Landmark Essays on Rhetorical Criticism

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Thomas W. Benson
Hermagoras Press, 1993 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 247 pages
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This book is an anthology of landmark essays in rhetorical criticism. In historical usage, a landmark marks a path or a boundary; as a metaphor in social and intellectual history, landmark signifies some act or event that marks a significant achievement or turning point in the progress or decline of human effort. In the history of an academic discipline, the historically established senses of landmark are mixed together, jostling to set out and protect the turfmarkers of academic specialization; aligning footnotes to signify the beacons that have guided thought and, against these "conservative" tendencies, attempting to contribute fresh insights that tempt others along new trails.

The editor has chosen essays for this collection that give some sense of the history of rhetorical criticism in this century, especially as it has been practiced in the discipline of speech communication. He also emphasizes materials that may illustrate where the discipline conceives itself to be going -- how it has marked its boundaries; how it has established beacons to invite safety or warn us from the rocks; and how it has sought to preserve a tradition by subjecting it to constant revision and struggle. In the hope of providing some coherence, the scope of this collection is limited to rhetorical criticism as it has been practiced and understood within the discipline of speech communication in North America in this century.

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