Lunsford Keynote

At Collin College’s Trends in Teaching Composition Conference Dr. Andrea Lunsford was the keynote speaker.

Andrea Lunsford Keynote
Attended CCCC in 1969.
That summer paid to write pamphlets for college on the types of essays.
Then read Corbett’s book.
Corbett was teaching at Ohio State, so applied there. When arrived, Corbett was teaching lit only. Convinced him to teach rhetoric.
Everything’s an Argument is the most fun book I’ve ever written.

“Only real alternative to war is rhetoric” Wayne Booth

argument = combat, idea was to win… traditional def based on agonism
this has broadened, however.
Argument as invitational, seeking common ground, respectful and attentive, as understanding.
“prayer is a potent form of argument”
Argument is a powerful means of explanation, figuring out meaning.
Argument is the first genre a child masters. Burke says humans inventors of the negative.

Showed a Chinese 5-year old’s English-language book.
Multimedia, writing an arg in L2 that his mother found persuasive.

Argument is ubiquitous.
Trending tweets. What are the arguments? How are they refined? What approach do they take to argument?

Migraine—different discourse communities present differently
Looked at Scientific American article, argument in cartoon, Hildegard von Bingen’s 12C mss illumination of migraine aura, “Car-Jacked” poem by Roey about migraines

Students don’t always believe everything is an argument.

Lanham Economics of Attention 2007
Style, all about the peripherals

Rheingold Net Smart: How to Thrive Online 2014
About reading. We need info-tention = computer brain and human brain working together.

What is it I pay attention to?

Students see the argument and unpack it, but students also need to present with style in order to gain attention.
Style has impact on what we remember, think.
Style is endemic to our arguments.

When students need to understand arguments:
Conscious of how focusing attention
Avoid multi-tasking
Turn off distractions
Monitor understanding
Style important for getting and keeping attention.

Ask my students to take ½ day and write down what you pay attention to and why. Rarely is it school.

Sometimes ask them to monitor their reading. Stop every 15 minutes. What do you know? What have you learned? Because sometimes I don’t do anything but “read words;” it doesn’t sink in.

3 big research studies show you should still due high stakes reading in print.
Going back and forth.

4 approaches to argument (basket of tools we can use) can help students attend well in both analysis and construction of argument.
1. classical = 6-part Ciceronian structure rhet appeals, clear claim supported by evidence, counterargument acknowledgement
–intro, background, overview, evidence, refutation, conclusion
2. Toulmin = analytic frame—claim, evidence, warrant (underlying assumption), backing for warrants, qualifiers
3. Rogerian = issues described, alternative positions explained, explain your own position, use respectful language, focus on commonalities, work towards compromise—as revised by Young, Becker, and Pike
4. invitational (Foss and Griffin) = foster conversation, aims at understanding and muted respect, begins with showing understand others’ position, looks for compromise where possible
resonates with students, takes pressure off

Most decisions are made emotionally, not rationally.

Rhetorical listening by Christa Radcliffe = deeply engaged listener, understand and engage with interlocutor
Have to give myself that lesson often.

Wayne Booth on Rhetoric Listening.

Invitational approach works best for panels (as opposed to debates)

Arguments are active, performative, participatory, and adapted to new circumstances, audience, and media.

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