EP7: Susan Jarratt: A Discussion On Writing and Editing
Manage episode 325173734 series 3270223
Susan Jarratt, Professor Emerita of Comparative Literature at UC Irvine, shares her rich experience as a writer and scholar, and also as an editor of Rhetoric Society Quarterly, the official journal of the "Rhetoric Society of America," which will be of great value to those of us working in rhetoric, composition, and related fields, whether in returning to unfinished projects or in taking up new ones. Here, she discusses several of her major projects, including Rereading the Sophists: Classical Rhetoric Refigured (Southern Illinois University Press, 1991) and Chain of Gold: Greek Rhetoric in the Roman Empire (Southern Illinois University Press, 2019), which inform the experience she imparts to scholars tackling difficult and complex projects that often involve expansive scholarly terrains and traditions. Her practical advice will help writers navigate the limits of time and space, but also some of the psychological struggles, including the urge toward perfectionism, that can have the effect of stopping writing before it begins, or else before it is finished, thereby giving scholars tools to work through the trouble spots of their craft.
Daniel M. Gross
Selected Sources Referenced
Gorgias. Encomium of Helen. c. 400 BCE.
Gross, Daniel M. Being-Moved: Rhetoric as the Art of Listening, 2020.
Hume, David. The History of England (6 Volume Set), 1754–61.
Jarratt, Susan. Rereading the Sophists: Classical Rhetoric Refigured, 1991.
—. Chain of Gold: Greek Rhetoric in the Roman Empire, 2019.
Kerferd, G. B. The Sophistic Movement, 1981.
Lee, Mi-Kyoung. Epistemology After Protagoras: Responses to Relativism in Plato, Aristotle, and Democritus, 2005.
Oxford Research Encyclopedia for Communication
Quandahl, Ellen, and Susan Jarratt. “To Recall Him … Will be a Subject of Lamentation”: Anna Comnena as Rhetorical Historiographer,” 2008.
Taylor, C.C.W. The Atomists: Leucippus and Democritus, 1999.
Notable Quotes from Susan
“That’s another thing to maybe think about in academic writing is the urge toward perfectionism—to be able to say the most definitive thing, and say it in the very best way possible, and refute all the critics. And I think it’s good to think that that’s really not possible, and so you do something that is responsible and has been vetted, as I’ve been saying, and makes a contribution but probably leaves some questions open, or has some conclusions that are rather tentative, and waiting for other people to contribute.”
“Another very conventional but very important spur to the writing process is that there’s a narrative out there that you don’t think works well, and you want to correct it, and that gives you the angle, or a terministic screen.”
“When you read article after article and you see the same scholarly sources being quoted again and again and you say, okay, I’ve got that one, I’ve got that one. So that’s a sign of getting the research, or the terrain, known.”