Complete Story

MILLER, Thomas P.

Winter 2005, pages 91 - 113

How Rhetorical Are English and Communications Majors?

ABSTRACT:To assess how rhetoric is positioned in English and communications programs, I review surveys of undergraduate majors, including my own survey of a stratified sample of one hundred four-year institutions. I also analyze the statements of purposes from varied departments. While discussions of rhetorical studies tend to be defined in terms of departmentalized disciplines, the relations between fields such as English and communications vary by types of institutions, with joint programs more common in smaller colleges and rhetoric and composition courses more pervasive in public institutions. Such situational factors need to be assessed in order to develop a more rhetorical stance on the collaborative capacities of rhetorical studies in English and communications. The pragmatics of the two disciplines differ in ways worth noting if rhetoricians in the two fields are to collaborate more productively.