From Literary Critic to Rhetorician: A Professional Journey.Report as inadecuate

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The long career of a single college professor reflects the way the entire profession has been shaped over the past several decades. Edward Corbett began his teaching career in 1948 at Creighton University, where he taught five courses per semester. His background in rhetoric derived from his graduate education at the University of Chicago, where instructional practices in the English department had an Aristotelian foundation. Despite his experience in the New Criticism and his ability to analyze a 14-line poem exhaustively, he found himself unable to teach about the form of non-fiction prose, which was a fundamental aspect of teaching composition. Consequently, he began to study rhetoric, which began a lifelong interest in the subject and which formed the basis of his doctoral dissertation. Thus he became not only a professor of literature but also of rhetoric and composition. In recent years, there has been a growing sophistication and professionalization in the teaching of writing. Numerous new journals have appeared which deal with composition studies. In addition, recently an astonishing number of books dealing with classical rhetoric have appeared, showing that as a field of scholarly activity rhetoric is alive and well. (Contains 21 references.) (HB)

Descriptors: College English, College Faculty, Educational Trends, Higher Education, Literary Criticism, Personal Narratives, Professional Development, Rhetorical Criticism, Rhetorical Theory, Writing Instruction

Author: Corbett, Edward P. J.


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