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  1. Feb 2017
    1. In short, emphasizes Nietzsche, "la11gue1ge is rhetoric, because it desires to convey only a doxa [opinion], not an episteme [knowledge]."

      With the marginal note from Nathaniel in mind, this binary is really interesting (and necessary) to unpack. I've had to read a lot of Foucault lately, so I'm thinking with him through a lot of my other readings right now. But his use of episteme, in some ways, breaks down that binary. By treating an episteme as the "epistemological unconscious" of an era (meaning that some knowledge and some assumptions are so inherent at a specific time and place that society doesn't even know it's happening), Foucault seems to suggest that opinion and knowledge can uniquely shift and intertwine in each epoch (again, within a culture that doesn't even know it's happening).

    1. Under this pressure from both sides toward independent development. rhetoric and belles \cures split. In 1828, a chair of English literature was e$lablished at London University; in 1845, Edinburgh separated rhetoric and literature; in I 876, Johns Hopkins and Harvard did the same; and in 1904, laggard Cambridge followed. By the end of the century, a further split had occurred in the United States: Speech depart· mcnts had formed, taking the elocution course and the study of rhetoric with them.

      I think about this split quite often. As someone with two degrees largely focused on literature, and seeking one focused on rhetoric, I find myself lost in the (messy and often blurred) boundaries between the two fields. The later assertion from Mill, "For poetry, utterance is the end, not, as in rhetoric, the means to an end" (996) seems to hold true even today. Literature is rarely seen as social action, let alone socially engaged. I wonder how damaging (or not) this is as we attempt to think about "our disciplinary identity crisis less as a crisis of identity and more as an opening of alterity" (Muckelbauer).

      This is probably why I am so intrigued by Muckelbauer's argument that "we might even conceive of rhetoric as, in a certain way, disengaging from the entire problematic of 'fields,' disconnecting from both 'interdisciplinary studies' and work in the 'rhetoric of x' genre (indicating, perhaps, an ontological rhetoric)."

      But what does this look like? How does this happen? The end of this intro seem to give some hope -- "Literary theorists, too, began to acknowledge...the wider scope afforded by a rhetorical approach to discourse" (998, emphasis mine). But how often is literature viewed as discourse? And is this a reciprocal engagement?