English 696D 18th and 19th Century Rhetorical Traditions|
Office: Modern Languages 380 Wednesdays and Thursdays 12-1:00 and by appointment
We will work from the assumption that histories are to be written and not just read. We will spend at least half of the course working together on the histories that you write. To help you with that, we will read historical surveys, case studies of 18th and 19th century texts and contexts, and theoretical reflections on rhetoric, politics and ethics. We will also examine the expansion of literacy that established the modern public sphere, the resultant development of the essay as a blurred genre, and the institutionalization of literature and composition in American colleges.
We will begin our discussions by setting out from the context sketched out in "will English departments become the classics departments of the twenty-first century?"
You may also find it useful to define a couple of key terms.