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The Two Cultures of EnglishLiterature, Composition, and the Moment of Rhetoric$
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Jason Maxwell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823282463

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823282463.001.0001

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Between Standardization and Serialization: Kenneth Burke, Fredric Jameson, and Radical Criticism in the Post-Fordist Era

Between Standardization and Serialization: Kenneth Burke, Fredric Jameson, and Radical Criticism in the Post-Fordist Era

Chapter:
(p.60) Chapter 2 Between Standardization and Serialization: Kenneth Burke, Fredric Jameson, and Radical Criticism in the Post-Fordist Era
Source:
The Two Cultures of English
Author(s):

Jason Maxwell

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823282463.003.0003

This chapter considers the odd status of literary and rhetorical critic Kenneth Burke within English Studies. It does so by examining a debate between Burke and Fredric Jameson that occurred in the late 1970s in the journal Critical Inquiry; careful attention to the nuances of their exchange reveals why Burke has come to occupy such a central role within the discourse of rhetorical theory but has been largely overlooked within literary and critical theory. Although Burke and Jameson share many similarities concerning methodology and a host of related issues, they ultimately split on the structural characteristics of late capitalism. Whereas Burke asserts that capitalism operates by producing conformity and standardization, Jameson argues that capitalism must be understood as a much more dynamic system. Their differences on this matter illuminate a number of underlying tensions within theoretical work produced in the humanities today.

Keywords:   Kenneth Burke, Fredric Jameson, Marxism, Post-Fordism, seriality

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