[KB] Question about Resistance to Burke

Edappel8@cs.com Edappel8 at cs.com
Thu Dec 6 10:24:42 EST 2007


       Heather's post raises the issue of "Burkean Backsliders" as relevant 
ingredients in the mix.  Read the QJS Forum articles by Jim Chesebro and 
Celeste Condit (answered by Phil Tompkins and George Cheney), published in the 
mid-1990s (don't have the exact issues handy).  Jim was my mentor in Burke at 
Temple U.  I heard him say at a Burke panel at ECA in Washington, spring 1994, "Now 
that he's gone, Burke will be disappearing from the scene."  Those 
Burke-negative articles (no pun intended) by Chesebro and Condit followed soon 
thereafter.  Celeste had given one of the plenary addresses at the 1993 Triennial 
Burike Conference at Airlie House in Virginia.

       Subsequently, Jim seemed to disappear from the Burkean scene himself.  
I didn't see him at Pittsburgh in 1996, Iowa in 1999, or New Orleans in 2002. 
 Jim did attend the conference at Penn State in 2005, and presented a paper.  
I know he attended the Burke Society business meeting in San Antonio last 
year.  I was pleased to see him back in the Burkean fold.  He had contributed so 
much to Burke scholarship and the establishment of the Burke Society itself.  
Could we say that Jim was the leading influence in respect to what happened on 
the "society" front at Philly in 1984?  (I'm not talking about that 
conference overall: That was the work of Herb Simons and Trevor Melia, who co-edited 
the book that grew out of that wonderful gathering.)  Didn't Jim write the 
founding document/bylaws for our organization?

       I am in no way criticizing Jim and Celeste for their "attack" of a 
kind on Burke.  I disagreed with much, if not most, of what they had to say, but 
hey, it's a free country!  What I'm saying here, on behalf of John's quest and 
query, if you want to locate a case against Burke made by potent voices in 
our field, read those articles in QJS.



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