Penn State

Cheryl J. Glenn - Professor of English, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student (1st ed. 1965)

Author: Edward P.J. Corbett

Book Description:

Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student Edward P. J. Corbett's landmark study, has sustained me throughout my scholarly career. I discovered the book when I was taking coursework for my M.A. and realized that if I studied rhetoric I could easily combine my multiple interests in literature, writing, and pedagogy. Upon its publication, Corbett's pioneering work inaugurated a renaissance of rhetorical studies in English departments. Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student laid the groundwork for undergraduate and graduate concentrations in rhetoric and writing at the same time that it invited writing teachers to build upon a rich tradition of language-arts pedagogy, one that required students to consider the purpose, audience, and appropriateness of their subject, style, and delivery. In addition, Corbett (both as my teacher and as a researcher) challenged scholars to build upon and expand his work as well as that of all the rhetoricians who preceded him. The rhetorical theorists and practitioners in his book were aristocratic, agonistic, vocal, and exclusively male (as were the authors of all the literary, rhetorical, and pedagogical examples that he employed), yet, given Corbett's challenge, I began to imagine a place for my female self in rhetorical studies. The overarching goal of my scholarly career has been to make rhetorical studies more representative. Since graduate school, I have worked to reconfigure rhetoric as we have traditionally known it into rhetorics that are inclusionary, invitational, and sometimes unspoken.


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