Rhetorical hermeneutics argues that any explanatory attempt must embed the act of interpretation first in its most relevant critical debates (and there may be several); then the act and its participation in ongoing arguments must be situated in the rhetorical traditions within relevant institutional discourses; and then the interpretive act, its arguments, and its framing … Continue reading Rhetorical Hermeneutics . . . For the Win?
Debuting a New Feature: The “3-for-3”
3-for-3, Episode 1.1: Laptops in the Classroom, Natasha Trethewey, and Rage Against the Death of Metanarratives (Plus, extra-special guest Mitch Hedberg!)
Pursuit of the (Barefooted) Pneuma: James Alan McPherson’s “A Matter of Vocabulary”
A mini-essay examining James McPherson's "A Matter of Vocabulary" and the struggle to verbalize communal identities.
Thoughts on Value as a (Contingent) Social Construct
Currently reading Barbara Hernstein Smith’s Contingencies of Value (1988, Harvard UP) and thinking a lot about how value (literary, aesthetic, moral, or otherwise) could operate as a contingent yet rigorous system of interrelated evaluative decisions. Echoing Chaim Perelman’s notion that ‘knowledge’ is determined via a network of socially agreed-upon standards and rules (cf. Wittgenstein’s “language … Continue reading Thoughts on Value as a (Contingent) Social Construct
William Rossetti: The Brit Who (Basically) Saved Walt Whitman from Obscurity
One of the primary attractions to Whitman for critics and readers on both sides of the Atlantic was his essential other-ness, his status as an outsider representing an image of America that promoted England’s former colonies as a land of untrammeled freedom, a natural wilderness replete with opportunities to ignore the established conventions of decorum … Continue reading William Rossetti: The Brit Who (Basically) Saved Walt Whitman from Obscurity