“Eye-Crossing from Brooklyn to Manhattan" by Kenneth Burke. Video, Captioning, and Artist Statement by Victoria Carrico

"Eye-Crossing from Brooklyn to Manhattan."Read by Kenneth Burke and Adapted and Captioned by Victoria Carrico on Vimeo.

Videographer Victoria Carrico renders Burke's "Eye-Crossing from Brooklyn to Manhattan" in a stunning visual and audio interpretation.

All Hands on Deck: A Cluster Analysis of Key Images/Terms in James Cameron’s Titanic

Richard Thames

Burke claims literature can be inductively analyzed by indexing key terms and their associations—i.e., a “cluster analysis.”  This critique claims motion pictures can likewise be analyzed by indexing key images, as illustrated by indexing the recurring imagery of “hands” and associated images and story elements in James Cameron's Titanic.

Lakoff via Burke: Hillary, Bernie, and the Narrative Challenge to the Metaphor

Stephen Morrison

This paper situates Lakoff’s metaphoric theory of political affiliation within Burke’s classification of poetic forms, and finds that Lakoff’s strict father and nurturant parent worldviews align with Burke’s tragic and comic forms. However, applying this to the 2016 Democratic debates complicates Lakoff’s view of political identity, and suggests that such identities are still better understood through the full range of Burkean identification, in which narrative and metaphor play important, but not singular, roles.

The Redemption of Jake “The Snake”: Guilt, Mortification, and Purification of Professional Wrestling's Prodigal Sinner

Matt Foy, Upper Iowa University

This essay examines the thirty-year career arc of professional wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts by employing a Burkean approach to understanding Roberts’s symbolically resonate performances of mortification. Through performances of mortification both during and following his active wrestling career, Roberts is transformed into a purifying agent for wrestling fans’ collective guilt over systemic “demons” of addiction and human frailty that have haunted professional wrestling and its fandom increasingly since the 1990s.

Resisting Community with Burke and McKeon: Rhetoric and Poetic in Their 1970 Debate

James Beasley

In 1970, Burke and McKeon held a debate at the University of Chicago, with the topic the difference between “Rhetoric” and Poetic.” This debate has never before been published, and Bob Wess and I present this debate with the following notes. We begin with our own interest in the debate, follow this with a brief outline of the debate, and then we make some observations about the significance of this debate for rhetorical scholarship today

Richard McKeon and Kenneth Burke: Rhetoric and Poetic

Robert Wess

In 1970, Burke and McKeon held a debate at the University of Chicago, with the topic the difference between “Rhetoric” and Poetic.” This debate has never before been published, and James Beasley and I present this debate with the following notes. We begin with our own interest in the debate, follow this with a brief outline of the debate, and then we make some observations about the significance of this debate for rhetorical scholarship today.

“Scientific Rhetoric”: Kenneth Burke’s The War of Words and the Detection of the Conscious and Unconscious Biases of the Mainstream News Media

Jim A. Kuypers

In The War of Words Burke uses the term scientific to describe the news “in the sense that it deals with information” but is also rhetorical since “it forms attitudes or induces to action.” In this essay I outline Burke’s major ideas in his “Scientific Rhetoric” chapter; present for consideration Burke’s assumptions about the press; and conclude with comments about how one might productively extend Burke’s insights into future studies of the news media.

Devices and Desires: Concerning Kenneth Burke’s The War of Words

Richard H. Thames

Before McLuhan or Ong, “Speech” secured a place in Academe as the offspring of “Poli-Sci.” Accordingly, the discipline traced its roots to democracy’s birth in Athens. With reconsideration of “orality” inspired by developments in communication technology, the discipline reclaimed its place as foremost among the trivium, a restoration foretold by Burke and other New Rhetoric exponents. Publication of the The War of Words and the issue of its relationship to the Rhetoric and the Motivorum tetralogy raise questions concerning Burke’s as well as the discipline’s significance.

Review: Dinosaur Bones: Poems by Michael Burke. Reviewed by Steven B. Katz

Cover of Dinosaur Bones by Michael BurkeMichael Burke, Dinosaur Bones: Poems, Parlor Press, 2021. 100 pp. $17.99 (paperback; color); $9.99 (PDF and EPUB)

Reviewed by Steven B. Katz

Sweep away your expectations, put aside your suppositions, dispense with your assumptions about what you think contemporary poetry, modern poetry, or even twentieth century poetry is, what poetry can and cannot do, what it is supposed to be in the twenty-first century.

Review: Mindful of Greek: Select Fictions of Kenneth Burke, Norman Douglas, and Albert Camus by Donald L. Jennerman. Reviewed by Greig Henderson.

Jennermann, Donald L. Mindful of Greek: Select Fictions of Kenneth Burke, Norman Douglas, and Albert Camus. Monon Publications, 2019. 81 pp. mononpubs@gmail.com

Reviewed by Greig Henderson

Professor Emeritus of Classics and Humanities at Indiana State University, Donald Jennermann is both an erudite linguistic scholar and an astute literary critic.  He is one of the founding members of the Kenneth Burke Society, and—along with other devotees of Burke like William Rueckert, Wayne Booth, and Denis Donoghue—he produces work that is elegant, sophisticated, and insightful.  The man of letters with his humanist values and liberal imagination is certainly an anachronism in our day, but the current trend toward reparative criticism is oddly in sync with what liberal humanists used to champion.

Review: Perspectives on Science and Culture edited by Kris Rutten, Stefaan Blancke, and Ronald Soetaert. Reviewed by Julia Longaker

Cover of Perspectives on Science and CultureRutten, Kris, Stefaan Blancke, Stefaan, and Ronald Soetaert. Perspectives on Science and Culture, Purdue University Press, 2018. 308 pp. $45.00 (paperback; color); $39.99 (EPUB)

Reviewed by Julia Longaker,

In April 2019, author Ian McEwan caused a stir in the literary community when, while promoting his new novel Machines Like Me, he seemed to draw a firm line between the gravitas of his futuristic novel and existing work categorized as science fiction: “There could be an opening of a mental space for novelists to explore this future, not in terms of travelling at 10 times the speed of light in anti-gravity boots, but in actually looking at the human dilemmas” (The Guardian).

Review: Rhetorical Touch: Disability, Identification, Haptics. Reviewed by James L. Cherney

Cover of Rhetorical Touch: Disability, Identification, Haptics by Shannon Walters

Walters, Shannon. Rhetorical Touch: Disability, Identification, Haptics. U of South Carolina P, 2014.

James L. Cherney

In this highly insightful and important book, Shannon Walters makes a compelling case for exploring the rhetoric of touch. Adding to the work of scholars who examine rhetorics of disability (e.g., Brenda Brueggemann, Margaret Price, and Jay Dolmage) and scholars examining corporeal rhetorics (e.g. Debra Hawhee, Nathan Stormer, and Robin Jensen), Walters shows that a rhetoric of touch facilitates a better understanding of how some disabled people practice identification.

Review: Kenneth Burke's Permanence and Change: A Critical Companion by Ann George. Reviewed by Jill Quandt

Cover of Kenneth Burke's Permanence and Change: A Critical Companion by Ann George

George, Ann. Kenneth Burke's Permanence and Change: A Critical Companion. University of South Carolina Press, 2018. 296 pp. $49.99 (hardcover); $49.99 (ebook)

Jill Quandt

In her new book, Kenneth Burke's Permanence and Change: A Critical Companion, Ann George describes the historical and modern significance of Burkean studies.