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ERIC Number: ED409595
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Apr
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Burke and Academia: Revenge of the Specialists.
Lambkin, David J.
Kenneth Burke was a college dropout who did not enjoy notable success until quite late in life. His major interest was the development of a meta-theory of language, which he called "rhetoric." Denied the resources and material rewards of academia, Burke was both scapegoated and redeemed by the academic community. Furthermore, the scapegoaters and redeemers primarily use the same four elements of Burke's writings to achieve their goals--both groups can best be analyzed by using the Burkeian concepts of "order" and "terministic screens." Burke's writings were denigrated by the proponents of the "New Criticism" because they were not ontological enough. The first major academic responses to Burke--by Sidney Hook, Max Black, and John Crowe Ransom--focused on his lack of formal education, his dialectic approach, and his combination of epistemological and ontological approaches. Burke's redemption came about with the waning power of New Criticism, replaced by the new order of "reader response criticism, "deconstructionism," and a primarily epistemological critical framework. Beginning in 1967, epistemological analysis is dominant in speech communication for the next 20 years. Burke's linkage with the new theorists is obvious. As a (non-dogmatic) Marxist, Burke was more than willing to draw on a variety of resources for his theoretical work. He has crossed disciplinary boundaries--he was always " post-modern." Contemporary critics, in fact, perceive Burke through their own particular terministic screens. Perhaps Burke spent his life consciously playing "devil's advocate" with whatever academic order was dominant. (Contains 16 references.) (NKA)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A