Rhetorweight Boxing

During a conversation tonight about anthologies ("Anthologics," a future
entry), somebody mentioned Cross-Talk in Comp Theory and, you guessed it,
the Bartholomae-Elbow debate. There are others, but I don’t know them (or
I do, but I don’t want to disturb sleeping giants). I should know them,
list them. But for now I’m casually proposing a collection made up of the
close-handed fisticuffs, an all-time greats in the knock-down-drag-outs of RC
scholarship. Each conflict would be framed as a round with notes
explaining the vitriol’s sources, escalations of fired-up writing, and so on. A
celebration of irreconcilability and over-my-dead-body investments in method,
curriculum and the discipline. Who wouldn’t order a copy of such a thing?


  1. I was trying not to name names, Jeff. Trying to sneak by the yard without waking YD.

    I thought I remembered you saying something about this several months ago, something about Sledd and a yelling match.

    Dinner at a prof’s house (a “last class”) earlier this evening got me thinking that it’d be worth having those legendary battles collected in one place.

  2. Seems to be close to what I was thinking, although (and I haven’t read it) the TOC looks like it was a battle royal with new pieces solicited for the collection. Slamfest, eh? I’ll have to get my hands on a copy.

    I had an assemblage of two-party scuffle’s in mind, the great conflicts of the last fifty years. An ESPN Classic of C&R. I’d make a list here, but then I’d risk losing all of the royalties this gem stands to attract.

  3. The story I heard (via Jenny who got it from somewhere else I believe) was that Sledd and Maxine Hairston’s husband almost came to blows at CCCC. Seems he didn’t take too kindly to some things Sledd had written or said.

    Sounds like what you want is the teach the conflicts serious-style. Maybe something akin to the Achewood Great OutDoor Fight:
    but comp-oriented.

    3 Days, 3 Acres, 3 Thousand Men.


    I’m in.

  4. Comp’s Great Great Outdoor Fights. Perfect. I like the next one, too: “Qualifying rounds be damned. I’m BOC.

  5. I’m in, but only if we can have a round for community college professors, the teacher- scholars, and, if we can use paintball to fight with.

  6. Of course, Joanna. All are welcome. And if you want paintball, I don’t see any reason why not.

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