Analects of Confucius

As is customary to many of my weekends, I cook while reading and listening to podcasts. One of the more recent episodes of Radiolab called “Translation” struck me as significant to many of the conversations we have been having about doing historiographic work, translating texts, and what bearing the reading/research methods we bring to the text have on what we can and cannot see/read. The synopsis of the episode:

How close can words get you to the truth and feel and force of life? That’s the question poking at our ribs this hour, as we wonder how it is that the right words can have the wrong meanings, and why sometimes the best translations lead us to an understanding that’s way deeper than language. This episode, 8 stories that play out in the middle space between one reality and another — where poetry, insult comedy, 911 calls, and even our own bodies work to close the gap.

One of the stories within the episode, 100 Flowers, chronicled Professor of Cognitive Science Douglas Hofstadter’s captivation with the translation of  a short French poem. He compiled translations of the poem from different people he knew to examine whether or not people stuck to the original narrative (a poem to a sick young girl o get better), what details changed, how the rhyme scheme and length varied, and what words were chosen. I was struck by how complex just reading a text is—any text. We talk about context and circulation as matters of concern, as well as mindfulness in approaching a text. This becomes all the more salient when the text is decontextualized from its origin/time/place/impetus and further culture and language.

Reading through R. Eno’s edition of the Analects of Confucius, along with Arabella Lyon’s “Writing an Empire: Cross-Talk on Authority, Act, and Relationships with the Other in the Analects, Daodejing, and HanFeizi” and Xiaoye You’s “The Way, Multimodality of Ritual Symbols, and Social Change: Reading Confucius’s Analects as Rhetoric” I was curious as to how the texts themselves were laid out, particularly the Analects.

Eno structures the text as almost a double-entry journal, placing the translation of the text on the left with notes on the right.

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Eno remarks that “scholars generally see the text as having been brought together over the course of two to three centuries, and believe little if any of it can be viewed as a reliable record of Confucius’s own words, or even of his individual views”. Instead he draws analogy to the biblical Gospels as offering “an evolving record of the image of Confucius and his ideas through from the changing standpoints of various branches of the school of thought he founded”. Further, due to the materiality of the original texts—ink drawn characters on strips of bamboo that were tied together with string— “all of the books bear the traces of rearrangements and later insertions, to a degree that makes it difficult to see any common thematic threads at all”.

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Eno’s edition also includes a number of appendices that call attention to the speculation of reconstructive and translation work. Eno explains the numbering of the books in the as “speculative because we don’t know the original order of the bamboo slips; moreover some slips are clearly missing, many sections are fragmentary and difficult to reconstruct. In some cases, a passage number stands by a single orphan character, signify- ing that we can infer that a passage including the character existed, but it is otherwise lost (there may be other lost passages for which no remnant characters survive)”. Eno’s edition of Analects, in its design/layout, draws attention to how difficult reading is and just how much need be done to/with the text so that it can be read. This edition seems to demonstrate some of the critical considerations we have discussed in doing historiographic research—making the processing of the text more visible to the reader to consider and engage with.

Lyon and You’s texts aren’t structured like Eno’s, but work methodologically to draw attention to the situatedness of texts and what reading them as decontextualized from this original context may do to the text. Lyon works to replace comparative rhetoric with Steven Mailloux’s term cultural rhetoric, which he defines as “a rhetorical reading sensitive to the sociopolitical contexts of cultural production and reception”. Lyon is careful to note the usefulness of comparative rhetoric, along with cultural and transnational approaches, while drawing attention to what is most important for the “understanding and competent engagement with other cultures is learning the primary and secondary texts of a particular culture” (351). Lyon explains “As we situate our scholarship and its relationship to particular cultures and eras—as we approach global education—the purposes, limits, and outcomes of our writing should be more clearly articulated and connected with its effects” (353). Lyon doesn’t just discuss approaching research, but applies this frame to examining three models of rhetoric: the early Confucian traditions as developed in the Lunyu (􏰃􏰄) or Analects, a set of dialogues and assertions presented in small excerpts, composed or layered between 479 and 249 BCE; the Daodejing (􏰅􏰆􏰇) or Laozi (􏰈􏰉), a layered poetry series found as early as circa 300 BCE; and the argumentative essays of Legalist Han Fei (􏰊􏰋), circa 289–233 BCE (353). [Note: I left the squares intentionally as they should be Chinese characters that my Western language settings on my keyboard do not recognize). Lyon’s goal in looking at these three texts is to demonstrate how understanding one moment in one culture requires a significant investigation of earlier texts and traditions. She argues for scholars to need to know at least one culture beyond their own, to “study and teach a specific culture, recognizing its history, complexity, and diversity more fully” instead of rushing to understand through a transnational lens (through which to see/not see)—Translation between cultures is never easy or total, but it can be “more than the mirror of our minds” (qting Richards 86) (364).

You explains the attention that Analects has gotten over the last several decades, attention that is well deserved to such a text. But You brings our attention to how the text has been read by comparative rhetoricians “both within the ‘‘deficiency’’ model as well as ‘‘in its own terms,’’ thus leading to markedly divergent interpretations of the text. You questions: ” The unsettledness of the various readings makes me wonder, What can we derive about classical Western rhetoric from the complexity of reading the Analects?” (427). The goal of You’s text is to demonstrate through reconstructive reading “what kind of reading of the Analects would evidence an effective move ‘‘from the etic approach to the emic approach’’ (7), or shifting our focus from categorical concepts to materials and conditions native to the text itself” (427). In looking at both the deficiency model and the in its own terms model, You articulates “assuming the verbal suasory framework articulated by the Greeks and Romans is universally applicable to reconstructing non-Western rhetorical traditions has proved unsatisfying in the case of the Analects. On the other hand, the assumption that non-Western rhetorical traditions share different or even opposite ideological values with Western traditions seems to be a faulty impression, lacking sufficient evidence” (430).

I’m left wondering how historical texts might be differently presented so that this matters of concern are more visible/audible/discernable to how we are reading a text. What would be afforded to editions that position side by side many translations/interpretations of a text like Hofstadter’s re-reading of the poem? Or is it something afforded by being digital like Ben Fry’s visualization process “On the Origin of Species: The Preservation of Favoured Traces” in which the changes across six editions of Charles Darwin’s text are made visible/traceable?

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Cicero’s De Oratore

In this first reading of Cicero’s De Oratore, the concept of delivery in rhetoric seems to be locus.

From the texts of Cicero, rhetorical scholars have learned the story of the Greek Demosthenes. When Demosthenes was asked his opinion of what constituted the most important element of rhetoric, he three times repeated one word: “delivery, delivery, delivery” (Duncan, 2006, p. 84). Nothing additional has survived regarding Demosthenes’ thinking on delivery, and his answer remains a mystery in terms of what may have informed his conclusion as to the critical nature of delivery. In De Oratore, Cicero meditated on Demosthenes’ assertion; Cicero noted that he had observed how“many poor speakers have often reaped the rewards of eloquence because of a dignified delivery, and many eloquent men have been considered poor speakers because of awkward delivery” (p.347). Based on Demosthenes’ observation, Cicero theorized that:“If, then, there can be no eloquence without this [delivery], and this without eloquence is so important, certainly its role in oratory is very large” (p. 347). In this work, delivery is clearly of foundational importance to rhetoric. Composing for Recomposition: Rhetorical Velocity and Delivery by Jim Ridolfo and Danielle DeVoss

I am curious about comparing Cicero to Aristotle on how they describe delivery and its impact on rhetoric. I focused in on two sections—”The Requirements of an Orator” and “Conventional Oratorical Training” due to an interest in Cicero’s discussion of delivery both in terms of a natural talent and something resultant from practice.

rhetoric as natural gift

  • natural talent is the chief contributor to the virtue of oratory
  • on the art, not the principles and method that are wanting but inborn capacity
  • intelligence and talent: invention, exposition and embellishment, recollection
  • cannot be bestowed by art but must be granted by nature
  • art can give polish – through instruction one can become better
  • “any blunder that may be committed eclipses even those other things that are praiseworthy”
  • “we have to picture to ourselves in our discourse an orator from whom every blemish has been taken away, and one who moreover is rich in every merit”
  • “the greater an orator’s capacity, the more profoundly nervous he was” due to
    • fate of a speech not in accordance with wish sometimes
    • orators judged harshly; out of sorts interpreted as stupidity (compares to orators receiving harsh judgment than actors)
  • characteristics of orator: demand the subtlety of the logician, the thoughts of the philosopher, a dicition almost poetic, a lawyer’s memory, a tragedian’s voice, and the bearing almost of the consumate actor
  • “For attributes which are commended when acquired one apiece, and that in but modest degree, by other craftsman in their respective vocations, cannot win approval when embodied in an orator, unless in him they are all assembled in perfection”

rhetoric as skill from practice

  • requires enthusiasm and something like the passion of love
  • “Yet assuredly endeavours to reach any goal avail to nothing unless you have learned what it is which leads you to the end at which you aim”
  • described as habitual method
  • described training or rehearsal (embodied performance)
  • duty of an orator is to speak in a style fitted to convince; that every speech has to do with the investigation of a general question (no persons or occasions indicated) or with a problem (concerned with specific individuals and times); inquiry into a deed done, its character, its classification, whether it was done lawfully, whether there is ambiguity or contradiction
  • prescribed commonplaces to deploy in courts
  • all activity and ability of orator falls into five divisions: hit upon what to say; manage discoveries not merely in order but with “discriminating eye for the exact weight as it were of each argument”; adornments of style; keep guarded in memory; deliver with effect and charm
  • five divisions: invention, arrangement, style, memory, delivery
  • must secure goodwill of audience
  • must state case
  • must define dispute
  • must establish allegations
  • must disprove other side
  • “and in our peroration expand and reinforce all that was in our favour, while we weakened and demolished whatever went to support our opponents”
  • “there is a certain practical training that you must undergo…learn beforehand and practise, by a training like that for games, what will have to be done in the fighting-line, so to speak, of the courts”

A Bubblines visualization from Voyant Tools that represents the frequency of indicated words in the text by bubble radius. I read Cicero’s text for: practice, invention, delivery, style, arrangement, memory, style, habit, talent, art, gift, skill, education, training with curiosity in perhaps visualizing how delivery was described (something as natural gift or talent or learned skill) as well as how often the five divisions of rhetoric appear.

Cicero appears to bring anxiety, doubt, and poor performance (means don’t achieve end) into his discussion of delivery, something that seems absent in other historical texts we have read on performing rhetoric. What effect does this have on rhetoric as oration? How does this impact rhetorical training? Does this make space for rhetorics that aren’t hinged on oral/language performance alone?

Aspasia: Re-membering History

In reading about Aspasia this week, I was curious how these works, which work to remember, return, and regender rhetorical history, affect scholarship on the premise of their methods. Without much of an account on method (but some discussion of methodology), I wonder what it means to re-read—not in terms of a valuation of it, but in how it can be done to look at a text/s differently than before. Further, I was curious about how the claims/findings are written and their influence on how we can know (especially if methods are not made visible). Our conversations in class continue to make these paths of interest to explore, not just in historiographic work, but in reading scholarship differently with an attention to how texts are read and presented in research to be read by others.


  • from Plato’s Menexenus: names Aspasia his “excellent mistress in the art of rhetoric”
  • only know of her through Plato, Cicero and Plutarch
  • credited with authorship of Pericles’ famous funeral oration for those killed in the Peloponnesian War, which she could not deliver as a woman and non-Athenian
  • funeral oration (condensed):
  • set out to praise the goodness of the dead men’s birth, their nurture and education, the nobility of their actions, and their worthiness of such education they received
  • praises country as nurturing mother – mother (woman) is an imitation of mother (earth)
  • discusses equality of government based on natural equality in birth giving power to those most deserving
  • what are we to make of this oration from Aspasia “who is only a woman” (Menexenus to Socrates)? what is the rhetoric of its rhetoric?
  • how and in what/who has Aspasia been studied? What are the research methods and materials?

Cheryl Glenn’s “Classical Rhetoric Conceptualized” from her book Rhetoric Retold: Regendering The Tradition from Antiquity Through the Renaissance

  • uses concept of harmonia as a “fitting together” or “perfect fit” as a way of describing how women understood and “accepted their measure of domestic power and acted on their responsibility for creating the conditions under which harmony, order, law, and justice could exist in the state and in the home” — the social responsibilities of men and women are different, but are equal in harmonia in both the public and the private
  • discusses Gorgias, Isocrates, and the development of the polis before discussing Aspasia as a means to establish when and why rhetoric developed socially and politically to uphold moral values (virtue)


  • “brilliantly educated by means that have never been fully explained”
  • brought up in a transitional society of Asia Minor and was thus an outsider to Athens and free of the role brought about by the rigidity of traditional marriage
  • not being an aristocratic Athenian woman, Aspasia could rupture enclosure of the female body in the private/domestic sphere
  • only woman in classical Greece to distinguish herself in the public domain
  • coupled with Pericles through a romantic relationship that is described as more equal in his affections for her, his intellectual exchanges with her, his presence with her in public, and his living with her in the same home and entertaining men and their wives as company
  • established herself as a rhetor of teaching virtue/citizenship  instead of passing it on through childbirth from father/husband to son
  • worked to demonstrate that truth and belief are not inherently the same, which put her in the company of Plato and Socrates
  • Glenn closes with “Few women participated in the intellectual life of ancient Greece. Aspasia has emerged as an exceptional hero in a new rhetorical narrative”; what are the consequences (+/-) of such an assertion?
  • How (methods) is Glenn rereading these textual accounts of Aspasia? How does this in turn cause for a rereading of history?

Susan Jarratt and Rory Ong’s “Aspasia: Rhetoric, Gender, and Colonial Ideology”

set out to explore:

  • did Aspasia exist?
  • can she be known?
  • is that knowledge communicable?

Aspasia left no written remains/artifacts

like Glenn, Jarratt and Ong discuss Aspasia’s not fitting in with roles of women in Athenian society, but they move beyond wive/mother to also include slaves, concubines, prostitutes and hetaerae

credit her as teacher of rhetoric and perhaps inventor of the Socratic method

Jarratt and Ong end:

Aspasia, perhaps the first female orator in the Western tradition, attracted not only the admiration of Pericles and the fascination of Socrates but also the critical attention of  Plato intent on rereading the rhetorical world to which she gave voice. If we cannot recover the lost voice of Aspasia, we can set the echoes of her speech reverberating again for an age with its own concerns about democracy and political participation, production and reproduction, gender and citizenship

While Jarratt and Ong set out to answer three research questions, but claim that their “Reconstruction of ‘Aspasia’ will no more accurately recapture the ‘real’ woman” than do the character in Plutarch and Plato’s texts or artist captures of her figures (the traces of existence), but will rather “reflect back to us a set of contemporary concerns”; what does it mean to use a figure, history, or text in such a way? This seems different than re-gendering or re-membering (a body); what does it mean to re-claim history?

How can we study something/someone when material traces are not readily available? How does this/should this impact method?

Xin Liu Gale’s “Historical Studies and Postmodernism: Rereading Aspasia of Miletus”

  • reads three historical studies of Aspasia done by feminist historians to call attention to the difficulties of doing history and to help develop a sensitivity to the complexities of writing alternative histories and to provoke feminist scholars to seek more productive and convincing ways of reconstructing rhetorical histories of women in the male dominated academy
  • looks at Glenn’s study of Aspais, Jarratt and Ong’s study of Aspasia, and Madeline Henry’s study of Aspasia
    • Glenn: turns to historiography, feminism, gender theory, and postmodernism
    • Jarratt and Ong: utilize sophistic historiography and feminist sophistic
    • Henry: employs a synthetic historical method that combines philological method, a feminist perspective, and postmodern wisdom of situatedness of the text and researcher
  • critique of Glenn:
  • critique of Jarratt and Ong:
  • critique of Henry:
  • Gale discusses the limitations with each historical approach and its bearings on what we can/not claim from the work
  • Gale ends on “one more word on the need for a debate over historical methods”; quoting Foucault, she explains “history is a form of knowledge and a form of power at the same time; put differently, it is a means of controlling and domesticating the past in the form of knowing it”.
  • Gale questions how to do historical work that strays from male perspective and method and expresses desire t seek what is possible in postmodern and antifoundational methods
  • How common are re-readings of historiographical work? What does research/the field gain from these in term sof method/approach?

Cheryl Glenn’s Response to Xin Liu Gale Comment: Truth, Lies, and Method: Revisiting Feminist Historiography

Susan Jarratt’s Response to Xin Liu Gale Comment: Rhetoric and Feminism: Together Again

The Presence of the Rhetorical Body

In our conversations about historiographical work that reimagines rhetoric’s history, I found Debra Hawhee’s article to be a well crafted model of what such work can look like. The subject matter alone diverges from the (re)tellings of history and makes visible/audible perspectives overlooked or unheard—not just because it is a different perspective, but it is an embodiment of rhetoric in figures (physical bodies and semiotic ideas) otherwise excluded. Debra Hawhee’s “Bodily Pedagogies: Rhetoric, Athletics, and the Sophists’ Three Rs” serves as a model that explores ancient rhetoric in a connection not typically discussed in contemporary pedagogy—the masculine and agonistic roots of performing rhetoric in Greek culture. Hawhee traces sophistic activity to the gymnasia and palaestrae (private space for boys to learn wrestling and sporting activities) where rhetorical training and athletic training were bound together—a developing of habit production rooted in movement and rhythm.

Since athletic training and competition were already deeply politicized in Athenian culture (Kyle; Kurke),what better art to link to, strategically and methodologically, than the practices in the gymnasium, the place where the political, ethical body emerges? (145)

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Rhythm produces distinctive movements within a generalized direction; it combines fixity with variability (148). This wrestling treatise illustrates the three Rs of sophistic pedagogy: rhythm, repetition, and response. Hawhee meticulously uncovers the words used to describe attention, engagement, study, intensity, pacing and exertion in discipling the body and dispositions. Practice is not only transformative in developing, learning, but the body is envisioned as mind extension: fitness encompasses both (to counter: an opposing move weak:lacking strength claims).

Estenim actio quasi sermo corporis, by action the body talks (156)

Repetition in sophistic-style rhetorical training is always bound up with responsiveness within particular contexts; rhetoric is an awareness of time and place to continually repeat, transform, and respond. Instead of focusing on material (subject matter), the sophists focused on materiality of learning—the corporeal acquisition of rhetorical movements through rhythm, repetition, and response.

Aside from being struck by Hawhee’s careful illumination down to the word level in seeing differently a historical account of rhetoric, I was captivated by the connection in reading the chapter of Lakoff and Johnson’s Metaphors We Live By on “argument is war” (at least in a western context). Lakoff and Johnson trace through different expressions such as “your claims are indefensible” and “he attacked every weak point in my argument” to not only talk about arguments, but to win and lose arguments—performance in language is associated with physical performance. Although there is no physical battle, there is a verbal battle, and the structure of an argument—attack, defense, counter-attack—demonstrates this. It is in this sense that the “argument is war” structures the actions we perform in arguing. The argument is war metaphor seems very much rooted in this western model of rhythm, repetition, and response in shaping verbal/physical performance (I wonder how far the metaphor can be traced back…). I’m left wondering what other metaphors, histories, figures, have been bodied and disembodied and their implications on our ways of knowing.

Octologs I&III

Class Discussion Questions

Why has rhetorical history been so focused on specific geographical regions, types of texts and theories, and figures?

What place can the traditional rhetorical tradition and canon hold as the field recognizes the problems that have been created by the rigid construction of that tradition and canon?

How can we expand our study of rhetorical history in order to include alternative visions of what rhetoric might be, even as we learn about what has evolved as the rhetorical canon?

Where is the balance between an expansive vision of the field and a potentially problematic dissolution of rhetoric into “discourse,” “language practices,” or “everything”?

What purposes do we have in studying the history of rhetoric?  How can an awareness of those purposes guide our approach to rhetorical history—and how might our encounters with history affect our view of our own teaching and scholarship?

Where do you see connections between Octalog I and Octalog III?  How would you describe the differences between the two? To what extent do these shifts help you understand how the field has changed during the period that spans the two?

Reading Notes

A first reading and sense making through notable notes and quotable quotes of the Octalogs for Ancient Rhetorics.

Octalog I: The Politics of Historiography, CCCC 1988

Rhetoric Review, 7:1, 5-49

James Berlin, Robert Connors, Sharon Crowley, Richard Enos, Victor Vitanza, Susan Jarett, Nan Johnson, Jan Swearingen; Moderator: James Murphy


  • In Aristotelian terms “an historian’s reason for writing his or her account of things will shape the way in which the task is undertaken” (5)
  • differences in why lead to disagreements about ways and means
  • history as public enterprise “The writer of history is a grapher of the polis” (5)

James Berlin: Dialectical Histories of Rhetoric

  • “historians must become aware of the rhetoricity of their own enterprise, rhetoric here being designated the uses of language in the play of power” (6)
  • production of history is a dialectical interaction between the set of conceptions brought to the materials of history and the materials themselves

Robert J. Connors: English Composition as a Social Problem

  • “our discipline has a unique genesis—having been create to solve a social problem and not by the evolution of a body of knowledge—we are forced to make judgments and take sides in everything we write” (6-7)
  • discourse as polemical – either implicit or explicit commentary on what is going on in the teaching of writing and its meaning in “our culture today” (7)

Sharon Crowley: Pedagogical Goals

  • “we write history because we still live in a professional world which is directly shaped by our intellectual and our institutional histories” (7)
  • history is undertaken with pedagogical goals in mind—to guide composition teachers in making pedagogical choices based on acquaintances with those that have been made in the past (7)

Richard Leo Enos: Lurching Toward Mt. Olympus: The Polis and Politics of Historiography in Classical Rhetoric

  • “akin to the notion of polis, a community of scholars exist who regulate, adjudicate and establish standards and methods of analysis…sources of proof tend to be linked to the exegesis of literary texts as the dominant if not sole source for evidence” (8)
  • openness and attention toward new sources of evidence and methodologies for analysis are necessary for a more “sensitive” understanding of the history of rhetoric instead of one rooted in conformity and tradition

Victor J. Vitanza: Politics and Historiography

  • (quoting Hegel) “There is no History of Rhetorik”; there is no consciousness without self-concsiousness. “It follows then: If there is no consciousness without self-consciousness, there can be no Histories/Hysteries of Rhetorics without historiographies/hysteriographies” (8)
  • ?: a resistance to history as meaning, “we are no longer—as you have lied to us with the ‘clarity’ of your metaphors—political ‘amphibians’, but political ‘amphiboles’, that is, many contra/dictary, ka(e)rotic voices in laughter…let’s get out of here! (16)

Susan C. Jarratt: The Politics of Text Selection in History of Rhetoric

  • “the primary historiographical trope at work here is the rediscovery and possession of forgotten treasures. An alternative position would entail the appropriation and redefinition of texts currently ‘held’ by other disciplines, which despite their names, concern rhetorical issues” (9)
  • rhetoric is a meta-discipline for dialogue across disciplines among historians, critics and theorists

Nan Johnson: My Ideological Stance

  • “I proceed on the assumption that historical research and writing are archeological and rhetorical activities” (9)
  • as a historian, research is responsible to claims of historical evidence and proclamations of enterprise in attempting to tell “true stories”

Jan Swearingen: The Institutionalization of Rhetoric and The Inscription of Gender

  • “why were women included in Plato’s Academy but barred from Aristotle’s Lyceum?” (10)
  • questioning of the agnostic patterns in rhetorical argument and dialectical exchange as an inscription of gender and the implication on literacy on rhetoric and rhetoric on literacy

James Murphy: Response

  • “these people are interested in bringing whatever has already been done by other people into the presence of us, to see whether we’re doing new things, old things, bad things, good things” (11)

Octalog III: The Politics of Historiography, CCCC 2010

Rhetoric Review, 30:2, 109-134

Vicki Tolar Burton, Jay Dolmage, Jessica Enoch, Ronald L. Jackson II, LuMing Mao, Malea Powell, Arthur Walzer, Ralph Cintron; Responder: Victor Vitanza; Intro: Lois, Zosha, and Laurie Gries


  • builds on earlier conversations of I
  • “still negotiating what constitutes the history of rhetoric, how to study it, and rhetoric’s role in forming and promoting the common good”
  • furthers work on rhetorical history in relation to bodies, space, and rhetorics of the other

Vicki Tolar Burton: Ethos in the Archives

  • “We enact good will by observing the etiquette of the host archive. We enact a deeper ethos of knowledge and character by a willingness to dwell within the documents, to practice slow reading as we lift the rhetors from their musty folders, seeking clues to their rhetorical situations and literacy practices” (112)
  • through what lenses are texts and practices encountered examined?

Jay Dolmage: The Circulation of Discourse through the Body

  • “Rhetoric is always embodied” (114); “a differently embodied historiography does not just find new stories; it is a new way to circulate these stories in order to generate a new ontology, a new epistemology, a new rhetoric” (114)
  • the body has traditionally been a rhetorical instrument and a rhetorical experiment; the corpus of history has most often been shaped to look like an “ideal body”; to care about the body is to care about how meaning is made

Jessica Enoch: Finding New Spaces for Feminist Research

  • “spatial rhetorics: the discursive and material means used to engender spaces with value”…”the ultimate goal is to investigate how the composition of space creates, maintains, or renovates gendered differences and understandings” (116)
  • historicizing the rhetorical processes that engender spaces provides insight to ways in which appropriation and empowerment have occurred

Ronald L. Jackson II: When Will We All Matter: A Frank Discussion of Progressive Pedagogy

  • “I am most concerned with discussing the nature, function, and usefulness of rhetorical studies” (117); “We must also remember that identity and difference are predicated on subjectivity, and it is our responsibility to critically interrogate how we consume messages that affect our consumption of difference” (118)
  • the principal question each year must be: what counts as rhetorical scholarship? power has influenced epistemological singularity that recognizes a mainstream rhetoric that is constructed only in partiality and exclusion

LuMing Mao: The Rhetoric of Responsibility: Practicing the Art of Recontextualization

  • the art of recontextualization: “a critical reevaluation of both the self and the other, interrogating who we are and where we have been and unpacking how local political, economic, and sociocultural exigencies help determine particular contexts and individual performances” (119)
  • a productive troubling of modes of thinking that seeks to privilege experiences over facts and relationships of interdependence over sameness/difference

Malea Powell: This is a Story about a Belief…

  • “Our discipline’s inclination to fetishsize the text above the body, combined with a narrowness of vision that insists on connecting every rhetorical practice on the planet to Big Daddy A and the one true Greco-Roman way does not exactly build a sustainable platform for the continued vibrance of our disciplinary community” (121)
  • a call to move conversations and practices toward “things”—a wider understanding of how all things are made rhetorical, and of how cultures made and are made by the rhetoricity of things

Arthur E. Walzer: Rhetoric as a History of Education and Acculturation

  • “The traditional rhetorical tradition was modeled after philosophy and literature: from philosophy, a narrative of great men, great ideas; from literature, critical reading of ‘great speeches that transcend their age'”…”I propose that we conceptualize the tradition in a different way…how instruction in rhetoric has created historically appropriate subjectivities” (124)
  • an inquiry into the revitalization of the traditional tradition, paideia of Ancient Greece—the education of ideal polis members, without the evangelism and elitism, but in the spirit of Pierre Bourdieu

Ralph Cintron: Neoliberalism, Higher Education, and the Rhetorical/Material Relation

  • “a call here for rhetoric to move out of any disciplinary location” (127); “The progressive left, including the panelists and me as well, have simply followed the logic of incitement rooted in the democratic rhetorics, which have historically enabled the disadvantaged to advance their material conditions in the face of otherwise hierarchical and sedimented power relations. But I am impatient with this work when its focus is limited to rhetorical dimensions of identity formation and does not include material analyses of political economy” (127)
  • the field is too much about words; uses Kenneth Burke’s poetics in which the whole of daily life—thoughts, actions, objects—become enactments of the rhetorical in order to unearth the conceptual grounds and material conditions upon which the discipline’s beliefs and actions rest

Victor Vitanza: Response (128-129)

  • “reclaim your ethea, that is, your wildness”: address the other that is indefinite, especially in logoi
  • “follow what wants, desires, to be said”: be wilder and bewilder
  • “beware of chrono-logic”: obstain from rooting in a past coming from the future