Burke in the Archives: Using the Past to Transform the Future of Burkean Studies (Studies in Rhetoric/Communication)

Jessica Enoch, Co-Editor
University of South Carolina Press, 2013

Burke in the Archives brings together thirteen original essays by leading and emerging Kenneth Burke scholars to explore provocatively the twenty-first-century usefulness of a figure widely regarded as the twentieth century's most influential rhetorician. Edited by Dana Anderson and Jessica Enoch, the volume breaks new ground as it complicates, extends, and ultimately transforms how the field of rhetorical studies understands Burke, calling much-needed attention to the roles that archival materials can and do play in this process.

Although other scholars have indeed looked to Burke's archives to advance their work, no individual essays, books, or collections purposefully reflect on the archive's role in transforming rhetorical scholars' understandings of Burke. By drawing on an impressively varied range of archival materials--including unpublished letters, newly recovered reviews, notes on articles, drafts of essays, and even comments on student papers from Burke's years of teaching--the essays in this volume mount distinct, powerful arguments about how archival materials have the potential to reshape and invigorate rhetorical scholarship.

Including contributors such as Jack Selzer, Debra Hawhee, and Ann George, this collection pursues Burke behind the arguments of his major works to the divergent preoccupations, habits of mind, breakthroughs, and breakdowns of his insight. Through the archival arguments and analyses that unify its essays, Burke in the Archives showcases how historiographic and methodological work can propel Burke scholarship in new directions.