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Burke in the Archives

Using the Past to Transform the Future of Burkean Studies

edited by Dana Anderson and Jessica Enoch



Published: Jun 6 2013


Published: Nov 27 2013

OA Ebook
Published: Nov 27 2013


The inclusion of this book in the Open Carolina collection is made possible by the generous funding of

Burke in the Archives brings together thirteen original essays by leading and emerging Kenneth Burke scholars to explore provocatively the twenty-first-century usefulness of a figure widely regarded as the twentieth century's most influential rhetorician. Edited by Dana Anderson and Jessica Enoch, the volume breaks new ground as it complicates, extends, and ultimately transforms how the field of rhetorical studies understands Burke, calling much-needed attention to the roles that archival materials can and do play in this process.

Although other scholars have indeed looked to Burke's archives to advance their work, no individual essays, books, or collections purposefully reflect on the archive's role in transforming rhetorical scholars' understandings of Burke. By drawing on an impressively varied range of archival materials—including unpublished letters, newly recovered reviews, notes on articles, drafts of essays, and even comments on student papers from Burke's years of teaching—the essays in this volume mount distinct, powerful arguments about how archival materials have the potential to reshape and invigorate rhetorical scholarship.

Including contributors such as Jack Selzer, Debra Hawhee, and Ann George, this collection pursues Burke behind the arguments of his major works to the divergent preoccupations, habits of mind, breakthroughs, and breakdowns of his insight. Through the archival arguments and analyses that unify its essays, Burke in the Archives showcases how historiographic and methodological work can propel Burke scholarship in new directions.

Dana Anderson is an associate professor of English at Indiana University and the author of Identity's Strategy: Rhetorical Selves in Conversion.

Jessica Enoch is an associate professor of English at the University of Maryland and the author of Refiguring Rhetorical Education: Women Teaching African American, Native American, and Chicana/o Students, 1865–1911.

"Yes, those in Burkean studies will find numerous invaluable new insights and challenges herein. It is a must read for serious scholars of Burke and his work. But enjoyment of this volume will go beyond those readers. As a text in an archival research class, it would provide new and vigorous insights into the many ways archival work contributes to scholarship."—Rhetoric and Public Affairs

"This book showcases the astounding intellectual riches of the Burke archive. Burke's output was prodigious and surprisingly diverse. His correspondence with leading twentieth century intellectuals, his early periodical work and his dazzling lectures appear in their fullness for the first time. For me this revelatory book was a benediction! Every serious Burke scholar should own this splendid book!"—Andrew King, Louisiana State University

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