lectures on rhetoric and belles lettres
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The "Notes of Dr. Smith's Rhetorick Lectures," discovered in 1958 by a University of Aberdeen professor, consists of lecture notes taken by two of Smith's students at the University of Glasgow in 1762-1763. There are thirty lectures in the collection, all on rhetoric and the different kinds or characteristics of style. The book is divided into "an examination of the several ways of communicating our thoughts by speech" and "an attention to the principles of those literary compositions which contribute to persuasion or entertainment." The species of communication discussed include descriptive and narrative (or historical) composition, poetry, demonstrative oratory, panegyric, didactic or scientific language, deliberative oratory, and judicial or forensic oratory. The subjects addressed in his teachings include the style and genius of some of the best of the ancient writers and poets, especially the historians and the English classics.
Contemporary celebrations of interdisciplinary scholarship in the humanities and social sciences often harbor a distrust of traditional disciplines, which are seen as at best narrow and unimaginative, and at worst complicit in larger forms of power and policing. Disciplinarity at the Fin de Siècle questions these assumptions by examining, for the first time, in so sustained a manner, the rise of a select number of academic disciplines in a historical perspective. This collection of twelve essays focuses on the late Victorian era in Great Britain but also on Germany, France, and America in the same formative period. The contributors--James Buzard, Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Liah Greenfeld, John Guillory, Simon Joyce, Henrika Kuklick, Christopher Lane, Jeff Nunokawa, Arkady Plotnitsky, Ivan Strenski, Athena Vrettos, and Gauri Viswanathan--examine the genealogy of various fields including English, sociology, economics, psychology, and quantum physics. Together with the editors' cogent introduction, they challenge the story of disciplinary formation as solely one of consolidation, constraint, and ideological justification. Addressing a broad range of issues--disciplinary formations, disciplinarity and professionalism, disciplines of the self, discipline and the state, and current disciplinary debates--the book aims to dislodge what the editors call the "comfortable pessimism" that too readily assimilates disciplines to techniques of management or control. It advances considerably the effort to more fully comprehend the complex legacy of the human sciences.
Many economists who struggled to establish a secure place for their discipline in American universities in the nineteenth century made significant contributions to reshaping American academic life in general. Yet, they were often at war among themselves as they sought to define the mission and methods of economics in an era of social and intellectual ferment. This volume represents the contribution of American scholars to a multinational research project on the institutionalization of political economy in European, Japanese, and North American universities. It includes case studies of divergent experiences of fourteen institutions that figured prominently in the molding of American culture: William & Mary, The University of Virginia, South Carolina College, Brown, Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, The University of Pennsylvania, The University of Chicago, The University of California, Stanford, The University of Wisconsin, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. These are supplemented in an essay by A. W. Coats on the turbulent early decades of the American Economic Association. In this new introduction, Barber takes note of the fact that in a somewhat different context and with a modified rhetoric the same issues present themselves today as they did one hundred years earlier. And this in turn introduces some troubling concerns about just what sort of science economics is, and was. The volume as a whole can be read as reflections on the troubled status of the discipline of economics as it now exists in American university and research contexts. It provides fresh perspectives on the development of social science and economic thought and on the history of higher education in the United States. As such it will be of very great interest to professional economists, students of higher education, and those for whom the life of American ideas holds a central place.