English | Development of Rhetoric & Composition
W601 | 28848 | Graban

W601 28848  GRABAN (#6)
Development of Rhetoric & Composition

2:30p – 3:45p TR


This course offers a broad overview of rhetoric and writing
instruction in western traditions. We will begin the course with a
brief synoptic trace through classical texts, understanding how
concepts such as invention, logic, grammar, style, rhetor, audience,
education, and art can lay a foundation for broader historical
questions framing our study: What are the various definitions of
rhetoric, and what do those definitions exclude? What is the
relationship of language to communication and truth? What is the
meaning of and scope of invention, genre, and style? What should
comprise an education in rhetoric and writing? What should be the
place of rhetoric and writing in the university? What should be the
concerns of rhetoric and writing programs, especially in the public
university? What should be the questions that define how we study
these concerns?

Much of our reading will occupy the chronological space between
Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria (96 C.E.) and Gertrude
Buck’s “Recent Tendencies in the Teaching of English Composition”
(1901), with some earlier and later movement towards the goal of
understanding coherent traditions of college English rather than
formulating a singularly historical tradition. We will also pursue
critical perspectives that have traditionally been excluded from
this kind of historical study. Our readings will likely be drawn
from the following:

•	Patricia Bizzell and Bruce Herzberg’s The Rhetorical
Tradition: Readings from Classical Times to the Present (Second
•	Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman
•	Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations
•	John Brereton’s Origins of Composition Studies in the
American College
•	James Berlin’s Writing Instruction in Nineteenth-Century
American Colleges
•	Carr, Carr, and Schultz’s Archives of Instruction:
Nineteenth-Century Rhetorics, Readers, and Composition Books in the
United States
•	David Gold’s Rhetoric at the Margins: Revising the History
of Writing Instruction in American Colleges
•	Royster’s and Mann’s Calling Cards: Theory and Practice in
the Study of Race, Gender, and Culture
•	a coursepack of secondary and historiographic articles.

Class days will alternate between collaborative presentations of our
primary texts, discussion of our secondary sources, and computer-
assisted discussion of various revisionist lenses provided by print
and digital archives. Coursework will include the regular
preparation of reading grids, a discussion blog, an article
assessment, and a final paper.