Kenneth Burke at the Moma: a viewer’s theory, co-authored with Megan Poole

When Kenneth Burke visited the Museum of Modern Art exhibition “Road to Victory: A Procession of Photographs of the Nation at War” in the summer of 1942, he most likely did not expect to leave with such intense and intensely contradictory impressions. His visit there offers rhetoric scholars an opportunity to examine the exhibition—important for museum rhetoric because of its propagandistic political message and its innovative visual and material design. Considering the exhibition on its own terms, and the way designers managed problems of circulation and implemented new methods of “extended vision” helps us to present Burke’s then-developing theories (placement, the pentad) as themselves decidedly visual—photographic, even—and concomitantly, for that moment at least, as decidedly war-directed.

Keywords: museum rhetoric, visual rhetoric, Museum of Modern Art, Kenneth Burke, circulation

Rhetoric's Sensorium

This essay reflects on the last 100 years of sensation in the journal to figure out where and when scholars in the field have concerned themselves with sensuous activity, how that activity is seen to interact with language, knowledge, and speech. The past can serve to some extent as a “rough guide,” showing gaps and leaps as well as modeling specific approaches.

Keywords: sensorium, rhetoric, sensation, feeling, affect, emotion

Looking into Aristotle's Eyes: Towards a Theory of Rhetorical Vision

This article culls a theory of rhetorical vision from Aristotle's Rhetoric by examining the cluster of terms that bears on his theory of visual style. Rhetorical vision stands apart from but complements visual rhetoric in that it attends to the rhetorical and linguistic conjuring of visual images—what contemporary neuroscientists call visual imagery—and can even affect direct perception. The article concludes by examining rhetorical vision in Demosthenes' Epitaphios. At stake in this investigation is the visible and visual liveliness of rhetoric and its ability to alter sense perception.

Keywords: aisthesis, phantasia, Demosthenes, rhetorical vision, sensation, visual imagery, Aristotle, rhetoric

Case Studies in Material Rhetoric: Joseph Priestley and Gilbert Austin

This essay offers "material rhetoric" as a new addition to the usual list of categories used to describe rhetoric in the eighteenth century (neoclassical, belletristic, elocutionary, epistemological/psychological) by examining the material elements of treatises written by Joseph Priestley and Gilbert Austin. These material elements—namely heat, passion, and impression—are tracked through Priestly and Austin's scientific writings, thereby positioning their particular strains of material rhetoric as legacies of philosophical chemistry.

Keywords: rhetorical elocution, materials, science, literary rhetoric, rhetorical delivery, gestures, oratory, rhetorical criticism, classical rhetoric, passion, scientific discourse

Kenneth Burke’s Jungle Book

Keywords: Permanence and Change, critical animal studies, Philosophy of Literary Form, behaviorism, Kenneth Burke, Darwinism

Language as Sensuous Action: Kenneth Burke, Sir Richard Paget, and Gesture-Speech Theory

Keywords: rhetoric, performance, Kenneth Burke, gesture, Sir Richard Paget, body

Rhetoric, Bodies, and Everyday Life

Keywords: art museums, classical rhetoric, rhetoric, written composition, rhetorical argument, Aristotelian rhetoric, spoken communication, discourse, visual rhetoric, political rhetoric

Burke on Drugs

Keywords: political rhetoric, musical rhythm, gastrointestinal agents, piety, opium, permanence, crime prevention, police, fleas, poetry

Virtual Alterity and the Reformatting of Ethics

Keywords: posthumanism, information technology, ethics, innovations, virtual reality

Bodily Pedagogies: Rhetoric, Athletics, and the Sophists’ Three Rs

Keywords: Greek civilization, sports, rhetoric, culture

Agonism and Aretê

Keywords: olympic games, rhetorical dialogue, wrestling, classical rhetoric, Aristotelian rhetoric, conflict, political rhetoric, sophistry

Emergent Flesh: Phusiopoesis and Arts of Training

Keywords: human nature, rhetoric, ancient Greek philosophy, phusiopoiesis, philosophy, training, human body, physical fitness, sports training

Burke and Nietzsche

Keywords: Permanence and Change, Friedrich Nietzsche, metaphor, rhetoric, Kenneth Burke

Composition History and the Harbrace College Handbook

Keywords: writing teachers, literature, writing instruction, authors, textbooks, teachers, written composition, handbooks, freshman composition, manuals



Propaganda among the Ruins

From The Oxford Handbook of Propaganda Studies

Keywords: "The Rhetoric of Hitler's Battle, rhetoric, "Boring from Within," propaganda, Kenneth Burke, art, socialism

Pan-historiography: The Challenges of Writing History across Time and Space

From Theorizing Histories of Rhetoric 

Keywords: Ecuador, historiography, archive, animal rhetoric, rhetorical methodologies, Kenneth Burke, pan-historiography, motion

Historiography by Incongruity

From Burke in the Archives

Keywords: Kenneth Burke,methods and methodologies, body biography, the "Beauty Clinic," archival research

Kairotic Encounters

From Perspectives on Rhetorical Invention

Keywords: kairos, dunamis, rhetorical invention, rhetoric, subjectivity, logos, postmodernism, Gorgias



Bestiaries, Past and Future

A reflection on the rhetorical work of bestiaries that concludes a special issue on animal rhetoric in Rhetoric Society Quarterly.

Keywords: commonplace books, bestiaries, rhetoric, phantasia, Lady Anne Southwell, memory work

Review of Rhetoric and Rhythm in Byzantium: The Sound of Persuasion

Book review in Rhetorica of Vessela Valiavitcharska's Rhetoric and Rhythm in Byzantium: The Sound of Persuasion.

Keywords: sound, rhetoric, rhythm, persuasion

Deliberation in the Midst of Crisis

Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies article. Co-authored with Heather Adams, Jeremy Engels, Michael Faris, and Mark Hlavacik. 

Keywords: outreach, crisis, crisis communication, democratic deliberation, pedagogy

Video Parlor: Action and Motion 

From the Kenneth Burke Journal, a video conversation with Bryan Crable. Edited by Nathaniel Rivers and Paul Lynch. 

The New Hackers: Historiography through Disconnection

Keywords: rhetoric, material rhetorics, non-western rhetoric, actor network theory, historiography

Toward a Bestial Rhetoric

Keywords: animals, zoology, treatises, dogs, analogies, language, epideictic, rhetoric, humans, Aristotelian rhetoric, deliberative rhetoric

Kenneth Burke and American Studies: A Response to Giorgio Mariani

Keywords: political rhetoric, grammar, peacetime, paradoxes, pacifism, literary rhetoric, rhetoric, American studies, classical rhetoric, world wars

The Squirm

Keywords: dramatism, identification, dramatistic pentad, hermeneutics, Kenneth Burke, pedagogy, composition studies


Keywords: nature, disability, rhetoric, performance, rhetorical bodies, politeness

Review of Modern Occult Rhetoric by Joshua Gunn

Keywords: poetics, rhetoric, obscurity, occultism, G. I. Gurdjieff, Aleistar Crowley, Judith Butler, Jacques Derrida, speech and writing

Performing Ancient Rhetorics: A Symposium

Keywords: identity, symposium, ancient rhetoric, performativity

Review of The Rhetoric of Rhetoric: The Quest for Effective Communication by Wayne Booth

Keywords: debate, history of rhetoric, Wayne Booth, argument, understanding, rhetrickery, political rhetoric


in The Oxford Companion to the Body


in The Oxford Companion to the Body

Toward Posthuman Rhetorics: ‘It’s the Future, Pikul.’

Keywords: posthumanism, discourse, humanism, weapons, rhetoric, machinery, subjectivity, capital, mobility, political rhetoric, computer hacking

Regarding History

Keywords: literature, anniversaries, written composition, handbooks, textbooks, history, history instruction, writing teachers