Ratcliffe, Krista. Rhetorical Listening: Identification, Gender, Whiteness. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2005. 248 pages.
Steven M. Pedersen, Oklahoma State University
During the 2005 Kenneth Burke Conference at Penn State, I was lucky enough to meet Donald Jennerman, who told me stories about knowing Kenneth Burke. One in particular has always stayed with me. It has to do with Burke’s notion of the negative. The story goes that, as a child, Burke’s grandmother would follow him around the house and any time Burke would touch or grab something he wasn’t supposed to, his grandmother would shake her index finger and say, “You musn’t.” This experience of listening to his grandmother, as I understand it, was the genesis of his later theories of the negative.