Rhetoric & Composition I: Autumn Quarter 2013 Rotating Header Image

How should we read page A1?

We have several different methods available to us: sometimes we can read it as a representation of reality; we can read it as a particular editorial ideology; we can read it as a “table of contents of the world”; we can read it as a practical news source; we can read it critically — what doesn’t get reported on A1?

For 10 weeks, we have A1 to read together. If we’re smart — and we are — we will visit all of those reading methods. There is another method that I would like to look at with you this week, and it’s related to developing a contextual and historical sensibility. In a recent article in another publication (The New Yorker magazine) on online learning, a historian is quoted as saying,

” … the historian’s mind-set is the person who sees what’s going on, today, and assumes that whatever’s happening is not happening for the first time. And that whatever we’re seeing must have happened in some iteration, at some point, sometime in the past somewhere. And that those versions of the kinds of change that we see around us in various scales are just the latest installment of a very long series of similar such changes.”

“That history is sort of repeating in some ways. But isn’t history also cumulative—that when we see it happening a second time it’s somehow different from the first time?”