The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


Human Chain around Old Main

Submitted by Anonymous on October 19, 2005 - 4:46pm

Human Chain around Old Main Human Chain around Old Main Human Chain around Old Main Kinda chant-able, ain't? Looks like Old State might soon have to fire Women's Basketball Coach Rene Portland, whose 25 years of homophobic bigotry are well documented. Search "Portland," "Penn" and "Lesbian" in Lexis/Nexus, and see what you find. Thing is, she's won the community's "Renaissance Man" award ... name recently changed to "Renaissance Award" ... and she's scheduled to receive the award Nov. 3. Hope she's fired first. Sooooo we're gonna hold hands and encircle Old Main tomorrow. Maybe it's another kind of antilogos doughball.... URGENT: Human chain to form around Old Main this Thursday As a member of the Rainbow Roundtable, we are planning a demonstration THIS Thursday from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. We plan to form a silent human chain around Old Main to protest the university's refusal to retract Coach Rene Portland's statements regarding Jen Harris. Although Coach Portland has a right to free speech, she used University resources to draft and disseminate this statement. The National Center for Lesbian Rights has given today, October 19th, as their deadline for retraction. The University's non-response to Portland's statement belies their "commitment" to ensuring that students are not retaliated against for reporting discrimination. We are holding this demonstration to support Jen Harris and all students who are strong enough and brave enough to report discrimination. Should the University comply with NCLR requests, although a retraction is not expected to occur, then attendees at the rally will applaud the University for protecting and supporting their students. Please attend as you are willing and able. All members of the LGBTQA community are invited. Students, faculty, staff, and anyone else interested in showing solidarity is welcome to join us. 2. Town Hall meeting in the works to discuss handling Rene Portland award The Coalition of LGBT Graduate Students has sent the following: We are attempting to organize a town hall meeting on November 1st or 2nd to discuss how the community should respond to Portland receiving the Renaissance Award on November 3rd. As of today, Portland is still slated to receive this Person-of-the-Year award. We will give you details regarding the town hall as we have them. For more information regarding any of these issues or Portland's history of discrimination, please refer to


I Mean, Like, WTF?

Submitted by Jim Aune on October 19, 2005 - 10:40am

So now it appears that POTUS lied through his teeth when he said he didn't know Miers' view on abortion (he had seen the 1989 questionnaire in which she supported a constitutional amendment banning abortion), but what is up with Miers' interactions with the Senators? This is a very very odd time in American politics. Who will be indicted? Will anyone note the death of the 2000th American soldier? I know that I've had many schadenfreude moments in the last few weeks, but I'm not sure that feeling is terribly helpful, either. Oh, and I just found a dead bird in my back yard. Avian flu pandemic anyone?


A New Group Blog

Submitted by Jim Aune on October 19, 2005 - 10:17am

A new group blog on race, law, and culture by 9 African-American law professors:


Books on Presidential Rhetoric

Submitted by Jim Aune on October 18, 2005 - 9:26pm

A review of some recent works, including our own Vanessa Beasley's You the People: /mi_m0IMR/is_1-2_80/ai_n15390078/print


Debating the Patriot Act

Submitted by Jim Aune on October 18, 2005 - 8:01pm

From Legal Affairs' "Debate Club": Judge Posner and Geoffrey Stone duke it out over the Patriot Act:


Cicero, pro & con

Submitted by Jim Aune on October 18, 2005 - 12:38pm

We discussed several of Cicero's speeches last night in my history of rhetoric (to 1900) graduate class. I was as usual fascinated by the ethical qualms Cicero's strategies raised in my students. If Cicero is (arguably) the first major "conservative" thinker (under erasure, please), the larger question comes up: Why are conservatives willing to do anything to win, while "liberals" would rather be right and ethical than win? Not for the first time, I desperately miss the first Mayor Daley and the Chicago machine. . . Those were the days. . . .


Blogging and Tenure

Submitted by Jim Aune on October 16, 2005 - 6:20pm

Some interesting reflections from Andrew Cline on his rhetorica blog:


Profs on TV?

Submitted by Jim Aune on October 16, 2005 - 10:55am

An article from InsideHigherEd on the lack of TV shows featuring college professors: I'm chairing a search this year, and I was thinking it might be interesting to do a reality show about it. . . . I had a 3 hour meeting with the Dean of Faculties last Monday devoted simply to how not to screw up a search. The web and the press wildly circulate every last factoid about political correctness on campus, but you never read stories about blatant discrimination in universities. A&M lost one strong candidate last year (NOT in my department)because the real estate agent giving him a tour "steered" him away from my part of town, saying: "I'm not going to show you homes there. That's where colored people live." The candidate's wife was African-American. . . .


Nietzschean Moral Psychology

Submitted by Jim Aune on October 14, 2005 - 9:46am

The popularity of Nietzsche among rhetoricians continues to puzzle me, but here's a link to an interesting paper on Nietzschean moral psychology. It takes a different tack than recent French Nietzscheanisms. . .



Submitted by Jim Aune on October 13, 2005 - 8:16pm

From Rabbi Marc Gellman's Yom Kippur sermon: I think God judges us by how well we have used our unique gifts to shadow God in the world. The most famous Hasidic story is about Reb Zusia who was crying at his impending death. His Hasidim, gathered around him, were surprised at their master's tears. “You were a great rebbe, you are going to the world-to-come with honor. Why are you crying?” He answered, “Now finally I understand that when I am called before God after I die, God will not ask me, 'Zusia, why weren't you Moses?' God will not ask me, 'Zusia why weren't you Abraham?' He will ask me, 'Zusia, why weren't you Zusia?' and I will not know what to say.” Our lives are meant to do just one thing: to know what to say when we meet God. Today of all days, we affirm that no matter what our age, our task is the same as Zusia's—our task is to fulfill our true destiny, to find our true purpose and please God by doing what we love. Today of all days, we affirm that it is never too late to do what you love and to be what you might have been. The whole sermon is here: site/newsweek/