In week 2 of Writing Theory and Practice, we are immersing ourselves in the field of rhetoric and composition in Chapter 2 of English Studies, An Introduction to the Disciplines by Janice M. Lauer. Janice M. Lauer, a scholar renowned for her contributions to the study of language and persuasion, has left a mark on the way we think about English studies and the disciplines of rhetoric.
This chapter introduces how rhetoric and composition developed within English Studies since its reemergence in the 1960s. Lauer mentioned,
“What these students often don’t realize is that English also encompasses the discipline of rhetoric and composition, the teaching and study of writing and rhetoric in context.”
But only recently, in the past 30 years, has rhetoric and composition become a full-fledged discipline within English Studies. While reading through the chapter, I had a profound moment when I realized the impact of rhetoric and composition in English Studies on our lives today.
Janice M. Lauer’s viewpoint is undeniably valid as she contends, What have been the impacts of these expansions, shifts, and issues? I would maintain that each of the decades of work in rhetoric and composition has contributed to our understanding of written discourse and its teaching, opening hitherto unexplored aspects, building on previous work, critiquing or qualifying it, and sometimes challenging its underlying claims and arguments. She believes this is the normal work of a healthy discipline.
This perspective highlights the continuous evolution and growth within the field of rhetoric and composition in English Studies. Lauer underscores how each era of study and exploration adds value by expanding the scope of knowledge, drawing on the achievements of the past, and offering critical insights that refine the discipline in the present day.