The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


Erik Olin Wright on Class

Submitted by Jim Aune on September 22, 2010 - 8:36pm

The most formidable Marxist scholar in the social-science tradition (as Jameson is in the humanistic one) is Erik Olin Wright. Part of the school of so-called "rational-choice Marxists" (who used to meet once a year under the name of "Marxismus sine stercori tauri"--or "Marxism without bullshit"), he remains one of the few Marxist scholars to tie their theorizing both to empirical data and to practical politics. Here's his most recent take on the possibilities of class analysis.


Cheers for Open Access

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 15, 2010 - 8:04pm

One of the triumphs of open access publishing is the list of Australian publisher If you're looking for provocative and up-to-date (as far as it ever can be) Theory, check it out. This work on the peculiarities of Italian politics I have found especially useful lately. Also, two books on Badiou (that appear to explain the maths). And Persian poetry.


Reading and Time (A Dialectic) (NSFW)

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 14, 2010 - 1:26pm


Thought for the Week

Submitted by Jim Aune on August 13, 2010 - 1:08am

"We have indeed secreted a human age out of ourselves as spiders secrete their webs: an immense, all-encompassing ceiling of singularity which shuts down visibility on all sides even as it absorbs all the formerly natural elements in its habitat, transmuting them into its man-made substance.


McKerrow's Predictions

Submitted by Jim Aune on July 14, 2010 - 8:59pm

Raymie McKerrow (the incoming editor of QJS) makes the following predictions in his recent article, "Research in Rhetoric: A Glance at our Recent Past, Present, and Potential Future," Review of Communication, Volume 10, Issue 3 July 2010 , pages 197 - 210. (I omit the references for ease of reading). I find I largely disagree with the analysis (MUST we rehearse the tired phrase "white, Western, male perspective" as if everyone agrees on what that is?), but will see if anyone wishes to comment.


Dumb Question

Submitted by Jim Aune on July 4, 2010 - 2:27pm

Does anyone know who coined the term "Crisis of Representation?" ddd, Bueller?


The Broken Middle

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 29, 2010 - 7:59pm

If you want to understand what Gillian Rose meant by the imperative to live in the Broken Middle, read Ta-Nehisi Coates on U.S. Grant.


And For You Adorno Fans

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 29, 2010 - 6:19pm

My reading notes on Gillian Rose's book on Adorno. I used to think I was a disciple of Adorno--now I realize I'm above all a Roseian left-Hegelian Jewish Anglican. Also: the best academic sentence I've read in a long time: "Born in England in 1947, Gillian Rose studied analytic philosophy at Oxford as an undergraduate, then spent a year experimenting with sex, drugs, and Adorno in New York City." --Vincent Lloyd.

Gillian Rose, The Melancholy Science: An Introduction to the Thought of Theodor W. Adorno (London: Macmillan, 1978).


Another Old Unpublished Paper

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 29, 2010 - 6:10pm

Offered here, sans footnotes (I couldn't figure out the formatting, but if anyone wants the full paper, I'll be happy to email it). I partly disavow this now, because it was written before the "behavioral economics" revolution that definitively called into question the assumptions of rational choice, but I think the discussion of ideology might still have some relevance.

Toward a Positive Economic Theory of Rhetorical Action
Paper presented at Rhetoric Society of America convention
Las Vegas, Nevada, May 2002


Propaganda v. Rhetoric

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 25, 2010 - 8:12pm

Everyone who has tried to make an academic case for "rhetoric" as a positive term has probably run into an uncomprehending audience who believes rhetoric is synonymous with "propaganda." People my age may remember when concepts from the Institute for Propaganda Analysis were part of the high school, sometimes college, curriculum--terms like "glittering generality" or "bandwagon effect" go back to their work, which was closely allied with the rise of "mass communication" research in the 1930's.