Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Proposal-in-Progress

Following are some thoughts I've been developing for a presentation proposal I plan to submit for BYU-Idaho's fall faculty conference. The conference theme is "Improving the Quality of our Teaching and the Depth of our Knowledge."

As I've pursued my thinking on this topic of responsible language use and the virtue of words (an interest that really undergirds my pursuits as a parent, teacher, poet, and scholar), I realized I've been summarizing ideas that I've been pursuing for some time now but have never really collected in one place. It was kind of a liberating moment for me because it seeks to bring together under one tent the disparate thinkers who have influenced my own nascent philosophies of language and human relationships. So I'm reveling in the serendipity before it makes for the door.

Anyway: the proposal-thoughts-in-progress. Feedback welcome.

On the Virtue of Teaching Words and On Teaching the Virtue of Words: What I've Learned About Language from FDENG 101 (Online)

Pricking Hearts (Jarom 1:12)
More Powerful Effect (Alma 31:5)

Language not only as a call to action but as a form of acting. Language enables us to act upon the world. Language as a means to exercise agency.

Teaching students that language is a form of action by, first, the language I use to frame their rhetorical agency/to frame them in the classroom—as seekers of knowledge whose language is a form of inquiry and knowledge. That language is a means of ordering the world and our experience of it. That language is a means of exerting our agency and influence in the world

Through the rhetoric of the question: Cecil O. Samuelson on questions—learning to ask effective questions

Through generous rhetorical listening, becoming vulnerable to another's language (and its intent)

Through the mutual pursuit of understanding (see Booth's rhetorology)

Rhetoric as a means of regulating behavior, yes, but it ought to/can go much deeper than that. The right language at the right time can change souls, can persuade people toward greater faith, toward transformation

Our relationship with God through the Holy Ghost is in part rhetorical. The power of the HG as a rhetorical act. Makes much sense if we consider that the angels speak by the power of the HG, speaking the truth in a way that resonates with our spirits and persuades us to change

Language as a means of proving contraries, of approaching, exploring, understanding the paradoxes and ambiguities of human experience and relationships

Language as a metonymic expression of and means to deepen human connection with one another, with the natural world, with God

Language as a situated, embodied act

Promoting rhetorical responsibility

No Power or Influence, Only By the Acts of Language

Faith as Firm Persuasion

A Memorable Fancy

Raising Others into a Perception of the Infinite

Thinkers:
• Wayne Booth (rhetorology)
• J.L. Austin (performative utterances)
• Krista Ratcliffe (rhetorical listening)
• Kenneth Burke (rhetoric as identification)
• William Blake ? (Marriage of Heaven and Hell)
• Patricia Karamesines (using language responsibly)
• Richard Marback (on vulnerability on rhetoric)
• Kristie Fleckenstein (on embodied literacies and a poetics of teaching)
• Alex Caldiero ? (defamiliarizing language to persuade others to a new perspective on the world)
• Joseph Smith (on language, the pursuit of knowledge, responsibly exerting our power and influence through acts of persuasion [rhetorical acts], and God)
• David A. Bednar (on seeking learning by study and by faith)
• Mark Canada ("Students as Seekers in Online Courses")
• Mormon (on the virtue of the word of God)