Testimonial Rhetoric in Nineteenth-Century Composition
Introduction: Textbook Histories and Testimonial Legacies (Christopher Carter and Russel K. Durst)
christopher carter and russel k. durst
In 2015, Professor Emerita Lucille M. Schultz donated to the University of Cincinnati’s English Department her set of composition materials gathered from collections around the U.S. The culmination of a decade’s research at more than a dozen different sites, including the Library of Congress and Harvard’s Monroe C. Gutman Library, the archive gathers 340 works in ten different genres, and we continue to add works of historical interest to the collection. Represented genres include composition histories, moral and social manuals, grammar handbooks and histories, general teaching advice, epistolary texts, studies of education, student papers, and studies in rhetoric, though handbooks and composition textbooks make up the bulk of the archive. From these materials, Schultz produced two award-winning books, The Young Composers: Composition’s Beginnings in Nineteenth-Century Schools and Archives of Instruction: Nineteenth-Century Rhetorics, Readers, and Composition Books in the United States (with Jean Ferguson Carr and Stephen L. Carr). But Schultz herself observes that the majority of the archive has not yet been studied. This book responds to the implicit invitation in that claim while also encouraging other field historians to offer their own replies.
The collection contains rhetorical treatises from as early as 1739 and student papers from as late as 1995, but 295 entries, or nearly 90 percent of the whole, fits squarely into nineteenth-century history. The Schultz Archive contains the world’s most organized, concentrated, and extensive body of nineteenth-century ←1 | 2→ texts about U.S. writing instruction, all of...
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