>One question, will you reward me with a Ph.D. in rhetoric if I write a
>dissertation that is merely a set of links to a large number of
>theorists? Probably not because there is no original thinking involved.
>So should where is that student's original thinking or at least the
>promotion of such.
Sure I would. A lot of Dis I have read are basic surveys of the field
(very few were very original). But the problem here is how our notion of
"original" pins us like bugs to a board. I think we would be much better
off it more dis's were critical editions, translations, compilations, and
such. Toward the end of Walter Benjamin's life, he was creating texts that
were collections of quotes.
One great assignment for students is to have them collect quotes on
particualr topics (okay so it's an old rhetorical asssignment of the
commonplace book) and have them work with different juxtapositions and
orders to see what sparks fly.
American Thought and Language, Michigan State University