History of Rhetoric II - ENG 6213 - Fall 2008


Christine de Pizan, The Book of the City of Ladies
Penguin Books, 1999
ISBN: 9780140446890

Carlo Ginzburg.,The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller
Johns Hopkins UP, 1992
ISBN: 9780801843877

Wayne Rebhorn, ed.,Renaissance Debates on Rhetoric
Cornell UP, 2000
ISBN: 0801482062

James L. Golden, Rhetoric of Blair, Campbell, and Whately
Southern Illinois UP, 1995
ISBN: 9780809316021

Victor Klemperer, The Language of the Third Reich
Continuum Press, 2006
ISBN: 9780826491305


Bruce Krajewski
CFO 906

A historical survey of rhetoric from the Middle Ages to Thank You for Smoking. We will cover, among other figures, Locke, Vico, Bacon, Petrarch, George of Trebizond, Erasmus, Melanchthon, Peter Ramus, Francis Bacon, Blair, Campbell, Whately, Nietzsche, Emerson, Emma Goldman, Jacques Derrida, Wayne Booth, and Angela Davis. We will conclude with Marc Bousquet's "Composition as Management Science," an article that will challenge some popular (in North America) views about "rhet/comp."  Among other things, the course should provide students with an understanding of how people from what is called the Renaissance were able to achieve a return to classical texts.  Textual transmission plays a key role, as do the changing technologies that impact human communication, such as the YouTube video below.  The quotation from Friedrich Kittler on the right also connects up with overlapping concerns in the study of rhetoric and technology.

"The term discourse network can designate the network of technologies and institutions that allow a given culture to select, store, and process relevant data.  Technologies like that of book printing and the institutions coupled to it, such as literature and the university, thus constitute a historically very powerful formation.... Hermeneutics did not deal with the literal materiality of the letter, but with works and traditions, because only these were said to be historical and capable of producing history. Contemporary sociology of literature takes the opposite approach and reads texts as reflections of relations of production, whose paradigm is energy or labor rather than information."
 -- Friedrich Kittler in Discourse Networks 1800/1900, pp. 369-70.

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2008. Last updated 25 July.