The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


A Rhetorical Theory Renaissance?

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 24, 2010 - 11:14pm

As I was organizing my computer files tonight, I ran across this paper from a symposium at the 2002 NCA convention in New Orleans. I still hold by what I said then, and offer it up for discussion:


Political Theory: Habermas and Rawls

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 23, 2010 - 4:01pm

I guess my ongoing project (since perhaps 1977) is to figure out if rhetoricians have something to contribute to this discussion.


Speaking of Literature, III

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 23, 2010 - 2:29pm

It's brilliant that so much of Minnesota Review (which hasn't been connected to the great state of Minnesota for a very long time) is now online. Here's a terrific interview with Stephen Greenblatt, one of the contemporary critic/historians I most admire. There is a chilling moment in the interview where he recalls a moment at UC-Irvine in 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell.


Sick Systems

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 21, 2010 - 2:38pm

This is disturbingly useful.


How to Write a Scholarly Essay (Or Not)

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 16, 2010 - 10:21pm

I need help, dear readers. And I'm quite serious. I have a mound of data, and no principle or theory or thesis to organize it. For a taste, see this recent bit of wankery on Glenn Beck from David Barton, the subject of an essay I'm working on with my friend David Bailey. If you don't know who Barton is, you should. He's been on my radar since 1997, when I first encountered him in my regular course on church-state issues, and I was told that the founders were evangelical Christians.


The "Roman" View of Rhetoric

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 12, 2010 - 1:09pm

As I've noted previously, there is considerable disagreement about Thomas Hobbes's view of rhetoric. The conclusion I've reached is that he holds (perhaps consistently throughout his career) a strong (perhaps Aristotelian) view of rhetoric as both necessary for civic life AND a powerful source of social disorder. In his introduction to De Cive, Richard Tuck makes the following claims.


"Idiocy of Rural Life"

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 8, 2010 - 12:57pm

I really love Bookforum. Here's a collection of recent work on Derrida,Jameson, and Sloterdijk. Two of the articles linked to, however, perpetuate the myth that Marx and Engels referred to the "idiocy of rural life" in the Manifesto. (The phrase is often used by Greens to mischaracterize M&E as relentless modernizers.) The editors of Monthly Review (following Hal Draper's heroic scholarship) explain why "Idiotismus" means "isolation," totally changing the meaning of the sentence.


Sonic Economies?

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 8, 2010 - 12:46pm

Looks promising, in light of "sounds" discussion.


Paradiastole, Revisited

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 7, 2010 - 7:07pm

One of the many profound things one can find in Quentin Skinner's Reason and Rhetoric in the Philosophy of Hobbes, is a careful exposition of the role of the classical rhetorical figure paradiastole in destabilizing public discourse. Hobbes' fixation on stabilizing terms (later a central feature of the English academic style I commented on earlier) was an effort to restrain such destabilizing.


Annoying Usages

Submitted by Jim Aune on June 3, 2010 - 1:40pm

I wish people would get the difference straight between a "trope" and a "topos."