Perspectives on Rhetorical Invention

  • Author(s): Atwill, Janet M., and Janice M. Lauer, eds.
  • Series: Tenn Studies Literature
  • Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2003-01-15
  • Status: Active
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Rhetorical invention—the discursive art of inquiry and discovery—has great significance in the history of spoken and written communication, dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Yet invention has received relatively little attention in recent discussions of rhetoric, writing, and communication. This collection of essays is the first book in years to focus on current research in rhetorical invention.

The contributors include many well-established scholars, as well as new voices in the field. They reflect a variety of approaches and perspectives: theory, history, culture, politics, institutions, pedagogy, and community service. Several of the essays address the relationship between invention and postmodernism—some by refiguring invention, others by challenging postmodernism. Still other essays explore multicultural conceptions of invention, the civic function of invention and rhetoric, and the role of rhetorical invention in institutions and in comunity problem solving.

Taken together, these essays provide a much-needed forum for ongoing study of rhetorical invention within the framework of recent developments in both scholarship and the culture at large. “If inventional research is to continue and flourish,” notes Janice Lauer in her foreword, “it must remain sensitive to shifts in epistemology, ethics, and politics. The essays in this volume undertake this effort..”

The Editors:  Janet M. Atwill is associate professor of English at the University of Tennessee. The author of Rhetoric Reclaimed: Aristotle and the Liberal Arts Tradition and coauthor of Four Worlds of Writing: Inquiry and Action in Context and Writing: A College Handbook, she has published articles in Rhetoric Review, Encyclopedia of Rhetoric, and the Journal of Advanced Composition.

Janice M. Lauer is Reece McGee Distinguished Professor of English at Purdue University, where she founded, directed, and teaches in the graduate program in Rhetoric and Composition. She is coauthor of Four Worlds of Writing and Composition Research: Empirical Designs and has published numerous articles on rhetoric and composition.

Contributors: Frederick J. Antczak, Janet M. Atwill, Julia Deems, Richard Leo Enos, Theresa Enos, Linda Flower, Debra Hawhee, Janice M. Lauer, Donald Lazere, Yameng Liu, Arabella Lyon, Louise Wetherbee Phelps, Jay Satterfield, Haixia Wang, Mark T. Williams.