Tagged: History of Rhetoric

Mario Untersteiner PRE/TEXT Call For Papers/Participants

Mario Untersteiner was a prolific Italian classicist (arguably philosopher) who focused on the ancient Greeks, and primarily on the origins of tragedy, the sophistic tradition, and the works of Plato and Aristotle. Even though influential within continental European circles during the mid-20th Century, Untersteiner’s works remain relatively unknown to English-speaking rhetoricians. With the notable exception of his most important and widely cited book, The Sophists (translated by Kathleen Freeman,1954), the bulk of Untersteiner’s essays have yet to be translated into English.

This Call for Papers announces a forthcoming double volume of PRE/TEXT: A Journal of Rhetorical Theory (Victor J. Vitanza, Editor and Publisher) that will focus on the work of Mario Untersteiner. The first volume will consist of a series of translations of previously untranslated works by Untersteiner, and the second volume will consist of critical essays that make use of the new translations.

In addition to the goal of making more of Untersteiner’s work available to a broader English-speaking audience, the first volume will also serve as a collaborative experiment in the process of translation and in the rhetorical act of translation. The work will consist of three major phases. Once contributors to the translation volume have been assembled, the translation team will, through a collaborative process, decide which of Untersteiner’s works should be prioritized for translation and inclusion in the volume. Once works have been selected, translation strategies will be devised and executed, and finally, the translations will be reviewed for accuracy both internally and externally.

The subsequent volume of PRE/TEXT will be comprised of critical essays that make use of the translations to contextualize, comment upon, critique, and explore Untersteiner’s place within and contributions to Western rhetorical theory, inquiry, and specifically his contributions to interpretations of the sophistic tradition. Contributors to this second of our two-part Untersteiner series will have access to the set of new translations prior to their publication.

To participate in the compilation, translation, and publication of the first volume in this two-part series, e-mail Nate Kreuter, P/T, Guest Editor (nathankreuter [at] gmail [dot] com) with a brief statement of your interest in Untersteiner and a frank assessment of your own preparedness to translate from Italian to English. We seek the participation of Italian-speaking rhetoricians and rhetoricians with a theoretical interest in the act of translation, as well as the participation of Italian language experts with an interest in the rhetoric of translation, or specific interest in the ancient Greek rhetorical tradition and/or Untersteiner and his work. Suggestions for which Untersteiner essays to include in the translation volume are also welcome at any time, even from those who may not wish to or be able to participate in the actual translation work.

A formal CFP for the second volume of critical essays will be issued at a later date.


A little last minute, but policies, syllabi, and assignments have been posted.  My grad course, ENGL 610: History of Rhetoric, and my two sections of sophomore writing, ENGL 202: Writing and Critical Inquiry, are up.  In the undergrad course I’ll be framing our study of rhetoric around food issues, specifically those raised in Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food. I’ll also be making use of other food-related media, like Will Burdette’s excellent podcast No Satiation, and Perennial Plate. And, it’s an election year, so I’m sure that political candidates will be saying plenty of asinine things for us to have fun with.

As always, feel free to crib materials, but I always appreciate attribution.

Kinky 4 Gov

I’ve finally gotten around to posting the syllabi and assignments for my fall courses, ENGL 202: Writing and Critical Inquiry (sophomore level, required, two sections) and ENGL 610: History of Rhetoric (graduate).  As always, I will probably tweak things over the course of the semester, giving students appropriate notice.

Fellow teachers, also as always, please feel free to crib from me if you see something you like, but I of course appreciate attribution.

Assateague Snowy Egret