What distinguishes the study of rhetoric from other pursuits in the liberal arts? From what realms of human existence and expression, of human history, does such study draw its defining character? What, in the end, should be the purposes of rhetorical inquiry? And amid so many competing accounts of discourse, power, and judgment in the contemporary world, how might scholars achieve these purposes through the attitudes and strategies that animate their work?
Rethinking Rhetorical Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy: The Living Art of Michael C. Leff offers answers to these questions by introducing the central insights of one of the most innovative and prolific rhetoricians of the twentieth century, Michael C. Leff. This volume charts Leff ’s decades-long development as a scholar, revealing both the variety of topics and the approach that marked his oeuvre, as well as his long-standing critique of the disciplinary assumptions of classical, Hellenistic, renaissance, modern, and postmodern rhetoric.
Rethinking Rhetorical Theory, Criticism, and Pedagogy includes a synoptic introduction to the evolution of Leff ’s thought from his time as a graduate student in the late 1960s to his death in 2010, as well as specific commentary on twenty-four of his most illuminating essays and lectures.