Enacting Comparative Pedagogies as Common Topics

Authored by: Hua Zhu , Yebing Zhao

The Routledge Handbook of Comparative World Rhetorics

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  June  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367409029
eBook ISBN: 9780367809768
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter proposes comparative pedagogy as an approach to teaching comparative rhetoric as common topics in undergraduate writing classrooms. Teaching comparative rhetoric as common topics first urges teachers-scholars to imbed rhetorics beyond the Greco-Roman tradition throughout curricula in all courses and for all students, instead of limiting non-Western rhetorical studies to special topic courses or only for students from underrepresented groups. More importantly, we argue to draw upon comparative methodologies of contextualization, recontextualization, and self-reflection to not only teach rhetorical diversity, but also cultivate a way of doing-thinking-being of interacting and negotiating with difference and unfamiliarity, namely, a comparative episteme of responsibly understanding others and otherness, reflecting upon one’s own culturally situated positionalities, and recontextualizing differences to generate new meanings and possibilities of writing. This chapter further develops juxtaposition as a pedagogic heuristic, demonstrating the specific ways - such as project designs, reading selections, and analysis exercises - of teaching comparative epistemes in courses of all kinds to cultivate students’ competence and disposition of writing and communicating across differences, borders, and communities.

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