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Responding to the reassertion of orality in the twentieth century in the form of electronic media such as the telegraph, film, video, computers, and television, this unique volume traces the roots of classical rhetoric in the modern world. Welch begins by changing the current view of classical rhetoric by reinterpreting the existing texts into fluid language contexts — a change that requires relinquishing the formulaic tradition, acquiring an awareness of translation issues, and constructing a classical rhetoric beginning with the Fifth Century B.C. She continues with a discussion of the adaptability of this material to new language situations, including political, cultural, and linguistic change, providing it with much of its power as well as its longevity. The book concludes that classical rhetoric can readily address any situation since it focuses not only on critical stances toward discourse that already exists, but also presents elaborate theories for the production of new discourse.
Contents: Preface. Part I: A Critique of Contemporary Appropriations of Classical Rhetoric. The Heritage School of Classical Rhetoric in the United States. Presentations of Heritage School Classical Rhetoric: "Logic" and False Oppositions of Ancient and Modern Language Issues. Part II: Rehistoricizing Classical Rhetoric. Interpretive Options in the Historicizing of Classical Rhetoric. Appropriating Plato's Rhetoric and Writing into Contemporary Rhetoric and Composition Studies. Appropriating Competing Systems of Classical Greek Rhetoric: Considering Isocrates and Gorgias with Plato in the New Rhetoric of the Fourth Century B.C. Classical Rhetoric and Contemporary Rhetoric and Composition Studies: Electrifying Classical Rhetoric.