247 Matching Annotations
  1. May 2017
    1. Databases must parse

      But behind the database is a human (or group of humans) who made decisions regarding why and how the database should parse that information, right? I suppose this is part of the "interdependence," but unlike the bird and water buffalo, the database will not wander away and start making it's own sets of data points surrounding Whitman's work, right? The database cannot be truly independent. (Or maybe it can?)

    2. Null values can thus quickly spread through a database, rendering everything they touch indeterminate

      I just discovered that I do not understand enough about databases (in terms of functionality) to understand what this means.

    3. Databases tend toward inclusivity, narratives toward selectivity

      This is a helpful little encapsulation of the central problem in the debate.

    4. The dance (or, as I prefer to call it, the complex ecolo

      This is an interesting move in terms of form. Hayles herself is the one who introduced the term "dance" and then immediately amends it parenthetically to comment that she prefers the term "complex ecology." I'm not sure why she chose to leave both of those thoughts in, but I like it.

    5. is being eradicated by experimental filmmakers such as Peter Greenaw

      Hmmmm . . . has anyone else seen a film by Peter Greenaway? I was curious what this would look like, so I went through his imdb, and I haven't seen (and had barely heard of) any of his projects, which suggests to me that Manovich is perhaps an unreliable source if he believes Greenaway is successfully eradicating narrative.

  2. Apr 2017
    1. The implication of this \\l"Ould be that a differ-ent understanding of rhetoric would likely lead to a quite different story about the history of rhetoric and about rhetoric's place in our world today

      Or that, for example, we might not have a humanist view of rhetoric if not for the Enlightenment?

    2. it quickly becomes apparent that people are frequently persuaded by things that most of us would not readily call arguments (and that certainly are not pri-marily linguistic). For instance, we are often persuaded by images, or sounds, or even by physical structures.

      Ah ha! I was wondering how this was related to post-humanism. Maybe I'm slow on the uptake, but I'm only finally making these connections. So by expanding this view of rhetoric, "things" can persuade, too.

    3. heliotropism

      I know it's defined within the text, but look at the second definition in this set:

      he·li·ot·ro·pism ˌhēlēəˈtrōpizəm/

      noun BOTANY the directional growth of a plant in response to sunlight.

      ZOOLOGY the tendency of an animal to move toward light.

    1. Nathaniel Rivers

    2. but as an ongoing series of mediated encounters

      Like annotations-on-annotations-on-annotations, but less human-centric?

    3. Rhetoric in this vein ultimately reinforces a humanist orientation as it focuses on developing one’s ability to articulate decisions through increasing an individual’s agency

      And there's also an almost paradoxical underlying humanist assumption that agency is "purest" or "strongest" if it articulates itself well. That is, students are taught to articulate their choices through repetitive excercise, and when they manage to imitate the way they have been taught to write, they are praised for doing well, as though their writing was a result of their "individual agency."

    4. Pr a c t i c e Ma k e s Pr a c t i c e

      This is delightful. The play on the phrase "practice makes perfect" is, of course, the point, but it also might have been fun to use "practice makes practice makes practice makes practice," or perhaps "'the practice makes practice' practice," (a la Byron's "The 'The Rhetorical Situation' situation situation") to properly emphasize the way that practice is what produces itself.

    5. an ongoing “mangle” of relations

      I kind of like this term for it's visceral nature, but it doesn't seem as fitting as "bleeding"

    6. Unlike Crowley from the first section, Walker emphasizes repetition as productive for learning; however, like deliberate practice or critical practice, reflection is once again practice’s central mechanism

      It seems like "self-aware feedback loops" are the key to repetition becoming practice, if I am reading this correctly. So the repetition is not necessarily the central feature, it is the self-awareness of the student that marks the difference in the value of repetition.

    1. For Bohr,things do not have inherently determinate boundaries or properties, andwords do not have inherently determinate meanings. Bohr also calls intoquestion the related Cartesian belief in the inherent distinction betweensubject and object, and knower and known

      So it seems like in this formulation, the absence of relata just points to the lack of distinction between relata. It seems like this a return to "bleeding".

    2. Why do we think that the existence of relations requiresrelata?

      . . . okay, I can understand the purpose of the question, but I literally cannot think of terms to use that would formulate a world without relata. Does anyone have an example or alternative explication of this same idea?

    3. (like “nature itself,” notmerely our representations of it!) has a history

      RE: "Nature itself" having a history

      Nathaniel's in-class comments last week were very helpful to hear prior to the readings this week. It is particularly helpful to consider the paradox that some folks want to protect the Earth from humans and somehow return it to a point "before humans," as though the Earth exists outside of humans and we are pure agents acting upon it. (Which is where we get things like this video that has been going around Facebook because of Earth Day:) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49w7GHVYoI0

      This video pretends the Earth is an agent, but it actually only reflecting human actions back on humans. There is an underlying argument that our relationship to the planet is only the things we do to it and not all the other relationships and existences on and in it.

    4. Material conditions matter, not because they “support” particulardiscourses that are the actual generative factors in the formation of bodiesbut rather becausematter comes to matterthrough the iterative intra-activity of the world in its becoming

      So could this also be formulated as "matter comes to matter" through the +s or through "bleeding"?

    1. it really so easy, forexample, to distinguish between a speaker, an audience, a message, anda context?

      After last week, we can probably agree that "no"--it isn't. Vatz and Bitzer were talking inside the same "box," regarding the speaker, audience, and context as discrete parts, and the post-human is part of the movement which pushes us outside that box, wanting to argue that the parts are not, in fact, discrete.

    2. a personal computer to a server or onto theInternet. File distribution is the point of conjuncture between organismand machine and marks a technology of the self that does not begin withthe individual interior subject but rather with what Doyle calls “inhumanexteriority”

      I feel like there is something to be said about the Cloud ("the Cloud is just somebody else's computer") that could be said to expand on this point and develop it a bit further, but I don't know enough about the Cloud and file sharing to articulate what that might be . . .

    1. Fredric Jameson describes his experience and frustration with the Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles

      I read through the next few paragraphs and struggled to understand the point they were making with these examples. I wanted more context, which I found helped a great deal in understanding the point being made here, so I thought you folks might appreciate that, as well. Here is the hotel:

      And here is an excerpt from the aforementioned text in which Jameson discusses the hotel. Important points are helpfully in red: https://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~janzb/courses/hum3930b/jameson1.htm

    2. This returns us to our earlier observation via Kittlerthat we tend to ascribe agency to people rather than to things. The concept of the fourfold asks us instead to reflect on the ways technological things gather and emplace,

      I find this idea that "technological things gather an emplace" to be helpful to some of the things I've been thinking about with my elaboration II and (maybe) my database project. We (as humans) are too self-absorbed to consider ascribing power to things, or where we do see power in things we see it merely as an extension or residue of the power of the person who created it. Considering "things" as having the ability to emplace seeing strangely empowering.

    3. But these are also reductions that decline to grant the bridge its autonomy, its unique manner of holding sway in the world. Heidegger points out how the banks of a stream emerge as banks only as the bridge joins them; this happens because the banks show forth in a new relation

      This is a helpful articulation, and makes me think back to Home; typically we would frame a "home" through the sentimental or material value it provides to the people living in it, but by moving erratically through time, we got to see the home as the thing itself--an assemblage that pulled together different parts of the world at different times. Because we were not able to "get to know" the humans who lived there well enough to really empathize or become engaged in their personal narratives, our attention was focused on the four-fold of the "home" as a thing itself.

    4. that technology itself worlds us

      Excellent phrase. I think it is particularly useful for making "worlds" a verb, which--like "emplace"--ascribes agency to the thing over the human.

    1. makingaduplexoftheHousesofBeingandDoing

      This is an interesting (if convoluted) metaphor, but also a kickass band name.

    2. kairos

      The definition of kairos is "a propitious moment for decision or action," but I was wondering if the etymology would yield anything interesting. Nope.

      Etymology: "1930s: Greek, literally ‘opportunity.’"

    3. Ambient1:MusicforAirportsandMusicforFilms

      Is it just me, or do these albums seem like very different projects, and yet that's not really addressed? I mean, I suppose I can imagine a need for ambient music in background scenes for films, but soundtracks are so often used for overt emotional manipulation that I imagine relying on ambient music of this sort would actually lead to a sort of "uncanny"/discomforting experience for the audience. Barring a weird indy film where that is the goal, I can't imagine what market there would be for a film soundtrack from "the guy who brought you Ambient I: Music for Airports."

    4. the"music"cannotbemadeclearanddistinctfromotherfactors,suchasitsnearinaudibility,thecompetingsoundsofwindandrain,moodsetterssuchaslight,andsoon.Themusic,inotherwords,mergeswithitssurroundings,

      This is akin to Edbauer's use of "bleeding" or "flux"

    1. an ongoing social flux. Situation bleeds into the concatenation of public interaction. Public interactions bleed into wider social processes. The dements (if' rhetorical situation simply bleed.

      It seems odd to me that Edbauer keeps using the word "concatenation" (which has already been defined in an above annotation and means "a series of connected events"), when her fundamental argument is not about a clear series of connections, but the blurred lines around rhetorical situations. Terms like "bleed" and "flux" seem a better characterization of her version of the rhetorical situation.

    2. situs implies a bordered, fixed space-location

      Gloss: This is the thing Edbauer is pushing back against. She believes the critical conversation surrounding rhetorical situations is too rigid because--as she says below--"the social does not reside in fixed sites but rather in a networked space of flows and connections." Again, though, I would emphasize the word "flows" over "connections."

    3. place should be characterized less in terms of this sense of community (discrete elements taken together), and more in the interactions between those elemen

      This reminds me of our discussion of "doctorness" residing in the "+"s. Now I can't remember what reading we were responding to, though.

    4. a mixture of proccsscs and encounters

      This is an excellent phrase, and a good encapsulation of Edbauer's idea

    5. exigence, or an imperfection marked by urgcney

      This is actually a great, succinct definition of exigence. I wanted to tag it because I actually wasn't happy with the definitions of exigence in the previous articles, even though exigence was central to those arguments.

    1. nallcases,however,criticsstilltak:eastheirfoundingpresumptionacausalrelationbetweentheconstituentelementscomprisingtheeventasawhole

      Gloss: "but everyone was wrong until me!"

      This whole series of readings has been very sassy and self-important. Well . . . the way I'm reading them, they sound sassy.

    2. Thepresentdiscussionwillnottrytoreviewthisbodyofarguments;ratheritwillattempttotumwhatappearstobeanimpasse(doessituationorspeakeroccupythepositionoforigin?)intoaproductivecontradiction,onethatmakesitpossibleforustorethinkrhetoricinanewway.

      This was almost exactly what Consigny said about his goal. I wonder if they were writing at the same time, since Biesecker is clearly not afraid of calling people out directly for the flaws she sees in their arguments.

    3. problematiccategory

      Translation: they do not see the audience as a problem to be addressed, but an assumed set of factors. Now I will continue to talk about the problem for a few more pages and only respond with an answer at the very end.

    4. Derrida'sdeconstructionofthehumanisticsubjecttumsingreatpartontheeffacementofthesubject/structurebi-narythatallowshumanistslikeHusserlandFreud44topositaself-presentI,"afixedorigin"thatitself"escape[s]structurality"insuchawayastolimit"theplayofstructure."

      . . . . and how does this solve our problem?

    5. implyput,thedeconstructionofthesubjectopensuppossi-bilitiesforthefieldofRhetoricbyenablingustoreadtherhetori-calsituationasaneventstructurednotbyalogicofinfluencebutbyalogicofarticulation.

      What implications does this have for all the weeks we were worrying about a hostile audience? If you can't address that problem, then why go through such lengths? What has this all been about?

    1. Problemsdonotformulatethemselves,andtherhetordoesnotsimplyfindwell-posedproblemsinasituation

      I feel like I'm missing something here. Perhaps problems do not formulate themselves in a vacuum and the problems may not be well-posed, but there is a large degree to which problems occur outside of a rhetor's influence. The President might have the responsibility to determine what problems he should try to address, but that ignores the fact that the question of what to say at the inaugural address is itself a problem that formulated long before any individual President is born. Similarly, the problems he must choose to address likely formed outside of his control, as well.

    2. ThusBitzer'sclaimthat"'situation'isnotastandardterminthevocabularyofrhetoricaltheory"24ismisleading

      Yet the one thing all three of them seem to agree upon is that the very term "situation" is unclear. Bitzer seems right to say that there is no standard meaning, and Consigny seems awfully self-righteous, here, considering his point is essentially "he was right, but in the wrong way!"

    3. Therhetorhasafreedomofchoiceastowhichtermstousetostructurethesituationandhowtorelatethetwoterms.Hisfreedom,however,isnotunlimited,butisconstrainedbythere-calcitranceofthesituation

      This seems like a good summary of the whole piece.

    1. a rebellion a rebellion

      But rebellions themselves are dependent on viewpoint, as well. What might be called a "rebellion" by the rebels if they succeed might also be called a riot by the dominant forces should the rebellion fail.

      Rebellion definition: an act of violent or open resistance to an established government or ruler.

      Riot definition: a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd.

    2. One wonders what the obvious "positive modification" ofthe military-industrial complex is

    3. hen we ascribe little responsibilityto the rhetor with respect to what he has chosen to give salience

      This did seem like an odd consequence of Blitzer's argument. For example, it seemed irrelevant that Lincoln was the person who delivered the Gettysburg Address, and that he chose to address the situation in the particular way he did, emphasizing unity over further antagonism. Blitzer's explanation is that some of the situation (needing unity over antagonism, I suppose) still exists, but there are a lot of ways to respond to the urgency of war, and historically a call to unity and peace is not necessarily the natural and dominant narrative. We need to grant Lincoln some agency for making those rhetorical choices which impacted the way the war eventually ended (with the Southerners becoming countrymen again rather then citizens of a deposed state).

    4. he killing of a president of this country at thistime is not a real threat to the people in any measurable way

      I feel like Vatz is missing something important, though. He starts out by asserting that Blitzer was wrong to say a rhetor is not describing a dangerous situation or an embarrassing situation, only their own perception of their being in danger or their being embarrassed, but those are real forces which shape rhetoric. Even if the rhetor is objectively wrong, that does not preclude the chance that their erroneous perception will shape events in a very real way. The assassination of a president may not cause easily measurable harm to a population, but there are certainly measurable levels of psychic harm that can be visited upon a population that will shift the rhetoric and subsequent events in real ways. Reassurances are not nothing.

    1. Meal1ing;-contextisageu"eral.couditiQI1ofhumancommunicationandisnot~~onymouswithrhetoricalsituation

      This is obviously key, but I feel like some examples would help.

      Can we think up some good examples of this difference?

      I suspect it's the difference between situational factors which are not directly relevant/impactful to the rhetoric (such as whether the speech was delivered on a Wednesday, whether there was a light rain the night before, the size of the room in which the rhetor is speaking) and the factors which contribute to some urgency that demands a rhetorical response (recent political actions, a sudden death, impending threats from an outside force, etc.)

    2. eporterscreatedhundredsofmessages

      I like this example; the moment was so urgent that it demanded a rhetorical response, but a particular kind of rhetorical response that could be predicted before it was ever written out. It could be predicted so easily that hundreds of reporters performed it almost at once. There are certain types of rhetorical performances that we expect, and certain people from whom we expect those responses, to the point that they become comforting and predictable, regardless of the drama of the context:


    3. magineforamomenttheGettysburgAddressentirelyseparatedfromitssituationandexistingforusindependentofanyrhetoricalcontext

      This is of course easier said than done. I think this video is an interesting experiment of this idea in action, though. It includes 40 "inspirational moments" from different films. In context, each is the climax of the film, and is meant to be a persuasive rhetorical moment, but pulled from their contexts and strung together, many of the moments lose their emotional impact unless perhaps you are already so familiar with that particular film that the context floods back to you all at once:


    4. Burke'sSpeech totheElectorsofBristol

      I had never heard of this, so I thought there might be others who were curious, too:


    1. Pa' hallar buen trabajo tienes que saber hablar el ingles. Que vale toda tu educaci6n si todav{a hablas ingles con un 'accent,"'

      Of course, it's significant that she refuses to directly translate her mother's words, here. Although Anzaldua is speaking to a predominantly white audience, she refuses to relieve the burden of language that is not for the audience.

    2. which developed naturally

      "Natural development" here seems to imply that there are types of language that are not constructed, but of course we can use cultural context to intuit that she does not mean "natural" as the opposite of constructed but to mean something closer to "just as valid as other language, which is all constructed and ever-evolving."

    3. Through lack of prac-tice and not having others who can speak it, I've lost most of the Paclmco tongue.

      As with signifyin(g), practice and the social interchange with others are crucial.

    4. looking into the mirror.

      More mirror imagery, as in Gates

    5. I felt like we really existed as a people.

      Signaling the psychological connection/validation between seeing your spoken language in the public sphere of written language. Although she is not necessarily arguing for the superiority of written language, she is acknowledging it's psychic importance as a validating power.

    6. I write the myths in me,

      As Byron is saying above, this is a really interesting new spin on embodiment and the connections between language and imagination. This feels a lot like Cixous' impassioned speaker.

    7. o be a mouth- the cost is too high- her whole life enslaved to that de-vouring mouth.

      A thematic return to the mouth, with which we began the piece.

    1. have continued to be eloquent pub-lic speakers, as they were in the nineteenth century,

      Uh, this is a very uncomfortable sentence. There are two possibilities, here, regarding the function of this sentence. 1) The Technically True but Terribly Vague: This is a category of opening sentence that is grammatically and intellectually fine, but also very boring. It's a cousin of "since the dawn of time," and I don't let my Rhetoric students use either type of opening line, as they are both lazy rhetoric. However, the second possibility is much more troubling: 2) This also sounds a lot like the extremely racist "black people can be very articulate."

      I know we are to the point of just beating the crap out of the editors, now, but come on. This could have been easily avoided.

    2. Where status based on economic or educational achievement is problematic, especially for men, the ability to rap, to establish domi-nance, camaraderie, solidarity, and opposition to white hegemony, as well as to en-tertain, is the measure of communal admiration.

      These editors:

    3. sounding (direct insult, boast, and so on) signifying (indirect insult, boast, and so on) rapping (general ability to use rhetorical devices) narrative toasting (narrative verse) hipping (exposition; running it down) sweet-talk (courtship rapping)

    4. Smokey Joe Whitfield
    5. intent on demysti-fying the Lion's self-imposed status as King of the Jungle.

      And perhaps also the assumed inferiority of spoken language as a vehicle of power.

    6. not be-cause he has been severely beaten but because he has been beaten, then Signified upon

      To be physically beaten is a set-back, but to have been verbally tricked by the monkey is a much threatening offense, because it has cut through his presumed power and revealed his vulnerabilities. This is the danger signifyin(g) poses, in that it exposes the game of signifying.

    7. While critics write for writers and other critics, they also write-in this instance-for "little" men and women who dwell at the crossroads.

      This must be a difficult double-audience to please. To what extent could we say any of the authors we have read previously have had to contend with this double-audience?

    8. Frederick Douglass, a masterful Signifier him-self, discusses this use of troping in his Narrative of I 845. Douglass, writing some seventy years after Cresswell, was an even more acute ob-server. Writing about the genesis of the lyrics of black song,

      Although this is Douglass talking about black song, it seems to answer my earlier question about double-audiences.

    9. what we might think of as the black person's symbolic aggression, enacted in language, rather than upon the play of language itself,

      With a key feature that they goal of the signifying is to rouse the subject to anger.

    10. Whereas he writes that the Monkey is a master of this technique, it is even more accurate to write that he is technique, the literariness of language, the ultimate source for black people of the figures of signification.
    11. I liked the story very much and righteously approved of its ending, not realizing at the time that he was signifying at me.

  3. Mar 2017
    1. in an obvious circle,

      So who do we think was in the audience when this was delivered? We know it was delivered at Notre Dame, so I assume the audience was primarily faculty, right? All historical moments are political, but this was a historical moment in which it was particularly political just to be a college student or faculty member, so I can only imagine the room at this point in his lecture. I wish we had more information about the immediate reception of this ideas, here.

    2. f a committed doubter says to us that he will not accept the valued fact of man's rhetorical na-ture, we see now that he cannot avoid illustrating it as he tries to atgue against it: we discuss our doubt together, therefore we are. If he chooses to '· deny the value we are placing on the fact that this ~ is how we are made, we cannot, it is true, offer C him any easy disproof, in his sense of the word.

      Hey, Nathaniel, did you . . . did you by chance want to talk about love in the context of this reading? I just got this weird, uncanny sense you wanted us to think about love when I noticed it written in all caps in the margins for the third? fourth? time in this text.

      So to make that connection explicit, this is a good example of the problem Corder was trying to address at the end of his piece, in which an earnest attempt to work out steadfast and competing narratives must come from a place of love, or will otherwise result in dissatisfaction/danger/subjection of one narrative.

      [I know this is brief, so feel free to build on this gloss, guys]

    3. (Long pregnant pause!)

      Who was in charge of this notation??? Was there an audience response? Would it not have been just as effective to start a new paragraph?

    4. monstrous births,

      I found the use of this phrase very interesting. My inference from previous reading was that a "monstrous birth" was a phrase from a much earlier period in history, used to describe still-births or severely deformed babies that died shortly after birth. From my understanding, they were seen as a punishment from God for some moral failing on the part of the mother. This usage implies that a monstrous birth is someone who has moral failings. I wonder whether this is the true version of the "monstrous birth" for the present age.

      [Side note: I tried finding the etymology, but struggled to do so, perhaps because it is a phrase rather than a single term.]

    5. Forest Service employee who believes that men on earth can project themselves instantaneously to Venus and back again,

    6. the Weather-men group

      I had a sort of fuzzy recollection of this group from a history course a few years back, but since they are often glossed over in history books, I thought this might be helpful, especially since this piece is so historically situated in its strange political moment:

      "The Weather Underground Organization (WUO), commonly known as the Weather Underground, was an American militant radical left-wing organization founded on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan. Originally called Weatherman, the group became known colloquially as the Weathermen. Weatherman organized in 1969 as a faction of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)[2] composed for the most part of the national office leadership of SDS and their supporters. Their goal was to create a clandestine revolutionary party for the overthrow of the U.S. Government."

      (This is all from the Wiki, if you want to read more:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_Underground)

    7. reminder of authorities on my side"' with fingers crossed.

      This is how I want to teach my students about ethos, from now on.

    8. cast some doubt on doubt

      Like marginal-note-making-past-Nathaniel, I was also struck by the line "cast some doubt on doubt." It feels like a direct response to the smug Nietzsche-loving (but perhaps misunderstanding) sophomore who shrugs everything off with "none of it means anything, man."

    1. if that were truly the mode of proceeding, it would re-quire a "neutral observation language" (p. I 25), a language that registers facts without any media-tion by paradigm-specific assumptions. The problem is that "philosophical investigation has not yet provided even a hint of what a language able to do that would be like" (p. 127).

      This sounds a lot like Corder's final line, declaring that the only truly "free speech" would be garbled nonsense devoid of meaning.

    2. illusion and a danger

      Ah, we have some urgency here.

    3. The question can only be answered from within one or the other, and the evidence of one party will be regarded by the other either as illusory or as grist for its own mill.

      This sounds a lot like Corder's opposing narratives, particularly the idea that "evidence and reason are only evidence and reason" if the narratives are in sync.

    4. rhetoric's siren song proves too sweet,

      What an excellent phrase

    5. heuristic,

      The definition of heuristic is roughly "allowing someone to learn something for themselves" but I was interested in the etymology.

      Apparently, it's "early 19th century: formed irregularly from Greek heuriskein ‘find.’" I wonder if this is where we get the phrase "to find out."

    6. ·'emergencies"

      It seems unclear whether this use of quotation marks is mean to indicate that he is pulling the word directly from Wilkins' work, or if it is just somewhat sarcastic in tone. I suspect the former, but prefer the latter. The idea of language emerging as a result of so-called emergencies sounds a lot like it results from self-made conflicts -- perhaps like the clashing of narratives in Corder's piece.

    7. desideratum

      def. noun something that is needed or wanted.

      (synonym, requirement)

    8. for hire

      How dare they teach for gainful employment?!?!?

    9. Therefore, critics are mistaken when they claim that change will occur because of the kind of texts they study or the forms of interpretation they use. This, Fish says, is the underlying error in the great multiculturalism debates.

      I can understand that Fish is saying you need to change the interpretive community to change the prevailing way of thinking, but isn't the first step to changing the interpretive community to push it to explore new types of texts or forms of interpretation? Am I missing something, or is there a lack of solution, here?

    10. There's No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It's a Good Thing, Too

      He has quite a knack for titles.

    11. Stanley Fish
      1. Still alive!

      2. He looks shockingly normal for a man named Stanley Eugene Fish.

    1. alone

      Another facet/form of risk.

    2. risky

      I think this is key. The only alternative to argument is a risk--to risk one's self by making their narrative plain and facing the possibility that the other will reject one's narrative (and thereby reject one's personhood.

      The difference between the previous steps to avoid argument and this one is that this one advocates risk and seems to make no promise of resolution.

    3. mutual communication transaction, Rogers is often as con- cerned with the audience as with the speake

      It seems like a lot of our rhetors so far have been discussing "mutual communication transactions," but without acknowledging it. Those earliest were, perhaps, genuinely not considering reciprocated communication from their audience at all, but in more recent weeks, at least, we have gotten rhetors who think about their audience at least a little. This, however, is certainly the most explicit text in terms of addressing rhetoric as a "mutual communication."

    4. zealous

      Steadfast has a connotation of some courage and positive moral uprightness. I feel like "zealous" would perhaps have been the better word to emphasize, here.

    5. face the flushed, feverish, quaky, shaky, angry, scared, hurt, shocked, disappointed, alarmed, outraged, even terrified conditio

      The abstract comes up against the material, here, and is found wanting. This is a starkly physical concern, in comparison to the very lofty discussions of emotions and abstract narratives. "This life or none" is a very real danger, and the method above does not seem quite so urgent.

    6. . Each of us is an argumen

      *And an argument results from other narratives impinging upon our own, when we can't build those narratives into ours.

    7. have to start searching that person's history until we begin to understand what led him or her to speak just so. Sometimes we do less well: if the history isn't there for us, we don't learn it, but instead make it up to suit ourselves.

      This is an excellent view of the relationship with Others who do not fit the schema we hold. We can probably relate this back to embodiment and how a disagreement of ideas turns into a disagreement between (and because of) bodies, but I'm going to wait and see where Corder goes with this before wandering down that road . . .

      Later update: I like his very embodied, lengthy chain of descriptions (flushed, feverish, quaky, shakey" etc.) to the heart of competing narratives.

    8. will not say two words simultaneousl

      Which is unfortunate, because sometimes you mean to say something like "I'm just checking in with you" or "I'm just looking out for you," but your brain can't decide which to say, and instead you blurt "I'm just checking you out."


    9. s not by nature limited, valueless, ignorant, despicable, or "merely subjective." It is human.

      So are we supposed to understand "human" to be something more than "merely subjective?" That is to say, there is some underlying truth to the "fiction of our lives" because it is a human response to existence?

    10. each of us is a narrative. We're always standing some place in our lives, and there is always a tale of how we came to stand there

      This sounds a lot like Cixous' "Who am I? I am 'doing' French history." (Of course, Cixous goes on to emphasize the body a great deal, but this sounds like a more abstract appreciation of individuals as historically situated.

    1. grapheme?

      def. noun, the smallest meaningful contrastive unit in a writing system.

    2. Remark: the-written-text of this-oral-communication was to be delivered to the Asso-ciation des societes de philosophie de langue fran<;aise before the meeting. That dispatch should thus have been signed. Which I do, and counterfeit, here. Where? There. J. D.

      Maybe it's because reading this whole thing has turned my brain to mush, but I found this sign off pretty frickin' hilarious. I'm sure there's something interesting I could say about absence, here, but I'm not sure what it would be.

    1. What woman hasn't flown/stolen?

      Damn, Cixous, you're giving away all our lady-secrets!

      (But seriously, this idea of women-in-flight seems closely tied to the animated speaking/writing we discussed a few pages earlier.)

    2. Let the priests tremble, we're going to show them our sexts!

      I looked at this for a long time. At first I assumed I misread it. Then I laughed a lot. I know she couldn't have known how the word "sext" would change, but it's damn funny.

      On a serious note, though, I assume she meant something like "sexed texts"? As in, texts written in women's writing?

      PS Apparently sext as a noun is "a service forming part of the Divine Office of the Western Christian Church, traditionally said (or chanted) at the sixth hour of the day (i.e., noon)." So now I'm more confused than I was before.

    3. And yes," says Molly, carrying Ulysses off be-yond any book and toward the new writing; "I said yes, I will Yes."

      I was curious about this line, so I did a little searching and I found this particularly interesting, since Cixous did her dissertation on Joyce:

      The episode both begins and ends with "yes," a word that Joyce described as "the female word" and that he said indicated "acquiescence, self-abandon, relaxation, the end of all resistance."


    4. undoing the work of death


    5. What about she who is the hysterical off-spring of a bad mother?"

      This seems like a strange moment, but I think the point here is something like "women who make trouble are often called hysterical, but so-called hysterical women are those who are denied their right to fully exist and express themselves."

    6. Let me insert here a parenthetical remark.

      This "parenthetical remark" that is not actually marked by parenthesis. I'm not sure whether this is because she sees her writing as "unmarked" since masculine writing is "marked," or if it's just a personal quirk.

    7. Cixous is said to advocate women's "writing their bodies."
    8. women lack some key ability to use language because they lack a penis.

    9. binaries

      I noticed this in the excerpt above, too. The binary nature of her worldview is something that I've heard her critiqued for before, as it is a pretty restrictive way to view the complex gears of oppression.

    10. Who am I? I am "doing" French history.

      This is fascinating! What an excellent articulation of the self. I'm willing to bet that I'm going to be using the "embodiment" tag a fair number of times in this text, and this is a great place to start.

      Here, Cixous is already recognizing that her "self" is at least partly a racially, historically, and politically situated body. Simply by being the rhetor she is, she is actively "doing" French history by participating in the public sphere. It may not have been as dangerous for her as it was for Douglass or Palmer or Stewart, but much of what she had to say was still revolutionary, and her body is an important part of that revolutionary performance.

    1. oeuvre,

      def. A work of art. The complete body of an artist's work.

      etymology from the late 19th century: French, literally ‘work.’

    2. an autonomous and ~ describable level

      What?! An autonomous and describable level?! Oh thank God! I thought we would never see anything at an autonomous and describable level again!

    3. sexuality and politics;

      He is here discussing the prohibitions around the very topic, but of course there were doubly taboos on who could talk about the taboo subjects, and whose accounts of the matter were considered downright dangerous.

    4. I ~hould have preferred to be enveloped by speech, and carried away well beyond all possible beginnings, rather than have to begin it myself. I should have preferred to be-come aware that a nameless voice was already speaking long before me, so that I should only have needed to join in

      This narrative voice is interesting, considering the way he considers the problems of the author/narrator in the previous pages.

    5. speech act referred to by English analysts?6

      In J.L. Austin 's How to Do Things With Words, a "speech act" is a performative utterance. That is, "speech acts" do something; whereas most of our concern with language thus far was regarding its relative "Truth," Austin was interested in language that was not meant to assert, but to do. (For example, "hello!" is not meant to persuade, but to greet. It does something rather than conveying information.)


    6. f, in clinical discourse, the doctor is in turn the sovereign, direct questioner, the observing eye, the touching finger, the organ that deciphers signs, the point at which previously formulated descriptions are integrated, the laboratory techni-cian, it is because a whole group of relations is involved.

      Gloss: a doctor gets their authority from context + space + experience + materiality, etc. It is the "+" that makes the doctor--the relationship between all of the factors that surround their "doctorness."

    7. ites

      Although Derrida uses "sites," this sounds a lot like our conversation about spaces, particularly regarding the difficulty certain rhetors face in trying to access a public platform in a literal way.

    8. the payment that he re-ceives from the community or from individuals;

      This is only one of many factors, but the materiality is--I think--crucial, and recalls Woolf's five hundred pounds a year.

    9. who is speaking? Who, among the totality of speaking individuals, is ac-corded the right to use this sort of language (lan-gage)? Who is qualified to do so?

      The return of a question we've been asking for the past few weeks . . .

    10. are not,

      Another chain of "are not"s. I can see why Nathaniel promised we'd be ripping our hair out this week. I think there is something interesting about Foucault's rather oppositional way of constructing his arguments. Twice, so far, he has begun with a list of things he is not trying to do. It is reasonable to try to clarify one's project by stating what that project is not, but these lists seem to be so complex as to completely distract and derail the reader into thinking about what the project is not before they ever find out what it is. Does this serve a purpose? Does it serve to reinforce the difficulty of the project? Does is leave some sense of ambiguity about what he is arguing, by also forcing you to consider the issues that he claims he does not want to address?

    11. In the example chosen, we are not trying

      Heads up: This is the first in a long string of "we are not trying"s. He actually begins to explain what he is trying to do in the very last line on the page, and continues on the next page.

    12. discourse i1, a form of social action

      This seems to link us back to the problem of embodiment, and those rhetors for whom the very fact of public speaking was an urgent political problem and social action. (Douglass, Palmer, Stewart, Grimke(s), etc.)

    1. Such set speeches were often delivered before large assemblies, as at the Olympic Games, where competition between or-ators provided a welcome complement to the at~-letic contests. On such occasions, the only deci-sion that the audience was called upon to make concerned the talent of the orator, by awarding the crown to the victor.

      Okay, so setting aside the claim that oratory was a "welcome complement to the athletic contests," I was still surprised by this claim that the Olympics used to include competitions in oratory. I tried to look into it, but I only found sketchy sources that claimed "The original Olympics featured competition in music, oratory, and theater performances as well," but that phrase appeared word-for-word in several hits, so I am not inclined to trust it's veracity. Does anyone know about this? Was oratory really an Olympic sport at one point?

    2. his tradi-tion, in which the theory of invention is reduced to a minimum and interest is focused on the per-suasive aspect of discourse, is represented by such original works as George Campbell's The Philosophy of Rhetoric (1776) and Richard Whately's Elements of Rhetoric (1828)

      Oh, hey, we know those guys. It's been a while since they've been mentioned in our readings, though.

    3. Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca emphasize that there is no actual universal audience, nor any unimpeachable facts or truths that could be presented to it, but rather, only an idea in the speaker's mind about what such an audience would be were it to exist.

      This is a confusing construction. Summary: purely rational argument is trying to appeal to a "universal audience," but the editors want to clarify that Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca did not really believe that a true universal audience exists. Rather, a speaker imagines a universal audience (rather than one that already has a set of shared values that must be appealed to in a specific way), and then tries to make rational arguments that could appeal to the "universal audience" of their imagination.

    4. All language is the language of a community,

      This idea seems similar to Nietzsche's that all language is a series of socially-agreed-upon lies.

    5. to "revive" rhetoric and link it once again to philosophy. It must have seemed to them that they were single-handedly reviving the study of rhetoric as a substantive discipline, with functions beyond mere ornamentation.

      Wow. This seems just a tad self-important.

  4. Feb 2017
    1. he honest rhetorician therefore has two things in mind: a vision of how matters should go ideally and ethically and a considera-tion of the special circumstances of his auditors.

      Aaaand also his own special circumstances, I would imagine. After all, one's account of "how matters should go ideally and ethically" always seems to conveniently leave the "honest" rhetorician in a comfortable position. At least, this is the case in the examples I've encountered.

    2. grist for his mill,

      Ah, yes, "grist for his mill," that phrase we all know!

      I was really thrown by this phrase, so I thought others might find this helpful:

      If you say that something is grist to the mill, you mean that it is useful for a particular purpose or helps support someone's point of view.

      def. anything that can be turned to profit or advantage

      Etymology notes: Grist is the corn that is brought to a mill to be ground into flour. In the days when farmers took 'grist to the mill' the phrase would have been used literally to denote produce that was a source of profit.

    3. instructional staff

      I think Nathaniel is right to point out a gender problem, as he has in his marginal comment, here. However, I think we also see a class problem arising more starkly. Whereas before there was a certain "professionalization" automatically associated with teaching at the college level, the "respectability" teaching once granted has disappeared. Although he does not explicitly invoke the word "class," Weaver clearly feels that those who make up the "instructional staff" are low in stature and respectability. To be a little crass, this sounds an awful lot like Weaver is complaining about "the neighborhood going down hill," so to speak. Although the "instructional staff" presumably have some sort of authority and experience to earn this teaching role, Weaver sees their arrival as signaling the decline of rhetoric as he once knew it, rather than seeing it as a sign that rhetoric is becoming more accessible and that more groups of people are actively engaging in rhetoric.

    4. Because rhetoric tries to orient the audience toward a worldview, it is imperative for the study of rhetoric to identify and evaluate the controlling ideas (or "god-terms") on which the ethics of any discourse is based.

      Ah ha! So I guess this answers my question about the Burke reading. I had a hard time following the Burke, but Weaver's connection to Plato is obviously much clearer. (And Weaver in general is also much clearer.)

    1. an imagery of killing

      My mind immediately leapt to Woolf's rather graphic visualization of killing the Angel in the House. The timeliness did rather seem to underscore his point, here.

    2. only

      I very much doubt that, sir.

    3. For Burke, every epistemology has a key term, a "God-term," that names the fundamental ground of human action, as the name God does for religious epistemologies.

      This sort of sounds like the Platonic forms, but for human actions rather than objects. Are these ideas sort of analogous?

    4. alchemic opportunity

      I like the metaphor here; the phrase "alchemic opportunity" hints at both the promising possibilities that can come from such ambiguity, and also the danger of the process. In this case, I think the danger is those philosophers who (as seen in the opposite column of this page) become fixated with deconstructing a term lauded by the opposition because of it's ambiguity, while overlooking the ambiguity of the term(s) they embrace.

    1. And the novels, without meaning to, inevitably lie.

      Ah, the lies again!

    2. riting as an art, not as a method of self-expression.

      Self-expression is apparently not art(?)

    3. That Miss Richardson gets so far as to achieve a sense of reality far greater than that produced by the ordinary means is un-doubted. But, then, which reality is it, the superfi-cial or the profound?

      The benefits of experimentation in consciousness writing, which Woolf goes on to utilize in her own fiction.

    4. must have a motor car.

      A move from companionship to transportation. It is not enough to be happy inside the home--she's ready to move beyond it.

    5. l lies if they are to succeed

      Earlier in the semester, I proposed tracking the instances of authors invoking "truth," but it is becoming far more interesting to track "lies" instead.

    6. I killed her.


      What was that you were saying about violence two weeks ago, Byron?

    7. The Angel in the House.

      (Please forgive all the bullet points, but hypothes.is was not cooperating with my formatting. The options were either this, or to have the poem become one long paragraph)

      • Excerpt:
      • Man must be pleased; but him to please
      • Is woman's pleasure; down the gulf
      • Of his condoled necessities
      • She casts her best, she flings herself.
      • How often flings for nought, and yokes
      • Her heart to an icicle or whim,
      • Whose each impatient word provokes
      • Another, not from her, but him;
      • While she, too gentle even to force
      • His penitence by kind replies,
      • Waits by, expecting his remorse,
      • With pardon in her pitying eyes;
      • And if he once, by shame oppress'd,
      • A comfortable word confers,
      • She leans and weeps against his breast,
      • And seems to think the sin was hers;
      • Or any eye to see her charms,
      • At any time, she's still his wife,
      • Dearly devoted to his arms;
      • She loves with love that cannot tire;
      • And when, ah woe, she loves alone,
      • Through passionate duty love springs higher,
      • As grass grows taller round a stone.
    8. It is true I am a woman; it is true I am employed; but what professional experiences have I had? I

      This reminds me of Iris Young's "Five Faces of Oppression." Young argues that we often neglect to see the many faces of oppression, and that we misrepresent reality by comparing dissimilar experiences of oppression as existing under the same general umbrella of subjectivity. Anyone who experiences even one face of oppression is oppressed, but many individuals and groups experience oppression differently because they may experience different combinations of the faces of oppression. One face of oppression which often goes overlooked is "powerlessness."

      Powerlessness is a distinction between technical freedom and actual self-possession and choice. Examples Young gives are that although we are technically allowed to choose our employer, many employees are placed at the bottom of the totem pole, where they are dictated to, rather than consulted about their own work. Those who work menial jobs, for example, in which the minutia of their jobs (what to do and how to do it) are strictly controlled are powerless. In contrast, professionals such as doctors, teachers, managers, etc. are given a degree of freedom and choice about how to best go about their work, and they might even have employees working under them, whose work they get to control. This freedom gives one "respectability" in the eyes of society and one's own eyes. If someone does not have access to professionalization, they are denigrated for this lack of "respectability," by the implication that they are inferior to professionals. This, of course, becomes a vicious economic and psychological cycle.

      This system of oppression through powerlessness is what Woolf is referencing here. Although she is employed, society has denied her the freedom allotted to most literary professionals, most of whom are men. She is employed, but she is not a professional because she is denied the freedom and respectability that being a professional connotes.

    9. find new audiences-es

      I like this idea of finding a new audience, rather than converting an old one. This seems to imply that the a rhetor is not necessarily obligated to sway those who are opposed to the very fact of their speech. Instead, they can simply find a new form and a new audience to "get a hearing," since that's apparently a phrase now. I mean, it seems a little idealistic, but less likely to expose the rhetor to violence.

    1. inventing not only the matter of their texts, but appropriate personae to deliver thcm.

      Although this particular quote is about women rhetors, this ties us back to our discussion of Douglass' choice of carefully-tailored personae during his lecture circuits.

    2. he public sphere has become drmnatically more open to the rhetoric or women and minorities, whose practices, coming from struggles lo get a hearing, have materially marked contem-porary rhetoric

      Again that phrase "to get a hearing." What does this mean, in context? I feel like I'm missing something important about this super-weird phraseology.

    3. that writers cannot address an actual audience, but rather project the kind of audience that will be receptive to their work. Reading thus involves a kind of ne-gotiation between the actual reader and the role that the author projects for the ideal reader.

      Hmmmm, so how would this apply to our hostile audiences from two weeks ago? Those were audiences for oral arguments, rather than readers, but presumably the relationship would be similar. Essentially, I suppose I am asking what Ong would say in response to an author who is deliberately writing to an unreceptive audience.

    4. Saussure stresses that signs arc arbitrary and without inherent meaning

      Saussure is that guy with the tree picture.

      You know . . .

      . . . that one. I figure this image is more important to knowing who he is than a picture of his face.

    5. li1eml vcrsusfi,:11mtil'e


      I'm sure everyone in this course already knows the difference, but I really enjoy this tutorial:

    6. the increase in college admissions that required new approaches to "basic" writing. Personal writing, the individual's ~arch for an "authentic voice," was regarded as a form of opposition to the imper-~onal and oppressive Es1nhlishment: It was an assertion of personal freedom in the face of the corporate und political forcei,, that urged conformity.

      Interesting! I wonder if this spurred one of the waves of August "Johnny Can't Write" articles we talked about last week . . .

    7. to gain a hearing for themselves.

      This is a really strange phrasing. Does this just mean "to gain an audience"? Are they trying to imply something else? "A hearing" seems to imply a trial of some sort.

    8. as a solution to problems raised by traditional theo-ries of language and meaning.

      So wouldn't presenting rhetoric as a solution be a version of the weak defense for other disciplines?

    1. I mean the doctrine of Usage. The doc-0 trine that there is a right or a good use for every -\+,....+ word and that literary virtue consists in making rtut...;..l. that good use of it

      It feels like we are finally getting to his most important point. This also seems related to Nietzsche, to an extent, in that to claim a "right" or "good" usage implies that we can improve on language by narrowing it, but this sort of view of language ignores that it's all just a system of metaphor.

    2. putting the cart before j..,,s..f.-1~..,J-1 the horse

      Aw, shucks. A week late.

    3. datum


      ˈdādəm,ˈdadəm/ noun 1. a piece of information. 2. a fixed starting point of a scale or operation.

      I thought the etymology was interesting, too: From the Latin dare (to give). The Latin datum (something given), brings us to the mid 18th century usage of datum (a given).

    4. poaches

      This seems like quite a violent metaphor.

    5. We should develop our theory of signs from observations of other people, and only admit evidence drawn from in-trospection when we know how to appraise it.

      But we are inherently trapped within our own perceptions of other people's perceptions. He is trying to call out the problem of introspection, but seems to overlook that the influence of introspection can not be completely avoided.

      This is the problem noted in the introduction, when Richards would remove the author and title from a poem and then critique the test subjects' responses as being "wrong" for various reasons, when he was drawing on his own outside knowledge of the poem and literature generally to establish how and why they were "wrong." He cannot get outside himself, but he seems to forget that, from time to time.

    6. for bona fide communications,

      It feels like this is a distinction between Nietzsche's social lies and anti-social lies. If I'm glossing this correctly, bona fide communications are those social lies which we have all agreed upon to enable communication. "Misdirection" is the anti-social lie for the purpose of trickery.

    7. sui generis

      def. so͞oˌī ˈjenərəs,ˌso͞oē/ adjective unique. (not like anything else) "the sui generis nature of animals"

    8. uberculosis kept him out of the First World War, although it did not prevent him from becoming an avid mountain climber.

      Well that sounds awfully suspicious.

    1. Truths arc illusions which we have forgotten arc illusions; they arc metaphors that have become worn out and have been drained of sensuous force, coins which have lost their em-bossing and arc now considered as metal and no longer as coins.

      I really liked this metaphor to present "Truth" as something that once had value because of the way we recognized it. With time, however, familiarity makes it obscure to us, and we can no longer see that they are constructs.

    1. Much as at the bottom of a night of stairs, a step more or less than we counted upon gives us a shock; so, too, docs a misplaced accent or a su-pernumerary syllable.

      Is this an example of what he means?


    2. s best fitted for the uncultivated, may indeed be inferred from their habitual use of it. The form of expression adopted by the savage.

      Remember when Nathaniel's margin-comment asked if this was racist? In case it is not yet clear, the answer is yes. This is racist. Of course, it is also classist, and dismissive of those who might use blended (but equally structured) language.

    3. the prin-ciples of reasoning neither makes, nor is essential to, a good reasoner, is doubtless true. Thus, 100, is it wilh grammar.

      This attitude is in contrast to the weak defense idea that a good reasoner was a good person. Here Spencer is rejecting that idea, and also rejecting the idea that good grammar is indicative of a good character.

    4. Heiglw

      Um, what?! I had no idea, until this very moment, that heigh-ho was an actual word and not a nonsense-sound for the Seven Dwarves to sing.

      Def. used typically to express boredom, weariness, or sadness or sometimes as a cry of encouragement

      Etymology: The phrase "Heigh-Ho" was first recorded in 1553 and is defined as an expression of "yawning, sighing, languor, weariness, disappointment". Eventually, it blended meanings with the similarly spelled "hey-ho".

    5. Spencer shows a sensitive attention to audience and context

      This is a helpful contrast with our readings from women and people of color, for whom audience mattered greatly. Here is one minuscule example of white men having to think in audience-specific ways.

    6. he principle of economy.

      Lifted by Bain and Hill.

    1. perspicuity

      Etymology: late 15c., of things; 1540s, of expressions, from Latin perspicuitas "transparency, clearness," from perspicuus, from perspicere "look through, look closely at"

      I looked this up because there was an embarrassingly long moment in which I understood "(or economy)" as a synonymous suggestion, taking the phrase "perspicuity (or economy)" to mean something like "finance and economic concerns," which made no sense in context. In retrospect, I was clearly thinking of the word "pecuniary," but I thought I'd keep the etymology available in case anyone else had a similar moment of confusion. Concision. They just wanted concision.

    1. "Does this mean all kinds of cider'!" (It docs.)


      Well, I'm out.

    2. If a pastor is present ask him to offer prayer

      An opportunity for a man to participate, but also ropes him in to offering an implicit endorsement of the group/meeting by blessing it. Willard is recommending another sort of testimonial.

    3. h is a false-let us rather say an ignorant-delicacy which hesitates to give full information through all legitimate channels, of the time, place. and object of any attempt to build up Christ's king-dom by benefiting the race for which he died.

      This is a really interesting invocation. It is accurate to gloss this as "we must rebel in the open, as Jesus would have wanted"?

    4. it may be reasonably claimed that men's hopes of hea~en will be im-measurnbly increased

      This reminds me of Douglass' argument that slavery was dangerous to whites as well as blacks because it corrupted even the most tender-hearted mistress. These sorts of appeals remind us that these rhetors are always thinking about the make up of their audience.

    5. one hundred and twenty in the Pentecostal chamber, and in that number women were clearly and indisputably included.

      I'm confused about what this is referencing. Is this the same passage Palmer refers to when she argues that the Bible indicates men and women were present when the apostles gained the ability to speak in different tongues?

    6. hun-dreds of disquisitions have been written to prove that he did not use unfermented wine

      I did not realize that this was such an important question, but I 100% support a pro-fermented wine conclusion.

    7. peradventure,

      def. per·ad·ven·ture ˌpərədˈvenCHər,ˌ perədˈvenCHər

      uncertainty or doubt as to whether something is the case. ex. "that shows beyond peradventure the strength of the economy"

    8. A similar degree of reverence for the letter

    9. with an introduction comprising three letters from male

      Another example of white male testimony being necessary for Othered bodies to be taken seriously, connecting us to Palmer, Stewart, the Grimkes, and Douglass last week.

    10. arguably no American woman to dale has surpassed her in na-tional and international renown.

      Arguably, indeed. Grand claims like this seem questionable to me, especially since I had never heard of Willard prior to this piece. However, that in and of itself demonstrates the historical erasure of women who were, indeed, important in their day. I'm curious whether any of you recall reading about Willard in your U.S. history textbooks, because I certainly do not, but that may have been because, as the editors point out above, the temperance movement has been largely reduced to a mockable footnote in American history.

    11. Fowler

      I don't think it was necessary to include that it was her fiance who made these decisions which destroyed so much of what she had worked for. Certainly, it adds an element of human interest, but to mention that it was her fiance seems to imply that this was largely the result of a domestic drama. I think it is important to remember that even if it had not been Fowler, he could have been replaced by literally any other man at the time and there is a fair chance that the results would have been much the same. This situation resulted from a society that denigrated and oppressed women for being women, not just for being a woman who refused to marry Fowler, in particular. It was surely an extra twist of the knife that these changes were implemented by a man she had once trusted, but we shouldn't forget that this is a system which allowed #historicalshitheads like Fowler to destroy the work of women on a whim.

    1. Sarah Grimkc's position as the first important American feminist theorist.

      Recent scholars have apparently not done a great job of it, because this is the first time I've ever read such a claim.

    2. lf physical weakness is alluded to, I cheerfully concede the superiority; if brute force is what my brethren arc claiming, I am willing to let them have all the honor they desire; but if they mean to intimate, that mental or moral weakness belongs to woman, more than to man, I utterly disclaim the charge.

      Here is that "mental and moral" argument referred to in The Rhetorical Tradition introduction to this section.

    3. infinity or evils

      Nice phrase!

    4. persuade only by seduc-tively employing their sexuality;

      This is a great example of how embodiment effects the audience's perceptions of the rhetor.

    5. Women must be free to act as responsible moral agents

      This is an important claim that was a prominent argument in the Seneca Falls convention, notably as an argument of Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I a Woman?"

    6. male hecklers who threatened violence,

      This is a partial answer to my concern about Stewart's speaking experiences. I wonder whether heckling (and its consequences) was better recorded against the Grimke sisters because they were white women (and therefore viewed as more fragile and worthy of protection).

    7. which wa.'i burned to the ground by an angry mob shortly after she spoke.

      A second example of a well-documented consequence of women speaking to a mixed crowd. (Though, to be fair, it would be sort of difficult to overlook this one/fail to record it. It's pretty dramatic.)

    1. including William Lloyd Garrison, who could testify to her good works from her activist days in Boston to the present.

      Historically, this sort of testimony was fairly common as a preface to the writing of women and people of color. Such testimonies from (white, wealthy, well-connected) men would sometimes appear prior to the text itself to convince the reader that the author was worth taking seriously, since women and people of color were not considered worth of consideration on their own merits.

    2. did not yet enjoy this supportive reaction

      This seems like quite an understatement, given the last sentence of the next paragraph. Do we have any historical info regarding the ways the hostility of the audience manifested itself? I imagine it must have been fairly extreme to force her to leave the city. For example, was it heckling, attempts to speak over her, jeers and boos to drown out her words, perhaps even a dramatic attempt to pull her from the stage? It seems like the reactions of such hostile audiences offer important historical information, as it should be kept in mind when we consider how women and people of color first needed to shape a type of rhetoric that would quell a hostile audience.

      As an example from a different historical moment, there are conflicting reports of Sojourner Truth's reception at the Seneca Falls Convention. Some reports imply that she was heckled, or at least that there were interjections from the audience, while other reports offer an opposing narrative that present Truth as largely supported by the audience and not decried at all. The hostility or receptivity of the audience (and the way such information is mentioned in accounts) shapes the way we can interpret Truth's oration and its effects.

    3. The Spirit of God came before me, and I spake before many
    1. but this edu-cation did not include classical learning, literacy in Greek and Latin, or formal training in rhetoric, except in a few elite schools for boys destined for the univer-sity

      I do wonder what the reasoning was for this (I mean, besides the blatant "women and the lower class are too stupid to understand our Great Books and/or will lead lives that do not require a 'polite' education"). We've already read arguments that the "polite" education supposedly improved the virtues as well as the mind, right? Wouldn't all of society benefit if women and the lower class were virtuous, as much as possible?

    1. under the influence of slavery

      Keeping in mind his audience, Douglass here demonstrates that the evils of slavery are not limited to the harm visited upon slaves (which is the type of harm white abolitionists wanted him to represent by showing the damage his body had sustained as a slave).

    2. Narrative uf t/re Life uf Frederick Douglass, ai1 American Slave, Written by Himse!J:

      The criticisms above (that a narrative is not wholly true, that the autobiography is exaggerated, or combines the stories of multiple people) are common detractions aimed at autobiographical accounts, especially those concerning significant suffering. People want to know "did that all really happen," "did it happen exactly like he said it did," and "did this all really happen to him or is appropriating someone else's story to make his own life more exciting?" The bottom line, of course, is that those who are concerned with the factuality of every detail are missing the forest for the trees. Autobiographies in general (and slave narratives in particular) serve to demonstrate narratively patterns of human suffering and how they can be combatted.

    3. Douglass made no attempt to retain a plantation accent in his speech or a trace of the slave's servility in his manner.

      This is a significant decision on Douglass' part, and it was a decision that had to be faced not only by other free blacks who spoke publicly, but also by those who recorded and reported such speech-making. A dialect (or lack-thereof) could influence the audience's perception of the speaker, and there are those who would (and have) edited dialect back into the public speeches of black rhetors. For this reason, it's always best to be cautious when reading a text with heavy dialect. Consider to whom such a dialect would appeal, and the political choice such a dialect represents. In this case, white's desire for Douglass to portray himself with a "plantation accent" and "slave's servility" serves the interests of those hoping to appeal to a white savior complex, and their desire to turn Douglass into a mere character rather than an abolitionist thinker in his own right.

    1. "Such is the literal translation of the \fo10v,I ! passage," and leaves it with the reader to make sort c,f the application, with the exclamation, "The reader \i\LC. 1~e,t\{ may make of it what he pleascs."

      In the Douglass piece someone made a comment about the ethos of the author. Here, the author seems to be asserting the truth, based on his knowledge as a translator, but then throwing in the towel when it comes to interpretation.

    2. Potter's Field

      def. ˈpädərz ˌfēld/ noun historical "a burial place for paupers and strangers."

      I then thought that "Potter's Field" might be a corruption of "pauper's field," but it turns out the etymology is "from the mention in Matthew 27:7 of the purchase of a potter's field for use as a graveyard," according to Merriam-Webster.

    3. purchased

      I like the use of this word, here. It implies that those who silence women are STEALING FROM JESUS. Quite the materialist view of religion.

    4. imposed silence on

      Gloss/analysis: This is excellent phrasing in that it makes it clear that the churches have been acting upon women, implicitly rejecting the idea that women are inherently meek, subservient, or without opinion.

    5. the lime has now come when ignorance will involve guilt;

      Nathaniel has drawn our attention to the phrase "ignorance will involve guilt," which I think is significant, but I also want to reflect on the idea that chiding for the wrongs of the past is not necessary because it was born of ignorance and that it is only the time (that is, the moment in which she was writing) which moves us from forgiveness to guilt in the audience. This seems like a similar move to Douglass when he posited that his mistress had been a good, tender-hearted person before she was poisoned by slavery. He called out slavery as a threat to white slave owners, just as Palmer here decries oppression of women will soon lead to a corruption of the souls of men who go on participating in it, once they have been stripped of their ignorance.

    6. Sarah Mallet first preached while convulsed by a sei7Ure. She was unable to remember any or her words upon awakening.

      Wait, what? Are we just . . . not interested in looking into that? This feels like it moves on too quickly . . . are we to assume it was a deliberate, strategic claim to demonstrate the will of the Holy Spirit? It seems strange that so many people want to closely examine "miracles" of all sorts, yet this one was easily accepted. It certainly puts a new spin on the importance of the rhetor's body, though.

    1. he wanted profundity of thought and power of analysis which Aristotle possessed

      Dang, so flinging insults at the drop of a hat, too. This assertion also, apparently, needs no elaboration.

    2. Among the ancients, Aristotle, the earliest whose works arc extant, may safely be pronounced to be also the best of the systematic writers on Rhc• toric.

      This is the shortest gloss of Aristotle I have ever seen, especially by one claiming him to be "the best."