Topics: Style

This fall I get to teach our topics in composition studies course, in both Macomb and the QC. So, style! I’m thinking about the following texts:

  • Start with excerpts from Queneau, Exercises in Style, and excerpts from rhetorical texts which show evolution in thinking style (Aristotle, Demetrius, Meacham, Sprat, Abbott, Genung).
  • Look at some style guides: Gibaldi, MLA Style Manual; the Chicago Manual of Style, Lynch & Horton’s Web Style Guide.
  • Academic books about style: Thomas and Turner, Clear and Simple as the Truth; Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style.
  • Some how-to-write books which focus on style: Joe Williams, Style; Strunkenwhite, The Elements of Style.
  • A few which cross these lines: Postrel, The Substance of Style; Madden, 99 Ways to Tell a Story.
  • Fashion, too; Destiny’s Style and/or Effortless Style. The former appeals because of the connections to music; the latter for its “how-to” content.

I don’t think I’m going to do much with style-as-in-CSS since I bang that drum in other courses. Maybe I’ll present an essay or two which discusses the form/content separation of XHTML/CSS; if students want to work with that for projects, I’ll be ready.

Other things to consider? I’m looking at Becky’s style bibliography and of course my stylins. And whatever you can offer, dear reader.

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2 Responses to Topics: Style

  1. Bill FitzGerald says:

    It was a pleasure to connect with you again at CW07, Bradley. As a result, I was checking out your blog and your posting on an anticipated style course for Fall 07. I taught a course on style at UMBC and used historical selections much as you expect to do. I used Lanham fairly extensively in addition to Thomas and Turner, Williams. Add to that a range of great projects by students on literary and non-literary styles and stylists.

    I thought about doing a course on style again here at Rutgers and I am, in a way, However, I am framing it as a course on figuratiion, mostly in verbal but also in visual contexts. So, for starters, the basics on classical figures (and their significance through the Remaissance) as well as contemporary approaches to tropes and schemes, including Lakoff and Turner, Burke, Fahnestock.

  2. cbd says:

    Agreed; C&W was great this year. I’ll drop you a line; I’d love to hear more about your course.

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