The Public Work of Rhetoric
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The Public Work of Rhetoric offers a timely and dynamic endorsement of rhetoric as a potent communications tool for civic engagement and social change, efforts necessarily inclusive of people inside and outside the academy. In this provocative call to action, editors John M. Ackerman and David J. Coogan, along with seventeen other accomplished contributors, offer case studies and criticism on the rhetorical practices of citizen-scholars pursuing democratic ideals in diverse civic communities—with partnerships across a range of media, institutions, exigencies, and discourses.

Challenging conventional research methodologies and the traditional insularity of higher education, these essays argue that civic engagement as a rhetorical act requires critical attention to our notoriously veiled identity in public life, to our uneasy affiliation with democracy as a public virtue, and to the transcendent powers of discourse and ideology. This can be accomplished, the contributors argue, by building on the compatible traditions of materialist rhetoric and community literacy. The case studies highlight efforts in inner-urban and postindustrial communities where poverty is the overriding concern, in afterschool and extracurricular alternatives that offer new routes to literate achievement, in new media and digital representations of ethnic cultures designed to promote chosen identities, in neighborhoods and scientific laboratories where race is the dominant value, and in the policy borderlands between universities and the communities they serve. Through these accounts, contributors champion the notion that the public work of rhetoric is the tough labor of gaining access and trust, learning the codes and histories of communities, locating the situations in which rhetorical expertise is most effective, and in many cases jointly defining the terms for gauging social change.

ContributorsJohn M. AckermanM. Lane BrunerRalph CintronCeleste M. ConditDavid J. CooganEllen CushmanDavid FlemingLinda FlowerDiana GeorgeJeffrey T. GrabillErik GreenGerard A. HauserSusan C. JarrattDavid A. JolliffeErik JuergensmeyerPaula MathieuCarolyn R. MillerThomas P. MillerCandice Rai



Publié par
Date de parution 15 mars 2013
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781611173048
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1600€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Studies in Rhetoric/Communication
Thomas W. Benson, Series Editor
The Public Work of Rhetoric
Citizen-Scholars and Civic Engagement
EDITED BY John M. Ackerman and David J. Coogan
FOREWORD BY Gerard A. Hauser

The University of South Carolina Press
© 2010 University of South Carolina
Cloth edition published by the University of South Carolina Press, 2010 Paperback and ebook editions published in Columbia, South Carolina, by the University of South Carolina Press, 2013
22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
The Library of Congress has cataloged the cloth edition as follows:
The public work of rhetoric : citizen-scholars and civic engagement / edited by John M. Ackerman and David J. Coogan.
p. cm. (Studies in rhetoric/communication)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-57003-931-7 (cloth : alk. paper)
1. Rhetoric Political aspects. 2. Language and languages Political aspects. 3. Political oratory. I. Ackerman, John, 1934– II. Coogan, David.
P301.5.P67P83 2010
320.0l'4 dc22
ISBN: 978-1-61117-303-1 (pbk) ISBN: 978-1-61117-304-8 (ebook)
List of Illustrations
Gerard A. Hauser
Series Editor's Preface
Thomas W. Benson
Introduction: The Space to Work in Public Life
David J. Coogan and John M. Ackerman
[ PART 1 ] Rhetoric Revealed
Should We Name the Tools? Concealing and Revealing the Art of Rhetoric
Carolyn R. Miller
Power, Publics, and the Rhetorical Uses of Democracy
Candice Rai
The Public Work of Critical Political Communication
M. Lane Bruner
Rhetorical Engagement in the Cultural Economies of Cities
John M. Ackerman
Democracy and Its Limitations
Ralph Cintron
[ PART 2 ] Rhetorical Interventions
Rhetorical Engagements in the Scientist's Process of Remaking Race as Genetic
Celeste M. Condit
Going Public in a Disabling Discourse
Linda Flower
Sophists for Social Change
David J. Coogan
Knowledge Work with the Cherokee Nation: The Pedagogy of Engaging Publics in a Praxis of New Media
Ellen Cushman and Erik Green
On Being Useful: Rhetoric and the Work of Engagement
Jeffrey T. Grabill
[ PART 3 ] Remaking Rhetoric in Universities and Publics
Finding a Place for School in Rhetoric's Public Turn
David Fleming
Mediating Differences
Erik Juergensmeyer and Thomas P. Miller
A Place for the Dissident Press in a Rhetorical Education: “Sending up a signal flare in the darkness”
Diana George and Paula Mathieu
The Community Literacy Advocacy Project: Civic Revival through Rhetorical Activity in Rural Arkansas
David A. Jolliffe
The Prospects for the Public Work of Rhetoric: A Coda on Codes
Susan C. Jarratt
Cartoon by Alex Gregory
Cartoon by Peter Steiner
City plans and artifacts
“Where I'm From to Where I'm Going”
The Allotment Era in Cherokee History , opening for Cherokee Nation Web site
A community map of “Harbor”
Infrastructure supporting the writing of a document
This volume on the public work of rhetoric addresses a topic that transcends disciplinary interests. Its essays address the question of how we may bring the study of rhetoric into relationship with the lived practices of our students and ourselves as community members. Through lively and intelligent discussion, it challenges the orthodoxies that stereotype rhetoric and composition offerings as service courses necessary to meet the needs of students to write clear academic arguments. Of course they do that, but these essays point to local communites as places where we as citizen-scholars also encounter and address myriad issues that make life as a citizen and neighbor both challenging and rewarding. For these authors, rhetoric's public work is the constitution of public life as we know it in a democracy.
The content of this collection is timely in light of the mounting concern and sense of urgency that occurred within the U.S. academic community during the George W. Bush administration. Concern arose from the apparent success of a politics of fear; a growing disparity of wealth that resembles that of 1929; attention to cultural issues over those that impact the economic and social well-being of most citizens; prosecution of a war against terror that seems endless and unwinnable because its enemy is a technique; a political agenda geared to protect a base grounded in religious faith; a Supreme Court that is perilously close to an unbreakable conservative majority that may be in place for a decade or more and appears committed to the Bush doctrine of the unitary executive, which invests the president with the right to wage undeclared wars, establish military tribunals, authorize extraordinary renditions, withhold evidence from the accused, conduct domestic surveillance, expand the use of presidential “signing statements” by which the president indicates how he will interpret the law he signs under his authority to interpret the law in question “in a manner consistent with his constitutional authority to supervise the unitary executive branch”; and a growing division of the nation into blue and red states reflected in extremism of elected representatives whose commitments to political orthodoxy have precluded compromises of bipartisanship in favor of ideological victory that often results in gridlock.
The ignition switch for urgency was the evident dire consequences rapidly approaching if these concerns remain untended: climate change that appears to leave less than a decade to reverse current trends in the use of fossil fuels before we pass the point of no return; a doctrine on war that discards the Powell doctrine before the nation wages war it must have a massive force, a clear objective, and an exit strategy and replaces it with the Petreus doctrine political destabilization anywhere constitutes a threat to the United States that must be met with military force, which commits the United States to war anywhere all the time; political polarization bred from fear of the other, which has resulted in the loss of tolerance necessary for political dialogue and branded those who disagree as unpatriotic and thus fair game for “official” witch hunts and misbegotten violence; a financial meltdown that has resulted in losses to every citizen in some way loss of jobs, homes, retirement; the absence of viable arenas for ordinary citizens to participate in a dialogue about their interests and influence public policy with more than their vote and of rhetorical skills to participate effectively were they available.
The academic community has responded with a call for a new politics that replaces the self-centered brand of “what's in it for me” with one more concerned about “what's best for us.” At the level of theory, political scientists have addressed these matters through a growing challenge to the prevailing model of rational choice a model borrowed from economics based on how to maximize personal gain. This challenge is best reflected in the growing literature on deliberative democracy. It is a voluminous and impressive body of work by some of the most distinguished political theorists of our age. Most of it finds its inspiration in the work of Jürgen Habermas, whose The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (trans. Fredrick Lawrence, 1962; repr. 1989) advanced a theory of communicative action as the foundation for the normative ideal of a politics based on critical rational consensus. Although most of the deliberative democracy literature takes exception with Habermas's formulation of the bourgeois public sphere as prototypical for contemporary Western democracies, it remains committed to some formulation of rational consensus as the goal of deliberation. Moreover their accounts, for the most part, have remained theoretical explorations that have paid only lip service to democracy as it is lived.
To the credit of feminist scholars, under the inspiration of Nancy Fraser, Habermas's assumptions have been challenged in both theory and praxis (see Fraser's “Rethinking the Public Sphere: A Contribution to the Critique of Actually Existing Democracy,” in Habermas and the Public Sphere , edited by Craig Calhoun, 1992). Among its more problematic ones are: the exclusionary bias in Habermas's norm of rationality, since it assumed there was but one form; his model of the bourgeois public sphere, since it did not include marginalized voices; and his purely theoretical account of democracy in need of rehabilitation through an account in tune with how it is actually lived, which must include the subaltern spheres of those without access to official spheres of power.
To the credit of rhetoricians, they have both rethought the formulations of Habermas in terms of the realities of lived democracy, which are reflected in and constituted by its rhetoric, and executed specific critical studies that have shown how the realities of democracy have been manifest in politics as it is actually lived. Rhetoricians adhering to the disciplinary vision reflected by the Rhetoric Society of America a vision that is inclusive of rhetoric's multiple traditions found in communication, English, rhetoric, and composition, and reflected in the work of rhetorically inclined scholars in anthropology, economics, law, mass media, the natural sciences,

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