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RHETORIC AND COMPETITION: Academic Agonistics

RHETORIC AND COMPETITION: Academic Agonistics Page 42 RHETORIC AND COMPETITION Academic Agonistics Linda To begin, a confession: I take the first part of my title from an embarrassing verbal slip I made while giving the presidential address at the convention of the Modern Language Association of America in December 2000. With considerable irony, at that moment my topic (and my title) was “Rhetoric and Composition”— the one area within my field of literary and language studies that I felt had moved beyond competition, beyond purely argumentative models of teaching and research, in order to explore more collaborative possibilities. My unconscious substitution of competition for composition was greeted with much merriment by the audience, and I admit that I have been haunted by it ever since—not so much out of personal embarrassment as out of concern about what my mistake revealed about the linkage between what we say (rhetoric) and how we act (competition) in the academy. Why is it that rhetoric and competition seem to go together so well in our current academic context? One of the themes of my address was a plea for us all to learn to think beyond agonistics and to conceive of new ways of working together collaboratively http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Common Knowledge Duke University Press

RHETORIC AND COMPETITION: Academic Agonistics

Common Knowledge , Volume 9 (1) – Jan 1, 2003

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2003 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0961-754X
eISSN
1538-4578
DOI
10.1215/0961754X-9-1-42
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Page 42 RHETORIC AND COMPETITION Academic Agonistics Linda To begin, a confession: I take the first part of my title from an embarrassing verbal slip I made while giving the presidential address at the convention of the Modern Language Association of America in December 2000. With considerable irony, at that moment my topic (and my title) was “Rhetoric and Composition”— the one area within my field of literary and language studies that I felt had moved beyond competition, beyond purely argumentative models of teaching and research, in order to explore more collaborative possibilities. My unconscious substitution of competition for composition was greeted with much merriment by the audience, and I admit that I have been haunted by it ever since—not so much out of personal embarrassment as out of concern about what my mistake revealed about the linkage between what we say (rhetoric) and how we act (competition) in the academy. Why is it that rhetoric and competition seem to go together so well in our current academic context? One of the themes of my address was a plea for us all to learn to think beyond agonistics and to conceive of new ways of working together collaboratively

Journal

Common KnowledgeDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2003

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