November 1, 2012

When do we have a new genre?

As I began reading a post by another classmate about genre and how Miller says that genres are not the same as mediums but they can come about through mediums I can’t help but notice how similar this sounds to agent and agency. For me I have to agree with the fact that genre is not a medium but created through mediums because as Miller states in the first paragraph of his essay “One concern in rhetorical theory, then, is to make of rhetorical genre a stable classifying concept; another is to ensure that the concept is rhetorically sound.” (Miller, 151) With this in mind you cannot very well have something that is used to classify different types of mediums a medium in itself can you? If that were the case it would be quite a contradiction.

However, when I relate this back to the idea of the agent agency paradox they seem to work in the same way, for the most part. One is the actually idea of thing that is being represented while the other is just a way of being brought about. On the other hand when it comes down to it, to be able to tell apart the two (meaning genre and the medium) one has to be able to understand the idea behind genre and what would be considered genre and what would not be considered part of a genre. As Miller discusses on the second page of his writing genre is more than just a few reoccurrences of the same type or act it must be a recognized by an “internal dynamic”(Miller, 152) meaning it must be a social recognized motive or situation to be able to be clearly classified. But this being said brings up the two most recent cases because as we have discussed them in class in relation to Millers article and to Kinneavy’s as well they do not seem to fall under socially agreed upon medium but instead are made up of an array of mediums. With this problem at hand comes the question that I wonder about, when exactly is it no longer “a series of acts in which certain rhetorical forms recur” but becomes a new genre in itself? How many reoccurrences do we have to have before we recognize something as a genre?   

1 comment:

lmariachami said...

Genres come from a source. They all come from something. Meaning, that genres cannot be a medium. You are correct with that thought process. The thing is, almost anything can be classified a certain type of genre these days. Even different types of mediums can be classified as genres, depending on the medium. For example, when many novels are published as books, that is the genre of the printed novel. Genre is a very complicated term. Genre can be put with many subjects that are similar, and yet it could also not be a genre.

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