CCR 631: Contemporary Rhetorics

“Cultures of Discourse: Marxism and Rhetorical Theory”

Aune presents a conundrum here: the repression of Marxist theory within rhetoric and, reciprocally, the repression of rhetoric in Marxist theory. If mentioned at all, he argues, rhetoric is pushed to the “margins of serious discourse” (539). And although rhetoricians have taken up ideology, the crux of Marxist discourse—class struggle—has been largely ignored. Aune warns…… Continue reading “Cultures of Discourse: Marxism and Rhetorical Theory”

CCR 631: Contemporary Rhetorics

How the Internet Is Making Us “Stupid” One Meme at a Time

This afternoon at the 2013 SUNY Cow luncheon keynote, Richard Miller delivered a talk titled, “Who’s This For? Audience in the Classroom without Walls.” Among other things, Miller addressed the challenges of motivating students to be interested in the topics we assign (and even that they choose) within our composition classrooms—to be interested in anything.…… Continue reading How the Internet Is Making Us “Stupid” One Meme at a Time

CCR 631: Contemporary Rhetorics

Role of the Leader in Social Movements

Some figures emerge from social movements as leaders of the people, whether they choose or accept these labels or not: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Desmond Tutu. Some movements are leader-less, their power decentralized and dispersed: the animal liberation movement, radical environmentalism, Occupy. Though I have read his essay…… Continue reading Role of the Leader in Social Movements

CCR 631: Contemporary Rhetorics · Rhetoric · Uncategorized

Burke: Identification & Consubstantiality

Imagine it: a coffee shop, brightly painted walls, mismatched furniture, laptops crowding an already too-small table. I’m talking with Lindsey. She tells me that she’s started using my finger-wag when she’s sassing. She then says, “I often wonder if I’m my own person or a sponge because I pick up other people’s catchphrases and mannerisms.”…… Continue reading Burke: Identification & Consubstantiality

CCR 631: Contemporary Rhetorics

Freak Shows & The Negated Audience

The objectification of certain individuals and groups discloses itself through what is and is not said about them and through actual conditions affecting their ability to speak for themselves. (Wander 370) Mental illness was briefly discussed during the presidential debates last fall. Now, the presidential debates are an exclusive space where the audience (the U.S.…… Continue reading Freak Shows & The Negated Audience

CCR 631: Contemporary Rhetorics

Technology and Deliberative Democracy

“[T]he problem of constituting an effective deliberative democracy for the 21st CE, particularly in an increasingly multicultural society, will require sustained attention to the range of ways in which rhetoric constitutes and is implicated in the process of public decision making.” (249) This week, our readings focused on rhetoric, reason, and public morality. Goodnight jumpstarts…… Continue reading Technology and Deliberative Democracy

CCR 631: Contemporary Rhetorics

The Rhetorical Situation – Bitzer, Vatz & Biesecker

Our readings this week in Contemporary Rhetorical Theory center on the rhetorical situation and, coincidentally, all appear on our exam list, so this will be a bit more summary-heavy than usual. Bitzer started these debates with his article “The Rhetorical Situation.” Arguing that we hadn’t properly theorized the rhetorical situation, Bitzer’s purpose is to lay…… Continue reading The Rhetorical Situation – Bitzer, Vatz & Biesecker

CCR 631: Contemporary Rhetorics

On Consensus, Truth, and Knowledge

This week’s readings on epistemology had a number of connections to the readings last week—defining truth, acknowledging and theorizing on the discipline’s fractured identity, discussing the role of ethics and community. In fact, while reading the questions I posed last week (eg. How do we build rhetorical communities when groups are marginalized and excluded from…… Continue reading On Consensus, Truth, and Knowledge

CCR 631: Contemporary Rhetorics

Rhetoric as Opportunity to Define Community

We all have different conceptions of what rhetoric is, why it matters, and what it can do for us and for others. Part I of Contemporary Rhetorical Theory attempts to move away from totalizing definitions of what rhetoric is and move toward proactive understandings of what it can be. To continue some of the questions…… Continue reading Rhetoric as Opportunity to Define Community