In this dissertation, I develop a theoretical framework, based in understandings of epideictic theory, metaphor, and metonymy, to systematically investigate the metaphor of voice across representative expressivist, critical and feminist, and poststructuralist texts. This investigation focuses on the epideictic function that voice plays in such radical writing theory and demonstrates how voice celebrates and strengthens adherence to shared values in order to create communion with a reader and to move that reader toward the action of adopting a novel approach to understanding writing. In Chapters 2, 3, and 4, I identify the core value of power, which is celebrated across divergent theoretical texts and which is both strengthened and deconstructed through the use of the metaphor of voice. Although power is consistently celebrated, each major conversation conceptualizes power very differently, challenging various notions of individual agency and structural limitations to enacting power through writing. As voice works to celebrate and reconceptualize power across these conversations, it also displaces and introduces various other values, such as nature, authenticity, and multiplicity. At the same time, voice functions metonymically and, thus, various values attached to a written text are also attached to the writer. I argue that viewing voice through the lens of epideictic rhetoric can both shed light on the metaphor’s controversy and can provide a material, linguistic focus for a conversation about embedded values that inform theory and practice in the field of composition.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. January 2017. Major: Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication. Advisors: Patrick Bruch, Thomas Reynolds. 1 computer file (PDF); v, 231 pages.
Voice in Composition Theory and Practice: The Epideictic Function of Metaphor in Radical Writing Pedagogies.
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