Drawing Comparisons: Hutcheon and Nelson and Dawson

Perusing through the archive of research papers that I have read thus far, I find that Nelson and Dawson draw some parallels with Hutcheon. They both use the same rhetorical move when trying to date the roots of words and share similar views when it comes to competition.


When defining words both Hutcheon and Nelson and Dawson sometimes pair it with a description of the origins of the word. This observation of mine does not only extend to me but also to ( https://mschandorf.ca/author/natalielapierre16/) as we both agree that identifying the origin components of a word is an effective rhetorical move. Since highlighting root components traces back the history of the word and how the meaning has morphed over time; giving a scaffolded view of the meaning of the word rather than what one would presently identify the word. However, what I find going further into the paper is that rather than finding the origin of words, Nelson and Dawson translate the ideas they gained to the source author’s language in parenthesis. One can see this move when Nelson and Dawson refer to Nietzsche when he “affirms that Greek art is inseparable from competition (nicht ohne Wettkampf zu denken)” (311). This interesting switch to using parentheses as a mode of translation I propose may be to illuminate where the idea came from and which author it is attributed to. Although this direct translating trend without the purpose of establishing root definitions appears to be exclusive to Nelson and Dawson.


In describing how competition works within a debating situation Hutcheon and Nelson and Dawson would both ascribe competition as being combative for the parties involved. A situation that is not uncommon in the field of debate, is the matter of demolishing a peer’s concept by treating them as an enemy and belittling their ideas in order to be conceived as a superior. This purposeful degradation of a peer’s idea is what Hutcheon defines as “critique scholarship” (44). While Hutcheon views competition in debating in a more negative lighting, Nelson and Dawson acknowledge the excitability of competition as being productive in areas like debate. Nelson and Dawson even go so far as to say that competition in debate is a form of learning. Nonetheless, Nelson and Dawson agree that the learning being established in a debate environment is of a destructive nature that calls to mankind’s more bloodthirsty roots (313).


Currently, education can be seen taking on the principles of corporatism and capitalism as highlighted by Hutcheon and Nelson and Dawson. Hutcheon asserts that academia has been adhering to the subtractive model of business which dictates a zero sum game for everyone involved; a competition where one’s profits cannot be maximized without minimizing that of others (46). Whereas, Nelson and Dawson look at how mainstream the encouragement is for competition in education because of the capitalist structures’ influence. With these capitalist influences, Nelson and Dawson recognize how education has come to value the marketplace of talent (304-305).


Although Hutcheon focuses more on rhetoric, I find that there are a lot of ideas that are still shared between her and Nelson and Dawson. From finding root components of words, to highlighting combative competition in debate, to comparing the competitive structure of education to that of business; there are many points to which Nelson and Dawson share with Hutcheon. With the two of their papers, Nelson and Dawson and Hutcheon draw a compelling argument against the negativity of competition that are concurrent with one another.



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