Rhetorical Analysis & Comp

Mad. But constructively.

I am upset right now, intellectually. This usually signals a marked increase in productivity – anger fuels ideas – but in this case, I don’t think this particular anger is going to lead to a productive publication. Instead, I’m going to do something different, inspired by the critical responses I have my graduate students do

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Try Again

So I was reading this piece in the NYT: “We Aren’t Built to Live in the Moment.” I have some problems with its theory of mind: Your brain engages in the same sort of prospection to provide its own instant answers, which come in the form of emotions. The main purpose of emotions is to

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Randomness and Teaching

Well, Trump won, and I suppose I will comment on that at length at some point. But I want to discuss something else. I was thinking this morning about the randomness inherent in making decisions. Think of a path that forks left or right with no clues as to what follows  – what makes you

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The impossible task

One of the more interesting things that I noticed when I first started studying rhetorical theory is that some rhetorical situations are impossible tasks. Everyone, I think, at one time or another, has encountered an audience that cannot,  or, rather, would not, be moved. The distinction between ‘cannot’ and ‘would not’ is important; if an

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Ferguson speech

The prosecutor in the Ferguson case, Robert McCulloch, gave a very interesting speech last night while announcing the grand jury’s decision. I am particularly interested in it because of the extensive use of moderating language, given that I have published a piece recently on moderation. Over and over again, McCulloch stressed that the grand jury

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Cogency

Our article (Adam Ellwanger and I) “The Rhetoric of Moderation in Deliberative Discourse: Barack Obama’s December 1, 2009 Speech at West Point,” is online in the journal Cogency. I really thought our collaboration worked well in this article, and that it says several valuable things about how political discourse is formulated.

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Review of The Centrality of Style

There is a new review out of my co-edited (with Star Vanguri) book, The Centrality of Style, in the journal Pedagogy. It is very flattering about the contents and the authors. It is written by Gretchen Dietz. I can’t link directly to it as it requires a subscription, but I can link to the journal,

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New publication

Well, the title here is misleading. I have a new article forthcoming on moderation (see the About page) but I co-wrote it four years ago. It has been quite the journey to get it published. For a long time I considered it an example of how peer review occasionally doesn’t work, because I and my

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Happy holidays

It’s a pretty lazy holidays for me so far. I’m sitting here with the dogs at my feet, doing some ancillary reading for a spring project. Tomorrow we go see my mother and stepfather and grandmother, which is good. Some other good news recently – another accepted article, this time at Rhetorica (see the About

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Stasis theory part 2

In a previous post I noticed that certain sources have a different version of ancient stasis theory than the one I knew to be accurate to Hermagoras. I initially thought Crowley and Hawhee’s Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students was the source of this difference – namely, the introduction of a fourth stasis, policy, that replaces

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