A blog about life, language, writing, and other trivia.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No(u)n Rhetorics

On the syllabus for my intro to comp studies class is a set of readings called "Bodies, Spaces, and Places." The readings include such varied essays as Nedra Reynolds' "Composition's Imagined Geographies," Debbie Hawhee's "Bodily Pedagogies," and Peter Mortensen's "Reading Material." The thread that ties them all together, of course is that, in different ways, they all approach rhetoric, composition, or literacy through material frameworks.

I made a conscious choice to lump embodied and spatial rhetorics together when I designed the course, and, given the course's necessarily wide-ranging content, I can live with it. But seeing my students work to forge connections, to synthesize them into something like a material rhetoric, makes me want to do a whole seminar. If I did, I might expand it to "bodies, spaces, tools, and schemata" (where "schemata" are a person's, or any complex system's, constantly-evolving internal representations of her/his/its environment that inform decision-making within that environment--they are the software to the body's or other physical system's hardware). I would then place all of the terms under a heading like "ecologies of writing." But the shorthand title might just as easily be "noun rhetorics:" rhetorics of people, places, things, and ideas.

Or, since in this framwork language is no longer the privileged term, maybe it ought to be "No(u)n Rhetorics?"

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