Trust in Texts: A Different History of Rhetoric

Trust in Texts: A Different History of Rhetoric

by Susan Miller
     
 

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Trust in Texts: A Different History of Rhetoric challenges the accepted idea of a singular rhetorical tradition poorly maintained from the Athenian Golden Age until the present. Author Susan Miller argues that oratorical rhetoric is but one among many codes that guide the production of texts and proposes that emotion and trust are central to the motives and

Overview

Trust in Texts: A Different History of Rhetoric challenges the accepted idea of a singular rhetorical tradition poorly maintained from the Athenian Golden Age until the present. Author Susan Miller argues that oratorical rhetoric is but one among many codes that guide the production of texts and proposes that emotion and trust are central to the motives and effects of rhetoric.

This groundbreaking volume makes a case for historical rhetoric as disbursed, formal and informal lessons in persuasion that are codified as crafts that mediate between what is known and unknown in particular rhetorical situations. Traditional, unified histories of rhetoric ignore the extensive historical interactions among discourses—including medicine, drama, lyric poetry, philosophy, oratory, and literary fiction—that have operated from antiquity across cultures that are historically and geographically joined.

Drawing not just on traditional rhetorical works, but also on texts from philosophy and literature, Miller expands the body of works to be considered in the study of rhetoric. As the first book-length study that calls into question the centrality of logos to rhetoric, Trust in Texts will change the way the history of rhetoric is viewed and taught and will be essential to scholars and students of communications, rhetoric, English, classics, and literary studies.

Editorial Reviews

CHOICE
In writing a poststructuralist history of rhetoric, Miller (Univ. of Utah) pursues several important goals. First, she

decenters understanding of rhetoric''s canonical roots, challenging the origins mythology that makes intellectual

context the inevitable descendant of Golden Age Athens. Second, she reimages categories of rhetoric to reclaim a

pre-Cartesian valuation of emotions as an important element (if not an alternative "center") of a whole understanding

of what texts, oratorical or print, do and how they are received. The "trust" of her title is the "emotional consent" one

must accord any text for it to be persuasive. Miller demonstrates that this element has been de-emphasized in

traditional histories. Through close readings of specific examples from ancient Greece, 18th-century liminal spaces

between rhetoric as oratory and mass product, and current theory, she shows that emotional consent can, if

reconceived, offer a reintegration of mind, body, and spirit fragmented by Cartesian rationalism. Although the author

herself points out the poststructuralist "problematic" that she must provide close readings without "re-turning to

totalizing explanations," her conclusion calls for exploration of the implications of a persuasive "energy" that unites

reason and emotion. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, and faculty.

— M.F. McClure

From the Publisher

“This book, and the research that supports it, has the potential to change the way we understand and study rhetoric.”—Gregory Clark, Brigham Young University

“This is Susan Miller’s magnum opus. It will greatly expand traditional notions of what it is that we look at when we say we’re looking at rhetoric.”—Patricia Harkin, University of Illinois at Chicago

CHOICE - M.F. McClure

In writing a poststructuralist history of rhetoric, Miller (Univ. of Utah) pursues several important goals. First, she

decenters understanding of rhetoric's canonical roots, challenging the origins mythology that makes intellectual

context the inevitable descendant of Golden Age Athens. Second, she reimages categories of rhetoric to reclaim a

pre-Cartesian valuation of emotions as an important element (if not an alternative "center") of a whole understanding

of what texts, oratorical or print, do and how they are received. The "trust" of her title is the "emotional consent" one

must accord any text for it to be persuasive. Miller demonstrates that this element has been de-emphasized in

traditional histories. Through close readings of specific examples from ancient Greece, 18th-century liminal spaces

between rhetoric as oratory and mass product, and current theory, she shows that emotional consent can, if

reconceived, offer a reintegration of mind, body, and spirit fragmented by Cartesian rationalism. Although the author

herself points out the poststructuralist "problematic" that she must provide close readings without "re-turning to

totalizing explanations," her conclusion calls for exploration of the implications of a persuasive "energy" that unites

reason and emotion. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, and faculty.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780809387670
Publisher:
Southern Illinois University Press
Publication date:
11/20/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
File size:
350 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Susan Miller, a professor of English and a faculty member in the University Writing Program at the University of Utah, teaches the history and theory of rhetoric and composition. She is the author of Writing: Process and Product, Rescuing the Subject: A Critical Introduction to Rhetoric and the Writer, Textual Carnivals: The Politics of Composition, and Assuming the Positions: Cultural Pedagogy and the Politics of Ordinary Writing.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
B.S. in Business, New York University
Website:
http://astrologyzone.com

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