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Activist WPA, The

Changing Stories About Writing and Writers

Linda Adler-Kassner

One wonders if there is any academic field that doesn’t suffer from the way it is portrayed by the media, by politicians, by pundits and other publics. How well scholars in a discipline articulate their own definition can influence not only issues of image but the very success of the discipline in serving students and its other constituencies. The Activist WPA is an effort to address this range of issues for the field of English composition in the age of the Spellings Commission and the No Child Left Behind Act.

Drawing on recent developments in framing theory and the resurgent traditions of progressive organizers, Linda Adler-Kassner calls upon composition teachers and administrators to develop strategic programs of collective action that do justice to composition’s best principles. Adler-Kassner argues that the “story” of college composition can be changed only when writing scholars bring the wonders down, to articulate a theory framework that is pragmatic and intelligible to those outside the field--and then create messages that reference that framework. In The Activist WPA, she makes a case for developing a more integrated vision of outreach, English education, and writing program administration.

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Acts of Enjoyment

Rhetoric, Zizek, and the Return of the Subject

by Thomas Rickert

Why are today's students not realizing their potential as critical thinkers? Although educators have, for two decades, incorporated contemporary cultural studies into the teaching of composition and rhetoric, many students lack the powers of self-expression that are crucial for effecting social change. Acts of Enjoyment presents a critique of current pedagogies and introduces a psychoanalytical approach in teaching composition and rhetoric. Thomas Rickert builds upon the advances of cultural studies and its focus on societal trends and broadens this view by placing attention on the conscious and subconscious thought of the individual. By introducing the cultural theory work of Slavoj Zizek, Rickert seeks to encourage personal and social invention--rather than simply following a course of unity, equity, or consensus that is so prevalent in current writing instruction. He argues that writing should not be treated as a simple skill, as a naïve self expression, or as a tool for personal advancement, but rather as a reflection of social and psychical forces, such as jouissance (enjoyment/sensual pleasure), desire, and fantasy-creating a more sophisticated, panoptic form. The goal of the psychoanalytical approach is to highlight the best pedagogical aspects of cultural studies to allow for well-rounded individual expression, ultimately providing the tools necessary to address larger issues of politics, popular culture, ideology, and social transformation.

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Acts of Reading

Exploring Connections in Pedagogy of Japanese

Hiroshi Nara and Mari Noda

Students who have completed a year of German read Brecht in their second year, those of Spanish read Cervantes. Teachers of first and second-year Japanese can often find nothing comparable. "Why aren't your students reading literature?" they are asked. "Why not Soseki? Or Murakami?" What are instructors of Japanese doing wrong? Nothing, according to the authors of this volume. Rather, they argue, such questions exemplify the gross misunderstandings and unreasonable expectations of teaching reading in Japanese. In Acts of Reading, the authors set out to explore what reading is for Japanese as a language, and how instructors should teach it to students of Japanese. They seek answers to two questions: What are the aspects of reading in Japan as manifested in Japanese society? What L2 (second-language) reading problems are specific to Japanese? In answering the first and related questions, the authors conclude that reading is a socially motivated, purposeful act that is savored and becomes a part of people's lives. Reading instruction in Japanese, therefore, should include teaching students how to work with text as the Japanese do in Japanese society. The second question relates more directly to traditional concerns in L2 reading. The authors begin with a general theory of reading. They then offer a welcome glimpse into the rich and complex perspectives-sometimes conflicting, other times symbiotic-on what reading is and how it is performed in L1 and L2, and, most importantly, on the web of interconnections between the phenomenology of reading and the demands it places on teaching approaches to reading in Japanese.

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Ad Hominem Arguments

Essential to an understanding of argumentation and logic, Ad Hominem Arguments is a vital contribution to legal theory and media and civic discourse.

In the 1860s, northern newspapers attacked Abraham Lincoln's policies by attacking his character, using the terms "drunk," "baboon," "too slow," "foolish," and "dishonest." Steadily on the increase in political argumentation since then, the argumentum ad hominem, or personal attack argument, has now been carefully refined as an instrument of "oppo tactics" and "going negative" by the public relations experts who craft political campaigns at the national level. In this definitive treatment of one of the most important concepts in argumentation theory and informal logic, Douglas Walton presents a normative framework for identifying and evaluating ad hominem or personal attack arguments.

Personal attack arguments have often proved to be so effective, in election campaigns, for example, that even while condemning them, politicians have not stopped using them. In the media, in the courtroom, and in everyday confrontation, ad hominem arguments are easy to put forward as accusations, are difficult to refute, and often have an extremely powerful effect on persuading an audience.

Walton gives a clear method for analyzing and evaluating cases of ad hominem arguments found in everyday argumentation. His analysis classifies the ad hominem argument into five clearly defined subtypes—abusive (direct), circumstantial, bias, "poisoning the well," and tu quoque ("you're just as bad") arguments—and gives methods for evaluating each type. Each subtype is given a well-defined form as a recognizable type of argument. The numerous case studies show in concrete terms many practical aspects of how to use textual evidence to identify and analyze fallacies and to evaluate argumentation as fallacious or not in particular cases.




 

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Adam Smith

The Rhetoric of Propriety

Stephen J. McKenna

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Addressing Postmodernity

Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric, and a Theory of Social Change

Written by Barbara Biesecker

Biesecker reveals the full range of Kenneth Burke's contribution to the possibility of social change.

In Addressing Postmodernity, Barbara Biesecker examines the relationship between rhetoric and social change and the ways human beings transform social relations through the purposeful use of symbols.  In discerning the conditions of possibility for social transformation and the role of human beings and rhetoric in it, Biesecker turns to the seminal work of Kenneth Burke.

Through a close reading of Burke's major works, A Grammar of Motives, A Rhetoric of Motives, and The Rhetoric of Religion:  Studies in Logology, Biesecker addresses the critical topic of the
fragmentation of the contemporary lifeworld. As Biesecker shows, postmodernity will have a major impact on Burkeian scholarship and on the rhetorical critique of social relations in general.

Biesecker confronts directly the challenges posed by postmodernity to social theorists and critics alike. In juxtaposing the work of Burke and Jurgen Habermas, Biesecker argues that a radicalized rereading of Burke's theory of the negative opens the way toward a resolutely rhetorical theory of social change and human agency.

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Adult Literacy and American Identity

The Moonlight Schools and Americanization Programs

Samantha NeCamp

The release of U.S. census data in 1910 sparked rhetoric declaring the nation had a literacy crisis and proclaiming illiterate citizens a threat to democratic life. While newspaper editors, industrialists, and officials in the federal government frequently placed the blame on newly arrived immigrants, a smaller but no less vocal group of rural educators and clubwomen highlighted the significant number of native-born illiterate adults in the Appalachian region. Author Samantha NeCamp looks at the educational response to these two distinct literacy narratives—the founding of the Moonlight Schools in eastern Kentucky, focused on native-born nonliterate adults, and the establishment of the Americanization movement, dedicated to the education of recent immigrants.

Drawing on personal correspondence, conference proceedings, textbooks, and speeches, NeCamp demonstrates how the Moonlight Schools and the Americanization movement competed for public attention, the interest of educators, and private and governmental funding, fueling a vibrant public debate about the definition of literacy. The very different pedagogical practices of the two movements—and how these practices were represented to the public—helped shape literacy education in the United States. Reading the Moonlight Schools and the Americanization movement in relation to one another, Adult Literacy and American Identity expands the history and theory of literacy and literacy education in the United States. This book will be of interest to scholars in literacy, Appalachian studies, and rhetoric and composition.

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Advances in Research Using the C-SPAN Archives

by Robert X. Browning

This book is a guide to the latest research using the C-SPAN Archives. In this book, nine authors present original work using the video archives to study presidential debates, public opinion and Congress, analysis of the Violence Against Women Act and the Great Lakes freshwater legislation, as well as President Clinton’s grand jury testimony. The C-SPAN Archives contain over 220,000 hours of first run digital video of the nation’s public affairs record. These and other essays serve as guides for scholars who want to explore the research potential of this robust public policy and communications resource.

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Advances in Teaching Sign Language Interpreters

Cynthia B. Roy, Editor

Analyzing Syntax and Semantics features the Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) approach. This method uses student performance objectives, practice, feedback, individualization of pace, and repeatable testing as instructional strategies.

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Advertising at War

Business, Consumers, and Government in the 1940s

Inger L. Stole challenges the notion that advertising disappeared as a political issue in the United States in 1938 with the passage of the Wheeler-Lea Amendment to the Federal Trade Commission Act, the result of more than a decade of campaigning to regulate the advertising industry. She suggests that the war experience, even more than the legislative battles of the 1930s, defined the role of advertising in U.S. postwar political economy and the nation's cultural firmament. Using archival sources, newspapers accounts, and trade publications, Stole demonstrates that the postwar climate of political intolerance and reverence for free enterprise quashed critical investigations into the advertising industry. While advertising could be criticized or lampooned, the institution itself became inviolable._x000B_

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