By Sharon Crowley
Examines the necessary introductory direction in composition inside American faculties and universities. the writer argues that the direction has traditionally been inappropriately inspired by means of humanist pedagogy - an unsatisfactory reason for the learn of writing - and proposes attainable possible choices.
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Extra info for Composition in the University: Historical and Polemical Essays
I am interested in Cicero's story of Zeuxis and the virgins because it can be read to illustrate a difference in the way rhetoricians and philosophers think about art. Reading with Cicero, I understand that art is valued for religious reasons: the Crotoniats want to place a worthy work in Juno's temple. There is also a touch of civic pride at work, insofar as possession of a sculpture created by a famous artist gains stature for the city. In other words, art exerts rhetorical force in a community; it transacts religious or civic business.
According to S. Michael Halloran, "the purpose of education in the rhetorical tradition was to prepare ... a civic leader who understood all the values of his culture and used artful speech to make those values effective in the arena of public affairs" (1982,246). Halloran asserts further that "the vitality of the classical rhetorical tradition in the colleges of the 18th and early 19th centuries helped to maintain a standard of public discourse far superior to what we have in politics today" (264).
1993, 3n-13) Tate does not object to the range of texts suggested by Lindemann, nor does he find fault with her emphasis on rhetorical training. He insists, however, that writing teachers be permitted to use literary texts in composition instruction, given their primary interest in helping students to lead rewarding lives. He also rejects "the current focus on academic discourse," not only because such a focus defines composition as a service course, but because he resists what he sees as "the increasing professionalization of undergraduate education in this country" (1993, 319, 320).
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