Matching Items (6)

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Medieval rhetoric and civic identity

Description

Rhetoric has traditionally enjoyed a close connection with ideals of citizenship. Yet, the rhetorical traditions of the medieval period have generally been described as divorced from civic life, concerned instead

Rhetoric has traditionally enjoyed a close connection with ideals of citizenship. Yet, the rhetorical traditions of the medieval period have generally been described as divorced from civic life, concerned instead with theories of composition in specific genres (such as letters and sermons) and with poetics. This view is the product of historiographical approaches that equate rhetoric either theories and practices of speech and writing intended for state-sponsored civic forums, or alternatively with rules governing future speech or literary production. Consequently, the prevailing view of the medieval period in rhetorical studies is a simplified one that has not evolved with changing practices of analysis in the field of rhetorical studies. This dissertation contends that by employing alternative modes of historiography, historians of rhetoric gain a more accurate conception of medieval rhetoric’s civic roles, revealing the discipline’s role in shaping the individual and their relationship to civic and political institutions.

Organized around an introduction, a broad discussion of later medieval rhetoric and political thought (950-1390), four case studies, and a conclusion, this dissertation begins by identifying historiographical trends that have associated medieval rhetoric with technical treatises, minimizing connections to civic life. Challenging these assessments through a close reading of texts of rhetorical theory, political philosophy, and technical treatises, it contends that medieval rhetoric influenced activities such as grammatical education, didactic art, and political theory to inform practices of citizenship. Focusing specifically on representations of labor, this dissertation show that these venues idealized the political participation of manual laborers within an otherwise discursive theory of civic life that drew from both Aristotelian and Ciceronian sources.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Real Padonki:: a cultural model performed through language : a case study of an online discourse community of creative writers

Description

This longitudinal exploratory research study examines a Russian language online community of creative writers who refer to themselves as Real Padonki. Grounded theory was used as the method of data

This longitudinal exploratory research study examines a Russian language online community of creative writers who refer to themselves as Real Padonki. Grounded theory was used as the method of data collection and analysis. Based on analysis of the texts published on udaff.com and interactions between the members of this community several conclusions were made. It is proposed that udaff.com should be viewed as an online resource for writers who have created a new form of literature: post-Soviet Russian literature. This new of form literature is characterized by several features that distinguish it from previous forms. This new form of literature is based on the cultural model of a Real Padonak - a new kind of person that embodies both the writer and the hero (a new archetype) created by this writer. In the same way as dissident writers made criminal argot a part of Russian literature, the writers of udaff.com rely on the use of Albanskij, a linguistic innovation, a variation of the Russian language that they have created. Finally, this new literature uses the Internet as its main medium of publication. As a new archetype, Real Padonak represents a continuum of characters (real life people as well as invented literary characters) created by udaff.com writers. From the perspective of Discourse analysis, the cultural model of Real Padonak is shown as multiglossia of Discourses that represent beliefs, attitudes, values, and practices that exist in contemporary Russian society.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Making space for women's history: the digital-material rhetoric of the National Women's History (cyber)Museum

Description

The struggle of the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) to make space for women’s history in the United States is in important ways emblematic of the struggle for recognition and

The struggle of the National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) to make space for women’s history in the United States is in important ways emblematic of the struggle for recognition and status of American women as a whole. Working at the intersections of digital-material memory production and using the NWHM as a focus, this dissertation examines the significance of the varied strategies used by and contexts among which the NWHM and entities like it negotiate for digital, material, and rhetorical space within U.S. public memory production. As a “cybermuseum,” the NWHM functions within national public memory production at the intersections of material and digital culture; yet as an activist institution in search of a permanent, physical “home” for women’s history, the NWHM also counterproductively reifies existing gendered norms that make such an achievement difficult. By examining selected aspects of this complexly situated entity, this dissertation makes visible the gendered nature of public memory production, the digital and material components of that production, and the hybrid nature of emerging public memory entities which operate simultaneously in multiple spheres. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach and guided by Carole Blair’s work on rhetorical materiality, this dissertation explores key aspects of the NWHM’s process of becoming, including an examination of the centrality of the interpellation of publics to the rhetorical materiality of public discourse; an analysis of the material state of public memory production in national history museums in the U.S.; and an exploration of the embodied engagement that undergirds all interaction with and presentation of historical artifacts and narratives, whether digital, physical or both at once. In a synthesis of findings, this dissertation describes a set of key characteristics through which certain hybrid digital-material entities (including the NWHM) enact increasingly complex variations of rhetorical agency. These characteristics suggest a need for a more flexible analytic framework, described in the final chapter. This framework takes shape as an heuristic of functions across which digital-material entities always already enact a situated, active, embodied, and simultaneous agency, one that can account fully for the rhetorical processes through which space is “made” for women in U.S. public memory.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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(Re) positioning Lebanese feminist discourse: a rhetorical study of Al-raida (Pioneer) journal, 1976-1985

Description

This study is a feminist historiography of Al-Raida, a Lebanese feminist journal introduced in 1976 by the Institute for Women's Studies in the Arab World at the Lebanese American University.

This study is a feminist historiography of Al-Raida, a Lebanese feminist journal introduced in 1976 by the Institute for Women's Studies in the Arab World at the Lebanese American University. This study recovers foundations of modern Lebanese feminist discourses as they are articulated in the journal by employing Foucauldian CDA as a means to trace discourse strands, or conversations, which include Family Planning, development, politics and narratives of the Lebanese civil war. This study explores, by situating each discourse strand within dominant and local historical contexts, the shifting rhetorical function of the journal through various historical moments. Tracing the dominant discourse strands within the first decade of the journal, this study rhetorically analyzes the ways in which arguments are positioned, research studies are presented, and methodologies are employed to forge viable solutions to Middle Eastern women's issues. First, the study traces the conversation on Family Planning in Lebanon and its relevance to the economic and social situation during the late 70s. Second, the study presents the shift in the early 80s towards a discourse on development and explores how Al-Raida presents the issue of development, attempts to define it, and in doing so outlines some of the concerns at this time, including illiteracy, access to health care, access to paid employment, and women's access to developmental opportunities. Third, the study presents the discourse in the mid-80s on the civil war in Lebanon and highlights Al-Raida's rhetorical function by documenting trauma and war narratives through personal interviews, testimonies, and ethnographies. The shift in the methodologies of the research articles published in the first decade, from quantitative studies towards qualitative studies, indicates the journal is rhetorically situated within both the dominant international discourse and within the local context, exhibiting an ability to respond to the nuances in the local Lebanese women's movement while simultaneously maintaining international visibility.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Reframing the problem of difference: Lillian Smith and hierarchical politics of difference

Description

ABSTRACT For many years, difference scholars, such as Cornel West, Iris Marion Young, and Janet Atwill have been reminding humanities scholars that if social equity is ever to be realized,

ABSTRACT For many years, difference scholars, such as Cornel West, Iris Marion Young, and Janet Atwill have been reminding humanities scholars that if social equity is ever to be realized, difference needs to be reconfigured and reframed. As Janet Atwill puts it, "difference can no longer be the anomaly, the enemy, or the problem to be solved. Difference is the condition" (212). While these scholars insightfully recognize that difference needs to be accepted, welcomed and loved rather than merely tolerated, they have not sufficiently addressed the perceptual change that must occur worldwide if difference as an intrinsic underlying condition of human existence is to be embraced. This project provides a point of departure for carrying out such a dramatic epistemic change by arguing that hierarchical thinking, not difference, is the real agent underwriting societal violence and discord. Hierarchical thinking delineates a more appropriate critical space than does difference for social justice inquiry, invention, and intervention. This project also rhetorically theorizes the realm of intersubjectivity and provides two novel contributions to contemporary rhetorical theory: 1) privilege as a rhetorical construct and 2) the untapped inventional potential of the postmodern understanding of intersubjectivity. To illustrate the embodied and performative aspects of hierarchical thinking, this work draws upon the writings of Lillian Smith, a white southerner (1897-1966) whose descriptive analyses of the Jim Crow South allude to large systems of privilege of which Jim Crow is merely representational. Illustrating the invidious nexus of privilege, Smith's writings describe the ways in which individuals embody and perform practices of exclusion and hate to perpetuate larger systems of privilege. Smith shows how privilege operates much as gender and power--fluidly and variously and dependent upon context. Viewing privilege as a rhetorical construct, operating dynamically, always in flux and at play, provides rhetoricians with a theoretically important move that un-yokes privilege from specific identities (e.g., white privilege). When viewed through this more dynamic and precise lens, we can readily perceive how privilege functions as a colonizing, ubiquitously learned, and variegated rhetorical practice of subordination and domination that, as a frame of analysis, offers a more fluid and accurate perspective than identity categories provide for discussions of oppression, social justice, and democratic engagement.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Embodied Persistence: Corporeal Ruptures in Modernist Discourses of Material Language and Cultural Reproductive Futurity

Description

This dissertation is an examination of a modernist desire to construct future materiality via material language, which represents a desire to overcome biology and the biological body. As such, modernist

This dissertation is an examination of a modernist desire to construct future materiality via material language, which represents a desire to overcome biology and the biological body. As such, modernist discourses of material language must be understood within their broader historical context, as these textual constructs developed against a cultural backdrop replete with eugenicist ideologies. Modernists wielded discourses of material language to determine via cultural reproduction which futures might materialize, as well as which bodies could occupy those futures and in what capacities. This dissertation argues that these modernist constructs contain their own failure in their antibiologism and their refusal to acknowledge the agency of corporeal materiality before them. Unlike language, the body expresses biopower through its material (re)productivity—its corpo-reality—which, though it can be shaped and repressed by discourse, persistently ruptures through the restraints of eugenicist ideologies and the autonomous liberal model of white masculine embodiment they uphold. This work analyses sexually marginalized bodies in texts by Mina Loy, Djuna Barnes, Nathanael West, and Ernest Hemingway that, through their insistently persistent biological materiality, disrupt modernist discourses of material language that offer no future for feminine, queer, and disabled corporeality. By exploring how intersecting issues of gender, sexuality, and disability complicate theories of language’s materiality in modern American literature, this dissertation brings attention to writers and texts that challenge broader attempts in the early decades of the twentieth century to subvert the biological body through eugenicist projects of cultural reproduction.

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Date Created
  • 2019