Coming to Terms: The Collected Works of Jane Blankenship (Lexington Studies in Political Communication)

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9780739145685: Coming to Terms: The Collected Works of Jane Blankenship (Lexington Studies in Political Communication)
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Coming to Terms: The Collected Works of Jane Blankenship, an edited collection from Jane Blankenship and Janette Kenner Muir, is the story of one academic journey through self-discovery, intellectual development, and mentorship. It is a conversation that illustrates how, in Mary Catherine Bateson’s terms, one composes a life that has meaning and makes a significant difference in other lives as well. Jane Blankenship was an active member of the speech communication discipline, starting with her first job teaching in the Rhetoric and Composition program at Mount Holyoke College and finishing with the great distinction of Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. As a noted rhetorical scholar in both criticism and theory, Jane Blankenship was a long-time leader within the National Communication Association (including one of a handful of women who served as president in the 20th Century), and an award winner of numerous teaching and scholarship awards. Throughout her academic career, Blankenship made important contributions to the understanding of language and form, specific literary critics such as Kenneth Burke and Samuel Coleridge, and the role of women in politics. Most importantly, she worked with and inspired a cadre of graduate students who continue to reflect her ideas and perspectives in their own work, particularly in the area of political communication. Through her writing and mentoring, she impacted and changed thousands of lives. Coming to Terms brings together some of the significant pieces that marked Jane Blankenship’s career and also shows the process wherein one makes choices in writing and publishing that underscore the interrelationship between scholarship and teaching—an important element throughout her academic life.

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About the Author:

Janette Kenner Muir is associate professor in New Century College at George Mason University, where she teaches interdisciplinary courses in political communication, civic engagement and media criticism. She is past editor of Communication Quarterly, and past president of the Eastern Communication Association. Currently, she is working with the Mason Center for Consciousness and Transformation in the area of mindfulness practices for deeper teaching and learning.

Review:

“While a major motivation f or this volume is to honor Jane Blankenship’s career, it is not simply an archive of past work. Readers will find a book alive with essays on terms and naming that are foundational, relevant, and useful. Additionally, the book spotlights Blankenship’s enormous influence on the value of studying women in the context of contemporary politics. Her work ripples out among today's student and scholars.” (Janis L. Edwards, University of Alabama)

“Blankenship has almost single-handedly constructed the contemporary definition of style, fashioned its link to orality and written modes, and ultimately fashioned powerful insights into political communication and gender studies through her mode of thought. Muir has captured Blankenship's contributions from her early to later years. This is just an outstanding volume in every way. A must-read!" (James Cheseboro, Ball State University)

"Coming to Terms chronicles an extraordinary academic life well-lived; a rich life replete with intellectual exploration, professional firsts, engaged mentoring, academic successes and—yes—even a few defeats. Jane Blankenship’s voice resonates throughout these pages, as she reflects on her decades-long study of Kenneth Burke, shares her classroom lectures, offers glimpses into her role in a largely male-dominated profession, and sheds new light on her published work. Jane’s students also give voice here to her profound influence on their careers; none more eloquently than her editor, Janette Kenner Muir. Part academic biography, part theoretical explication and part history lesson, this book reinforces the centrality of the spoken word and lays open the intricate, multi-faceted career of a remarkable teacher, scholar, and disciplinary leader." (Mary Kahl, State University of New York at New Paltz)

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