Kenneth Burke and His Circles

SKU: 978-1-60235-066-3

Edited by Jack Selzer and Robert Wess

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978-1-60235-066-3 (paperback, $27.00; £14.00; €18.00); © 2008 by Parlor Press. 265 pages with notes, illustrations, bibliography, and index

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978-1-60235-067-0 (hardcover, $60.00; £31.00; €39.00); 978-1-60235-068-7 (Adobe eBook, $14.00; £8.00; €9.00)

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Kenneth Burke and His Circles consists of original papers focusing on the intellectual circles in which Burke participated during his long career. Instead of concentrating on Burke himself, as most recent scholarship has done, this book considers Burke as one participant in a host of important overlapping intellectual movements that took place over the course of the twentieth century. Burke is considered as “in conversation” with a host of important principals who influenced Burke and were in turn influenced by him.

The essays were selected from among ones first presented at a 2005 conference at Penn State University, the principal repository of Burke archives, and thus the ideal site for this conference’s exploration of the circles Burke participated in. Collectively, the papers presented at the conference conceive circles broadly to encompass Burke’s relationships to personal friends (e.g., Ralph Ellison), to major intellectual figures (e.g., Richard McKeon, Wayne Booth, Denis Donoghue), to academic fields of study (e.g., neo-Aristotelianism, corporate communication, Continental philosophy), and to cultural and artistic movements (such as jazz and contemporary poetry). Together, the essays offer new and illuminating perspectives on the complexity and diversity of the circles in which Burke worked to produce one of the important and enduring bodies of work in American intellectual life in the twentieth century.

About the Editors

Jack Selzer is Professor of English and Associate Dean for Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in the College of the Liberal Arts at Penn State. President of the Rhetoric Society of America from 2008 to 2009, he is the author, coauthor, editor, or coeditor of Kenneth Burke in Greenwich Village, Kenneth Burke in the 1930s, Rhetorical Bodies, Understanding Scientific Prose, and Good Reasons. In 2005, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kenneth Burke Society.

Robert Wess is a member of the Emeritus Faculty at Oregon State University and the author of Kenneth Burke: Rhetoric, Subjectivity, Postmodernism, as well as numerous articles on Burke and other theorists and literary works. He was also the editor of KB Journal’s special issue on Ecocriticism (Spring, 2006). In 1999, he received the Distinguished Service Award (1999) from the Kenneth Burke Society and served as its President from 2005 to 2008.


Abbreviations of Works by Kenneth Burke

Jack Selzer and Robert Wess

1 From Acceptance to Rejection: Kenneth Burke, Ralph Ellison, and Invisible Man
Bryan Crable

2 An Interview with Ben Belitt: On Kenneth Burke’s Bennington Years
Michael Jackson

3 Denis Donoghue’s Kenneth Burke
Miriam Marty Clark

4 Burke’s McKeon Side: Burke’s Pentad and McKeon’s Quartet
Robert Wess

5 Essentializing Temporality, Temporizing Essence: The Narrative Theory and Interpretive Practice of Kenneth Burke and Wayne Booth
Greig Henderson

6 Style and the Defense of Rhetoric: Burke’s and Aristotle’s Competing Models of Mind
James Kastely

7 Aesthetic Power and Rhetorical Experience
Gregory Clark

8 The Romantic in the Attic: William Blake’s Place in Kenneth Burke’s Intellectual Circle
Laura E. Rutland

9 Leveraging a Career with Kenneth Burke: The Politics of Theory in Literary Studies
Cary Nelson

10 Kenneth Burke and the Claims of a Rhetorical Poetry
Melissa Girard

11 The “Logological Organizing” of Corporate Discourse: A Burkean Case-Study Analysis
Peter M. Smudde

12 Still the King of Queens? Kenneth Burke, The Rhetoric of Religion, and the Theorizing of Rhetoric and Religion Now
Benjamin Bennett-Carpenter

13 The Revelations of “Logology”: Secular and Religious Tensions in Burke’s Views on Language, Literature, and Hermeneutics
Christine E. Iwanicki

14 Burkean Perspectives on Prayer: Charting a Key Term through Burke’s Corpus
William T. FitzGerald

Works Cited

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