STRAIN, Margret M.
Spring 2000, pages 57-76Local Histories, Rhetroical Negotiations: The Development of Doctoral Programs in Rhetoric and Composition
Abstract: In the last few years, scholars have turned their attention to configuring narratives of rhetoric and composition studies' disciplinary history. This essay advocates reading the field as a social formation whose move toward professionalization can be understood as a series of rhetorical negotiations. Using the local histories of two institutions that established doctoral programs in English Departments, I consider how local and material factors provide a more nuanced understanding of that field's evolution. This methodology highlights how the current state of a discipline is inextricably bound to the daily work of its members and offers a way to explore the social shapes of rhetoric yet to come.