The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America
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What a syllabus meant in 1909

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 30, 2011 - 1:36am

Here. And my vague remembrance of my classical studies is confirmed here.


The History of the Syllabus?

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 29, 2011 - 10:42pm

I'm starting to work on the syllabus for my graduate course this spring. (Yeah, I'm on a one-one load, so shoot me.) I also have been reflecting on my own undergraduate and graduate experience. WE NEVER GOT SYLLABI. Well, Zarefsky had one, but, you know. We got a list of books on the first day, or found them at the bookstore beforehand. There was maybe a one-page handout listing assignments, but not always. We were never "assigned" readings. If a book was assigned, you read it, at some point before the end of the semester. None of this "is it on the test?" bullshit.


Unhappiness with Professional Associations

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 29, 2011 - 3:27pm

Seems that a lot of philosophers are unhappy with the competence of the APA. It occurs to me that the leadership of RSA as long as I've belonged has been highly competent in the years I've belonged to it. I've never belonged to MLA (NCA is best not discussed), but I know many Blogora readers do. Are these problems just inherent in large associations or not? What's been your experience?


Advice on Tenure

Submitted by syntaxfactory on December 29, 2011 - 1:27am

Getting Tenure at a University
Neal R. Wagner


7 Years Ago on the Blogora

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 28, 2011 - 6:18pm

Via the internet wayback machine, one of my favorite threads of all time on the Blogora. Scroll down to the "first time" post.


Extremism in Defense of Liberty

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 24, 2011 - 7:51pm

With homage to David Horowitz's insistence that we "follow the networks":

1. Manhattan Institute (a neocon thinktank) has a webpage devoted to trashing universities.

2. An article on the above webpage by one Robert Weissberg, emeritus political science professor at Illinois. Weissberg is a regular contributor to the website, as well as to


Reading Plans for the Holidays?

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 23, 2011 - 3:44pm

Like most academics, I find winter break a good time for catching up on important reading. I plan on reading Robert Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution and David Graeber's Debt, The First 5000 Years. Any other interesting books folks would like to recommend?


Presidential Metaphors

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 10, 2011 - 6:02pm

We're on a roll here chez Blogora on metaphor this week. I thought I'd share the most unfortunate administrative metaphor of all time: yesterday afternoon the President of Texas A&M University told a meeting of all the department heads in the university: "You are the lubricant between the administration and the faculty." Those of you who are more psychoanalytically and/or feminist inclined may parse the logical entailments of this metaphor as you wish.


Metaphors for WAC

Submitted by syntaxfactory on December 9, 2011 - 9:57am

Philbrook asks:


thoughts on teaching

Submitted by Jim Aune on December 5, 2011 - 1:08pm

A handout I made for a teachers on teaching panel at NCA. Anything else you'd add?

Jim Aune, Professor and Head of Communication, Texas A&M
"Teachers on Teaching" panel, NCA, New Orleans, 11/18/11