Burke in the Archives
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234 pages

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Burke in the Archives brings together thirteen original essays by leading and emerging Kenneth Burke scholars to explore provocatively the twenty-first-century usefulness of a figure widely regarded as the twentieth century's most influential rhetorician. Edited by Dana Anderson and Jessica Enoch, the volume breaks new ground as it complicates, extends, and ultimately transforms how the field of rhetorical studies understands Burke, calling much-needed attention to the roles that archival materials can and do play in this process.

Although other scholars have indeed looked to Burke's archives to advance their work, no individual essays, books, or collections purposefully reflect on the archive's role in transforming rhetorical scholars' understandings of Burke. By drawing on an impressively varied range of archival materials—including unpublished letters, newly recovered reviews, notes on articles, drafts of essays, and even comments on student papers from Burke's years of teaching—the essays in this volume mount distinct, powerful arguments about how archival materials have the potential to reshape and invigorate rhetorical scholarship.

Including contributors such as Jack Selzer, Debra Hawhee, and Ann George, this collection pursues Burke behind the arguments of his major works to the divergent preoccupations, habits of mind, breakthroughs, and breakdowns of his insight. Through the archival arguments and analyses that unify its essays, Burke in the Archives showcases how historiographic and methodological work can propel Burke scholarship in new directions.

ContributorsAnn GeorgeKeith GibsonDebra HawheeIan HillJordynn JackJodie NicotraNed O'GormanJeff PruchnicJeannette SabreJack SelzerMichelle SmithSandy SteltsDave TellScott Wible



Publié par
Date de parution 15 juin 2013
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781611172393
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,2900€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Studies in Rhetoric/Communication
Thomas W. Benson, Series Editor
Using the Past to Transform the Future of Burkean Studies
Edited by

© 2013 University of South Carolina
Published by the University of South Carolina Press
Columbia, South Carolina 29208
22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13     10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Burke in the archives : using the past to transform the future of Burkean studies / editors, Dana Anderson and Jessica Enoch.
      pages cm. — (Studies in Rhetoric/Communication)
   Includes bibliographical references and index.
   ISBN 978-1-61117-238-6 (hardbound : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-1-61117-239-3 (ebook)
1. Burke, Kenneth, 1897–1993—Criticism and interpretation. I. Anderson, Dana, 1971– editor of compilation. II. Enoch, Jessica, editor of compilation.
   PS3503.U6134Z59 2013
Series Editor's Preface
Abbreviations for Works by Kenneth Burke
Introduction: Retrospective Prospecting—Notes toward a Future
Burke by the Letters: Exploring the Kenneth Burke Archives
Finding the Time for Burke
Burke, Mumford, and the Poetics of Technology: Marxism's Influence on Burke's Critique of Techno-logology
Burke and Jameson: Reflections on Language, Ideology, and Criticism
On the Limits of Human: Haggling with Burke's “Definition of Man”
Burke and the Positive Potentials of Technology: Recovering the “Complete Literary Event”
Burke in/on Public and Private: Rhetoric, Propaganda, and the “End(s)” of Humanism
The Dramatism Debate, Archived: The Pentad as “Terministic” Ontology
Notes from the Abyss: Variations on a (Mystical) Theme in Burke's Work
“Talk about how your language is constructed”: Kenneth Burke's Vision for University-wide Dialogue
Historiography by Incongruity
Afterword: My Archival Habit
In 1974 Penn State University purchased the first of several sections of the archives of Kenneth Burke. Further acquisitions have extended that first purchase—first twelve linear feet of letters and other papers; then in 2000 to 2005 another twenty-five linear feet. Most recently another eighteen linear feet of materials, including correspondence, manuscripts, notes, reviews, and related materials were added to the collection. Kenneth Burke's long and productive life as one of the most important literary and rhetorical theorists of the twentieth century—perhaps the most important—is enriched in the archives by his lively correspondence with major intellectual figures over the decades.
For years Penn State professor of English Jack Selzer, the author of important studies of the work and life of Kenneth Burke, has taught a graduate seminar based on the Burke archives at Penn State. Recently he has been joined in that effort by Debra Hawhee, once a student in the seminar and now professor of English at Penn State.
The editors of the present volume, Dana Anderson and Jessica Enoch, have brought together a remarkable group of research scholars from English and communication, many of them graduates of Jack Selzer's famous Burke seminar, with their own reports of the research the archives have made possible. The result is a fascinating reexamination of Burke's work, raising new questions about archival research, about the Burke archives, about Burke's relations with his contemporaries, and about Burke's theories of rhetoric, technology, and language. The essays take Burke seriously, but they avoid the hazards—which Burke warned against—of piety, and they sometimes take Burke to task. Sandra Stelts, the curator, and Jeanette Sabre, the collections processor of the Kenneth Burke Papers at Penn State University, describe the history of the archive. Ann George offers a lively revisionist account of the reception of Burke's Permanence and Change (1935), contesting the claim that Burke's work was ignored in his own time by invoking a lively set of previously undiscovered reviews, notes, and correspondence from the archives. George shows how very much Burke was in and of his time.
Ned O'Gorman and Ian Hill pursue an undeveloped hint from the archives about the work of Burke and Lewis Mumford on “the poetics of technology,” finding common intellectual ground and a common concern for methodology. Dave Tell reconstructs a frustrating debate between Frederic Jameson and Kenneth Burke, which began with a keynote address by Jameson to the 1977 English Institute. Burke, present at the 1977 meeting, was deprived of a chance to reply to what he thought a seriously mistaken attack on his own work; his reply came later in the journal Critical Inquiry with “Methodological Repression and/or Strategies of Containment.” Tell finds rich evidence in the archives about Burke's agitated state of mind in the face of Jameson's criticism, but he faults Burke for failing in his response to live up to his own standards, at the same time calling it both tragic and instructive and arguing that though there were “no winners” in the exchange, it demonstrates “the necessity and the limits of logology.”
Keith Gibson has found in the archives a 1956 Burke interview with Swedish radio that offers new reflections on Burke and technology. Jeff Pruchnic explores Burke's correspondence and his manuscript drafts to investigate the way Burke negotiated the relations of his private beliefs and public voice. Michelle Smith uses the archives to revisit the 1982 Conference of the Eastern Communication Association, at which Burke was present to hear and then respond to papers by Bernard Brock and Herbert Simons on his work. Burke surprised the panel and an overflow auditorium by telling the panelists they had it wrong.
Jodie Nicotra investigates a Burkean encounter with mysticism. Scott Wible explores Burke's teaching career at Bennington College. Debra Hawhee, refashioning a notion from Kenneth Burke, suggests “historiography by incongruity” as an archival methodology, using the archive not so much to pin down the indefinite as to unsettle the tidy.
In the afterword Jack Selzer describes his own archival adventures, at Penn State and elsewhere, including how he got hooked, and describing human relationships derailed by editorial elisions and unsent letters as well as friendships cemented by visits to Burke's place in Andover, New Jersey. Of his years of working with the archives, Jack has written, “What teachers Kenneth Burke and his colleagues have been!”
Thomas W. Benson
As doctoral students at Penn State University over a decade ago, we both took a graduate seminar with Jack Selzer on Kenneth Burke. A key (and renowned) part of the course was Jack's introduction of graduate students to the Kenneth Burke Papers held at the Paterno Library. We both remember it well.
Early in the semester, Jack walked the class to the archive and gave us a tour. He introduced us to Sandy Stelts, curator of rare books and manuscripts. He showed us what was available, explained how to find and access materials, and generally encouraged us to just poke around. Box after box of Burke's letters were already out on the reading tables, and we paced curiously from one to the next, paging through them, dwelling on whatever caught our attention. Many of the participants in the course had just started to study Burke, and the texts of this eclectic panoply of notes and exchanges were among the first that we came to know. Jess remembers vividly the laughter that punctuated our silent reading, indicating that someone had stumbled upon one of Burke's famous playful spellings or turns of phrase. Dana recalls his unease as he thumbed through these often very personal documents while the legendary bust of Kenneth Burke in the Rare Books Room looked over his shoulder.
Most seminarians anchored their semester's work in their archival discoveries, visiting Burke's papers almost daily to pursue questions we developed as a class about his thinking and writing. None of us knew much about archival research, but Jack guided us beyond that first field trip and well after it, prompting us to return to Burke's papers, to take a look at this, to cross-reference it with that, and then, thankfully, to stop researching and try to write about what we found and what we were thinking.
Of course our experience with Jack is not unique. His Burke course and its concomitant archival research has become a veritable rite of passage at Penn State. If you enter the graduate program, you take this course, and then, if you're lucky, you publish from it. The list of publications that began in Jack's courses is long and distinguished. Articles on Burke and the Bureau of Social Hygiene, Burke at Benni

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