Ad Hominem Arguments
Douglas Walton University of Alabama Press, 2009 Library of Congress P301.5.P47W347 1998 | Dewey Decimal 808
A vital contribution to legal theory and media and civic discourse
In the 1860s, northern newspapers attacked Abraham Lincoln's policies by attacking his character, using the terms “drunk,” “baboon,” “too slow,” “foolish,” and “dishonest.” Political argumentation has steadily increased since then and the argumentum ad hominem, or personal attack argument, has now been carefully refined as an instrument of “oppo tactics” and “going negative” by the public relations experts who design political campaigns at the national level. In this definitive treatment of one of the most important concepts in argumentation theory and informal logic, Douglas Walton presents a normative framework for identifying and evaluating ad hominem or personal attack arguments.
Personal attack arguments have often proved to be so effective, in election campaigns, for example, that even while condemning them, politicians have not stopped using them. In the media, in the courtroom, and in everyday confrontation, ad hominem arguments are easy to put forward as accusations, are difficult to refute, and often have an extremely powerful effect on persuading an audience.
Walton gives a clear method for analyzing and evaluating cases of ad hominem arguments found in everyday argumentation. His analysis classifies the ad hominem argument into five clearly defined subtypes—abusive (direct), circumstantial, bias, “poisoning the well,” and tu quoque (“you're just as bad”) arguments—and gives methods for evaluating each type. Each subtype is given a well-defined form as a recognizable type of argument. The numerous case studies show in concrete terms many practical aspects of how to use textual evidence to identify and analyze fallacies and to evaluate argumentation as fallacious or not in particular cases.
An examination of two seemingly incongruous areas of study: classical models of argumentation and modern modes of digital communication
What can ancient rhetorical theory possibly tell us about the role of new digital media technologies in contemporary public culture? Some central issues we currently deal with—making sense of information abundance, persuading others in our social network, navigating new media ecologies, and shaping broader cultural currents—also pressed upon the ancients.
Ancient Rhetorics and Digital Networks makes this connection explicit, reexamining key figures, texts, concepts, and sensibilities from ancient rhetoric in light of the glow of digital networks, or, ordered conversely, surveying the angles and tangles of digital networks from viewpoints afforded by ancient rhetoric. By providing an orientation grounded in ancient rhetorics, this collection simultaneously historicizes contemporary developments and reenergizes ancient rhetorical vocabularies.
Contributors engage with a variety of digital phenomena including remix, big data, identity and anonymity, memes and virals, visual images, decorum, and networking. Taken together, the essays in Ancient Rhetorics and Digital Networks help us to understand and navigate some of the fundamental communicative issues we deal with today.
Scott Haden Church / Nathan Crick / Rosa A. Eberly / Christopher J. Gilbert / E. Johanna Hartelius / Ekaterina V. Haskins / Gaines S. Hubbell / Jeremy David Johnson / Michele Kennerly / Arabella Lyon / Mari Lee Mifsud / Carolyn R. Miller / Damien Smith Pfister / Scott R. Stroud
Although women and men have different relationships to language and to each other, traditional theories of rhetoric do not foreground such gender differences. Krista Ratcliffe argues that because feminists generally have not conceptualized their language theories from the perspective of rhetoric and composition studies, rhetoric and composition scholars must construct feminist theories of rhetoric by employing a variety of interwoven strategies: recovering lost or marginalized texts; rereading traditional rhetoric texts; extrapolating rhetorical theories from such nonrhetoric texts as letters, diaries, essays, cookbooks, and other sources; and constructing their own theories of rhetoric.
Focusing on the third option, Ratcliffe explores ways in which the rhetorical theories of Virginia Woolf, Mary Daly, and Adrienne Rich may be extrapolated from their Anglo-American feminist texts through examination of the interrelationship between what these authors write and how they write. In other words, she extrapolates feminist theories of rhetoric from interwoven claims and textual strategies. By inviting Woolf, Daly, and Rich into the rhetorical traditions and by modeling the extrapolation strategy/methodology on their writings, Ratcliffe shows how feminist texts about women, language, and culture may be reread from the vantage point of rhetoric to construct feminist theories of rhetoric. She also outlines the pedagogical implications of these three feminist theories of rhetoric, thus contributing to ongoing discussions of feminist pedagogies.
Traditional rhetorical theories are gender-blind, ignoring the reality that women and men occupy different cultural spaces and that these spaces are further complicated by race and class, Ratcliffe explains. Arguing that issues such as who can talk, where one can talk, and how one can talk emerge in daily life but are often disregarded in rhetorical theories, Ratcliffe rereads Roland Barthes’ "The Old Rhetoric" to show the limitations of classical rhetorical theories for women and feminists. Discovering spaces for feminist theories of rhetoric in the rhetorical traditions, Ratcliffe invites readers not only to question how women have been located as a part of— and apart from—these traditions but also to explore the implications for rhetorical history, theory, and pedagogy.
At a time when a woman speaking before a mixed-gender audience risked acquiring the label “promiscuous,” thousands of women presented their views about social or moral issues through sentimental poetry, a blend of affect with intellect that allowed their participation in public debate. Bridging literary and rhetorical histories, traditional and semiotic interpretations, Antebellum American Women's Poetry: A Rhetoric of Sentiment explores an often overlooked, yet significant and persuasive pre–Civil War American discourse.
Considering the logos, ethos, and pathos—aims, writing personae, and audience appeal—of poems by African American abolitionist Frances Watkins Harper, working-class prophet Lydia Huntley Sigourney, and feminist socialite Julia Ward Howe, Wendy Dasler Johnson demonstrates that sentimental poetry was an inportant component of antebellum social activism. She articulates the ethos of the poems of Harper, who presents herself as a properly domestic black woman, nevertheless stepping boldly into Northern pulpits to insist slavery be abolished; the poetry of Sigourney, whose speaker is a feisty, working-class, ambiguously gendered prophet; and the works of Howe, who juggles her fame as the reformist “Battle Hymn” lyricist and motherhood of five children with an erotic Continental sentimentalism.
Antebellum American Women's Poetry makes a strong case for restoration of a compelling system of persuasion through poetry usually dismissed from studies of rhetoric. This remarkable book will change the way we think about women’s rhetoric in the nineteenth century, inviting readers to hear and respond to urgent, muffled appeals for justice in our own day.
Appeals in Modern Rhetoric: An Ordinary-Language Approach introduces students to current issues in rhetorical theory through an extended treatment of the rhetorical appeal, a frequently used but rarely discussed concept at the core of rhetorical analysis and criticism. Shunning the standard Aristotelian approach that treats ethos, pathos, and logos as modes of appeal, M. Jimmie Killingsworth uses common, accessible language to explain the concept of the rhetorical appeal—meaning the use of language to plead and to please. The result is a practical and innovative guide to understanding how persuasion works that is suitable for graduate and undergraduate courses yet still addresses topics of current interest to specialists.
Supplementing the volume are practical and theoretical approaches to the construction and analysis of rhetorical messages and brief and readable examples from popular culture, academic discourse, politics, and the verbal arts. Killingsworth draws on close readings of primary texts in the field, referencing theorists to clarify concepts, while he decodes many of the basic theoretical constructs common to an understanding of identification. Beginning with examples of the model of appeals in social criticism, popular film, and advertising, he covers in subsequent chapters appeals to time, place, the body, gender, and race. Additional chapters cover the use of common tropes and rhetorical narrative, and each chapter begins with definitions of key concepts.
Public policy is made of language. Whether in written or oral form, argument is central to all parts of the policy process. As simple as this insight appears, its implications for policy analysis and planning are profound. Drawing from recent work on language and argumentation and referring to such theorists as Wittgenstein, Habermas, Toulmin, and Foucault, these essays explore the interplay of language, action, and power in both the practice and the theory of policy-making. The contributors, scholars of international renown who range across the theoretical spectrum, emphasize the political nature of the policy planner's work and stress the role of persuasive arguments in practical decision making. Recognizing the rhetorical, communicative character of policy and planning deliberations, they show that policy arguments are necessarily selective, both shaping and being shaped by relations of power. These essays reveal the practices of policy analysts and planners in powerful new ways--as matters of practical argumentation in complex, highly political environments. They also make an important contribution to contemporary debates over postempiricism in the social and policy sciences.
Contributors. John S. Dryzek, William N. Dunn, Frank Fischer, John Forester, Maarten Hajer, Patsy Healey, Robert Hoppe, Bruce Jennings, Thomas J. Kaplan, Duncan MacRae, Jr., Martin Rein, Donald Schon, J. A. Throgmorton
Rejecting the notion that policy analysis and planning are value-free technical endeavors, an argumentative approach takes into account the ways that policy is affected by other factors, including culture, discourse, and emotion. The contributors to this new collection consider how far argumentative policy analysis has come during the past two decades and how its theories continue to be refined through engagement with current thinking in social theory and with the real-life challenges facing contemporary policy makers.
The approach speaks in particular to the limits of rationalistic, technoscientific policy making in the complex, unpredictable world of the early twenty-first century. These limits have been starkly illustrated by responses to events such as the environmental crisis, the near collapse of the world economy, and the disaster at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. Addressing topics including deliberative democracy, collaborative planning, new media, rhetoric, policy frames, and transformative learning, the essays shed new light on the ways that policy is communicatively created, conveyed, understood, and implemented. Taken together, they show argumentative policy inquiry to be an urgently needed approach to policy analysis and planning.
Contributors. Giovanni Attili, Hubertus Buchstein, Stephen Coleman, John S. Dryzek, Frank Fischer, Herbert Gottweis, Steven Griggs, Mary Hawkesworth, Patsy Healey, Carolyn M. Hendriks, David Howarth, Dirk Jörke, Alan Mandell, Leonie Sandercock, Vivien A. Schmidt, Sanford F. Schram
How does evidence happen? And when evidence happens badly, how can we find a fitting response to those making extraordinary claims? These are the questions driving Jenny Rice’s groundbreaking study into the life of evidence as she seeks to uncover why traditional modes of argument often fail in the face of claims that rely on bad evidence. The chapters make a deep dive into the nature and character of evidence itself by examining literal archives, though some quite unorthodox, as well as more popular archives that exist within public memory. Rice looks to examples that lie at the fringes of public discourse—pseudo-science, the paranormal, conspiracy theories about 9/11, the moon landing, UFO sightings, and Obama’s birth record. Such fringe examples, Rice argues, bring to light other questions about evidence that force us to reassess and move beyond traditional forms of ethics and debate.
After sketching a broader framework for understanding what evidence is, Awful Archives then asks how we can practice more ethical and productive forms of debate, especially when we’re faced with arguments that feel like a dead end. Thorough, engaging, and deeply insightful, Awful Archives:Conspiracy Theory, Rhetoric, and Acts of Evidence introduces an entirely new perspective on evidence—one that will impact the field for years to come.
Modern political culture features a deep-seated faith in the power of numbers to find answers, settle disputes, and explain how the world works. Whether evaluating economic trends, measuring the success of institutions, or divining public opinion, we are told that numbers don’t lie. But numbers have not always been so revered. Calculated Values traces how numbers first gained widespread public authority in one nation, Great Britain.
Into the seventeenth century, numerical reasoning bore no special weight in political life. Complex calculations were often regarded with suspicion, seen as the narrow province of navigators, bookkeepers, and astrologers, not gentlemen. This changed in the decades following the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Though Britons’ new quantitative enthusiasm coincided with major advances in natural science, financial capitalism, and the power of the British state, it was no automatic consequence of those developments, William Deringer argues. Rather, it was a product of politics—ugly, antagonistic, partisan politics. From parliamentary debates to cheap pamphlets, disputes over taxes, trade, and national debt were increasingly conducted through calculations. Some of the era’s most pivotal political moments, like the 1707 Union of England and Scotland and the 1720 South Sea Bubble, turned upon calculative conflicts.
As Britons learned to fight by the numbers, they came to believe, as one calculator wrote in 1727, that “facts and figures are the most stubborn evidences.” Yet the authority of numbers arose not from efforts to find objective truths that transcended politics, but from the turmoil of politics itself.
This book is a unique examination of the phenomenon of the call. Characterizing the call as a rhetorical event, the book identifies how speakers can use eloquence in the service of truth. Authors Craig R. Smith and Michael J. Hyde offer the rare combination of a phenomenology of the call linked closely to eloquence and explore this linkage by examining the components of eloquence, including examples of its misuse by George W. Bush and Donald Trump. The bulk of the text examines case studies of eloquence in the service of truth including epideictic, forensic, and deliberative eloquence, with examples drawn from addresses by Barack Obama, Daniel Webster, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Chase Smith, Susan Collins, and Mitt Romney. The authors also examine the Epistles of St. Paul, the writings of St. Augustine, and the preaching of Jonathan Edwards. Finally, the book explores eloquence in filmic narratives and dialogic communication between artists and writers, concluding with a study of the sublime and how it is evoked with awe using the work of Annie Dillard.
In Deliberate Conflict: Argument, Political Theory, and Composition Classes, Patricia Roberts-Miller argues that much current discourse about argument pedagogy is hampered by fundamental unspoken disagreements over what democratic public discourse should look like. The book’s pivotal question is, In what kind of public discourse do we want our students to engage? To answer this, the text provides a taxonomy, discussion, and evaluation of political theories that underpin democratic discourse, highlighting the relationship between various models of the public sphere and rhetorical theory.
Deliberate Conflict cogently advocates reintegrating instruction in argumentation with the composition curriculum. By linking effective argumentation in the public sphere with the ability to effect social change, Roberts-Miller pushes compositionists beyond a simplistic Aristotelian conception of how argumentation works and offers a means by which to prepare students for active participation in public discourse.
Bruce Mccomiskey Utah State University Press, 2015 Library of Congress P301.5.P47M323 2015 | Dewey Decimal 808
In Dialectical Rhetoric, Bruce McComiskey argues that the historical conflict between rhetoric and dialectic can be overcome in ways useful to both composition theory and the composition classroom.
Historically, dialectic has taken two forms in relation to rhetoric. First, it has been the logical development of linear propositions leading to necessary conclusions, a one-dimensional form that was the counterpart of rhetorics in which philosophical, metaphysical, and scientific truths were conveyed with as little cognitive interference from language as possible. Second, dialectic has been the topical development of opposed arguments on controversial issues and the judgment of their relative strengths and weaknesses, usually in political and legal contexts, a two-dimensional form that was the counterpart of rhetorics in which verbal battles over competing probabilities in public institutions revealed distinct winners and losers.
The discipline of writing studies is on the brink of developing a new relationship between dialectic and rhetoric, one in which dialectics and rhetorics mediate and negotiate different arguments and orientations that are engaged in any rhetorical situation. This new relationship consists of a three-dimensional hybrid art called “dialectical rhetoric,” whose method is based on five topoi: deconstruction, dialogue, identification, critique, and juxtaposition. Three-dimensional dialectical rhetorics function effectively in a wide variety of discursive contexts, including digital environments, since they can invoke contrasts in stagnant contexts and promote associations in chaotic contexts. Dialectical Rhetoric focuses more attention on three-dimensional rhetorics from the rhetoric and composition community.
Urban sprawl is omnipresent in America and has left many citizens questioning their ability to stop it. In Distant Publics, Jenny Rice examines patterns of public discourse that have evolved in response to development in urban and suburban environments. Centering her study on Austin, Texas, Rice finds a city that has simultaneously celebrated and despised development.
Rice outlines three distinct ways that the rhetoric of publics counteracts development: through injury claims, memory claims, and equivalence claims. In injury claims, rhetors frame themselves as victims in a dispute. Memory claims allow rhetors to anchor themselves to an older, deliberative space, rather than to a newly evolving one. Equivalence claims see the benefits on both sides of an issue, and here rhetors effectively become nonactors.
Rice provides case studies of development disputes that place the reader in the middle of real-life controversies and evidence her theories of claims-based public rhetorics. She finds that these methods comprise the most common (though not exclusive) vernacular surrounding development and shows how each is often counterproductive to its own goals. Rice further demonstrates that these claims create a particular role or public subjectivity grounded in one’s own feelings, which serves to distance publics from each other and the issues at hand.
Rice argues that rhetoricians have a duty to transform current patterns of public development discourse so that all individuals may engage in matters of crisis. She articulates its sustainability as both a goal and future disciplinary challenge of rhetorical studies and offers tools and methodologies toward that end.
In The Ethics of Persuasion: Derrida’s Rhetorical Legacies, Brooke Rollins argues that some of the most forceful and utilitarian examples of persuasion involve significant ethical dimensions. Using the work of Jacques Derrida, she draws this ethical imperative out from a series of canonical rhetorical texts that have traditionally been understood as insistent or even guileful instances of persuasion. Her reconsideration of highly determined pieces by Gorgias, Lysias, Isocrates, and Plato encourages readers to inherit the rhetorical tradition differently, and it pinpoints the important rhetorical dimensions of Derrida’s own work.
Drawing on Derrida’s (non)definition of ethics and his pointed accounts of performativity, Rollins argues that this vital ethical component of many ancient theories, practices, and pedagogies of persuasion has been undertheorized for more than two millennia. Through deconstructive readings of some of these texts, she shows us that we are not simply sovereign beings who both wield and guard against linguistic techniques of rule. Our persuasive endeavors, rather, are made possible by an ethics—an always prior encounter with otherness that interrupts self-presence.
Feminist Narrative Ethics: Tacit Persuasion in Modernist Form establishes a new theory of narrative ethics by analyzing rhetorical techniques prompt readers of novels to reconsider their ethical convictions about women’s rights. Katherine Saunders Nash proposes four new theoretical paradigms: the ethics of persuasion (Virginia Woolf), of fair play (Dorothy L. Sayers), of distance (E. M. Forster), and of attention (John Cowper Powys). While offering close readings of novels by each author, this book also provides a new, interdisciplinary basis for coordinating feminist and rhetorical theories, history, and narrative technique.
Despite pronouncements by many theorists about the difficulty—even the impossibility—of doing justice in a single study to both history and form, Feminist Narrative Ethics proves that they can be mutually illuminating. Its approach is not only resolutely rhetorical, but resolutely historical as well. It strikes a felicitous balance between history and form that affords new understanding of the implied author concept.
Feminist Narrative Ethics makes a persuasive case for the necessity of locating authorial agency in the implied (rather than the actual) author and cogently explains why rhetorical theory insists on the concept of an implied (rather than an inferred) author. And it proposes a new facet of agency that rhetorical theorists have heretofore neglected: the ethics of progressive revisions to a project in manuscript.
What role does reason play in our lives? What role should it play? And are claims to rationality liberating or oppressive? For the Sake of Argument addresses questions such as these to consider the relationship between thought and character. Eugene Garver brings Aristotle's Rhetoric to bear on practical reasoning to show how the value of such thinking emerges when members of communities deliberate together, persuade each other, and are persuaded by each other. That is to say, when they argue.
Garver roots deliberation and persuasion in political friendship instead of a neutral, impersonal framework of justice. Through incisive readings of examples in modern legal and political history, from Brown v. Board of Education to the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he demonstrates how acts of deliberation and persuasion foster friendship among individuals, leading to common action amid diversity. In an Aristotelian sense, there is a place for pathos and ethos in rational thought. Passion and character have as pivotal a role in practical reasoning as logic and language.
A rhetorical exploration of an underexamined side of climate change—the ongoing research into and development of geoengineering strategies
Geoengineering, Persuasion, and the Climate Crisis: A Geologic Rhetoric exposes the deeply worrying state of discourse over geoengineering—the intentional manipulation of the earth’s climate as means to halt or reverse global warming. These climate-altering projects, which range from cloud-whitening to carbon dioxide removal and from stratospheric aerosol injection to enhanced weathering, are all technological solutions to more complex geosocial problems.
Geoengineering represents one of the most alarming forms of deliberative discourse in the twenty-first century. Yet geoengineering could easily generate as much harm as the environmental traumas it seeks to cure. Complicating these deliberations is the scarcity of public discussion. Most deliberations transpire within policy groups, behind the closed doors of climate-oriented startups, between subject-matter experts at scientific conferences, or in the disciplinary jargon of research journals. Further, much of this conversation occurs primarily in the West.
Ehren Helmut Pflugfelder makes clear how the deliberative rhetorical strategies coming from geoengineering advocates have been largely deceptive, hegemonic, deterministic, and exploitative. In this volume, he investigates how geoengineering proponents marshal geologic actors into their arguments—and how current discourse could lead to a greater exploitation of the earth in the future.
Pflugfelder’s goal is to understand the structure, content, purpose, and effect of these discourses, raise the alarm about their deliberative directions, and help us rethink our approach to the climate. In highlighting both the inherent problems of the discourses and the ways geologic rhetoric can be made productive, he attempts to give “the geologic” a place at the table to better understand the roles that all earth systems continue to play in our lives, now and for years to come.
When Gorgias, Plato, and Aristotle were discussing and defining rhetoric in ancient Greece, many students in China, including Sun Bin, a descendent of Sun Tzu, who wrote The Art of War, were learning the techniques of persuasion from Guiguzi, “the Master of the Ghost Valley.” This pre–Qin dynasty recluse provided the basis for what is considered the earliest Chinese treatise devoted entirely to the art of persuasion. Called Guiguzi after its author, this translation of the received text provides an indigenous rhetorical theory and key persuasive strategies, some of which are still used by those involved in decision making and negotiations in China today. In “Guiguzi,” China’s First Treatise on Rhetoric, Hui Wu and C. Jan Swearingen present a new critical translation of this foundational work, which has great historical significance for the study of Chinese rhetoric and communication and yet is little known to Western readers.
Wu’s translation includes footnotes that incorporate both past and present scholarly commentary, and is accompanied by a prefatory introduction that situates Guiguzi in the sociopolitical and cultural realities of ancient China, and a glossary of rhetorical terms used in the treatise. Swearingen presents a comparative study suggesting the similarities and differences between emerging Greek and Chinese rhetorics during the same period, including the cultural contexts of warring states and emergent empires that surrounded each.
“Guiguzi,” China’s First Treatise on Rhetoric combines a new translation of a historically significant text with scholarly analysis and critical apparatus that will contribute to the emerging global understanding of Chinese rhetoric and communication.
Since its early history in Greek culture, traditional rhetorical study has focused primarily on persuasive language used in the public sphere. There has been little study, however, of what Jean Nienkamp calls internal rhetoric, which “occurs between one aspect of the self and another” inside one’s mind. Nienkamp opens the study of internal rhetoric by discussing how the concept developed alongside traditional classical and modern rhetorical theory.
Nienkamp shows how we talk to ourselves, or more specifically, how we talk ourselves into things: justifications, actions, opinions, theories. She explains that just because we see ourselves as divided, as torn in different directions by conflicting desires, duties, and social mores, it does not mean that we are fragmented, nor does it mean that we are split into discrete identities that neither interrelate nor interact.
In this groundbreaking study, Nienkamp identifies two major aspects of internal rhetoric: “the conscious ‘art’ of cultivated internal rhetoric” and “the unconscious ‘nature’ of primary internal rhetoric.” Selecting a small number of figures from the history of rhetoric—including Isocrates, Plato, Aristotle, Francis Bacon, Lord Shaftesbury, Richard Whately, Kenneth Burke, Chaim Perelman and Lucie Olbrechts-Tyteca, George Herbert Mead, and Lev Vygotsky—Nienkamp argues for a “version of the rhetorical self that takes into account both the ways we are formed by and formulate internal and external rhetorics and the ways our physical bodies act as a contributing scene—an agora—for internal rhetoric.”
On the precipice of the Sixth Extinction, we face a frightening fate—ongoing ecological crises that may result in not only the extinction of a million species within decades but another mass extinction event like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs. In Kairotic Inspiration: Imagining the Future in the Sixth Extinction, Sarah Allen suggests that humans face this future, whatever it brings, by attending to the ways in which all beings are caught in the entangled processes of becoming. But change is often painful and requires inspiration. Allen explores a theory that shifts the concept of inspiration away from the unique genius of the individual and instead situates it within conceptual, human and nonhuman animal relations that can disrupt the state of being. To expand the understanding of change beyond the polarized binary that defines difference, the author builds on Nietzsche’s conceptualization of the Dionysian, which explains how the self is unmade through immersive experiences. This unmaking creates room for a different experience of becoming, one which Donna Haraway calls “becoming-with” and “producing-with.” In the end, Allen demonstrates how deepening kairotic connections can transform us as beings, thrusting us further into the processes of becoming and embracing the change that is possible in this living, changing, endangered world.
Liberating Language identifies experiences of nineteenth-century African Americans—categorized as sites of rhetorical education—that provided opportunities to develop effective communication and critical text-interpretation skills. Author Shirley Wilson Logan considers how nontraditional sites, which seldom involved formal training in rhetorical instruction, proved to be effective resources for African American advancement.
Logan traces the ways that African Americans learned lessons in rhetoric through language-based activities associated with black survival in nineteenth-century America, such as working in political organizations, reading and publishing newspapers, maintaining diaries, and participating in literary societies. According to Logan, rhetorical training was manifested through places of worship and military camps, self-education in oratory and elocution, literary societies, and the black press. She draws on the experiences of various black rhetors of the era, such as
Frederick Douglass, Frances Harper, Fanny Coppin, Charles Chesnutt, Ida B. Wells, and the lesser-known Oberlin-educated Mary Virginia Montgomery, Virginia slave preacher "Uncle Jack," and former slave "Mrs. Lee."
Liberating Language addresses free-floating literacy, a term coined by scholar and writer Ralph Ellison, which captures the many settings where literacy and rhetorical skills were acquired and developed, including slave missions, religious gatherings, war camps, and even cigar factories. In Civil War camp- sites, for instance, black soldiers learned to read and write, corresponded with the editors of black newspapers, edited their own camp-based papers, and formed literary associations.
Liberating Language outlines nontraditional means of acquiring rhetorical skills and demonstrates how African Americans, faced with the lingering consequences of enslavement and continuing oppression, acquired rhetorical competence during the late eighteenth century and throughout the nineteenth century.
A revolutionary approach to rhetoric that asks why audiences need persuading.
What is persuasion? For some, it is the ideal alternative to violence. For others, persuasion is simply a neutral instrumentality—a valued source of soft power. Both positions rest on a fundamental belief: persuasion is a power that resides in a speaker acting on an audience. Loving the World Appropriately asks a different, more fundamental, question: why does an audience need persuasion? In shifting our focus, James Kastely delivers a provocative new history of rhetoric and philosophy, one that describes rhetoric as more than a matter of effective communication and recasts persuasion as a philosophical concern central to notions of human subjectivity. Ultimately, Kastely insists, persuasion enables us to love the world appropriately.
In an era when the value of the humanities and qualitative inquiry has been questioned in academia and beyond, Making the Case is an engaging and timely collection that brings together a veritable who’s who of public address scholars to illustrate the power of case-based scholarly argument and to demonstrate how critical inquiry into a specific moment speaks to general contexts and theories. Providing both a theoretical framework and a wealth of historically situated texts, Making the Case spans from Homeric Greece to twenty-first-century America. The authors examine the dynamic interplay of texts and their concomitant rhetorical situations by drawing on a number of case studies, including controversial constitutional arguments put forward by activists and presidents in the nineteenth century, inventive economic pivots by Franklin Roosevelt and Alan Greenspan, and the rhetorical trajectory and method of Barack Obama.
Based on five years of classroom experimentation, The Open Hand presents a highly practical yet transformational philosophy of teaching argumentative writing. In his course Arguing as an Art of Peace, Barry Kroll uses the open hand to represent an alternative approach to argument, asking students to argue in a way that promotes harmony rather than divisiveness and avoiding conventional conflict-based approaches.
Kroll cultivates a bodily investigation of noncombative argument, offering direct pedagogical strategies anchored in three modalities of learning—conceptual-procedural, kinesthetic, and contemplative—and projects, activities, assignments, informal responses, and final papers for students. Kinesthetic exercises derived from martial arts and contemplative meditation and mindfulness practices are key to the approach, with Kroll specifically using movement as a physical analogy for tactics of arguing.
Collaboration, mediation, and empathy are important yet overlooked values in communicative exchange. This practical, engaging, and accessible guide for teachers contains clear examples and compelling discussions of pedagogical strategies that teach students not only how to write persuasively but also how to deal with personal conflict in their daily lives.
In June 2015, Bree Newsome scaled the flagpole in front of South Carolina’s state capitol and removed the Confederate flag. The following month, the Confederate flag was permanently removed from the state capitol. Newsome is a compelling example of a twenty-first-century woman rhetor, along with bloggers, writers, politicians, activists, artists, and everyday social media users, who give new meaning to Aristotle’s ubiquitous definition of rhetoric as the discovery of the “available means of persuasion.” Women’s persuasive acts from the first two decades of the twenty-first century include new technologies and repurposed old ones, engaged not only to persuade, but also to tell their stories, to sponsor change, and to challenge cultural forces that repress and oppress.
Persuasive Acts: Women’s Rhetorics in the Twenty-First Century gathers an expansive array of voices and texts from well-known figures including Hillary Rodham Clinton, Malala Yousafzai, Michelle Obama, Lindy West, Sonia Sotomayor, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, so that readers may converse with them, and build rhetorics of their own. Editors Shari J. Stenberg and Charlotte Hogg have complied timely and provocative rhetorics that represent critical issues and rhetorical affordances of the twenty-first century.
Planting the Anthropocene is a rhetorical look into the world of industrial tree planting in Canada that engages the themes of nature, culture, and environmental change. Bringing together the work of material ecocriticism and critical affect studies in service of a new materialist environmental rhetoric, Planting the Anthropocene forwards a frame that can be used to work through complex scenes of anthropogenic labor.
Using the results of interviews with seasonal Canadian tree planters, Jennifer Clary-Lemon interrogates the complex and messy imbrication of nature-culture through the inadequate terminology used to describe the actual circumstances of the planters’ work and lives—and offers alternative ways to conceptualize them. Although silvicultural workers do engage with the limiting rhetoric of efficiency and humanism, they also make rhetorical choices that break down the nature-culture divide and orient them on a continuum that blurs the boundaries between the given and the constructed, the human and nonhuman. Tree-planting work is approached as a site of a deep-seated materiality—a continued re-creation of the land’s “disturbance”—rather than a simplistic form of doing good that further separates humans from landscapes.
Jennifer Clary-Lemon’s view of nature and the Anthropocene through the lens of material rhetorical studies is thoroughly original and will be of great interest to students and scholars of rhetoric and composition, especially those focused on the environment.
In Plateau IndianWays with Words, Barbara Monroe makes visible the arts of persuasion of the Plateau Indians, whose ancestral grounds stretch from the Cascades to the Rockies, revealing a chain of cultural identification that predates the colonial period and continues to this day. Culling from hundreds of student writings from grades 7-12 in two reservation schools, Monroe finds that students employ the same persuasive techniques as their forebears, as evidenced in dozens of post-conquest speech transcriptions and historical writings. These persuasive strategies have survived not just across generations, but also across languages from Indian to English and across multiple genres from telegrams and Supreme Court briefs to school essays and hip hop lyrics.
Anecdotal evidence, often dramatically recreated; sarcasm and humor; suspended or unstated thesis; suspenseful arrangement; intimacy with and respect for one’s audience as co-authors of meaning—these are among the privileged markers in this particular indigenous rhetorical tradition. Such strategies of personalization, as Monroe terms them, run exactly counter to Euro-American academic standards that value secondary, distant sources; “objective” evidence; explicit theses; “logical” arrangement. Not surprisingly, scores for Native students on mandated tests are among the lowest in the nation.
While Monroe questions the construction of this so-called achievement gap on multiple levels, she argues that educators serving Native students need to seek out points of cultural congruence, selecting assignments and assessments where culturally marked norms converge, rather than collide. New media have opened up many possibilities for this kind of communicative inclusivity. But seizing such opportunities is predicated on educators, first, recognizing Plateau Indian students’ distinctive rhetoric, and then honoring their sovereign right to use it. This book provides that first step.
Political Persuasion and Attitude Change defines and introduces a new field of research, one that investigates the alteration of people's attitudes: when people can be moved, and when they cannot.
Each chapter synopsizes a major area of political persuasion and provides an update on the latest findings as well as overviews of past research in each area. Whole sections of the book center on the three major agents involved in the political persuasion process: the mass media, political elites, and individual citizens themselves. Political Persuasion and Attitude Change boldly contradicts the received wisdom on the extent of mass media's influence on political attitudes and argues that the media's effects are indeed massive, rather than limited. It explores the impact of political elites on the persuasion process, and focuses on individual control over the persuasion process.
This volume is unique in that chapters address theoretical as well as methodological issues, simultaneously combining reviews of literature with the latest research findings. It will appeal to scholars and students interested in the study of political persuasion in contemporary politics across the disciplines of political science, psychology, sociology, and communications.
Part I. Mass Media and Political Persuasion. Contributors are Steven Ansolabehere and Shanto Iyengar; Joanne M. Miller and Jon A. Krosnick; and John Zaller.
Part II. Persuasion by Political Elites. Contributors are James H. Kuklinski and Norman L. Hurley; Kathleen M. McGraw and Clark Hubbard; Lee Sigelman and Alan Rosenblatt.
Part III. Individual Control of the Political Persuasion Process. Contributors are Steven H. Chaffee and Rajiv Rimal; Dennis Chong; Gregory Andrade Diamond and Michael D. Cobb; Jeffrey Mondak, Diana C. Mutz, and Robert Huckfeldt.
Diana C. Mutz is Associate Professor of Political Science and Mass Communications, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Paul M. Sniderman is Professor of Political Science, Stanford University. Richard A. Brody is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Communications, Stanford University.
The end of the Cold War encourages new perspectives on international relations. Beer and Hariman provide a comprehensive set of essays that challenge and reinterpret the tradition of realism which has dominated the thinking of academics and foreign policy makers. Post-Realism: The Rhetorical Turn in International Relations systematically discusses the major realist writers of the Post-War era, the foundational concepts of international politics, and representative case studies of foreign policy discourse.
These essays demonstrate how realism operates rhetorically and point the way toward a richer understanding of world politics.
Reconstructing Argumentative Discourse analyzes argumentation in ordinary disputes. The analysis begins with an ideal model: a theoretical structure of discourse that might be used to resolve a dispute about the merits of two opposing cases. The ideal model does not describe actual argumentative practice. Argumentative discourse does not always seek genuine resolution and, when it does, the participants may not perform as ideal arguers.
A central challenge for argumentation theory is to give an account of argumentation occurring under less-than-ideal conditions and conducted by less-than-ideal participants. The authors offer detailed analysis of argument in such contexts as ordinary conversation, third party dispute mediation, and religious confrontation. An adequate analytic approach to such forms of discourse, the authors argue, must offer critical insight into actual practice; must begin with a defensible normative standard against which practice can be compared; and must also offer an applicable analytic machinery for making the comparison, so its methods can be tailored to empirical circumstances.
The authors position their study of argumentation within a general “normative pragmatics” characterized by a dual commitment to usefulness and adequacy in description. A distinctive set of practical applications and a distinctive view of practicality follow from this approach, characterized not by the search for generalizable means-end relationships but by the development and testing of plans for making real argumentation look as much as possible like ideal argumentation.
This book integrates for the first time the normative interest of dialectical theories of argumentation with the descriptive interests of the empirical study of everyday language use. This ambitious project is achieved by adopting a distinctively social and pragmatic view of argumentation—by seeing argumentation as a language activity structured for the function of resolving disagreements. The authors examine argumentation in a wide variety of contexts—including everyday conversation, campus evangelism, political speeches, newspaper letters to the editor, and the formal mediation of disputes. In doing so, they illustrate how to analyze the details of actual argumentation and tackle a variety of theoretical and methodological puzzles encountered in the effort to apply normative models to real life argumentation.
Remembering the AIDS Quilt
Charles E. Morris III Michigan State University Press, 2011 Library of Congress NX180.A36R46 2011 | Dewey Decimal 362.196979200973
A collaborative creation unlike any other, the Names Project Foundation’s AIDS Memorial Quilt has played an invaluable role in shattering the silence and stigma that surrounded the epidemic in the first years of its existence. Designed by Cleve Jones, the AIDS Quilt is the largest ongoing community arts project in the world. Since its conception in 1987, the Quilt has transformed the cultural and political responses to AIDS in the U.S. Representative of both marginalized and mainstream peoples, the Quilt contains crucial material and symbolic implications for mourning the dead, and the treatment and prevention of AIDS. However, the project has raised numerous questions concerning memory, activism, identity, ownership, and nationalism, as well as issues of sexuality, race, class, and gender. As thought-provoking as the Quilt itself, this diverse collection of essays by ten prominent rhetorical scholars provides a rich experience of the AIDS Quilt, incorporating a variety of perspectives, critiques, and interpretations.
"Like all writers, intellectuals need to say something new and say it well. But unlike many other writers, what intellectuals have to say is bound up with the books we are reading . . . and the ideas of the people we are talking with."
What are the moves that an academic writer makes? How does writing as an intellectual change the way we work from sources? In Rewriting, a textbook for the undergraduate classroom, Joseph Harris draws the college writing student away from static ideas of thesis, support, and structure, and toward a more mature and dynamic understanding. Harris wants college writers to think of intellectual writing as an adaptive and social activity, and he offers them a clear set of strategies—a set of moves—for participating in it.
“Like all writers, intellectuals need to say something new and say it well. But for intellectuals, unlike many other writers, what we have to say is bound up with the books we are reading . . . and the ideas of the people we are talking with.”
What are the moves that an academic writer makes? How does writing as an intellectual change the way we work from sources? In Rewriting, Joseph Harris draws the college writing student away from static ideas of thesis, support, and structure, and toward a more mature and dynamic understanding. Harris wants college writers to think of intellectual writing as an adaptive and social activity, and he offers them a clear set of strategies—a set of moves—for participating in it. The second edition introduces remixing as an additional signature move and is updated with new attention to digital writing, which both extends and rethinks the ideas of earlier chapters.
In this edited volume, authors seek to document and analyze how state and non-state actors leverage digital rhetoric as a twenty-first-century weapon of war. Rhet Ops offer readers a chance to focus on the human dimension of rhetorical practice within mobile technologies and social networks: to reflect not only on the durable question of what it means to conduct oneself ethically as a speaker or writer, but also what it means to learn the art of rhetoric as a means to engage adversaries in war and conflict.
Plato isn’t exactly thought of as a champion of democracy, and perhaps even less as an important rhetorical theorist. In this book, James L. Kastely recasts Plato in just these lights, offering a vivid new reading of one of Plato’s most important works: the Republic. At heart, Kastely demonstrates, the Republic is a democratic epic poem and pioneering work in rhetorical theory. Examining issues of justice, communication, persuasion, and audience, he uncovers a seedbed of theoretical ideas that resonate all the way up to our contemporary democratic practices.
As Kastely shows, the Republic begins with two interrelated crises: one rhetorical, one philosophical. In the first, democracy is defended by a discourse of justice, but no one can take this discourse seriously because no one can see—in a world where the powerful dominate the weak—how justice is a value in itself. That value must be found philosophically, but philosophy, as Plato and Socrates understand it, can reach only the very few. In order to reach its larger political audience, it must become rhetoric; it must become a persuasive part of the larger culture—which, at that time, meant epic poetry. Tracing how Plato and Socrates formulate this transformation in the Republic, Kastely isolates a crucial theory of persuasion that is central to how we talk together about justice and organize ourselves according to democratic principles.
Opening with an overview of the renewal of interest in rhetoric for inquiries of all kinds, this volume addresses rhetoric in individual disciplines—mathematics, anthropology, psychology, economics, sociology, political science, and history. Two essays draw from recent literary theory to suggest the contribution of the humanities to the rhetoric of inquiry, and several essays explore communications beyond the academy, particularly in women’s issues, religion, and law. The final essays speak from the field of communication studies, where the study of rhetoric usually makes its home.
James Fredal’s wide-ranging survey examines the spatial and performative features of rhetorical artistry in ancient Athens from Solon to Demosthenes, demonstrating how persuasive skill depended not on written treatises, but on the reproduction of spaces and modes for masculine self-formation and displays of contests of character.
Studies of the history of rhetoric generally begin with Homer and Greek orality, then move on to fifth-century Sicily and the innovations of Corax, Tisias, and the older Sophists. While thorough and useful, these narratives privilege texts as the sole locus of proper rhetorical knowledge. Rhetorical Action in Ancient Greece:Persuasive Artistry from Solon to Demosthenes describes rhetoric as largely unwritten and rhetorical skill as closely associated with the ideologies and practices of gender formation and expression. In expanding the notion of rhetorical innovation to include mass movements, large social genres, and cultural practices—rather than the formulations of of individual thinkers and writers—Fredal offers a view of classical rhetoric as local and contingent, bound to the physical spaces, local histories, and cultural traditions of place.
Fredal argues that Greek rhetorical skill remained a function of local spaces like the Pnyx, social practices such as symposia or local meetings, cultural ideologies like those surrounding masculine friendship, and genres of performance such as how to act like a man, herald, sage, tyrant, or democrat. Citizen participation, he explains, was motivated by the desire to display masculine excellence in contests of character by overcoming fear and exerting symbolic and bodily control over self, situation, and audience. He shows how ancient Greek rhetoric employed patterns of “action” such as public oratory and performance to establish, reinforce, or challenge hierarchies and claims to political power.
Instead of examining speeches, handbooks, and theory, Rhetorical Action in Ancient Greece examines the origins of rhetoric in terms of performance. The result is a presentation of rhetorical knowledge as embodied in places and practices with spatial and practical logics that are rarely articulated in written discourse. The volume calls on archaeological, literary, and anthropological evidence about the rhetorical actions of Athens’s leading political agents—including Solon, Peisistratus, Cleisthenes, Demosthenes, and the anonymous “herm-choppers” of the Peloponnesian war—to demonstrate how each generation of political leaders adopted and transformed existing performance genres and spaces to address their own political exigency.
A landmark volume that explores the interconnected nature of technologies and rhetorical practice
Rhetorical Machines addresses new approaches to studying computational processes within the growing field of digital rhetoric. While computational code is often seen as value-neutral and mechanical, this volume explores the underlying, and often unexamined, modes of persuasion this code engages. In so doing, it argues that computation is in fact rife with the values of those who create it and thus has powerful ethical and moral implications. From Socrates’s critique of writing in Plato’s Phaedrus to emerging new media and internet culture, the scholars assembled here provide insight into how computation and rhetoric work together to produce social and cultural effects.
This multidisciplinary volume features contributions from scholar-practitioners across the fields of rhetoric, computer science, and writing studies. It is divided into four main sections: “Emergent Machines” examines how technologies and algorithms are framed and entangled in rhetorical processes, “Operational Codes” explores how computational processes are used to achieve rhetorical ends, “Ethical Decisions and Moral Protocols” considers the ethical implications involved in designing software and that software’s impact on computational culture, and the final section includes two scholars’ responses to the preceding chapters. Three of the sections are prefaced by brief conversations with chatbots (autonomous computational agents) addressing some of the primary questions raised in each section.
At the heart of these essays is a call for emerging and established scholars in a vast array of fields to reach interdisciplinary understandings of human-machine interactions. This innovative work will be valuable to scholars and students in a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to rhetoric, computer science, writing studies, and the digital humanities.
We have only recently started to challenge the notion that "serious" inquiry can be free of rhetoric, that it can rely exclusively on "hard" fact and "cold" logic in support of its claims. Increasingly, scholars are shifting their attention from methods of proof to the heuristic methods of debate and discussion—the art of rhetoric—to examine how scholarly discourse is shaped by tropes and figures, by the naming and framing of issues, and by the need to adapt arguments to ends, audiences, and circumstances. Herbert W. Simons and the contributors to this important collection of essays provide impressive evidence that the new movement referred to as the rhetorical turn offers a rigorous way to look within and across the disciplines.
The Rhetorical Turn moves from biology to politics via excursions into the rhetorics of psychoanalysis, decision science, and conversational analysis. Topics explored include how rhetorical invention guides scientific invention, how rhetoric assists political judgment, and how it integrates varying approaches to meta-theory. Concluding with four philosophical essays, this volume of case studies demonstrates how the inventive and persuasive dimensions of scholarly discourse point the way to forms of argument appropriate to our postmodern age.
In today's increasingly polarized political landscape it seems that fewer and fewer citizens hold out hope of persuading one another. Even among those who have not given up on persuasion, few will admit to practicing the art of persuasion known as rhetoric. To describe political speech as "rhetoric" today is to accuse it of being superficial or manipulative. In Saving Persuasion, Bryan Garsten uncovers the early modern origins of this suspicious attitude toward rhetoric and seeks to loosen its grip on contemporary political theory. Revealing how deeply concerns about rhetorical speech shaped both ancient and modern political thought, he argues that the artful practice of persuasion ought to be viewed as a crucial part of democratic politics. He provocatively suggests that the aspects of rhetoric that seem most dangerous--the appeals to emotion, religious values, and the concrete commitments and identities of particular communities--are also those which can draw out citizens' capacity for good judgment. Against theorists who advocate a rationalized ideal of deliberation aimed at consensus, Garsten argues that a controversial politics of partiality and passion can produce a more engaged and more deliberative kind of democratic discourse.
Sulh is a centuries-old Arab-Islamic peacemaking process. In Shades ofSulh, Rasha Diab explores the possibilities of the rhetoric of sulh, as it is used to resolve intrapersonal, interpersonal, communal, national, and international conflicts, and provides cases that illustrate each of these domains. Diab demonstrates the adaptability and range of sulh as a ritual and practice that travels across spheres of activity (juridical, extra-juridical, political, diplomatic), through time (medieval, modern, contemporary), and over geopolitical borders (Cairo, Galilee, and Medina). Together, the cases prove the flexibility of sulh in the discourse of peacemaking—and that sulh has remarkable rhetorical longevity, versatility, and richness. Shades ofSulh sheds new light on rhetorics of reconciliation, human rights discourse, and Arab-Islamic rhetorics.
Taking the position that style has a value in its own right, that language forms a major component of the story a nonfiction writer has to tell, Anderson analyzes the work of America’s foremost practitioners of New Journalism—Tom Wolfe, Truman Capote, Norman Mailer, and Joan Didion.
Anderson does for nonfiction what insightful critics have long been doing for fiction and poetry. His approach is rhetorical, and his message is that the rhetoric of Wolfe, Capote, Mailer, and Didion is a direct response to the problem of trying to convey to a general audience the sublime, inexplicable, or private and intuitive experiences that conventional rhetoric cannot evoke.
The emphasis in this book is on style, not genre, and the analysis characterizes the distinctive styles of four American writers, showing how the richness and complexity of their prose discloses an important argument about the value of language itself. Their prose is complex, nuanced, layered, affecting, always aware of itself as style. This self-consciousness, Anderson contends, prepares the reader to regard style as argument, a “tacit but powerful statement about the value of form as form, style as style.”
In this innovative study of performance in international relations, James R. Ball III asks why states and their representatives come to the United Nations to perform for a global audience and how those audiences may intervene in the spectacle of global politics. Theater of State looks at key spaces in which global politics play out: in debating forums of the UN, at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and in peacekeeping operations in Africa and the Middle East, as well as in a variety of related media productions. Ball argues that culture and politics form a unified field organized by the theatricality of its actors and the engaged spectatorship of its audiences. He provides a theory of global political spectatorship: of how the world watches itself in institutions and beyond, and of what citizens and diplomats do by watching.
This study of the lived experience of spectacular politics on the world stage draws on theories of theater, performance, and politics to offer new ways of approaching issues of war, cosmopolitanism, international justice, governance, and activism. Situated at the nexus of two disciplines, performance studies and political science, this volume encourages conversations between the two so that each might offer lessons to the other.
The Trial Lawyer's Art
Sam Schrager Temple University Press, 2000 Library of Congress KF8915.S263 1999 | Dewey Decimal 347.7375
How do lawyers sway jurors in the heat of a trial? Why do the best trial lawyers seem uncannily able to get the verdict they want? In answering these questions, folklorist Sam Schrager vindicates -- but with a twist -- the widespread belief that lawyers are actors who manipulate the truth. He shows that attorneys have no choice but to treat the jury trial, from beginning to end, as an artful performance: as story-telling combat in which victory most often goes to the man or woman who has superior control of craft.
Drawn from fieldwork in the Philadelphia courts and at the Smithsonian Institution's American Trial Lawyers program, The Trial Lawyer's Art gives a remarkable, in-depth look at this craft of performance. It examines how lawyers exploit a case's dramatic potential, how they enact mythically potent themes, how they project personal authority, and how they use cultural identity -- their own and their opponents' racial, gender, class, and local affiliations -- all to make themselves and their stories persuasive to a jury. Schrager depicts the performance styles of some of the nation's most artful criminal and civil advocates: in Philadelphia, prosecutor Roger King, defender Robert Mozenter, and the legendary Cecil B. Moore; from around the country, such litigating stars as Roy Barrera, Penny Cooper, Jo Ann Harris, Tony Serra, and Michael Tigar. These lawyers reflect candidly on their courtroom calculations and share revealing "war stories" about their work.
Integrating performance insights with evocative portrayals of unfolding trials, The Trial Lawyer's Art offers a no-holds-barred analysis of the place of skill versus evidence in the American justice system. In doing so, it raises vital questions about the moral challenges that legal and other professions now face and sheds new light on the role of stories in American life.
Heidi Yoston Lawrence The Ohio State University Press, 2020 Library of Congress QR189.L39 2020 | Dewey Decimal 614.47
Finalist, 2021 Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine Book Award
Honorable Mention, Conference on College Composition and Communication Best Book in Technical or Scientific Communication
Debates over vaccination run rampant in the US—from the pages of medical journals, to news coverage about the latest outbreak, to vehement messages passed back and forth online. From the professional level to the personal one, almost everyone has an opinion on vaccinations—and often conversations around this issue pit supporters of vaccinations against “anti-vaxxers.” In Vaccine Rhetorics, Heidi Yoston Lawrence turns a critical eye toward such conversations—proposing a new approach that moves us beyond divisive rhetoric and seeks to better understand the material conditions underlying the debate.
Starting with a key question—If vaccines work, why are they controversial?—and using an approach she calls “material exigence,” Lawrence seeks to understand the material conditions of disease and injury associated with vaccination. Examining four primary motivations—the exigency of disease at the heart of physician views, the desire for eradication from policymakers, concern over injury expressed by parents and patients in online confessionals, and questions about the unknown surrounding potential recipients of the flu vaccine, Lawrence demonstrates the complexity of vaccination skepticism and the need for more nuanced public discourse. In bringing together the voices of those who oppose, question, and support vaccines, Vaccine Rhetorics unearths the material circumstances that lead to differing viewpoints and brings important attention not just to what is said but how and why it is said—providing a useful framework for studying other controversial issues.
Shirley Wilson Logan analyzes the distinctive rhetorical features in the persuasive discourse of nineteenth-century black women, concentrating on the public discourse of club and church women from 1880 until 1900.
Logan develops each chapter in this illustrated study around a feature of public address as best exemplified in the oratory of a particular woman speaker of the era. She analyzes not only speeches but also editorials, essays, and letters.
Logan first focuses on the prophetic oratory of Maria Stewart, the first American-born black woman to speak publicly. Turning to Frances Harper, she considers speeches that argue for common interests between divergent communities. And she demonstrates that central to the antilynching rhetoric of Ida Wells is the concept of "presence," or the tactic of enhancing certain selected elements of the presentation.
In her discussion of Fannie Barrier Williams and Anna Cooper, Logan shows that when speaking to white club women and black clergymen, both Williams and Cooper employ what Kenneth Burke called identification. To analyze the rhetoric of Victoria Matthews, she applies Carolyn Miller's modification of Lloyd Bitzer's concept of the rhetorical situation.
Logan also examines the discourse of women associated with the black Baptist women's movement and those participating in college-affiliated conferences.
The book includes an appendix with little-known speeches and essays by Anna Julia Cooper, Selena Sloan Butler, Lucy Wilmot Smith, Mary V. Cook, Adella Hunt Logan, Victoria Earle Matthews, Lucy C. Laney, and Georgia Swift King.
Winner, 2021 Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine Book Award
Honorable Mention, 2021 Rhetoric Society of America Book Award
Honorable Mention, 2021 Marie Hochmuth Nichols Award for Outstanding Published Scholarship in Public Address
The way we talk about living beings can raise or lower their perceived value. Consider the pro-life strategy of calling a fetus a child, thereby effectively promoting the value of fetal life. In the opposite direction, calling a Pakistani child killed by a US drone strike collateral damage can implicitly demote the value of that child’s life. Allison L. Rowland’s Zoetropes and the Politics of Humanhood looks at such discursive practices—providing the first systematic account of how transvaluations like these operate in public discourse and lurk at the edges of all language.
Building on the necropolitical concept that we are constantly parsing populations into worthy lives, subhuman lives, and lives sentenced to death, Rowland’s study focuses specifically at zoetropes—the rhetorical devices and figures that result in such transvaluations. Through a series of case studies, including microbial life (at the American Gut Project), fetal life (at the National Memorial for the Unborn), and vital human life (at two of the nation’s premier fitness centers)—and in conversation with cutting-edge theories of race, gender, sexuality, and disability—this book brings to light the discursive practices that set the terms for inclusion into humanhood and make us who we are.