"This work historicizes Composition Studies' interest in critical thinking and in cultural studies, and it does so by examining the third and fifth Harvard Boylston Professors of Rhetoric and Oratory, Edward T. Channing and Adams Sherman Hill. Maintaining that Composition Studies history has assumed that the interests of the "dominant class" were identical with those of the framers of the American composition course, this study argues that the case is more complex, more interesting, and more relevant to the way we think about our students and about the goals of learning to write. Both Channing and Hill perceived themselves and their pedagogy as countering many cultural forms of discourse. Channing's rhetorical theory reflects his anxiety over the pernicious, infectious qualities of oratory and of newspaper discourse, fearing that such discourse threatened the dominance of his class. Hill believed that his class ("patrician intellectuals") had already lost its dominance of public discourse to a new class of persons who furthered their domination through the emerging mass media. Hill's rhetorical theory reflects his desire for his students to "resist" the culture of newspaper and other mass mediated culture. Writing teachers could help students do this by enabling them to "put their real selves behind the pen." For both Channing and Hill, the goal of learning to read and write involved fortifying the self so it could withstand a sea of chaotic, conflictive culture, which both men regarded as dangerously contagious; both thought the composition course could provide a kind of "immunity." The final chapters argue that Composition Studies (and cultural studies in general) should move away from the "inoculation" and "resistance" model to a pedagogy of "responsibility."" -- p. i-ii.