After reading the Academic Agonistics called “Rhetoric and Competition” by Linda Hutcheon, who works as a professor in the University of Toronto in a field of literary theory and criticism, opera, I found this piece genuinely interesting, easy to follow, understandable, perfectly organized and well social reflecting. She uses the concept of modern academic discourse. Starting off with her direct (embarrassing) experience, I personally like this part because it is the good way to open the story and to link to her point “to think beyond agonistics and to conceive of new ways of working collaboratively”. In this part, she dated back to ancient greek in order to articulate the ‘wolfish’ of the higher education which is a sub-discipline of competition. “Critique Scholarship” (Deborah, Tannen), she mentioned, is a kind of zero-sum game, to benefit ourselves by decreasing others’ profit. People contempt and discredit towards others only for winning the argument which is the reason why we lost a sense of community nowadays. She provides a valid example and back up ideas by referring to historical events experience Hutcheon sees ‘counter-discourse’ as a both/and definition (additive) and kind of solutions towards this ‘academic competition’ where everybody can benefit and acquaint the knowledge.
Comparing to Werron’s article, Hutcheon has a different perspective towards competition. Her collaboration and co-operation theories are similar to Bateson’s idea (interdependence)– in other words, we can not only see ourselves as an individual but to lessen singularization in order to share knowledge and benefit while Werron says that competition as in zero-sum game is good for economic motivations, markets. To explain this idea, competition improves the quality of goods because of the high demand and merchants need to put their effort to produce the best as they could yet it could be worsened too. Competition, according to both author’s view, I regard good and bad things in both perspectives. It could be good if we don’t put in so much effort on ‘beating’ someone but to share the power, idea and learn to work together as a group to improve something is way better than doing it individually. Going up by pushing someone down is not the right thing to do, according to Hutcheon’s, yet competition is not completely bad–without competition, there wouldn’t be any progression in the society.
Personally, I really like Hutcheon’s idea: can we win without any loser? , can every academic peer equally get knowledge without competition? It shows a lot how people nowadays act in the society– how careless we are towards others and how self-centered we are.
#rhetoric #Hutcheon #astu