“Rhetoric can be retold and regendered only if gender relations are deemed influential upon social and intellectual events and change” (18). Cheryl Glenn from Rhetoric Retold While I’ve read this passage a number of times through the years, I’ve never dwelt on it. I guess in some ways, it’s because I automatically buy the premise.… Read More Retelling Rhetoric
During the most recent debate, a friend texted me: “This is gutter level. Really gross.” I responded, “This is what happens when we base politics on feelings and not logic.” While my text was an in the moment gut reaction, I can’t help but this there’s something to it. The debate often degraded to emotional… Read More Pathos and American Politics
To anyone who studies rhetoric, the power of silence and silencing is not a new subject. Cheryl Glen has published extensively on the subject, and her book Unspoken: A Rhetoric of Silence provides a comprehensive approach. Nevertheless, I’ve been thinking about silence as power a lot lately. This comes from a few events, most notably the… Read More Silence and Power
Last semester, my students had a really cool conversation about whether tattoos are a medium and/or rhetorical.As I teach a new semester of digital rhetoric, I’m contemplating the nature of media and new media. Of course, I always return to Marshall McLuhan’s “The Medium is the Message.” If we accept McLuhan’s premise that how a message is… Read More Skin as Medium
The first time I encountered Peter Elbow’s theory, I scoffed. I thought that he was too “touchy feely” and focused on making students feel better about their writing. I totally dismissed his notion of writing without an audience in mind. I believed that audience awareness was essential to good writing. In fact, Elbow doesn’t disagree. In… Read More Writing without an Audience
This semester I have the privilege of teaching rhetorical theory. It’s so exciting to awaken students to the ways in which rhetoric shapes our reality. I sometimes forget how much I take for granted with trying to explain the relationship between truth, knowledge, and rhetoric. In addition to teaching that class, I am doing two… Read More Rhetoric and the Law
As we near mid-terms and the piles of essays begin to litter my desk, I sometimes wonder about the purpose of teaching writing. What do students learn in a first-year composition class? Do the skills they practice serve them for the rest of their college careers and lives? Does knowing the difference between a fragment,… Read More What’s the Point?
Today, we worked toward a definition of “digital rhetoric.” I think we discovered that it’s actually pretty complex. Just trying to define authorship became messy. Is someone an author only if they are famous? How much can an author borrow and still be an author? What makes something original? A few times, we tossed the work media… Read More What is Digital Rhetoric?