Tag Archive | Historiography

Historiography and Comparison

This selection of readings proposes some interesting questions about comparison, history, and the construction of knowledge within and across various academic fields (e.g. rhetorical studies, philosophy, history, etc.) that can be, or have been, naturalized to the point of invisibility. These articles attempt to tease apart and make visible the hidden assumptions within methodologies and […]

Confucius, Eloquence, and Rhetoric

Verbal eloquence was not valorized by classical Chinese thinkers, and on the contrary the views found in their texts reveal a general mistrust of it, a sentiment common to almost all major school of thought despite their fundamental philosophical differences, but it is most conspicuously and extensively reflected in Confucian texts (Xu 115). Though all […]

Border Crossing

Mary Louise Pratt, Gloria Anzaldua, and Linda Martin Alcoff discuss various implications of examining, including, and taking into account various non-Western rhetorics and language practices. In these cases, the practices considered arise from cultures colonized as part of the American invasion and expansion, forming border areas between these cultures where hybridity and linguistic/ideological cross-pollination occurs. […]

Locke and Vico

The discussions of both Locke and Vico demonstrate the particular epistemic approach of the Enlightenment in their focus on dissecting the way that thought arises, man’s relationship to nature, and the inclusion of scientific principles, discoveries, and methods into their discourses. In addition, both writers attempt to come to grips with historic and cultural differences […]

Rhetorica ad Herennium, Quintilian, and Cicero Walk Into a Bar….

“It is not surprising, then, to find that instruction in writing and speaking in Rome should have become as systematic as other elements in the society” (Murphy 37).   The works from Roman rhetoricians demonstrate the systematic treatment of rhetoric within a framework of institutional education discussed by James Murphy in his chapter on Roman […]

Historicizing (Rhetorical) History

Examining history is not the straightforward, linear endeavor once conceptualized, where one might simply “observe the facts” of the past in order to reconstruct a narrative of “what really happened.” Rather, we become more and more aware of the absences within these narratives where those who were not permitted to speak still, nevertheless, held a […]


I found the three installations of the Octalog discussions truly fascinating, from multiple perspectives: 1) as a disciplinary methodology/ideology perspective 2) as a reader/student who has read work from so many of the people who participated and 3) as a researcher involved in archive/historical recovery work focused on women’s composition and rhetorical practices at the […]