Landmark Essays on Rhetorical Genre Studies  book cover
1st Edition

Landmark Essays on Rhetorical Genre Studies

ISBN 9781138047709
Published January 11, 2019 by Routledge
282 Pages

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Book Description

Landmark Essays on Rhetorical Genre Studies gathers major works that have contributed to the recent rhetorical reconceptualization of genre. A lively and complex field developed over the past 30 years, Rhetorical Genre Studies is central to many current research and teaching agendas. This collection, which is organized both thematically and chronologically, explores genre research across a range of disciplinary interests but with a specific focus on rhetoric and composition. With introductions by the co-editors to frame and extend each section, this volume helps readers understand and contextualize both the foundations of the field and the central themes and insights that have emerged. It will be of particular interest to students and scholars working on topics related to composition, rhetoric, professional and technical writing, and applied linguistics.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



Section 1 Foundations

Aristotle, "The Three Species of Rhetoric: Deliberative, Judicial, and Epideictic," trans. George A. Kennedy

Karlyn Kohrs Campbell and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, "Form and Genre in Rhetorical Criticism: An Introduction" (1978)

Carolyn R. Miller, "Genre as Social Action" (1984)

M. M. Bakhtin, "The Problem of Speech Genres," trans. Vern W. McGee (1986)

John M. Swales, "A Working Definition of Genre" (1990)

Amy J. Devitt, "Generalizing about Genre: New Conceptions of an Old Concept" (1993)

Section 2 Systems and Interactions

Kathleen M. Jamieson, "Antecedent Genre as Rhetorical Constraint" (1975)

Charles Bazerman, "Systems of Genres and the Enactment of Social Intentions" (1994)

Anne Freadman, "Uptake" (2002)

Section 3 Culture, Ideology, Critique

Catherine F. Schryer, "Genre Time/Space: Chronotopic Strategies in the Experimental Article" (1999)

Anis S. Bawarshi, "The Genre Function" (2000)

Anthony Paré, "Genre and Identity: Individuals, Institutions, and Ideology" (2002)

Section 4 Teaching

Aviva Freedman, "Show and Tell? The Role of Explicit Teaching in the Learning of New Genres" (1993)

Sunny Hyon, "Genre in Three Traditions: Implications for ESL" (1996)

Elizabeth Wardle, "'Mutt Genres' and the Goal of FYC: Can We Help Students Write the Genres of the University?" (2009)


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Carolyn R. Miller is SAS Institute Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Technical Communication, Emerita, at North Carolina State University. She has published on rhetorical genres, rhetorical agency, and rhetoric of science and technology, and is co-editor of Emerging Genres in New Media Environments (2017). She has served as the president of the Rhetoric Society of America and editor of Rhetoric Society Quarterly. She is a fellow of the Rhetoric Society of America and of the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing.

Amy J. Devitt is a writer, teacher, and scholar, and Professor of English and Chancellors Club Teaching Professor at the University of Kansas. Her books include Writing Genres (2004), Standardizing Written English: Diffusion in the Case of Scotland 1520–1659 (1989), and the co-authored textbook Scenes of Writing: Strategies for Composing with Genres (2004). Her most oft-cited articles include "Intertextuality in Tax Accounting: Generic, Referential, and Functional," and "Generalizing about Genre: New Conceptions of an Old Concept." More at


"In one volume we find RGS’s necessary historical contexts, the early innovations, and the pioneering applications to critique and pedagogy. With judicious curation and lucid framing, Miller and Devitt have given the field what it has long needed: ready access to the deep clear spring of its foundational texts – endlessly renewing, endlessly instructive."

–Dylan B. Dryer, University of Maine, USA

“Miller and Devitt’s indispensable new collection compiles essential reading for anyone interested in genre as a way to understand written communication. With its historical perspective and foundational texts, this book offers a rich resource for newcomers and experts alike.”

–Christine Tardy, University of Arizona, USA

"With its compilation of foundational historical and theoretical perspectives on genre and inclusion of richly varied, groundbreaking studies reconceptualizing genre, this book is an invaluable resource for scholars. Key features include critical attention to genre ideologies and innovative genre pedagogies. The book is truly a landmark, identifying and locating essential readings on RGS."

-Mary Jo Reiff, University of Kansas, USA