The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
Jim Aune's blog


Memo to George Lakoff

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 25, 2011 - 7:01pm

There are four other canons of rhetoric.


Julia Roberts Teaches Public Speaking

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 24, 2011 - 3:04pm


More on Capital

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 20, 2011 - 6:23pm

Anna Kornbluh's fine essay on Marx's Capital as Victorian novel. And Jameson's preview of his new book (more on which, shortly). I'm beginning to think we need a rhetorical studies version of the MLG (perhaps with online journal?).


More Hand-Wringing

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 19, 2011 - 11:41am

And now even Salon gives space to the new journalistic genre of beat-up-the-liberal-arts. My immediate reaction is that this woman's UVA English education failed to equip with tools of social and political analysis. The steady abandonment of the Humphrey-Hawkins commitment to full employment over the last 30 years might have a teensy relationship to the perceived current crisis.


Jameson, Representing Capital, Introduction

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 8, 2011 - 8:59pm

1: With every adaptation and mutation of capital, Marx's texts come to resonate in new ways, e.g. 1950's alienation and the 1844 Manuscripts, the openendedness of the Grundrisse made it appealing in the 1960's.

2: But against Althusser will argue that the theory of alienation is still very much an active, form-building impulse. We will need to consider the omissions of Vol. 1: politics especially. Scandalous assertion: it is not a book about labor but about UNEMPLOYMENT.


Book Discussion?

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 8, 2011 - 3:26pm

Fredric Jameson's book on Marx's Capital I just came out. In the next few weeks I plan to post some notes and discussion questions on it (it's fairly short), so if you wish to join in and read along, please do. Here's a short first take on the book, by Jason Read.


Start of the School Year: Best Practices?

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 8, 2011 - 3:00pm

My department at Texas A&M has always started fall semester by having a 2 hour (or so) meeting of everyone in the department--staff, graduate students, faculty. Everyone gets introduced, and, in recent years, we have had presentations by each of the four areas of our department (Health, Org, Media Studies, Rhetoric & Public Affairs) about the focus of their research. It's a largely epideictic moment, as it should be. What I'm curious about is how other departments (especially large doctoral programs like ours) do for this sort of ceremonial introduction. Thoughts?


Theme and Variations on Burke and Marxism: ATH

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 4, 2011 - 6:58pm

I don't know about you, but my computer increasingly resembles an archaeological dig. Having always lacked a consistent way of labeling files, I occasionally find notes I had forgotten about. Here are what appear to be lecture notes from a 20th century rhetorical theory class in 2003 on Attitudes Toward History. I offer them here, hoping they may be of use to someone. I have several other Burke outlines/commentary I could post if anyone's interested:

A Burkefied Introduction to Marxism:

1. A “representative anecdote” of human beings as tool-making, laboring animals:


Professorial Nomenclature

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 3, 2011 - 11:03pm

Our own Nate Kreuter has a nifty column in IHE today on the issue of what to call one's professors. My 2 cents is this:

1. I don't normally let undergraduates call me by my first name--this practice was more common in the Midwestern over-priced private colleges I ran away from in 1996. Boundaries are useful things, although they should not be fetishized.


Rhetoric and Irresistible Grace

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 1, 2011 - 7:01pm

One part of my education I seldom talk about is my fascination with St. Augustine of Hippo. The original topic for my doctoral dissertation was going to be about the rhetorical consequences of the doctrine of predestination. I ended up writing on Marxism instead--although the affinities between historical materialism and predestination may be rather obvious, at least for the Burkeans amongst you (if you follow a principle "to the end of the line" it often leads you to weird places you didn't want to be in when you started out).