Communication and Rhetorical Studies
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Janie Harden Fritz
Ronald C. Arnett
communication, pedagogy, postmodernity, narrative literacy, dialogue, civic engagement
The consensus across the curriculum of the centuries is that education is imperative and important, a 'good' for public life and a means by which to attain the good life. This dissertation will focus on a constructive hermeneutic that allows one to ask: 'What is the conversation taking place during this historical moment in education, and how can communication and rhetorical studies provide one potential answer through communicative engagement with our postmodern moment?' This question, the focus of this project, rests on the need to recognize narrative multiplicity in the classroom, particularly in the communication classroom in higher education. This project recognizes the vital importance of narrative grounded thinking and idea engagement for civic life in the United States in the 21st century. This work, which is enriched by educational scholars such as Nussbaum, Noddings, and Palmer, addresses MacIntyre's (1984) concern regarding a postmodern moral crisis, Lyotard's (1984) postmodern concern regarding the 'death' of the role of professor, and the concerns of Bok (1982), Postman (1985), Nussbaum (1997) and Putnam (2000) for a lack of civic engagement in today's society. This work address these problems by forming an additive argument to Walter Fisher's (1984; 1987) narrative paradigm through discussing the importance of narrative literacy and employing the work of Martin Buber and Paulo Freire to discuss the importance of dialogue in the class. This dissertation applies the concepts of narrative literacy, dialogue, and civic engagement to enhance the communication discipline in this postmodern age of difference and diversity.
Bell, L. (2007). The Postmodern Turn in Higher Education: Incorporating Narrative Literacy into the Discipline of Communication (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/297