Friday, May 20, 2005

Lunch and the history of composition studies

Finally met up with Win Horner, an emerita professor here at MU and 2003 CCCC Exemplar Awardee, for lunch today. What a treat. For someone (like myself) who is interested in the history of the rhetoric and composition field, there's nothing quite like getting the story straight from one of those who made it. She regaled me with stories of her PhD coursework with Young, Becker, and Pike (who, it turns out, really and truly existed outside of that very famous textbook of theirs--tagmemics, anyone?), of hearing about this thing called "rhetoric" for the first time, of discovering class notes from all these 18th century rhetoric teachers tucked away in a library in Scotland, where they had been filed away for, well, centuries. (A couple, anyway.) She was in graduate school with George Lakoff (and Robin Lakoff, a feminist linguist andGeorge's former wife), and I told her about his new book, Don't Think of an Elephant, which she said she was going to find and read. All in all, a lovely time. And she said she has more stories for the next time we have lunch. Maybe I should get IRB clearing and take my tape recorder?

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