Saturday, April 4, 2009


Vitanza is concerned with the writing of history and its relationship with ideology. He contends that "there is no escape whatsoever from ideology" identifying "common sense" as an often overlooked type along with clarity and coherence. The main thrust of his article centers on the assertion that the writing of history is always in some way ideological and how this impacts the writing of the history of rhetoric.

He identifies three major historigraphical categories:

1) Traditional Historiography -narrative events/ beginning-middle-end, Man is the agent of history (85)Documentary style / archival - based on documents, write from POV that documents are not influenced by ideology - law like explanations - written and interpreted along ideological lines
A. History that has "time" (narrative) as a major category -
B. History that does not emphasize time or man as a major category

2) Revisionary (correction centered) Historiography - addresses wrong interpretation of facts or accomodates previously undisclosed facts
A. Full disclosure -rewriting of history with primary purpose of "the full disclosure of the facts" (95)- the partial representation added to so as to create a whole
B. Self Conscious Critical Practices - distrust and interrogation of one's own (ideologically embedded)consciousness - recognition of one's own relationship with language and its implications.

3) Sub/versive Historiography - nonlinear - rhizomatic -POV multiplicity, critically conscious, nondisciplinary, dialectically based, non-selfexpressive, opposes history as knowledge, against history as reminiscent or for recognition,history as not representative of tradition(111-112)

Zappen: Revisionist - self conscious critical practice
Zappen discusses the historiography of scientific rhetoric with regards to Francis Bacon. He delves into the predominate interpretations of Bacon's work pointing out how the assertions made within these interpretations were based on specific underlying ideology. He then puts forth his own interpretation (86)but is quick; however, to qualify it by stating that his interpretation is not the end all be all and that indeed it must be taken only as a "suggestion"

Corbett: Traditional Historiography
In this article Corbett ties contemporary business and professional communication with classical rhetoric.
It is told from a POV that documents are not influenced by ideology which is additionally supported by his own lack of referencing the ideology that underscores his own writing.

Howard: Revisionary - Full Disclosure
In discussing the history of copyright and it's current place within electracy Howard work discusses and clarifies our relationship with copyright as a priviledge. In re-establishing this relationship he in fact "revises" wrong interpretations of copyright laws that are held by the majority.


  1. In the tradition of historiagraphy I am going to revisit my own take on this weeks reading and see where it lands me:
    In reviewing my Zappen evaluation I realize that I indeed was caught up in the lip service he pays to ideology - it is this lip service which lends that the article is revisionist self conscious critical; however, one discovers that Zappen buffers his take on Bacon's work by setting it contrast to plain style and institutional science (they each don't go far enough, and democratic science (which excludes contribution of Inst. Science making it sub par). In this light he reads then as a full disclosure revisionist - in that he seeks to correct what he deems as being uninformed views.
    Upon revisiting Howard's work I now believe that it is indeed a traditional/self conscious critical piece in that it is:
    linear - based on documents and so is archival and complete with law like explanations which read as common sensical. It becomes self conscious critical when he states on pg 400 that there is a struggle among 3 historically discintc/competing theories of textual ownership that informs thje tradition concepts the audience holds of copyright/ ownership. By stating this he acknowledges the ideologies that shape the history of copyright both separate from him and also implies that such ideology informs his own commonsensical argument.
    Cirbett I still pin as Tradition except I would add that relies on lawlike explanations in a documentary (common sense) style. (style used purposefully here)

  2. Then again the Zappen piece - could go the original route I alluded to : self critical