Friday, August 29, 2008

31.0 On Constable

Yesterday, Kate and I had dinner with John Constable, one of the most significant intellectual influences in my career, and his wife Chieko, who is to Kate as a left glove is to a right. We dined at the Athenaeum club in London, a club that counts poets like Yeats and Eliot in its membership, as well as businessmen, scientists and more.

The dinner was excellent: Kate tried grouse for the first time, while I had potted shrimp for the first time (as a prelude to my tuna). After dinner, strawberries and cream for me. John and Chieko are on diets that preclude many of the good things in life, but they were able to take the strawberries.

Most importantly, after dinner, a discussion with John not just about my research topic but on the nature of intellectual work. The Athenaeum is a hub of intellectual life outside the university -- and John is well suited to its environment.

John is a real intellectual. I mean this because his mind has a limitless energy and a limitless capacity to grapple with new intellectual problems.

He has a real appreciation for intellectual history (manifest in his work on Richards; see the ten volume set, one of which is here: http://www.amazon.com/Practical-Criticism-I-1919-1938-Criticisms/dp/0415217350).

He nonetheless has a powerful theoretical drive to answer contemporary critical problems (see the work on poetics here http://en.scientificcommons.org/268459).

And he has been a significant force in politics in the UK in the last five years (see his work as Director of Policy and Research for the Renewable Energy Foundation at http://www.ref.org.uk/).

Some people become academics because we have a moderate talent to teach and willingness to work to keep those teaching jobs (me), others because they have a powerful intellectual, academic vision (like my friends Josh).

John is an intellectual on an even higher order, because he has the ability to see through the complexities and obfuscations that mask the answer to a problem. Seeing the path to the answer, he then has the discipline to approach the problem systematically to find its answer. This is just as true in thinking through Richards' intellectual heritage as it in thinking through the distinction between verse and poetry as it is in thinking through correct energy policy.

John found it funny that I wanted to read his policy work. But I do, for the same reason that I have books filled with Walter Benjamin's scribbling on the back of notebooks and Albert Camus' notebooks while en route to America and Kenneth Burke's incomplete manuscripts. Because when the mind is of a certain caliber, you follow it, wherever it may go.

If you are reading this blog, you should probably follow it. too.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

29.0 Hillary

I woke at 3am last night to watch the Hillary Clinton speech back home. It was broadcast here on cable, in my hotel room.

I lack the chops in public address criticism to talk much about it, but there is a dialogue of sorts on her sincerity going on here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/08/27/earlyshow/main4387019.shtml
Did Hillary Mean It?
Expert Says Her Body Language May Have Belied Strong Support She Voiced For Obama

and here:

http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=541
Does CBS News mean it? at Language Log Blog

The gist: the media have a Hillary narrative already, and very little she can do will force them to revise that narrative.

David
5.2

More on Food:

Pizza here is thin on tomato.

"All you can eat" will usually mean more veggies than I can stand, at a buffet.

Samoas are growing to be Kate's fave.

It's been nearly a month since I've had a microlitre of high fructose corn syrup. I am going to try to avoid it when we return. Things taste better with sugar.

Plus, I think my pancreas likes it better.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Safely arrived in London.

Sleep, then back to work. Much to do.

...

Apologies for lack of content in last day; will be back on my game tonight. I am hoping to find a copy of GE Moore's Commonplace Book, because Moore is important to my book and because commonplace books have an important role in the history of rhetoric and composition. More soon.
30.0 This test was eerily accurate to my self image, if not my reality. Lost in Translation -- sigh.

My result for The Director Who Films Your Life Test...

Sofia Coppola

Your film will be 64% romantic, 22% comedy, 36% complex plot, and a $ 34 million budget.


With few films under her belt (The Virgin Suicides, Lost In Translation, Marie Antoinette) as a writer/director, she's already highly respected and connected. Sofia's good at making the romantic drama that is your life with poignant sullen moments of introspection. And who didn't have at least a lump in the throat at the end of Lost In Translation? She's already won one Academy Award for her writing, now she'll be the first woman to receive one for directing -- YOUR FILM!

Take The Director Who Films Your Life Test at HelloQuizzy

Sunday, August 24, 2008

...interlude...

Packing for London...

...db
28.1 CFP IEEE TPC

Also from the awesome Dr. Mackiewicz:

Call for Book Reviews
for IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication

The IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication seeks reviews of books related to professional, technical, and scientific communication. The books can be textbooks, “how-to” manuals, scholarly works by single authors, or edited collections. In addition, reviews of other media, such as CDs and online tutorials are welcome too.

Please follow these guidelines when submitting your book review:
1. The heading of your review should contain the items
below, in the order listed. Use 12-point Times New Roman
font for these items:
• Name of book author(s)
• Book title (and subtitle, if applicable) in italics.
• “Book Review” heading
• “Reviewed by” heading
• Your name and IEEE membership status, if you are a
member. (You don’t have to be.)
• “Book Publisher” heading
• Place of publication, publisher, and date
• Number of pages in the book and whether there is an
index
• Index terms: list at least three keywords that are relevant
to the book

2. Submit your review as an attached Word or .rtf document
by email to Joyce Rothschild at rothsjm@auburn.edu.

3. Submit a signed copyright form by fax, attention Jo
Mackiewicz, at +1 334-844-9027. Even better, sign the
copyright form, scan it, and email it as a PDF document or
as an image embedded in a Word document to
mackiewicz@ieee.org.

4. Length: A review of a single book generally runs 1000–
2000 words.

5. Book review content:
• Explicitly state the audience for the book—the one the
author intends as well as any other audiences you think
the book might interest or help. Remember that IEEE-TPC
readers comprise an international, interdisciplinary group
of readers, including both academic and industry readers
in a variety of institutions and organizations.
• State the purpose of the book. Most books reviewed in
IEEE-TPC address theoretical, applied, or pedagogical
issues related to professional or technical communication.
• State explicitly the extent to which the book achieves its
purpose. Make your final assessment clear at the
beginning of your review.
• If the book is one that falls outside the field of professional
communication, explain how its content will interest IEEETPC
readers.
• (if applicable) Note any ways that the book fails to
achieve its purpose and/or fails to contribute to the field
of professional communication.
• The list of books that are available for review is online at the journal’s website, as is an example book review:
http://ewh.ieee.org/soc/pcs/?q=node/92

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the book review editor, Joyce Rothschild, at rothsjm@auburn.edu or the associate book review editor, Nicole Madison, at nstgermainemadis@angelo.edu.
28.0 CFP: IEEE TPC

I just got this from Jo Mackiewicz, the awesome editor of IEEE TPC. For STC types.

Call for Papers: Tutorials & Teaching Cases
for IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication

The IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication seeks tutorials and teaching cases (i.e., lessons based on industry cases, such as the Enron
bankruptcy, and pedagogical cases) for upcoming issues.
Tutorials

For tutorials, authors present a pedagogical or training approach for
professional communication strategies, tools, or practices. Authors
should
• Describe the approach, making clear 1) the context within
which the approach is used and 2) the materials and methods
used in the approach.
• Justify reporting the approach, stating 1) the practical
problem that the approach addresses and 2) the approach’s
connection to previous research on pedagogy or to industry
practices.
• Assess the outcomes of the approach, providing evidence for
the effectiveness of the approach.
• Clearly explain the implications for professional
communication practitioners and/or educators.

Samples of both tutorials and teaching cases appear on the journal’s
website: http://ewh.ieee.org/soc/pcs/?q=node/53

Teaching Cases
For teaching cases, authors present an original case for use in either
the classroom or industry. Authors should
• Describe the case (tell the story), making clear 1) who, what,
where, when, is involved in the case and 2) which supporting
documents (memos, press releases, etc.) are needed to
understand the case.
• Justify reporting the case, stating 1) the practical problem
that the case addresses and 2) the case’s connection to
previous research on pedagogy or to industry practices.
• Outline instructional guidance, describing 1) the learning
outcomes that are appropriate for the case, 2) the methods
that can be used to assess those outcomes, 3) prompts that
can help students/trainees analyze the case, and 4) questions
that can guide student/trainee discussion.
• Clearly explain the implications for professional
communication practitioners and/or educators.

Please email academic‐based papers to Julia M. Williams at williams@rose‐hulman.edu

Saturday, August 23, 2008

27.0 Counting my Blessings

Today, while sitting in St. Botolph's church in Cambridge, I began to enumerate my blessings.

1. A razor-sharp, intelligent, beautiful woman loves me.
1a. She also tolerates my habits (comic collections, action figures, etc.)
1b. She shares a few of those habits. (She should watch Dr. Who, though.)

2. My mother is responding to chemotherapy.
2a. After repeated prayers to St. Jude, her cancer was finally diagnosed as only in stage two. Not out of the woods yet, but survivable.

3. I have a job that I love.
3a. It's not a job in a deathly oppressive environment (see UWRF).
3b. My colleagues are at minimal encouraging, friendly and often downright supportive.
3c. My institution supports my work.
3d. I was able to spend this month in England working, recharging and researching on the University dime.
3e. The job allows me the flexibility, in terms of time, to prioritize marriage, friends and family while still succeeding.
3f. It's what I've wanted to do since I was 13 -- teach!

4. I have an immense collection of objects that reflect my interests.
4a. While I don't want to be materialist, I have both an intellectual's library and a comic fan's dream, all in my little apartment.

5. I get to travel.
5a. This includes big trips like this one, to England; small trips to conferences, and quick trips to see family and friends.

6. Luck, blessings, and education have made this all possible, in ways that my economic status by birth would never have been possible.
6a. My grandfather would not even call what I do "work."
6b. My grandfathers, grandmothers and mother sacrificed to make the education possible.
6c. That, a little elbow grease, and a lot of luck worked together to give Kate and me a great life.

7. It should have been up above, but I forgot it until now: I also have a network of personal, professional, and casual friends who totally support me, who share my interests, and who spark my imagination.


David

Friday, August 22, 2008

26.0 Catching up

Tonight, the last of summer grading and some more thinking.

I could make a career out of this. Imagine:

1. Book one, Richards, Cambridge and the New Rhetoric
2. Book two, Toulmin , Cambridge and the New Rhetoric (with William Keith)
3. Book three, Rhetoric at Cambridge: from the medieval trivium to the common-place book to Cornford and the start of the 20th century

Then, when I am really famous, compile the three into a set: The Cambridge History of Rhetoric?
25.0 Another GOOD rejection

August is the month that editors catch up. (I did it when I edited IJL, so it makes sense.) I have some revisions on my plate, and I have this rejection, which I post because it is very good. It's from a small cultural studies journal (primarily affiliated with Rhetoric and Composition). And it is a thorough engagement with my submission, lucidly identifying my expository problems while simultaneously making clear the things that the editorial board was looking for that I wasn't interested in addressing.

It's fascinating, and I would heartily submit to this journal again and will recommend it to others.

The piece was about Norman Finkelstein, the person who was denied tenure at DePaul, then reinstated. It claims that the most interesting thing about his case was not the intrusion of Alan Dershowitz, who wrote the Chancellor to argue against his tenure. Instead, it is Finkelstein's rhetoric, as he confuses the role of academic with parrhesia, "speaking of truth to power." Further, it argues that if Finkelstein's activities in "parrhesia" are protected by academic freedom, then he is failing to meet Foucault's criteria for parrhesia and, more importantly, he is putting his students and junior colleagues at risk, as well.

In short: if the inflammatory books are protected by academic freedom, then what risk has he taken in writing them? None. And what risk do his students take, in following him? A lot more. And that asymmetricality of risk is vital to understanding the case.

(It's clear from this reply that I didn't make this clear enough, and that's important, too. The editor thought that I was diminishing the academic work, when in fact, I think that the shield of academic freedom diminished the public work.)

This is the excellent response:

Dear Professor Beard,

I apologize for the delay in correspondence. Thank you once again for
allowing us to read your submission to the Works and Days Academic Freedom
and Intellectual Activism in the Post-9/11 University volume. After careful
review, our editorial board has decided reluctantly to decline your essay.

The divisions you were attempting to cultivate in Finkelstein's -between his
roles as academic and public intellectual-were somewhat unclear. In your
attempt to outline the thesis "Finkelstein must instead learn to ethically
and responsibly negotiate a third voice in his writing, one that addresses a
complex ethical relationship to his reading, listening, and learning
audiences," you, on the one hand, acknowledge his meeting the parrhesiastes
criteria, while on the other hand suggest that the role of advocacy in
scholarship (as you claim Finkelstein's later work moves toward) somehow
diminishes its academic function.

Beyond the Finkelstein case, several academics whose work has moved outside
the academy into the public discourse come to mind: Cornel West; Noam
Chomsky; Stanley Aronowitz; Edward Said (whom you mention); Michel Foucault
(whom you mention); among many others. Some of the persons in the
aforementioned list have faced various controversies with respect to their
negotiation of academic intellectual activism and public intellectualism,
and yet their tenures were never revoked or seriously compromised in any way
(in fact, Chomsky, in particular, shares a similar adversarial role as
Finkelstein when it comes to Alan Dershowitz and Edward Said faced similar
scrutiny with respect to his Pro-Palestinian positions).

Some of the larger questions we were hoping you would address include the
ways in which the post-9/11 political conservatism has impacted cases such
as Finkelstein's (as well as other Middle East Studies scholars Joseph
Massad, Nadia Abu El-Hajj, (and religious studies/philosophy adjunct,
Douglas Giles, etc.). The Israel-Palestine debate itself functions as both
academic and public discourse, so the larger topical investigations (of
which the Finklestein case is a part), continue to circulate around the
permissibility to have such discussions (and the ways that contrarian
positions to U.S.-Israel policies are thus persecuted). The political
realities and their effects on academic freedom are a significant matter
related to the topic you chose to investigate, which you do not expand upon
in your essay.

Additionally, various transitional elements seemed to move fleetingly and at
times seemed abrupt without your expanding their premises (particularly in
the early portions of the essay when you shift from Finkelstein's "academic"
work to those texts you deem as transcending beyond academic criteria (e.g.
Beyond Chutzpah). When introducing the latter book, it might have served the
context of the essay better to include more of the background information on
the engagement with Dershowitz, not as a "public intellectual," but as a
"scholar" (see debates posted on Finkelstein's site with links to Democracy
Now 2003, and others). At the heart of the Finkelstein debate has been the
charge(s) from Dershowitz of ad hominem attacks, while Finkelstein regarded
his investigations not of a personal, but an academic and "forensic" nature.
Thus, the argument probably should have not been framed around the need for
a third-voice in Finkelstein's work or the notions of speaking "truth to
power," so much as the ways in which his academic freedom was subverted by
the political structures of power reflecting within the academy.

Further, in many respects, Alan Dershowitz remains on the opposite side of
the Finkelstein debate, also walking the line similarly between academic and
public intellectual. Where and how does the third-voicedness you require of
Finkelstein apply to those who find themselves aligned with dominant power
structures? Should you choose to develop the essay at a later date, it might
be interesting to include some comments about how the critical spaces that
exist between the academic and public spheres are shaped.

We certainly hope you understand once again how much we appreciate your time
and your effort and regret having to share this news with you. Please accept
our best wishes for your future publishing success.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

24.0 The Trifecta!

Today was a perfect day.

1. Research: Three things discovered
1a. I knew that Richards despised Wittgenstein (saying that he resembled the devil, physically, and that his rejection of the Tractatus was foolish; I also think he resented his treatment of Moore, but that is personal conjecture on my part). I had, until today, no evidence that Wittgenstein knew that Richards existed. Ray Monk's biography, though, makes clear that Wittgenstein read and hated The Meaning of Meaning, as related to Russell in a personal letter.
1b. I found a nice secondary source calling Russell and Wittgenstein anti-psychologistic, a nice foil for Richards and Ogden as entirely swallowed by their concern with psychology.
1c. Richards heavily annotated Max Eastman's Literary Mind. It's fascinating to read these notes in light of Richards post-1935 turn away from literary criticism. And complex, too -- what do you do with an annotation that simply says "ha!"?

2. Shopping and Eating: Kate and I have been snacking liberally as we take our evening, post-research walk. Today, we had our typical sandwiches (Kate had taragon chicken; I had chicken salad) and an apple-rhubarb pasty. Loved it. Then, we found the Mill Road shopping district. Loads of fun.

3. My anniversary gift to Kate has been clothes in Cambridge and next week in London. She is looking sharp, and it's fun to walk with someone who turns other people's heads.

David

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

22.0 More archival finds

The first book I. A. Richards ever published was a three-author take on Foundations of Aesthetics. While significant in his career and (I think) significant in its attempt to place literary and plastic arts within a single aesthetic theory, it has nonetheless been neglected.

But now, we have copies of IAR's original paintings, done while convalescing just prior to the start of Foundations. It shows a mind trying to work through the act of painting, just before starting his research into aesthetics.

I am requesting hi-res digital images of three. If I can interest a journal, I will. If not, I will make t-shirts.

David
5.1 English Food, Continued

It's been a while since I blogged about food. Here are the things that Kate and I have loved about England.

1. Nando's "peri-peri" chicken, a counter-service style restaurant with excellent whole chicken on a platter for two. We adored the food and loved the do-it yourself style of service.

2. Pizza Hut Buffet. What's that, you say? We have that in the US? Yes, but only here could others be heard to audibly comment on the American eating with his hands. Apparently, pizza is fork & knife food in the UK.

3. Magnums. Kate loves these ice cream treats.

4. The County Inn, Cambridge, an old fashioned British pub serving Chinese food. Cheap, yet wonderful. Also: a great environment to watch the Olympics in. The barkeep was engrossed, and we were, too.

5. The Ugly Duckling, Cambridge, truly great Chinese, but priced to match.

6. Cider, served in a plastic two-litre bottle, but alcoholic. David is sleeping more soundly.

7. Cafe Nero serves excellent, healthy frappucinos. Costa Coffee serves some nifty frapps, too; David loved the Banoffee, while Kate somewhat enjoyed the Citrus cooler.

8. Sandwiches and pasties are tastier if ordered as takeout; they come cheaper that way.

9. Coffee on a boat is twice as sweet; that's out decision about coffee on the canals in Birmingham. The "Flake" that came with the hot cocoa, though, we could have loved without.

Finally, some food warnings:

1. Milkshakes are NOT the ice cream delights that we have in the US. They are really more like flavored, shaken milk.

2. Pizza at Caffe Uno is too burnt by the brick oven to be tasty. British pizza, overall, lacks cheese.

But we are loving this!

David

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

16.3 The Correct Way to Reject

This was from Lyn Worsham, editor of JAC, and demonstrates the brief and elegant way to toss (in this case, a query on a specific book review) overboard:

"Thanks for your inquiry .... Unfortunately, we will not be able to use it. Why not query College Literature or College English. Both of these journals seem ideally suited for a review of this particular book?"

Simple, elegant, brief. Yet kind, in its own way.

I am rejected and heartened at the same time.

--Back to the book I am writing, instead of the one I am trying to review.


23.0 The New Seventy

I found this post because I am an immense childhood fan of the Batman. I link to this photo because I am awed by the complexity of the image it creates.

It's not just the sexual objectification of the seventy-year-old star of my eight-year old fantasies. It's that objectification in a peculiarly office setting.

Odd. db

Monday, August 18, 2008

16.2 could something positive come from the professional sucker punch?

I just received an email from the editor of the journal whose book review editor so brusquely dismissed me. (And again, I never questioned the dismissal -- just the brusqueness.)

The book review editor is a junior faculty member at tier-two or tier-three doctoral-granting school (I am getting squishy on my Carnegie rankings) with several co-edited collections under his belt (some scholarly, some textbook).

Probably, there was some effort to "prove" himself in his tone with me.

(You can, I think, co-author and co-edit with giants in the field and become flush from the experience. You can also, as I have, do exactly the same and become very conscious of your fragility and weakness.)

. . .

The editor has been immensely gracious (in part, I think, because of the kind intervention of a friend). She needn't have been, though; I admire her, her journal, and her work. Some of this graciousness comes from a desire to defend the junior person, I think.

I am torn; this is clearly mucking about to greater complexity that it deserves. On the other hand, the editor has offered to talk with me on the phone when I return from Cambridge. She made the incredibly gracious effort of attempting to locate my home phone number, and, knowing that I am abroad, offered to call me here [impossible, as I have no phone] or even two weeks from now when I return.

I am just enough a shallow fanboy (as much a comic fanboy as a rhetoric fanboy) to be enthusiastic about any opportunity to speak with her, and to ask her questions about her work. But these are not the circumstances, are they? Or can I remold them in that way?

David

Sunday, August 17, 2008


21.2 Oh -- and Romance!


21.1 Back from Birmingham

Amazing party and afternoon.

db

Saturday, August 16, 2008

21.0 On our way to Birmingham this evening

Our friend and colleague, William Henderson, is having a party in Birmingham this evening. We will attend. We will be going to Dublin Sunday night, I think. (Still thinking through the logistics on that one.)

Anyway.

David

Friday, August 15, 2008

19.0 CD Singles

It seems that the CD single is still alive and well in the UK -- a good thing, too, because I used to buy UK singles in great quantities, when younger, at "import" prices.

Glad that they are here, cheap, and plentiful. My Fatboy Slim collection is growing.
18.0 Book Outline!

Josh gets a lot of good feedback on his writing at the JoshieJuice blog, so I present to you the product of the last two days. It mostly represents how I have reorganized hunks of text (five pages on this, ten pages on that) into what I think will be the coherent narrative of my book. With one glaring exception: see the chapter on definition, which needs a lot of work, and the conclusion, which makes the McLuhan connection I am still thinking through.

It feels good to be outlining what I have written, rather than outlining what I hope to write, if you know what I mean.

Would YOU read this book? Where is it gone astray?

. . .

Title: The Anglo-American Roots of the New Rhetoric (Subtitle: All of it through I. A. Richards, really)

Novel Claim:

The New Rhetoric is not a sloppy term referring to multiple figures in the history of rhetoric whose connections are only their status as contemporaries. (See: Fogarty, Enos, etc.)

The Anglo-American New Rhetoric is a tightly connected Anglo-American intellectual movement bound together through the common figure of I. A. Richards and the common intellectual home of Cambridge. (Really. Even Burke and Weaver.)

The Anglo-American New Rhetoric is “new” precisely because it builds its foundations in the contemporary philosophy, psychology and social theory of the time, before turning to the rhetorical tradition. The frame of the New Rhetoric was set before the classical tradition was discovered and integrated, and the classical tradition is refigured (and subordinated) in light of that frame.

Section One:
The Historical Grounds of the New Rhetoric

Chapter One:


The Cambridge Context for the Study of Language (1920s):
The centralization of “faculties” across colleges at Cambridge creates a climate for the intellectual dominance of a few scholars. The intellectual dominance of Moore, Russell, and early Wittgenstein in the study of language results. In them: study of language as primarily the problem of “denotation” and reference: the relationship between the “word” and the “thing.”

The New Rhetorical (Richards, and his Influence on Empson) Response:
The study of language must account for (a) more than just reference (tone, feeling, etc.) [Principles of Literary Criticism; Practical Criticism] (b) in a relationship between word, thing, and language user [The Meaning of Meaning; Principles]. Richards is more effective at polemical theory than at actual critical work. William Empson refines Richards’ philosophical construct into a meaningful tool for literary and rhetorical criticism.

Chapter Two:

The Cambridge Context and the Study of Epistemology (1920s): The twin pincers of a scientistic epistemology and a religious epistemology at Cambridge form. Math, Science and Philosophy reunite at Cambridge to form the basis of the scientistic claims to certainty of knowledge. Anglican belief (especially in Eliot) forms the basis of religious claims to certainty of knowledge.

The New Rhetorical (Richards and Richards’ influence on Burke) response:
Richards acknowledges that there may be some scientific and religious “ways of knowing,” but that language makes possible a third way of knowing, alternately conceived of as “poetic,” “cultural” or even “rhetorical” [Principles; Science and Poetry; various later works]. Burke finds that Richards still ceded too much to science and crafts his own, broader claims for poetic truth [Permanence and Change].

Chapter Three:

The American Dissemination of Richards’ Work (1930s):
Hunt engages a minor misreading of Practical Criticism in Speech-Communication in 1930, reading it for purposes of informing literary interpretation. Major, systematic misreading of Practical Criticism and Principles of Literary Criticism occurs in Departments of English. Particular misreading of Richards by Max Eastman in The Literary Mind in an Age of Science. Particular misreading of Richards by another New Critic (unnamed as yet). In all cases: Richards is misread to advance disciplinary aims by American scholars (for example, to legitimize the study of English in the wartime and postwar University climate). Typically, Richards view of science and poetry and his methods in Practical Criticism are read as justifying the study of literature in a university climate dominated by science and scientism.

The New Rhetorical (Richards and Sterling Leonard) response:
Richards responds to the misreadings by focusing even more strongly on the act of communication (instead of the evaluation of literary meaning and merit). Richards will not write another book on literary theory or criticism for decades. Further demonstration of this shift: Rather than reaching out to his literary followers in the US, Richards actively collaborates with American Compositionist Sterling Leonard. Richards reads Leonard on usage; that reading inflects Richards’ reading of Campbell, Kames, etc. The fruits of the collaboration: the genuine rhetorical tradition manifests in Richards in The Philosophy of Rhetoric and in Interpretation in Teaching, if in an impoverished form, as Richards moves from a model of interpretation to a model of communication.

Chapter Four:

Richards Fails to Respond to the Changing Intellectual Context of Cambridge (1930s and 1940s):

The Moore-Russell-Wittgenstein paradigm loses influence. Russell and Wittgenstein split. Richards meets Wittgenstein and insists that the correct path would be to revise the Tractatus. Wittgenstein disagrees; he dispenses with the Tractatus and rethinks the study of language, almost from the ground up (Brown and Blue Notebooks). In what would be a defining moment for the New Rhetoric, Richards could follow Wittgenstein to his new terrain, or continue to work in the old paradigm.

The New Rhetorical Response: Two Theories of Argument Enter; One Leaves
Richards tries his hands on a text on argumentation. That text begins from a kind of “corrected Tractatus” model for language use – the old paradigm. It takes as a given that valid argumentation is the product of a controlled vocabulary and a grasp of the nuance of syntax and definition. As a text on argumentation, it is flawed. Its author never left the broken foundation of 1920s Cambridge.
As a counterpoint to Richards’ failure, we see Toulmin develop a theory of argument a decade later. While Toulmin is clearly familiar with the intellectual tradition of Cambridge of the 1920s, he is not constrained by it. He works within the dialogue of Cambridge in the 1940s, building a better system for argument in The Uses of Argument. Uses is picked up by Speech and Composition scholars in the US, cementing the impact of the Cambridge intellectual climate (and so the New Rhetoric as I define it) in the US.

Chapter Six:

The Theory of Definition:
This is the last chapter that I will write. It is the least defined. The genealogy from Russell and Richards to Korzybski is clear, and again – the misreading of Richards, too, is clear. The rejection of Korzybski in Burke and Weaver is also clear. But I’m not sure how to tell this story yet.

I want to, because it demonstrates the appeal to the classical tradition. Indeed, it shows the necessity of the classical tradition to completing what we call the New Rhetoric – the Cambridge paradigm (Moore-Russell-Wittgenstein-Richards-Toulmin). It makes clear the necessity if the classical tradition in moving beyond the therapeutic impulses of the New Rhetoric, as well.

Finally, It makes clear what William Keith and I have talked about, repeatedly – that American scholars of rhetoric didn’t recover the classical tradition with a meaningful purpose until the postwar period. (They were poking, prodding and exploring in the interwar period – God bless, you, Bromley Smith.)

You can see that this chapter will be big and important. It is also least under my control, as yet, and least drafted.

Section Two:
The Continuing Implications of the New Rhetoric

Chapter Seven:


The Reception of the Theory of Metaphor:
Richards’ published theory of metaphor is considered innovative because of its vocabulary, but remains innovative because of its claim that tenor and vehicle are in a dynamic, mutually modifying relationship. Richards’ unpublished elaborations of the theory of metaphor in his writings on Dialectic Materialism make the possible depth of his theory of metaphor clear. In America, Richards’ theory of metaphor suffers gross oversimplification (and deformation as a form of predicate logic, almost) in Max Black's work. Since this deformation, we see the decline of Richards’ theory of metaphor in rhetorical and literary criticism. Lakoff’s theory of cognitive metaphor puts the final, apparent nail in the coffin.

The Current Value of the Theory of Metaphor:
We can clearly see the failings of Lakoff’s model. Cognitive theories of metaphor are predicated on a one-way transfer of features from the source domain to the target. Such a model for metaphor is partial, restrictive, and incomplete.
The model is being rethought by cognitive scientists. Johnson’s example (“If Bill Clinton were the Titanic, the iceberg would sink”) seems to validate a more complex relationship between source and target domains, and it reinvites the possibility of tenor-vehicle mutual interaction. It also invites the deeper conception of metaphor that Richards examines in the “Dialectic Materialism” essay. In the end, it is clear that the tenor-vehicle mutual interaction model has some explanatory power that the cognitive model does not. I conclude the chapter with a critical reading of an example that I have not yet generated.


Chapter Eight (Coda):


Disciplinarity and the Reception of Practical Criticism
The great irony of the New Rhetoric was the way that it justified something that none of its progenitors wanted: the institutionalization of literary and rhetorical study. In Cambridge, Practical Criticism was the lever that helped justify the creation of a Faculty in English Literature (Modern). In the US, it helped justify the Departments of English Literature that took up the New Criticism. And in the United States today, there are movements afoot to institutionalize rhetorical study in the same way. (Richards and Toulmin both would despair at the thought of their rhetorical works being read without the context of philosophy.)

Richards never wanted such disciplinarity – he wanted the study of language always to be bound up in the study of philosophy, psychology, social theory, and new technology. Richards’ polemics against disciplinarity are summarized.

Where Do We Find the New Rhetoric Today?
Is there an intellectual descendant to the Anglo-American New Rhetoric today? Perhaps. In the early 1930s, Marshall McLuhan attended the lectures on Practical Criticism at Magdalene. He claims that they inflected his own teaching of English, and there is evidence that they then inflected the teaching of his student, Walter Ong.

Like McLuhan and Ong, Richards always grappled with the theoretical implications of media (most prominently in Poetry: Its Media and Ends, but also in essays like “Literature: Oral and Optical”). And, he struggled to integrate media into his utopian visions for world literacy education. But he produced no meaningful theory of media, on his own.

It is possible that McLuhan is his heir, intellectually, in that McLuhan integrated a thorough knowledge of the classical tradition [see dissertation on Nashe] with a vivid engagement with contemporary theory. And it seems possible that contemporary scholars of new media, drawing as they do upon the widest body of theory and methods, perhaps, of all scholars in communication and English, crossing disciplinary boundaries left and right, are the heir to Richards’ restless critical imagination.

Thoughts? Feedback?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

17.0 Long Distance

We called Mom today. It's $2 a minute, roughly, from a payphone.

We won't call often. But we think of friends and family regularly.
5.1 More on UK Food

Today, we ate at Tatties, a panini and potato joint. I also had some cola made with 19th century formulae. Loved it. Almost a flowery taste.
.
Yesterday, we ate at a Chinese place, notable because the Chinese places here always ask you "would you like rice with that" -- the charge is extra for rice. Does anyone say no? Today, we also had deep fried pineapple (because another Chinese place was out of bananas for deep frying).
.
The microwavable hamburgers in the UK are superior to most restaurant burgers. And Sainsbury trifle is to die for.
.
The college dinners and lunched are becoming repetitive -- all you can eat of 3-7 salads plus a fish or lamb or vegetarian option.
But there is always tea afterward.

Finally -- we are almost to the point where we understand relative costs. I am glad that the per diem allowance on the grant is so high. Even eating at college, we are burning through it and our savings quickly.
16.1 Update

I emailed the editor back. He informed me that he Googled me and believes that his decision was justified and his tone appropriate (to circumvent further conversation).

Well, clearly, I have been schooled.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


16.0 professional sucker punch


A rhetoric and composition journal recently rejected a book review I sent them in part because I was not a member of their book review pool. I inquired as to how I might join that pool, offered to send a c.v., and so on.

This was the verbatim reply:

"Manuscript and book reviewers are primarily selected from the pool of folks who publish in [the journal] itself, along with the scholars who hold major positions in the field of r/c."

...followed by the signature of the email author.

Three thoughts:

1. Book reviews are service, not a throne to be attained. I am told repeatedly that it is a waste of my time to write them (though, I think, a social obligation to one's colleagues who produce good books or who need to know that good books exist).

2. It's true, I've never published in the journal. So: Is it more insulting that he left me to conclude that he didn't answer my question because I am not "major" enough? I have no illusions: I am a second-rate scholar at a second-rate school who gets by in the discipline by being willing to serve and having a good demeanor. But it was helpful to be presented with an incomplete syllogism that would force me to recognize my inadequacies.

3. I was drafting up a small thinkpiece about the importance of independent journals (which Comm has almost none of, rhet comp has more of, although they are fewer and fewer). (This was inspired by some posts at the JoshieJuice blog.) It's an important distinction and one that has inflected how rhetoric has grown up in both disciplines. This journal wasn't always like this -- maybe before T&F/Erbaum got a hold of them? Or am I over-reading what is likely just a temperamental thing of the current book review editor?

Sigh. No good deed.
15.0 End of Enders

Thousands of high schools teaching Ender's Game will, I hope, drop that book from the syllabus. Certainly, hundreds of colleges teaching it in Young Adult Lit courses should.

See: http://mormontimes.com/ME_blogs.php?id=1586


14.0 Archival Discovery

"Language is a product and tool of the social relationships into which [men] are forced to enter into in order to produce themselves."

--IAR, "Dialectic Materialism and Metaphor," unpublished MS, IAR archive.

In this piece, Richards does something fascinating: he argues that inherited Coleridgean theories of metaphor do not allow us to compare the historical processes by which a thing (it is unclear to me whether his "thing" is broad enough to account for "ideas") comes to be, when we compare the surface features of the thing. That notion of metaphor is inadequate, he argues, although he gets fuzzy on why.

He makes reference to the "workers' united front" learning Esperanto for purposes of communication and negotiation -- the only way that I can guess how to date this. There was a dalliance, generally, in Cambridge with Dialectic Materialism in the early 1930s, which is the other way to date this, but not proof solid.

What do you think?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


13.0 Missing my friends

Kate poked me yesterday and said "it's been a week since you've called anyone. ARE YOU OKAY?"

She knows (and sometimes I think resents) that I am such a social animal. And no doubt it gets in my way, professionally, from time to time.

So today, I post a picture from one of the last meetings of good friends in Minneapolis, when David Gore and Mark Huglen and I gave an exciting lecture.

(Also, I am learning how to upload pictures to the blog. Can you tell?)

David

Monday, August 11, 2008



12.0 Land Use

This is the entrance to a Marks & Spencer shop in Cambridge. Actually, the entrance is a few yards further down. This is the cemetery you need to walk past to get into this grocery store, complete with signage telling people not to park their bikes along this fire exit.

Which is also the fence demarcating this cemetery.

What to make of such land use planning?
11.1 Definition of Writing Studies

DEFINITION OF WRITING STUDIES
Bazerman defines "writing studies" as composed of three kinds of investigation:

1. the "historical picture of writing practices, genres, systems of circulation, and related institutions and social systems,"

2. a "theoretical" project "to re-vision rhetoric from the perspective of writing and placed within some of the major strains of twentieth century social theory and social science"

3. a practical examination of "writers' socialization into communal activities, the forms of engagement, positioning, and goals within those communal endeavors, and their emergent identities, commitments, and accomplishments as literate social beings'"

Theoretical, historical, applied. Three strands of research, perhaps typical of any discipline, for "the study of writing--its production, its circulation, its uses, its role in the development of individuals and societies, and its learning by individuals, social collectives, and historical cultures."

Sunday, August 10, 2008

11.0 Definition of Writing

Writing: A technology for creating conceptual frameworks and creating, sustaining and performing lines of thought within those frameworks, drawing from and expanding upon existing conventions and genres, utilizing signs and symbols, incorporating materials drawn from multiple sources, and taking advantage of the resources of a full range of media. – Andrea Lunsford

I dislike this definition as an endpoint because it, like all definitions of a technology at the beginning, imagines a social neutrality of the technology. But no technology is socially neutral.
10.0 UK Comics

Just a few quick thoughts on UK Comics. The Tom & Jerry comic was a hoot, aimed entirely at Kindergarteners, with coloring pages, etc. I would love it if American comics tried a little of that.

The Simpsons comics were American comics reproduced at larger, magazine size, with again a wee bit of activity pages and page after page of kids' letters.

And here's the kicker: I found these comics at WH Smith, at Borders, at the newsstand with the overpriced aspiring to gouge the tourists, at the convenience shops. Everywhere except the comic shop.

Mass-market comics would be an amazing step forward in the US. Is this model possible for us?
9.0 Early Morning

I can't sleep. I caught a cold a few days ago, with attendant sore throat. But I also fell asleep with gum a few nights ago and had this terrible feeling that my sore throat was caused by my chewing gum having migrated into my sinuses.

Only time will tell.

. . .

So luckily, all of the relevant Russell I think that I need is available copyright free on the web. No need to walk to the library today.

I have a 10:30am appointment with Dr. Luckett, keeper of the archive and a former friend of Richards. That will be fun. I would like to ask him about reproducing some of Richards' paintings in my book, or perhaps in an article.

. . .

Kate is still asleep -- we both need our rest.

. . .

It felt, when we got here, like we would be here forever. But even now, it's only 17 more days in Cambridge, followed by 3 in London. Two in Birmingham, in the middle, too.

Time is racing by!

David
8.0 Day of rest

The last few days have been something. Scrambling about the library, then scrambling about Cambridge, taking in the touristy sights and shopping.

I realize that there's a gaping whole in my book where only received knowledge resides -- Richards' response to Russell. But I have read no Russell of the important (pre-1920) time frame. So I will work to fill that in.

I have been uploading photos to Facebook as a way to pause my brain.

I am short-circuiting, a bit. You can tell because yesterday, I bought an "Assault Dalek" and a stack of comics. Some of them, I will give to Master John Constable when I see him, along with some I brought from the US. for him, as well.

Must get more sleep.

David

Saturday, August 09, 2008

7.0 Tired, so very tired

Thursday, August 07, 2008

6.0 Cambridge Library

Today, I walked to the Cambridge University Library to secure a reader's card for 10GBP (about $20US). The library makes EVERY AMERICAN LIBRARY I'VE EVER SEEN look puny. And, when you consider that each of the dozens of subsidiary colleges at Cambridge have their own library, the scale is massive.

Plus, I now have a photo ID with my name and "Cambridge" on it -- I have arrived.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

5.0 Food

Here is a catalog consumed so far:

1a. Victoria Station: Baguette with chicken salad from Upper Crust. Crust was whole wheat. Not a good sign for the wonder-bread lover that I am. My colon cannot take so much fiber.

1b. Victoria Station: Pasties. Increased desire for beef tenfold.

1c. Victoria Station: Whopper. Satisfied desire for beef above; Kate had simpy hamburger. Both had ice cream with berry fruit compote -- yummy.

2a. Henry's. Burger for Dave, All-day Breakfast for Kate, terrible service all around.

2b. Dinner at St. Edmund's. Fish of two types, all you can eat salad. Happiness.

2c. Lunch at St. Edmund's. Stuffed pepper, lamb lasagna, all you can eat salad. Happiness.

2d. Pizza Hut. You can't keep us away from fatty American food for long.

Conclusion: maintaining our current weights will be hard in this environment free of high fructose corn syrup and fat. It will take all my effort not to lose weight.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

4.0 Day Two in Cambridge

Handled some minor things (like securing internet access for the duration of the stay), then largely rested. Kate was sleepy; I don't blame her. I think our exercise has given her a cold.

Tonight, dinner with the College was excellent. 7GBP got us a slice of fish and as much salads (five types) as we could eat.

Then I took a walk, bought some groceries and a book on "theme" in linguistics for 1GBP.

Tomorrow, then, I start work on the book, again.
3.0 First Day in Cambridge

Waking at 8:00, catching the Tube at Victoria Station to King's Cross, catching the train from King's Cross to Cambridge (a 48 minute ride). Walking from the station, just outside town, to Borders (where Kate went to wait for a friend), while I kept walking to St. Edmund's to check in.

A Day with Kathleen, a good friend, although our professional lives have changed us a lot in our three years apart. Also with Barry, Hannah Montanah and clan. Shopping.

Lunch at a place that seemed insistent that either customer service was unnecessary or that serving Americans was unnecessary. I won't return to Henry's in Cambridge ever again.

Kate bought a handbag. I bought comics from Forbidden Planet Cambridge.

That night: watched Donnie Darko, the Director's cut on our DVD player. No TV in the rooms, which are nonetheless amazingly nice.

David
2.1 Literacy and Print Culture in the UK

I am amazed at the contents of the Newsagents in the UK. First, the diversity of publications: in addition to the kind of global magazine selection you might expect at the crossroads entry point to Europe and the crossroads of a former global empire, the diversity of magazines produced for consumption within the UK is boggling.

Don't even get me started on the comics: shelf after shelf after shelf aimed at the "youf," licensed properties, mostly, packaged in baggies with toys to entice. Kids must read comics all the time here.

But newspapers -- so many daily newspapers, it's frightening. Some are clearly softcare porn, others are clearly sensationalist, and a staggering number appear to be real newspapers.

Some of this is economies of scale, of course -- the population is denser, so competing newspapers are more viable. But I wonder how much of this, too, is that by virtue of being denser, English publishing houses can set lower prices, ennabled by the lower cost of transporting the magazines, perhaps? How much of an American magazine's cost is represented by distribution over 2,000 miles?
2.0 Victoria Station

Victoria Station amuses me. Imagine two bus stations the size of the Chicago gGreyhound station (one for incoming, one for outgoing). Then, a two-level train station with nearly twenty tracks of trains that only head SOUTH of London. Then, an Underground (Tube) or Subway station, besides. Add in a shopping complex big enough to have two grocery stores, four newsstands, two McDonald's, and a variety of other restaurants. Including a place with sushi, shrink-wrapped and ready for sale.

Victoria Station is a small city center, in American terms. It is amazing.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

A Report from the UK: 1.0

We have been here for one day, and have much to report.

The Mundane:

1. Northwest airlines was timely and only slightly less comfortable than Virgin. Nonetheless, there were creature comforts missing on this trip that Virgin made standard.

2. It took longer to go walk to the bus stop at Heathrow than it took to walk through customs, a testament to the efficiency of the British immigration system.

3. The Hesperia, an ostensiblly four-star hotel across the street from Victoria Station, reveals to me that I vastly overestimate what a four-start hotel must be.

4. The "Big Bus Company" gives a good bus tour of London (and its environs).

5. A Double Whopper tastes better in England, as do West Cornish Pasties and cheese, any cheese. Even the soft-serve ice cream with fruit compote was tasty.

More, deeper thoughts on a tour of Buckingham Palace later.

David