[KB] Potential KB history projects

Jack Selzer jls25 at psu.edu
Mon Nov 27 14:35:13 EST 2017

On April 8-9, 1949, Burke appeared at the two-day Western Roundtable on Modern Art (all expenses paid), for an honorarium of $100. Other notables in the roundtable conversation were Gregory Bateson, George Boas, Marcel Duchamp, Arnold Schoenberg, Mark Tobey, and Frank Lloyd Wright. 

See http://www.ubu.com/historical/wrtma/index.html 

Jack Selzer 
Paterno Family Liberal Arts Professor 
Department of English 
Penn State University 
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(814) 865-0251 
fax: 814-863-6834 
web: www.personal.psu.edu/faculty/j/l/jls25/ 
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From: "Clarke Rountree" <rountrj at uah.edu> 
To: "David Erland Isaksen" <daviderland at gmail.com> 
Cc: "kb" <kb at kbjournal.org> 
Sent: Monday, November 27, 2017 1:14:03 PM 
Subject: Re: [KB] Potential KB history projects 

Hi David, 
KB told me the same thing about Levi's plagiarism in 1986. I delivered a paper on the Levi issue at NCA in 2014. It turns out that the timing is not very supportive of the charge. Levi published this short book as an article in the U of Chicago Law Review in Spring 1948, before Burke visited Chicago (where Levi was). Correspondence has Jerome Frank recommending the Grammar to Levi AFTER Levi published the article but before he published the book version; but no changes were made and Levi does not mention to Frank that he's read Burke. Finally, and importantly, Levi's position ignores some important points Burke makes about constitutions, so if he did steal from Burke he did a lousy job. Ideas about the law and constitutions being contradictory in their values and goals were developed by the Legal Realists decades earlier, so Levi didn't need Burke for that. 


On Mon, Nov 27, 2017 at 1:13 AM, David Erland Isaksen < [ mailto:daviderland at gmail.com | daviderland at gmail.com ] > wrote: 


I discovered some rather interesting small tidbits of information which could spin off research projects that are beyond my specialty, but would be great contributions to Burke scholarship (if they haven't already been done). 

1. An Introduction to Legal Reasoning by Edward H. Levi actually plagiarizes Kenneth Burke's Constitution section of A Grammar of Motives. According to Kenneth Burke, the author (Edward H. Levi, even admitted that he borrowed his concept and a lot of material from Burke's book (without attribution, I might add), and his excuse was that "you are not really in my field, therefore it would not have looked good if I had cited you." This text has become a classic and go-to guide in law schools (and is still being used very frequently ( [ https://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Legal-Reasoning-Edward-Levi/dp/022608972X | https://www.amazon.com/Introduction-Legal-Reasoning-Edward-Levi/dp/022608972X ] ). Some call it one of the foundational texts in modern legal theory. 

Burke mentions this in a letter to Watson in February 1950. 

2. Kenneth Burke participated in a broadcast (or two broadcasts). One is clearly mentioned as occuring at the San Fransisco Scool of Fine Arts April 8th and 9th, 1949. It is possible that there is still a recording of that available. 
It may be the same one he is referring to later in a December 1949 letter. 

Like I said, this may have been covered before. In that case, please forgive me for my rookie mistakes ;) 

David Isaksen 
University of Agder 
University College of Southeast Norway 
[ http://www.intelligenceofpersuasion.blogspot.com/ | www.intelligenceofpersuasion.blogspot.com ] 

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Dr. Clarke Rountree 
Professor of Communication Arts 
Associate Dean for Recruitment and Outreach for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences 
243 Morton Hall 
University of Alabama in Huntsville 
Huntsville, AL 35899 
[ mailto:clarke.rountree at uah.edu | clarke.rountree at uah.edu ] 

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