Reengaging the Prospects of Rhetoric : Current Conversations and Contemporary Challenges book cover
1st Edition

Reengaging the Prospects of Rhetoric
Current Conversations and Contemporary Challenges

ISBN 9780415873093
Published February 12, 2010 by Routledge
224 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

Reengaging the Prospects of Rhetoric reanimates the debate over the function and scope of rhetoric. Providing a contemporary response to the volume The Prospect of Rhetoric (1971), this volume reconceptualizes that classic work to address the challenges facing the study of rhetoric today.

With contributions from today’s leading rhetorical scholars, Reengaging tje Prospects of Rhetoric offers "response" essays to each chapter of the original work. Each scholar uses his/her essay as a forum in which to address three questions:

  • As a historical document, why is this essay important?
  • In terms of contemporary theory and/or practice, what is the significance of the essay?
  • How can the issues raised therein be profitably addressed in the future?

These provocative engagements suggest that, while the study of rhetoric has gained much ground in the intervening decades, there is more work to be done to reestablish the primacy of rhetoric in contemporary society.

This volume provides students and scholars of rhetoric with a strong foundation in the issues that have shaped contemporary rhetorical theory and criticism. It offers them an accessible introduction to the challenges facing future iterations of rhetorical theory and criticism. As a standalone text or a supplemental resource for undergraduate and graduate courses in the history, theory, and criticism of rhetoric or contemporary rhetorical theory, it will help to shape rhetoric’s future role in communication studies and will foster interdisciplinary dialogues about the topic.

Table of Contents


CHAPTER 1: KARL WALLACE: BETWEEN PAST AND FUTURE; A Response to Karl Wallace’s "The Fundamentals of Rhetoric" by Stephen Howard Browne

CHAPTER 2: PROSPECTS OF RHETORIC FOR THE 21ST CENTURY: EVENTAL RHETORIC; A Response to Samuel L. Becker’s "Rhetorical Studies for the Contemporary World" by Barbara A. Biesecker

CHAPTER 3: REVISITING RICHARD MCKEON’S ARCHITECTONIC RHETORIC; A Response to Richard McKeon’s "The Uses of Rhetoric in a Technological Age: Architectonic Productive Arts" by David Depew

CHAPTER 4: OUR PREMATURE BURIAL; A Response to Lawrence W. Rosenfield’s "An Autopsy of the Rhetorical Tradition" by Robert S. Iltis

CHAPTER 5: THE PROSPECTS FOR PHILOSOPHICAL RHETORIC; A Response to Henry Johnstone’s "Some Trends in Rhetorical Theory" by Steve Fuller

CHAPTER 6: A POLEMICAL EXCURSION THROUGH "THE SCOPE OF RHETORIC TODAY"; A Response to Wayne Booth’s "The Scope of Rhetoric Today: A Polemical Excursion" by Paul Kameen

CHAPTER 7: CHAIM PERELMAN’S PROLEGOMENON TO A NEW RHETORIC: HOW SHOULD WE FEEL? A Response to Chaim Perelman’s "The New Rhetoric" by Celeste Michelle Condit

CHAPTER 8: A CULTURAL SOCIOLOGY OF RHETORIC: HUGH DUNCAN’S FORGOTTEN CORPUS; A Response to Hugh Dalziel Duncan’s "The Need for Clarification in Social Models of Rhetoric" by Peter Simonson

CHAPTER 9: RHETORIC AND THE THIRD CULTURE: SCIENTISTS AND ARGUERS AND CRITICS; A Response to Wayne Brockriede’s"Trends in the Study of Rhetoric: Towards a Blending of Criticism and Science" by John Lyne

CHAPTER 10: ‘THE CULT OF UNINTELLIGIBILITY’: CONTINUED QUERIES ABOUT THE NATURE OF OUR DISCOURSE(S); A Response to Barnet Baskerville’s "Responses, Queries, and A Few Caveats" by Mark J. Porrovecchio

CHAPTER 11: READING THE PAST INTO THE FUTURE: CHANGING DISCIPLINARY IDENTITIES IN RHETORICAL STUDIES; A Response to Edward P. J. Corbett’s "Rhetoric in Search of a Past, Present, and Future" by Steven Mailloux


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Mark J. Porrovecchio (Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh) is Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Director of Forensics in the Department of Speech Communication at Oregon State University. His work has appeared in the American Communication Journal, Journal of the Northwest Communication Association, Rhetoric Society Quarterly, and Philosophy in Review/Comptes Rendus Philosophiques, among others.