Higher education has absorbed one of the lessons of Graff and Birkenstein’s They Say/I Say: the key move in academic argumentation is from what others have previously said to one’s own contribution. The result is too often a mode of argument in which the ideas of our predecessors, our colleagues, and even our primary sources are treated as mere fodder for disagreement. What might we build collectively — as a field; as a profession — if we understood argumentation as a process of thinking with rather than against others’ arguments? This talk explores the challenges and the potential for modeling a form of discourse sorely lacking in the contemporary public sphere.
Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Director of Digital Humanities and Professor of English, Michigan State University
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