Rhetoric as pedagogy has found its way in and out, then in and out again, and finally back into composition programs.
In order to create a Snapshot of rhetorical pedagogy, I believe it best (and most helpful) to produce lists and visuals that function to help us recall some of the history (dating back to Ancient Greece and Rome) of this dynamic, process-based pedagogy.
A Return to Rhetoric
James Kinneavy’s Communication Triangle:
- Encoder (writer)
- Decoder (audience)
- Reality (context)
“Rhetoric is a concept that expands and contracts” (39)
Sophists/Platonists: “writing should always approach ‘truth’ as a contingent phenomenon” (40)
Aristotelian – Rhetorical Triangle
Rhetorical Invention – A Process, not product pedagogy (42)
Current Traditional Rhetoric (CTR)
16th Century 18th and 19th Centuries
Peter Ramus – “objective rhetoric” (44) Lockean Empiricism
5 Canons of Rhetoric 4 Modes of Discourse
- Invention Narration
- Arrangement Description
- Style Exposition
- Memory Argumentation
Kenneth Burke on Rhetoric
“the use of language as a symbolic means of including cooperation in beings that by nature respond to symbols” (45)
Relationships that Inform all Symbolic Action
Terry Eagleton on Rhetoric
“Activity inseparable from the wider social relations between writers and readers” (46)
Sociocultural Dimensions of Rhetoric – Literary Theory: An Introduction
1960s & 1970s
Wayne Booth on Rhetoric
“the whole art of discovering and sharing warrantable assertions” (46)
Information retrieved and adapted from William A. Covino’s chapter, “Rhetorical Pedagogy,” as it appears in the tri-authored text A Guide to Composition Pedagogies.
Begin by reading Berlin’s piece and Fulkerson’s “Four Philosophies” as representative of Composition’s first delineations of its content and purpose as a field, especially in relationship to ideological approaches to writing instruction. In contrast, Fulkerson’s second, more recent piece, in some ways laments the social turn and the its implications for the field, while the “Critical Introduction” gives an historical overview of competing ideologies and the present state of the field. Looking at these four readings, please articulate: 1. your definition of composition studies pre and post social turn. 2. The ideologies that influence your views of writing instruction using the articles to answer these questions. Please integrate summaries and quotes from the articles listed above. The purpose here is for you to begin to recognize composition studies as both a field of pedagogical and theoretical inquiry, and, of course, for me to learn where you are beginning to situate yourself within the field and how well you comprehend the source material. This will be due (at the latest) by the next class period (Wednesday 2/8) to the blog.