Monday, January 3, 2011

Statement of Purpose

Those of you who follow my other blog will no doubt notice a dramatic difference in tone here.  The purpose of this blog demonstrate my serious commitment to the study of Rhetoric and Composition Theory.  Here, I will be discussing the act and the art of writing as an academic discipline in and of itself.  

-I will explore the various exigencies that compel someone to write, whether it is a novel or a grocery list.
-I will discuss the nigh infinite processes by which someone takes the thoughts in their head and translates them into written form on a page or a computer screen.  This is nothing short of a form of critical thinking and it is the backbone of nearly every field of study.
-I will examine epistemology, how we learn the things that we learn, how written texts collide with one another to absorb each other's knowledge and then create new textual entities entirely.  As Norman Fairclough would say, perhaps more succinctly, “the new is made out of a novel articulation of the old.”
-I will wax philosophical with questions of axiology.  What makes "good" writing "good?"  What is "good" in terms of rhetoric and composition?  What forces and procedures are or should be at work in the composing of "good" writing?  What separates "literary" writing from "genre" writing?  Is it arbitrary?
-I will get political by taking an honest look at the various agencies that "gatekeep" or regulate who has access to a discourse community and by what criterion their writing is evaluated in order to gain admittance to the marketplace of free ideas.
-I will delve into the history of writing in an attempt to demonstrate a la Gary Olson how rhetoric and composition is intellectual work.  Not only has it been around since the Greeks, but it was in existence when humans first slapped crude paint onto cave walls.  

All of this and much much more!  Stay tuned!

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