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Rhetoric’s Critical Genealogies

Jim Jasinski, Vanessa Beasley, Chuck Morris and Kirt Wilson

Rhetoric’s Critical Genealogies 

Jim Jasinski, University of Puget Sound
Vanessa Beasley, Vanderbilt University
Chuck Morris, Boston College
Kirt Wilson, Pennsylvania State University 

A number of signal events have punctuated the history of the rhetorical criticism sub-discipline. As Charles E. Morris III suggests in his 2010 contribution to the fifth special issue, the first four special issues published by the Western Journal of Communication (and its predecessors in 1957, 1980, 1990, and 2001) rank high among those events and, therefore, can serve as worthy objects of critical self-reflection. This seminar will continue and expand on the type of critical genealogy Morris developed in his 2010 essay. Seminar participants will examine the four special issues in order to (a) understand and appreciate how the essays in these special issues continue to animate our sub-discipline, (b) recover perspectives and positions that the various special issues subordinated, and (c) discover ways that these special issues might stimulate critical practice in the decade ahead. Participants will leave the seminar with a better understanding of the intellectual and disciplinary history of rhetorical criticism as well as an expanded critical vocabulary of their own, enabling them to articulate (and perhaps challenge) assumptions about critical practice.

Questions? Contact Jim Jasinski, jjasinski@ups.edu

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