This is the home page of a small site devoted to my work as a scholar and teacher in three overlapping areas: (1) rhetorical theory and its history, (2) the history of criticism, poetics, and literary theory, and (3) composition pedagogy and its history. I've focused much of my work on the ways in which people understand and present themselves as writers, teachers, and intellectuals within these areas. Below, you will find links to the major sections of the site, as well as links to a few specific pages that others have found useful (or so they tell me).
"There are, perhaps, declarations which, for lack of anything better, ridiculously need an Attic chorus . . . ." -- Georges Bataille
Between Politics and Ethics: Toward a Vocative History of English Studies (Southern Illinois UP, Apr 2006)
For over 25 years, English Studies has shaped itself around two terms: politics and, more recently, ethics. Yet, in spite of the influence of these terms, little effort has been spent examining the institutional conditions of their emergence, development, and relationship. More . . .
Image: Sir John Beazley's drawing of an ancient Greek vase painting (London E467) depicting a chorus of men dancing to a pipes-player (c. 460 B.C.).
Quotation: Georges Bataille, “The Use Value of D. A. F. de Sade (An Open Letter to My Current Comrades),” trans. Allan Stoekl, Visions of Excess, ed. Allan Stoekl (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1985), 91. More . . .
Last update: 05-May-11
The contents of this page do not reflect any official positions of Middle Tennessee State University. The sole responsibility for these contents lies with the author:
Dr. James N. Comas
Middle Tennessee State University
Department of English, Box 70
Murfreesboro, TN 37132