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Author Archives: readdavi

Becoming Bridge-Builders

There’s a popular term out there right for people with lots of followers and content on social media: “Influencer.” On it’s face it sounds powerful, something we might all aspire to as writers and creative minds, but in practice its far more about internet hits, monetizing popularity, recycling worn tropes, trading shock for likes, a … Continue reading »

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Write What You Know

I’ve recently started writing a new historical novel, which means wallowing in research of Anglo-Saxon Britain circa the 7th century CE, and my experience so far has brought to the surface some realizations that I’m sharing with both my rhetoric and creative-writing students.

Categories: Creative Writing, Writing Advice | Leave a comment

The Trap of the Hyperreal

“Donald, I know you live in your own reality…” It was a line that debate geeks loved, but it may not have been that far from the truth.

Categories: Rhetoric | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Structuralism and Myth: A quick introduction

The opening unit of my Language and Ideology course examines how language—and we can extend the meaning of “language” to include hyper linguistic semiological systems, such as myth—constructs our perception of the world, or better, “reality.” These linguistic systems become structures that shape human consciousness, structures that we remain largely ignorant of. Below is a … Continue reading »

Categories: Rhetoric | Leave a comment

The Memory Box

In my Composing the Self class, we are exploring the genre of memoir and the rhetorical frames that we create when writing about memory. The power of the memoir lies in its ability to create vivid moments of identification, those experiences, scenes, and choices that readers can connect to their own lives, or imagine themselves … Continue reading »

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Identification

Lloyd Bitzer defines rhetoric as “a mode of altering reality…by the creation of discourse which changes reality through the mediation of thought and action” (4). To achieve this, the rhetor—or the person composing rhetoric—must be able to connect to her or his intended audience through a shared understanding of symbols: utterances, words, graphics. This connection … Continue reading »

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What do English Majors do? (my speech at the Sigma Tau Delta induction)

I love bridges. I grew up in rural Washington State, with a creek running behind my backyard, and a river running between my house and everything I needed to get to. When I waited for the bus each morning on the country bridge spanning the small Newaukum River, I always tried to find the exactly … Continue reading »

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Obama Drama (A pentadic criticism of his sequester statement)

Drama. We love it. Movies, television, fiction, political theatre, sports and spectacle. Life is drama, or at least that is how we make sense of life. The 20th century rhetorician Kenneth Burke saw drama everywhere, saw it as a way that people constructed their realities. While the material world is perceived by our five senses, we … Continue reading »

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Techne

When we hear the word craft or craftsmanship, we tend to think of the material arts, ie. building something with one’s hands: cooking, carpentry, sculpting, painting, etc. We understand craft to be the method of making or doing, of using specific materials and tools to accomplish specific tasks, and to do so in an aesthetically … Continue reading »

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The Importance of Inquiry

The term “inquiry” is an intimate part of academic discourse. A quick Google search of Chapman University’s website returns 924 instances of the word, and it is the central aspect of the GE “Shared Inquiry” clusters: Artistic Inquiry, Natural Science Inquiry, Quantitative Inquiry, Social Inquiry, Values and Ethical Inquiry, Written Inquiry (most likely the reason … Continue reading »

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