Saturday, May 13, 2006

But Does She Attract Our Attention?

Rhetorica has been a persona of note for so many centuries that you'd scarcely expect her to appear once again in the newest of media--would you? What Kom's analysis of the "Amazing Racist" videos may help his classes to do is to attend to rhetorical questions rather than the outraged emotions the videos aim to prompt, most especially the outrage of taking pleasure in racism.

I was impressed, yesterday, by some ways that research now must indeed be "new." If students are living mostly in a condition of "continuous partial attention," and the question of paying attention becomes tremendously heightened by competing interests, does that change the value of classes on rhetoric and critical thinking as well as their methods? More oral work needed? More knowledge of visual rhetoric?

And if citizenship may be more and more available as writing--participation not only by vote but by review or by blog--does that also change the significance of classes on writing?

I for one am left after the "New Research Summit" with the desire to talk more and explore these questions in greater depth. A compelling result.


At 7:11 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

These are very important questions. My own sense is that we don't need a new rhetoric to address the questions you raise in this post. But this doesn't mean that we can continue teaching as we have in the past.

My sense is that somehow we need to hold on to what we know from the rhetorical tradition--knowledge that I cherish--while learning about new media and applying that knowledge to what we learn.


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