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MILLER, Thomas

Summer 2001, pages 105-118

Disciplinary Identification/Public Identities: A Response to Mailloux, Leff, and Keith

Abstract: Balancing the critiques of scientism in communications, this response notes how belletrism has marginalized rhetorical studies on the other side of the modern opposition of the arts and sciences. Such institutional divisions need to be assessed against broader changes in literacy if our disciplinary histories are to be a resource for assessing how rhetoricians in composition and communications can work together. The marginal positions of composition and speech courses may undermine the prestige of rhetoric as an academic discipline, but the margins can be a place of power if approached pragmatically. Looking beyond the pragmatic professionalism of disciplinary insiders such as Stanley Fish, we need to develop alliances with practitioners of the arts of rhetoric outside as well as within the academy if pragmatism is to contribute to the institutional work of making universities into institutions of public learning

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