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Author: Beth L. Hewett
In A Scholarly Edition of Samuel P. Newman’s A Practical System of Rhetoric, Beth L. Hewett argues that Newman, an American nineteenth-century rhetorician, has been unfairly judged by criteria disconnected from his goals and accomplishments. His exceptionally popular textbook is important for how he engaged received theory, fit practice to the era, struggled with age-old questions of thought and language, and spoke to his readers. He operationalized the concept of taste, giving it functionality for invention, and inflected Belletrism with American illustrations suited to the nascent, uniquely American communicative requirements of a democracy. Hewett’s modern scholarly edition contextualizes this book as the serious work of a scholar-educator, demonstrating its values in the context of nineteenth-century American rhetorical and textbook history.
Author: Bunkyo Kin
Editor: Ross King
In Literary Sinitic and East Asia: A Cultural Sphere of Vernacular Reading, Professor Kin Bunkyō surveys the history of reading technologies referred to as kundoku 訓讀 in Japanese, hundok in Korean and xundu in Mandarin. Rendered by the translators as ‘vernacular reading’, these technologies were used to read Literary Sinitic through and into a wide variety of vernacular languages across diverse premodern East Asian civilizations and literary cultures. The book’s editor, Ross King, prefaces the translation with an essay comparing East Asian traditions of ‘vernacular reading’ with typologically similar reading technologies in the Ancient Near East and calls for a shift in research focus from writing to reading, and from ‘heterography’ to ‘heterolexia’.
Translators are Marjorie Burge, Mina Hattori, Ross King, Alexey Lushchenko, and Si Nae Park
Author: Muteb Alqarni
In Introduction to Generative Syntax, Muteb Alqarni combines his teaching experience with the research of experts in English syntax and offers the reader a tool to study the developments of syntactic theories since the 1960s until recent times.

In 250 units, Alqarni explores topics commonly encountered in the study of syntax in an accessible and straight-forward manner. Lexicon, Phrase Structure Rules, X'-Theory, Transformational Grammar, Theta Theory, Government and Binding Theory, Raising and Control, Movement Constraints, Split Projections and the Minimalist Program are just some of the topics covered.
A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography introduces and contextualizes the culture of Byzantine letter-writing from various socio-historical, material and literary angles. While this culture was long regarded as an ivory-tower pastime of intellectual elites, the eighteen essays in this volume, authored by leading experts in the field, show that epistolography had a vital presence in many areas of Byzantine society, literature and art. The chapters offer discussions of different types of letters and intersections with non-epistolary genres, their social functions as media of communication and performance, their representations in visual and narrative genres, and their uses in modern scholarship. The volume thus contributes to a more nuanced understanding of letter-writing in the Byzantine Empire and beyond.

Contributors are: Thomas Johann Bauer, Alexander Beihammer, Floris Bernard, Emmanuel C. Bourbouhakis, Carolina Cupane, Niels Gaul, Cecily J. Hilsdale, Sofia Kotzabassi, Florin Leonte, Divna Manolova, Stratis Papaioannou, Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Alexander Riehle, Jack Tannous, Lena Wahlgren-Smith.

Abstract

This introductory essay raises general questions about the nature of Byzantine letters and provides some preliminary definitions for the purpose of the present volume. The second part sketches recent trends in scholarship on Byzantine epistolography and formulates suggestions for future research.

In: A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography
In: A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography
In: A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography
In: A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography
Author: Florin Leonte

Abstract

In Byzantium, letter-writing could serve as a tool for imparting knowledge or skills. Even if letters were short and had a small audience, the epistolary medium offered an advantage to the writers who wished to transmit not only a note of their thoughts or respect to the receiver, but also information. Given the epistolographers’ efforts to establish a connection with their addressees, such texts generated closer relations between teachers and students. This chapter identifies and discusses three main types of epistolary didacticism: spiritual, technical, and moral-political. Although it is difficult to identify a specific epistolary didactic form, arguably, the epistolary texts with didactic intent presented several distinct features such as the prominence of the author’s voice contrasting the objectivity embedded in the regular handbooks used for teaching skills or transmitting knowledge.

In: A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography
Author: Floris Bernard

Abstract

This essay discusses letter-exchange as a multimedia and partly ritualized form of communication. It focuses on the role of the bearer, not only as a channel for the message, but also as a mediator and go-between. Gifts added a material dimension to letter-exchange, and they were subject to subtle codes that often caused a sender to downplay their value and importance. The reception of letters was a ritualized event, consisting of a fixed sequence of gestures, and involving all the senses. Letters were regularly read by others, a phenomenon that one could call “public intimacy”; the reading of letters often stood at the core of a complex semi-public performance, involving extensive mediation, rhetorical dramatization, and ceremony. The essay also examines the impact of social decorum and hierarchy on letters, notably on the forms of address, formulas of deference, the vocabulary with which the letter-writer introduced requests, etc., for which the term “epistolary codes” can be used.

In: A Companion to Byzantine Epistolography