The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
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Debriefing RSA (a bit)

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 1, 2012 - 11:51pm

As always, I enjoyed my RSA conference more than any others I go to. I went to few panels than usual, mostly because I wasn't at the conference hotel and I also developed some back problems out of the blue on Friday night (I seem to get muscle spasms about every five years when I have long plane trips and I haven't been walking much).


Database of Rhetoricians, Sponsored by the Rhetoric Society of Europe

Submitted by syntaxfactory on June 1, 2012 - 5:35am

Please visit:

The database consists of lists of rhetoric scholars and is divided both by nationality and by research interests. The latter features a list of several issues within rhetorical studies, which people have been sorted under. However, the entry for each person in the database also lists his or hers particular interests. We hope that this will make it possible for rhetoricians to find others with the same research interests as themselves, allowing for a strengthening of regional and international cooperation.


The Best of Both Worlds - Industry and Academia

Submitted by syntaxfactory on May 31, 2012 - 10:06pm

Choosing to work in industry does not preclude a return to academe. But the move back takes some planning and finesse.


Auden on the University

Submitted by Jim Aune on May 16, 2012 - 2:41pm

One of my favorites (especially these days):

Under Which Lyre

(Phi Beta Kappa Poem, Harvard, 1946)

Ares at last has quit the field,
The bloodstains on the bushes yield
To seeping showers,
And in their convalescent state
The fractured towns associate
With summer flowers.

Encamped upon the college plain
Raw veterans already train
As freshman forces;
Instructors with sarcastic tongue
Shepherd the battle-weary young
Through basic courses.


Transparency, Bureaucracy, and the Academic Sovereign

Submitted by Jim Aune on May 14, 2012 - 5:03pm

If you're a regular reader of the blog, you know that this past year I became Department Head, which accounts for my low level of posting for a long time. I had two incidents today which raised a continuing ethical question I have about my job, and, perhaps, about the Profession in general.


Plus ca change, y'all

Submitted by Jim Aune on April 29, 2012 - 12:39pm

h/t Mike Hogan


The Inexplicable Incompetence of NCA

Submitted by Jim Aune on April 29, 2012 - 10:00am

This has been an interesting weekend on the administrative front. As all of you know, public universities and faculty have been under systematic attack by Koch-funded think thanks, especially in Texas.

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    Temporality, Historicity

    Submitted by Jim Aune on April 15, 2012 - 6:59pm

    I have vowed for a long time that I will publish an article with statistical analysis in it. Here's a proposal and hypotheses:

    1. Start with QJS, the "flagship" journal in rhetorical studies from, say, 1970. It would easy to do an content analysis based on titles/abstracts and plot trends over time.

    2. What will we find:
    a. The disappearance of British Public Address, even after the post-colonial turn, as well as studies of non-US rhetoric in general.
    b. The gradual focus on post-1960 studies of public discourse to the exclusion of previous historical eras.


    Academic Rules 5: Heads or Chairs?

    Submitted by Jim Aune on April 12, 2012 - 10:28am

    Add this to the list of things I didn't know even after becoming a Full Professor: some universities have Heads and some (perhaps most?) have Chairs. While both represent/advocate for faculty/departments to the Dean and those higher up the administrative food chain, when push comes to shove Heads in principle have more autonomy (especially over operating budgets) and can overrule even a consensus decision by a department if he or she thinks it's necessary.


    The 25th Anniversary of Bloom's Closing of the American Mind

    Submitted by Jim Aune on April 7, 2012 - 1:23am

    A new edition of the "opening shot in the culture wars" comes out this week. An interesting (and oddly honest) look back here. As readers of this blog know, I have some moderate Straussian tendencies on odd Tuesdays, so I'm thinking of blogging a bit on the book. Anyone want to join in?