22: Blakeslee/Fleischer Prompts, Ch. 7

Prompt 5 (p. 206): Thinking About How Authors Position Themselves

Rhetoric Society Quarterly authors seem to position themselves as both rhetoricians and everyday people. By this I mean that they are interested in applying rhetorical theory to issues that involve common interactions. For example, in volume 40 number 1, Stephen Yarbrough takes up the question of why people sometimes “don’t get it.” This is a colloquial term that most native speakers of English understand, yet it’s difficult to articulate what “it” is. In the same issue, William Rodney Herring explores “a widespread crisis in representation, a crisis that seemed to threaten speakers’ ability to communicate” that is often associated with “the presumed decline of civilization” (23). In volume 40 number 2, Michelle Smith takes up how othering happens in relation to the Amana Society and draws conclusions that can apply to the rhetoric used to describe other marginalized groups. And in the third issues of volume 40, Nathan Crick and Joseph Gabriel point out the importance of public opinion in scientific controversies in democratic societies.

Prompt 6 (p. 206): Determining Your Own Authorial Position

Like Ann Blakeslee, I am interested in working with scientific discourse. This means that I will have to be very careful to determine the specific audience for any piece I am writing for publication. Blakeslee says that she publishes in both rhetoric and interdisciplinary journals and “in the latter, she made sure that she situated her work in a broader literature” (198). In other words, straddling two disciplines increases the need to prove one’s credibility to an audience. Remembering always to take the time to prove this ethos will be important given my audience and purpose in the writing I do.

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