SGarza.AfterReadingConnors History

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Michele Mora-Trevino

Robert first chapter, Influences: Composition-Rhetoric as an Irenic Rhetoric, presents a historical look of the evolution of rhetoric and composition. Using Walter thesis of agonistic education, Connor explains how rhetoric was built upon a desire for aggressive competition. For centuries, rhetoric flourished under the influence of agnosticism, it was not until the 19th century when females entered academia that rhetoric experiences a decline and composition gains influence. presentation of agonistic education is excellent and his discussion of the violence associated with evolution is surprising.
Connor discusses intermittently the theme of violence associated with the evolution of rhetoric. As Connor explains on page 27, is about contest and struggle. During the late and early 1700s, Quaker women experienced numerous struggles when they attempted to preach in public forums. These women were accused of witch craft and were violently punished or killed. The violence experienced by these courageous Quaker women who sought to preach and practice the tradition of rhetoric is disturbing.
Although Connor provides additional factors that contributed to the decline of rhetoric; it is the discussion of females in academia that appears to have the most monumental impact. Connor explores, at length, the role that the female plays in the decline of rhetoric and the rise of composition. For centuries, women remained at home without an opportunity for education and without an opportunity for public speaking. For women who chose to challenge this position, they were treated poorly and violently. right to speak in a public forum came at a cruel price
Additionally, the violence associated with male students and their professors who had differences regarding the teaching practices, is also alarming. It is interesting to note that, during the 19th century when rhetoric was shifting, all-male universities were experiencing student riots and students were publicly whipping and attacking their professors. One professor was fatally shot by a student. During this period, male students appear to be growing tired of the traditional academia practices such as oral and public exams. This aversion also impacted the decline of rhetoric.
The elite, male tradition of rhetoric was based upon ego, competition and aggression; so, it is easy to understand how violence has been associated with the evolution of rhetoric.
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Benny C

Alright, see if I can do this without just regurgitating.

In the introduction Connors discusses the lack of recorded history of the 19th century as far as rhetoric goes. Everything seems to have ended with Whately. During the 19th century, though, the U.S. saw a great number of changes that would affect the field of rhetoric, with the Civil War being a major factor. 1862 saw the passing of the Morrill Act, creating the A&M colleges that would bring higher education to the working members of society, and spread it beyond the crop of students. At this point the whole concept of learning to write by reading good writing, or the tradition became almost immediately outdated because not everyone was coming from a prep-school background. After this, the MLA formed, and Harvard instituted their entrance exams, which determined that students write, and the modern freshman composition class became a staple of all colleges. Then it was dumped on us, the surprised and underpaid college graduate students, and we are responsible for teaching surprised freshman everything they need to know about writing in six months. In this introduction Connors also describes composition-rhetoric as ever shifting balance between the old and comforting and the new and exciting, the ways of lore and the ways of theory, the push of societal pressure and the inertia of academic (17). One thing that I found helpful in this section is the that he describes on page 18.
constructionists criticize cognitivists. Marxists deride expressivists. Social science-based researchers refuse to cater to readers. Theorists cannot easily speak to each other. Philosophers feel ignored by empiricists, experimenters resent the criticism of rhetoricians, and teachers feel despised by everyone. good to know where we potentially stand. On page 21 there is an entire paragraph that simply says use one approach or theory to write this book, because parts of all of them are useable but picking one theory along would be dumb, but he says it in the most sarcastic and drawn out way possible. I think kind of what I like about Connors. While he claims that book means to be a work of scholarship rather than of criticism, he manages to include a lot of criticism in his choice of rhetoric (coincidentally) that makes a lot of this really enjoyable to me, even if I have a lot to say about it. all useful, and helpful for gaining a good idea of what the field looks like, and how utterly derailed it is.

Chapter one, Gender Influences, discusses the move to irenic (peaceful) discourse from agonistic (agonistic) discourse in rhetoric, as influenced by the decision to allow women to become educated. Before the 19th century women were only allowed private tutors, and only men attended University. Men tend to like to argue and fight and prove to each other that they are more manly, so education focuses on agonistic discourse, or agonistic rhetoric, which basically consisted of persuasive debate in order to develop good rhetoric. has made a powerful case that important elements of human behavior have been unconsciously informed by the radical insecurity and status needs of males, and that agonistic self-display has been the resulting constant (25). This method, apparently, work for women, who were taught by society to be nice and polite, and to speak only when spoken to. Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness. For Adam was first formed, then Eve; and Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into (31). Due to this, they pretty much decided that men should be allowed spoken discourse, and women should be allowed reading and writing because they could do it quietly (32), or as he explains on 54, form of discourse that no one found threatening from women: written composition. Within this we deal with the relations of ethos, logos, and pathos to rhetoric. He basically sums up with teaching of composition has been in the hands of women for a long time, but in the last three decades it has been evolving into a truly feminized discipline-probably the most feminized discipline outside of (67). As one of the 5 ( had rumors of a 6th) men in the English grad program, I still figure out why this is true, but I think it has more to do with the act of teaching in general than specifically English.

So basically, within these first two chapters set up the fact that a lot of people are allowed into college who . This alone is just pretty standard information, but it becomes more important later. having the problem where I really only know how to put this into context with the whole picture, but I want to avoid discussing the whole creation of technical writing and the different camps of rhetoric and all the other great jazz in this book before we get there. I feel like stuck watching a detective movie already seen and I keep wanting to scream out WAS TIM CURRY, TIM CURRY DID IT, HE GOT YOU ALL HERE SO HE COULD SCREW WITH YOU!
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[+%color=aqua%Andrea Montalvo :)+]

''Introduction'' - In his introduction Connors discusses the focus of his book, the notion that nineteenth century rhetoric has been overlooked. He notes, "speech-based histories tended to valorize oral discourse-and to downplay written rhetoric, which is the great contribution of the nineteenth century" (2). He feels that people may assume there was no rhetorical activity during this time due to the lack of recognition. He also gives a crash course in the history of rhetoric, as well as how it has changed throughout the years and always will. He mentions, "contemporary scholars have strongly criticized earlier forms of it as being pedagogically destructive, but we should remember that many things we still find useful in writing pedagogy were evolved before 1960" (7). The "it" Connors is referring to is "current traditional rhetoric" and although it may retain some useful elements from the era prior to the 1960's, it has "existed in a variety of forms and constantly evolved" (7).

''Chapter 1: Gender Influences'' - Before I read this chapter, I had a feeling it would pertain to women (yay feminism!) and I was right on the money. As a young ethnic woman in graduate school, it's hard for me to read about a time where women were intellectually stifled! But, I thought it was interesting how Connors addresses the question, "who owns rhetoric?" to which he answers, "throughout most of Western history the answer has been clear: rhetoric was the property of men, particularly men of property" (24). Connors mentions Walter Ong and the concept he picked up from his book, ''Fighting for Life:Contest, Sexuality and Consciousness'' that "masculine consciousness tacitly perceives most of life from the perspective of a contest" (25). I was unaware that men could actually attack one another over a disagreement at the college level in the nineteenth century until I read this chapter. I was schocked to learn that the student-professor relationship was one of violence and hostility. Connors mentions, "The older methods of academic defense and attack died out with startling rapidity, says Ong, because of the entrance of women into higher education" (26).

I thought it was very interesting that as more and more women attended colleges around the country, the agnostic tradition (which I agree with Holly should be referred to as antagonistic) died out because it was wrong to verbally and physically attack a woman over an intellectual disagreement. Because rhetoric was so male dominated, did men really think the mature and intelligent way to resolve a conflict was by fighting? Switching gears, I found it interesting how Connors discusses the inclusion of women's letters in the 12th century in the ''Dictamina Rhetorica.'' And, as Connors mentions, although there were advocates for women's education beginning during the renaissance, women were often excluded from traditional education until the nineteenth century.
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In this chapter on Gender Influences by Conners, the pedagogical styles over the millennium were diligently traced and expounded upon, and the explanation of the shift from the historical oral-rhetoric tradition to the most recent mode of rhetoric as writing/composition was explicated. He traces how the old-school Aristotelian argumentative rhetoric which was dominant until the late in a male-dominated American society gave way to multimodal rhetoric including belletrism and multimodality. Style changes involved a cultural shift that came to life in the late 19th century and has been in a state of flux since that time. Much new pedagogy has been introduced, tested, discarded, reinstated, and ruminated over by writing professionals and instructors and the refinement of process seems to be a constant challenge; the question remains still, what is the best method to teach composition? He argues that there must be a solution on how to develop rhetorical pedagogies that embrace both the old and the new, and the task of incorporating both extremes of pedagogical styles is important to the field of composition.


His discussion on (64) summarizes just how influential the impingement of women on the writing process was; writing, for whatever reason, was not a part of rhetoric for 2,400 years, and its admission to rhetoric corresponds exactly to the admission of women to rhetoric courses. Personally, since I have not taken current approaches to composition, this is new to my understanding.
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Benny C

having problems with this. First, finding it a little fluffy. Second, finding it very fluffy. My problem seems to be that I always want to find a middle ground between things, but everything I can read about composition is arguing for extremes. While Tobin seems to describe finding a middle ground between the different process pedagogies, I still help but wonder how much good actually doing. He discusses inserting mini lessons on audience awareness, word choice, and what not, but it still feels like most of what he describes happening in the classroom is overly idealistic play-time.

I wish he had described postprocess more, because what he does explain about it sounds pretty much perfect. I gather that postprocess involves mixing process teaching (or by not ) with more traditional teaching methods, such as studying professional writing, and doing a lot of revision based writing within a seminar-esque environment. This sounds a lot like what my teaching method would be, but he go into enough detail about it to actually win me over. Instead, he talks about how postprocess is going backwards and somehow detrimental because it requires that teaching have a method and rules. Quite frankly, it sounds like he wants teaching to be anarchic rather than democratic. I mean democratic in the patriotic b.s. way, but in the idealistic sense that the students and teachers play an equal part in the learning process. There need to be rules and guidelines, and there needs to be a perceived reason for a class to exist. Composition teachers have historically had a hard time validating their own existence to the rest of the academy, and while this is always some big mystery throughout academia, from my perspective it seems to make perfect sense.

From what I gather, teaching composition is more about teaching the students to think as individuals and inform them of the actual creative process that goes into writing a paper. These are skills students need, but they seem to need to be coupled with other lessons. Personally, I felt like Technical and Report Writing was a much more valuable class in terms of explaining the sense of audience awareness and appropriateness of different writing styles for different situations than modern Comp classes seem to do. It feels like a modern composition teacher is juggling too many considerations about needs and students backgrounds to actually focus on actually giving the students what they need. If the point of freshman composition is by any means supposed to be the process of giving college students the tools they need to succeed in classroom writing, it seems like it would be effective to focus on appropriate ways to write specific kinds of research papers as well as just the students voice. I realize that this is limited to my own experience in the freshman comp classes, as a college freshman, but even Tobin points out that what actually goes on in the classroom is significantly different than what process pedagogy and textbooks in general discuss.

I agree with a lot of what he says, but I know if I agree with his answers, which could easily stem from a misunderstanding about what saying. not that Johnny write, process pedagogues were suddenly saying to the rest of us, just that you, Professor Stuffed Shirt, (6). I figure out for the life of me if agreeing with that statement or snuffing it completely. He also seems to scoff at , but at the same time seems to adopt their ideals (again, I might not be completely reading this correctly).

A lot of the critiques of process pedagogy that he argues against are pretty solid, to me. His arguments are solid as well, but they disprove the initial statements, or argue them for the wrong points. The first bullet, that pedagogy has become so regimented that it has turned into the kind of rules-driven product that it originally critiqued, page 10, is one of these. My argument here would simply be it be rule driven? You can have rules and still teach while letting students express themselves. This is what I meant by fluffy. I just get the vibe that needs to be happy friendly, non-colonizing, just be positive. Instead of arguing why process pedagogy be rule driven, he simply explains that it more to do with the quirks of some individual teachers and the nature of the textbook business than with some inherent flaw in the process approach.

While discussing the second bulleted argument, that pedagogies are inrresponsible because they fail to teach basic and necessary skills and conventions, he immediately addresses the problem that I have with it: has been a concern from the very beginning-that process was too soft, too touchy-feely, too student directed to do its job: teach students how to (11). He backs this with the wide range of different and necessarily subjective opinions about what constitutes good writing, it is unclear what could possibly constitute proof in this (11-12). process pedagogy works, its proponents argue, students will adopt more productive attitudes and practices (e.g., starting earlier, employing freewriting and other invention strategies, seeking feedback, relying on revision, etc.) that may take time to integrate but that will remain long after the course has (12). So, trying to teach productive techniques, rather than writing? not arguing that this in itself is bad, but only part of the equation. I propose grammar lessons or anything, simply because hope that if 12 English teachers have managed to pass a student, he should have some kind of understanding of how grammar works (I know this ever the case), but I find it hard to simply just abandon it. I think just going to cut this short now because I could go into a whole ordeal tying this in with the prior readings in Lives on the Boundary for Basic Writing. Actually, I think I could write an entire dissertation on this topic.

In conclusion: I disagree.
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Benny C

having problems with this. First, finding it a little fluffy. Second, finding it very fluffy. My problem seems to be that I always want to find a middle ground between things, but everything I can read about composition is arguing for extremes. While Tobin seems to describe finding a middle ground between the different process pedagogies, I still help but wonder how much good actually doing. He discusses inserting mini lessons on audience awareness, word choice, and what not, but it still feels like most of what he describes happening in the classroom is overly idealistic play-time.

I wish he had described postprocess more, because what he does explain about it sounds pretty much perfect. I gather that postprocess involves mixing process teaching (or by not ) with more traditional teaching methods, such as studying professional writing, and doing a lot of revision based writing within a seminar-esque environment. This sounds a lot like what my teaching method would be, but he go into enough detail about it to actually win me over. Instead, he talks about how postprocess is going backwards and somehow detrimental because it requires that teaching have a method and rules. Quite frankly, it sounds like he wants teaching to be anarchic rather than democratic. I mean democratic in the patriotic b.s. way, but in the idealistic sense that the students and teachers play an equal part in the learning process. There need to be rules and guidelines, and there needs to be a perceived reason for a class to exist. Composition teachers have historically had a hard time validating their own existence to the rest of the academy, and while this is always some big mystery throughout academia, from my perspective it seems to make perfect sense.

From what I gather, teaching composition is more about teaching the students to think as individuals and inform them of the actual creative process that goes into writing a paper. These are skills students need, but they seem to need to be coupled with other lessons. Personally, I felt like Technical and Report Writing was a much more valuable class in terms of explaining the sense of audience awareness and appropriateness of different writing styles for different situations than modern Comp classes seem to do. It feels like a modern composition teacher is juggling too many considerations about needs and students backgrounds to actually focus on actually giving the students what they need. If the point of freshman composition is by any means supposed to be the process of giving college students the tools they need to succeed in classroom writing, it seems like it would be effective to focus on appropriate ways to write specific kinds of research papers as well as just the students voice. I realize that this is limited to my own experience in the freshman comp classes, as a college freshman, but even Tobin points out that what actually goes on in the classroom is significantly different than what process pedagogy and textbooks in general discuss.

I agree with a lot of what he says, but I know if I agree with his answers, which could easily stem from a misunderstanding about what saying. not that Johnny write, process pedagogues were suddenly saying to the rest of us, just that you, Professor Stuffed Shirt, (6). I figure out for the life of me if agreeing with that statement or snuffing it completely. He also seems to scoff at , but at the same time seems to adopt their ideals (again, I might not be completely reading this correctly).

A lot of the critiques of process pedagogy that he argues against are pretty solid, to me. His arguments are solid as well, but they disprove the initial statements, or argue them for the wrong points. The first bullet, that pedagogy has become so regimented that it has turned into the kind of rules-driven product that it originally critiqued, page 10, is one of these. My argument here would simply be it be rule driven? You can have rules and still teach while letting students express themselves. This is what I meant by fluffy. I just get the vibe that needs to be happy friendly, non-colonizing, just be positive. Instead of arguing why process pedagogy be rule driven, he simply explains that it more to do with the quirks of some individual teachers and the nature of the textbook business than with some inherent flaw in the process approach.

While discussing the second bulleted argument, that pedagogies are inrresponsible because they fail to teach basic and necessary skills and conventions, he immediately addresses the problem that I have with it: has been a concern from the very beginning-that process was too soft, too touchy-feely, too student directed to do its job: teach students how to (11). He backs this with the wide range of different and necessarily subjective opinions about what constitutes good writing, it is unclear what could possibly constitute proof in this (11-12). process pedagogy works, its proponents argue, students will adopt more productive attitudes and practices (e.g., starting earlier, employing freewriting and other invention strategies, seeking feedback, relying on revision, etc.) that may take time to integrate but that will remain long after the course has (12). So, trying to teach productive techniques, rather than writing? not arguing that this in itself is bad, but only part of the equation. I propose grammar lessons or anything, simply because hope that if 12 English teachers have managed to pass a student, he should have some kind of understanding of how grammar works (I know this ever the case), but I find it hard to simply just abandon it. I think just going to cut this short now because I could go into a whole ordeal tying this in with the prior readings in Lives on the Boundary for Basic Writing. Actually, I think I could write an entire dissertation on this topic.

In conclusion: I disagree.
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* Steve S.-

The introduction is partly a mission statement about the book, partly a defense of the book, and partly an argument for the inclusion of 19th Century rhetorical history into the book. Connors essentially believes that the 19th Century has been sorely overlooked in the history of rhetoric; he explains why the situation has developed over time and what it means to the field. Beyond that, Connors explains why he chose a historical format, rather than explaining rhetoric through the lens of a particular theoretical context. Connors does manage to tie some details with Tate early on, particularly in the way that writing is presently taught. Connors views himself as somewhat conservative in his biases, though he tends to look at the field through the perspective of social equity.

Chapter 1, on the other hand, focuses on the role of women in the history of rhetoric. Which, according to Connors, really wasn't any. Connors contends that women were essentially excluded from the rhetorical conversation since antiquity, to the point where there were no women in rhetoric until the 1800's. Connors, oddly, seems to admire the effectiveness of this exclusion, emphasizing on how "effective" he saw the barriers to women learning rhetoric.

That having been said, Connors does adequately explain just how women became shut out from the rhetorical debate. According to Connors, the rhetoric of classical antiquity to the 19th Century was considered a form of verbal sparring, and thus more geared towards the male thought process. This did not change until universities allowed women to study rhetoric in the past two centuries, at which point the study of rhetoric changed significantly.

Connors also places much of the responsibility (though I would prefer the word "blame") upon the Catholic Church, stretching back to Saul of Tarsus. Since the church was the primary public forum for centuries, shutting women off from church rhetoric fundamentally silenced women for well over a millenium. These social forces, according to Connors, shaped the study of rhetoric, which is why it is still very largely combative and based in the pulpit.

"Gender Influences" is a very feminist-oriented chapter, as indeed it should be. It's also a very direct dissection of a shameful chapter in the history of classical rhetoric. I believe here we begin to see where Connors' leanings towards social equity become more noticeable, but overall it's an effective historical summary.


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*Sami H. This first reading from the Connors book was very impressive. I had always been aware that women faced much inequality in the past, but I had never realized how much that affected the evolution of written and oral rhetoric.

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This first reading from the Connors book was very
impressive. I had always been aware that women faced much inequality in the past, but I had never realized how much that affected the evolution of written and oral rhetoric.
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'''Jennifer G.'''
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This text is fascinating in that it answered a question that has bothered me for some time. I like how Connors sets up the first chapter in the intro, by discussing how important it is that we not overlook the 19th centuries impact on rhet comp. From there he gets into the gender issue, and this portion threw me. It was everything I didn't expect. Most texts, that I have read, that deal with gender issues, examine the issues very critically, but this was fairly analytical. I loved the approach and the logic used to discuss the evolution of rhet comp as gender became mixed. I found it fascinating that the more women were involved the more the work turned from oral argument to written, and the more the methods of assessment were standardized, and less debate.
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'''Jennifer G.'''

This text is fascinating in that it answered a question that has bothered me for some time. I like how Connors sets up the first chapter in the intro, by discussing how important it is that we not overlook the 19th centuries impact on rhet comp. From there he gets into the gender issue, and this portion threw me. It was everything I didn't expect. Most texts, that I have read, that deal with gender issues, examine the issues very critically, but this was fairly analytical. I loved the approach and the logic used to discuss the evolution of rhetoric comp as gender became mixed. I found it fascinating that the more women were involved the more the work turned from oral argument to written, and the more the methods of assessment were standardized, and less debate.
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!!!Edith Post-reading

In the introduction, Connor only gives a glimpse of the learning process. After WW II in composition was not concerned with what students were taught as how they were taught, (16) besides that the only other issues have to do with the real meaning of composition-rhetoric and its history. He notes that composition was badly taught, was destructive, leading to desiccation (to drain of emotional) of the creativity, to useless fear about meaningless (and probably fictional) block paranoia about mechanical issues, and to dead, imitative, ponderous student prose that attempted to mimic the dead, imitative, ponderous prose of (Connors 16). I think this one quote comes down to issues such as: growth as a writer, voice, process, error, service learning, good writing, goals of a writing course and the role of a teacher.

The text connects to Lad in that he explains the significance of students becoming better writers and Lad being a good instructor. Lad also begins by stating that he was used to writing five-paragraph essays that were dreadful and boring that lead to insignificant learning about writing. And confirms that composition has been taught terribly, so bad that today composition instructors are still trying to implement the writing process, so that students will become better writers.

Lastly, the text begins to break down in Influences. explains that theories and pedagogies changed older agonistic rhetoric oriented only toward males to a more modern irenic (favoring) rhetoric that can include both (24). Essentially, women brought forth the changes in the classroom and because they did, rhetoric was taught differently. Not surprisingly, women had to struggle to get their voice heard, compete against men, since men thought they were the only ones capable of being intellectual scholars. However, that was not the case. The chapter also covers meaning was taken as an insult and ethical appeal from a woman was unimaginable. In relation to the reading, referring to Elbow and Murray, freewriting is part of the writing process, and women were the first ones to apply such a practice by writing letters. Here is where we first see the connections to changes brought forth by women that lead to some of the writing practices used today.
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!!!Michelle G Post-read

In his introduction, Connors is arguing the importance of 19th Century that the gap in current approaches to the study of its history is one in which an entire separate history (important to our understanding of rhetoric both in and outside the classroom) exists. He claims that there exists a rhetorical tradition that the 19th (4). He also states that the advent of this new tradition is due in part to a number of changes and shifts in education and culture.

In the first chapter of his book, Connors talks about the history of rhetoric and how it has become what it is today. He explains that during the medieval period, the advent of written rhetoric as a means to include the voice (as in letter writing) created a shift in the way in which rhetoric had been used (as a means in which males compete with males/ ). I like how he explains all aspects of rhetoric within the culture, not only in educational settings, but in the preachings of men and such, as these kinds of uses of rhetoric; it gives a different light to the movements throughout history (maybe not so much a different light, but it in a sense presents the belittling of the voice from a different angle.

Overall, what I got from the chapter is that since the 19th Century (and possibly earlier) American education has become increasingly feminine and feminist, and Connors argues that Composition studies will continue to do so until it is completely . From what I can grasp, he is stating that there will be no more agonistic rhetoric, but instead collaborative to the instead of arguing against our peers in an effort to show off our thinking muscles.
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!!!Edith Post-reading

In the introduction, Connor only gives a glimpse of the learning process. After WW II in composition was not concerned with what students were taught as how they were taught, (16) besides that the only other issues have to do with the real meaning of composition-rhetoric and its history. He notes that composition was badly taught, was destructive, leading to desiccation (to drain of emotional) of the creativity, to useless fear about meaningless (and probably fictional) block paranoia about mechanical issues, and to dead, imitative, ponderous student prose that attempted to mimic the dead, imitative, ponderous prose of (Connors 16). I think this one quote comes down to issues such as: growth as a writer, voice, process, error, service learning, good writing, goals of a writing course and the role of a teacher.

The text connects to Lad in that he explains the significance of students becoming better writers and Lad being a good instructor. Lad also begins by stating that he was used to writing five-paragraph essays that were dreadful and boring that lead to insignificant learning about writing. And confirms that composition has been taught terribly, so bad that today composition instructors are still trying to implement the writing process, so that students will become better writers.

Lastly, the text begins to break down in Influences. explains that theories and pedagogies changed older agonistic rhetoric oriented only toward males to a more modern irenic (favoring) rhetoric that can include both (24). Essentially, women brought forth the changes in the classroom and because they did, rhetoric was taught differently. Not surprisingly, women had to struggle to get their voice heard, compete against men, since men thought they were the only ones capable of being intellectual scholars. However, that was not the case. The chapter also covers meaning was taken as an insult and ethical appeal from a woman was unimaginable. In relation to the reading, referring to Elbow and Murray, freewriting is part of the writing process, and women were the first ones to apply such a practice by writing letters. Here is where we first see the connections to changes brought forth by women that lead to some of the writing practices used today.
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'''Holly C. Post-Reading Introduction and Chapter 1'''

introduction discusses his purpose for writing the book. According to Connors much of the history of Rhetoric was written without mention of the nineteenth century. Connors believes that this lack of information being written about rhetoric in the nineteenth century has created the misconception that there was no going on in the nineteenth century (1). Connors believes that this misconception that there was no rhetoric in the nineteenth century needs to be dispelled. He states that this misconception is also the reason that his book focuses primarily on the history of Rhetoric from the nineteenth century on and not on the earlier (some ancient) texts that are generally discussed in books about the history of rhetoric.

introduction also serves as a place for him to go over a brief history of rhetoric. He begins this history discussing the and moves on through to the (the last mention of a date that I could find in the text. Of interesting note in this section of the introduction was the discovery of the knowledge that the period following the civil war was the first period in which composition textbooks and readers began to be released. Another thing I really took from this section was a quote from the section titled Consolidation Composition Rhetoric. Regarding the of American the quote says, freshmen could not write. This situation could not be allowed. Secondary curricula must change. Teachers must be proselytized. Principals must be warned. Schools must be put on (11). I found this quote to be , especially in the current education system. It seems that, even in the time between 1885 and 1910 individuals were not meeting some standard, and here I thought that the age of standards and accountability was a more recent (at least this century or the latter part of the twentieth century) issue.

The chapter on gender influences helped me to see that the conduct of the academy was not always a civilized and polite thing. According to this chapter, the agonistic (I think antagonistic would be a more appropriate term) methods of rhetoric contained a lot of hostility when the field of rhetoric and, more specifically, of academia was a male dominated field. It was not uncommon for violence to erupt within a classroom and for both students and professors to end up injured. As I read this, I was, first of all, surprised. I would have never imagined college as a place where a student could take a swing at a professor or vice versa.

Connors indicates that the integration of women into colleges is what changed the face of rhetoric and the university. Since women could not be exposed to a death match between their professor and an overachieving classmate who brought in a pair of brass knuckles, professors shifted from oral debate and discussion of literature and its concept to a written form.
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*Sami H. This first reading from the Connors book was very impressive. I had always been aware that women faced much inequality in the past, but I had never realized how much that affected the evolution of written and oral rhetoric.

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I was initially skeptical about the readability of a book regarding composition rhetoric, but Connors does an excellent job of making the first chapter interesting. I have always enjoyed reading about history, and mainly about the mistakes that human beings have made in order for us to be as comfortable as we currently are.
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Connors explains how rhetoric composition has drastically changed, especially since the 19th century. For the first 2,500 years of its existence, rhetoric was completely dominated by men. Hence, Connors brings up points made by a familiar name to me,Walter Ong (a man who usually makes me feel simple-minded due to his use of every word in the English dictionary). Ong's views on gender inequalities heavily influence Connors' view of history.
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Dating back to Greek and Roman times, oral rhetoric served as a "man's competition". I thought it was most unfortunate that women were not thought of as being capable of being oral rhetoricians themselves. I was, however, aware that almost all rhetoric was orally-based. Most people look past the fact that frequent writing is a fairly recent phenomenon.

All public speaking and learning remained exclusively for men, whether it be in college, church, or public office. Quakers were the first people to accept women as preachers; however, they faced many horrible atrocities by those who either believed in religion or not.

Eventually, people started writing things down on paper. This is the first situation in which women could do something without being frowned upon. They wrote "letters". Shortly after, colleges start arriving in mass numbers. They were initially intended for men, and the the relationship between student and teacher was vastly different. I liked the analogy of, "college was like an intellectual boot camp". I could not imagine what it would have been like to have professors who inspired stoning or stabbing. They must have been very arrogant, JK.

Connors wants his readers to know how important it was when colleges became coed. The brutal style of education would not be acceptable for both men and women, thus changing the way we learn forever.

Overall, this reading explains the process that not only rhetoric composition has gone through, but also the role that gender played in it. After reading this chapter, one can appreciate that we can write something down on paper, in a class, with a nice professor, and be male or female while doing it!
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Jennifer G.
This text is fascinating in that it answered a question that has bothered me for some time. I like how Connors sets up the first chapter in the intro, by discussing how important it is that we not overlook the 19th centuries impact on rhet comp. From there he gets into the gender issue, and this portion threw me. It was everything I didn't expect. Most texts, that I have read, that deal with gender issues, examine the issues very critically, but this was fairly analytical. I loved the approach and the logic used to discuss the evolution of rhet comp as gender became mixed. I found it fascinating that the more women were involved the more the work turned from oral argument to written, and the more the methods of assessment were standardized, and less debate.

Thats all well and good and all very interesting, but back to the question it answered...

It is fairly common knowledge that Rhetoric and Composition used to go hand in hand. Since the basics of writing and public discourse were a key component of one area of study, how did they get separated?
This was always my question. I couldn't figure out why the two had been separated or how the other became it's own discipline entirely. Connors does a great job of breaking down the timeline. I thought it interesting how he looks at the combative nature of the early courses and summarizes that as women became more involved the male counterparts felt that they could not treat the women the same. I also found the idea that the more creative courses in creative writing, oral interpretation, and other stemmed from the women in the field as well. I'm not sure that I would place that much responsibility on womens interaction, however, having said that he makes a very good argument towards it.

I think this chapter opened up a new way of looking at why writing is where it is and how it has branched off of Rhetoric and other discourse, and why that is important to note. It makes you think a bit more about the process of change, as not simply being something that is influenced by chairs in meeting, and by scholars with papers, but by culture and student involvement. (whether it be good or bad) I think in comparison with other authors, like Tate, who focus on change more from a scholastic viewpoint, it was interesting to see the historical and cultural brought into the mix with the scholastic.
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'''James'''

Connors traces the history of rhetoric in the introduction and how it came to be composition-rhetoric, how the two blended over the course of time. He focuses a bit on what happened in the 19th century since he felt that century did not get fair treatment in other texts in terms of its contributions to rhetoric. That sets up the first chapter where he discusses the importance of women entering the field and the impact they had on the field of rhetoric.

Before women entered, rhetoric was agonistic and oral in nature. After they entered, it became increasingly less agonistic and oral in nature because men felt uncomfortable being agonistic w/ women and attacking them orally since women were not perceived as being that way. It was not considered a noble thing to do to attack a woman rhetorically or otherwise, so agonism fell by the wayside.

There became an emphasis on process over product and the formative over the summative. It became more important to show growth than to hit a set standard. (This is in stark contrast to what goes on in public education w/ high stakes testing).

Comp-rhet is more balanced now with equal attention being given to different modes. It is not all about agonism, but agonism has not been done away with. Equal time is given to self-expression for example. The field seems to be more about the complete picture of humanity - not just about the competition between the self and others, but also about what it means to be oneself and express the self apart from the competition.

The author mentions in the introduction that he is building on an assortment of theories rather than any one in particular. His thoughts on theory really resonated with mine. I think it is better to pull from a knowledge of a variety of theories lest one's writing become more about a particular theory and its agenda than the overall understanding of the topic or text from any number of angles. He uses the ideas of Walter Ong on the agonism of rhetoric in the first chapter to characterize the atmospher of comp-rhet before women entered the equation.

This is my first real reading, so I can't comment on other readings, but it does seem in keeping with some of what I have read in my other class in terms of the current trend of ideas about valuing the formative as much as (if not more than) the summative.

I found this all very understandable, and I like this guy's approach to his subject. He seems like he is going to approach comp-rhet from all angles, and that is something I agree with to a great degree.


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I like Connors discussion of the evolution of rhetoric and his criticism of the term "current traditional rhetoric." I agree with his dissatisfaction with this blanket term because rhetoric has grown and branched out to speak to a growin number of diverse groups. We no longer have only white males attending Universities like as we did in the 1820's to the 1920's. As the need for different populations to find a voice in academia grows and and changes, so does the definition of rhetoric.
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I like Connors discussion of the evolution of rhetoric, and his criticism of the term "current traditional rhetoric." I agree with his dissatisfaction with this blanket term because rhetoric has grown and branched out to speak to a growing number of diverse groups. We no longer have only white males attending Universities as we did in the 1820's to the 1920's. As the need for different populations to find a voice in academia grows and and changes, so does the definition of rhetoric.
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!!!Marilyn
I like Connors discussion of the evolution of rhetoric and his criticism of the term "current traditional rhetoric." I agree with his dissatisfaction with this blanket term because rhetoric has grown and branched out to speak to a growin number of diverse groups. We no longer have only white males attending Universities like as we did in the 1820's to the 1920's. As the need for different populations to find a voice in academia grows and and changes, so does the definition of rhetoric.
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!!!Darcy L. - Post-Read

Connors claims his goal from the outset of the book is write a story of people who have studied and taught writing in American schools since the early nineteenth century, to illuminate some elements of that tradition of written (3-4). This book is more of a history of the field, I suppose, than a statement about what the field looks like today (or even within the important past forty years). It is interesting, though, to see how rhetoric and composition from one another. Another way of looking at it might be that composition overtook rhetoric in the English departments, or that rhetoric never really changed but decreased in popularity and became a part of Communication departments.

One thing very striking in account is how Freshman Composition is such a relatively new phenomenon. Its birth was so sudden after the Harvard entrance exams and women coming into the universities in the late 1800s, and yet by 1900, it was the most widely taught course in American colleges. For a course that (by own admission) both the teachers and students grew to hate, produced copious work for the instructors, and was born out of such unrelated circumstances as women entering the universities and one guy at temporary experiment, it sure has had amazing longevity. There must be other political or social factors that Connors has yet to discuss that sustained Freshman Comp throughout the twentieth century.

Though Connors claims that only one factor in the creation of a Freshman Composition course, the flood of women into the universities was obviously highly influential in the way universities are structured today, not just in the creation of composition courses. hard to believe that such a short time ago, women were excluded from such a large part of what we consider to be our social, political, civil, and economic rights today.

I found the end of the introduction Connors talks about the different movements within composition studies. He identified three branches: the New Rhetoricians/Social Constructionists; Empiricists/Cognitivists; and Writing Process Theorists/Expressivists. The Tate book uses the same terminology for the Writing Process Theorists/Expressivists, but I scanned through the table of contents and, if the titles are any indication, the Tate book use the same terminology (or cover the other two fields) as Connors. sure it will all be made clearer the more we get into the Tate book.

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!!!Lorena--Reading Response



Connors begins by explaining his reasoning behind his decision to write this book. Through his study of rhetoric as a graduate student, he came to realize that there was a gap in his rhetorical history studies: the 19th century. He then goes on to discuss the processes behind rhetorical history and to disprove the miscomprehension that the 19th century was a disappointment for rhetoric study. Connors argues there is a new rhetorical tradition that arose in the United States during the nineteenth century to try to inform an ever increasing demand for literacy skills for the professional and managerial (4). His goal throughout this book will be to defend the significance of rhetorical history that developed during the 19th century and the impact it had on composition teaching and theory he refers to as Current-Traditional Rhetoric.

Connors then continues by illustrating Composition Rhetoric as it was viewed and taught from the oldest forms discussed in early America to the shifting college culture of Postwar America. This was followed by the consolidation of theories and methods of composition teaching between 1865 and 1910 and then, on to the modern issues of composition techniques referred to as -traditional where freshman composition programs developed into what we have today (13).

Chapter

This chapter explores the transition from an older, male dominated claim on rhetoric-composition as a piece of property (agonistic rhetoric) to the changes developed during the nineteenth century to include both genders (irenic rhetoric). Connors chronicles these changes and their affects on men and women the way we think about, use, and teach discourse (25). This switch occurs because rhetoric is no longer a piece of property solely owned by men. Rhetoric has been set free in a sense and is now available to everyone unreservedly.

Connors then offers as an example of gender influences on rhetoric the agonistic studies of Walter Ong. Ong discusses rhetoric as quintessentially agonistic discipline, concerned with chronicling the different types of culturally influenced, male only competitions from physical tests, to verbal displays that to intersect with the history of (25-26). This change primarily was noticed as women began to enter the stratus of higher education and at this moment rhetoric moved from being contest and argument based to a more cooperative and explanatory pedestal in educational culture.

As Connors considers this new rhetorical environment he takes into account the significance of classroom learning for men and women and if the teaching process should be different between the sexes. Furthermore, he looks at these theories and is attempting to determine a means to apply them in order to make students better writers.

Finally, Connors dissects how gender has influenced rhetorical history by detailing the shift between male dominance and gender neutrality within this teaching society. were not merely discouraged from learning it, but were actively and persistently denied access to (28). In this world conquered and ruled by men, women had to fight for their right to have their voices heard and respected when the idea of a woman as a verbal contender or collegiate classmate was criticized, and looked upon as a joke.

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!!!John L. - Post-reading Response No. 1 Connors

In his introduction, Connors is seeking to disprove the fallacy that the 19th century was a wasteland for the study of rhetoric. He lists several sources that seek to disprove this fallacy, and includes himself in this list. Connors contends that the 19th century was a rich rhetorical period as the need increased for literate managerial and professional classes. He further discusses how blaming all current problems within the field on -traditional (i.e. the traditionalist textbook tradition) is a fallacy.

Connors then maps the different approaches to teaching and learning rhetoric throughout American history. The four time periods he references are the early American composition-rhetoric, the post Civil War composition-rhetoric, the consolidation composition-rhetoric, and the modern composition-rhetoric. Although he references these periods chronologically, he states that composition-rhetoric really have a definite timeline, and neither will this book. He states, in the conclusion to his Intro, that he is intending this book to one of scholarship, not criticism. Meaning that I fear this book will be an extremely dry review of the history of rhet-comp.

The first chapter, Influences: Composition Rhetoric in an Irenic Rhetoric, Connors posits that rhetoric changes in the 19th century from argumentative rhetoric (used by preachers, lawyers, politicians) to privatized rhetoric (used by middle managers and bureaucrats). Connors postulates that this shift began because rhetoric, once the province of property-owning men became the province of both genders and irrespective of class. That rhetoric became egalitarian and was no longer by anyone.

Connors then discusses the studies of Walter Ong regarding the differences between men and woman as it relates to rhetoric. Ong believes that rhetoric was primarily a contest based medium, including I the realm of education, until women began entering higher education. At that point, rhetoric moved from being contest based into a more collaborative form of discourse. Connors then applies this theory to the behaviors of men and women in the classroom, and asks whether rhetoric should be taught differently between male and female students.

Connors makes surprisingly blunt and perhaps un-PC generalizations of male and female roles in rhetoric. Perhaps reading the chapter wrong, but a logical inference could be made from the reading that rhetoric changes from debate-oriented to composition-oriented because (1) an attitude of chivalry towards women by men; (2) male fear of competent female debaters; and (3) women just have the competitive nature to hack it. While he tries to couch the third point in generalities, it is the unavoidable conclusion of his arguments. Our class is primarily female one wonders if they will accept what he has written as true.
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!!!Edith Post-reading

In the introduction, Connor only gives a glimpse of the learning process. After WW II in composition was not concerned with what students were taught as how they were taught, (16) besides that the only other issues have to do with the real meaning of composition-rhetoric and its history. He notes that composition was badly taught, was destructive, leading to desiccation (to drain of emotional) of the creativity, to useless fear about meaningless (and probably fictional) block paranoia about mechanical issues, and to dead, imitative, ponderous student prose that attempted to mimic the dead, imitative, ponderous prose of (Connors 16). I think this one quote comes down to issues such as: growth as a writer, voice, process, error, service learning, good writing, goals of a writing course and the role of a teacher.

The text connects to Lad in that he explains the significance of students becoming better writers and Lad being a good instructor. Lad also begins by stating that he was used to writing five-paragraph essays that were dreadful and boring that lead to insignificant learning about writing. And confirms that composition has been taught terribly, so bad that today composition instructors are still trying to implement the writing process, so that students will become better writers.

Lastly, the text begins to break down in Influences. explains that theories and pedagogies changed older agonistic rhetoric oriented only toward males to a more modern irenic (favoring) rhetoric that can include both (24). Essentially, women brought forth the changes in the classroom and because they did, rhetoric was taught differently. Not surprisingly, women had to struggle to get their voice heard, compete against men, since men thought they were the only ones capable of being intellectual scholars. However, that was not the case. The chapter also covers meaning was taken as an insult and ethical appeal from a woman was unimaginable. In relation to the reading, referring to Elbow and Murray, freewriting is part of the writing process, and women were the first ones to apply such a practice by writing letters. Here is where we first see the connections to changes brought forth by women that lead to some of the writing practices used today.
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