In this article, Deborah Holdstein exhorts scholars of rhetoric and composition to break new ground by searching for absences — missing topics, little-known but influential scholars, alternative canons — that would enhance the work in the field. Noting that certain topics or scholarly movements take root as original scholarship when in fact others had earlier tilled that scholarly ground, Holdstein uses the specific examples of Wallace W. Douglas and Jewish rhetoric to suggest that there is unique work yet to be done. Holdstein's perspective is shaped by her five-year term as editor of College Composition and Communication and her concern about derivative scholarship rather than work that truly challenges our assumptions.

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