From the early 1940s through the 1960s, some of the most important articles in rhetoric and composition were written by University of Chicago faculty, and it was these articles that became the touchstones of rhetorical education in the institutional return to rhetoric in the latter half of the twentieth century. Despite the immense rhetorical output of these University of Chicago professors, there has not been, to date, a book-length treatment of why these writers focused their attention on the importance of rhetoric in the writing class. Not only that, but there has not been a revisionist account of how these articles were constructed or how the teaching of rhetoric and composition has often been misguided as a result of an uncritical acceptance of these articles in the rhetorical tradition. By organizing these articles based on their University of Chicago context, Rhetoric at the University of Chicago sheds new light on the beginnings of rhetoric and composition and demonstrates the significance of historical context in avoiding the misuse of these articles as foundationalist rhetorical history.
James P. Beasley
Experiments in Rhetorical Performance
Kimberly Eckel Beasley and James P. Beasley
Dramatism and Musical Theater: Experiments in Rhetorical Performance is an innovative workbook for both students and teachers in advanced communication performance. Meeting at the nexus of English composition, advanced rhetoric, theater, music, and drama, this book utilizes Kenneth Burke's method of dramatism to discover the motives inherent in performance practices, whether they be in the classroom or on the stage. In this book Kimberly Eckel Beasley and James P. Beasley take the five corners of the dramatistic pentad (act, scene, agent, agency, and purpose) and demonstrate their utilization in performance analysis. The authors then correlate those performance practices with the production of five contemporary musicals: Little Women, Aida, Street Scene, Into the Woods, and Children of Eden in order to emphasize the use of the dramatistic pentad in character, scene, and staging direction. By doing so, the book highlights dramatism as a performance practice necessary for effective participation in artistic communities.
Dramatism and Musical Theater: Experiments in Rhetorical Performance is also an indispensable guide for teachers and directors to successfully navigate the challenges of collegiate theatrical production.