 9 ( 1923): 167-80. Rpt. in Historical Studies of Rhetoric and Rhetoricians. Ed. Raymond F. Howes. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1961. 3-15.


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