The Blogora: The Rhetoric Society of America


Auden, in lieu of my conference paper this week

Submitted by Jim Aune on March 1, 2010 - 10:34pm

And it is now that our two paths cross.
Both simultaneously recognize his Anti-type: that I am an Arcadian, that he is a Utopian. . . .
He would like to see me cleaning latrines: I would like to see him removed to some other planet.
Neither speaks. What experience could we possibly share? . . . .
. . .a rendezvous between two accomplices who, in spite of themselves, cannot resist meeting
to remind the other (do both, at bottom, desire truth?) of that half of their secret which he would most like to forget


Adorno, for Monday

Submitted by Jim Aune on March 1, 2010 - 10:29pm

“The single genuine power standing against the principle of Auschwitz is autonomy, if I might use the Kantian expression: the power of reflection, of self-determination, of not cooperating.”


Semantic Confusion

Submitted by Jim Aune on March 1, 2010 - 2:28am

Niebuhr, now more than ever.


Degradation Rituals

Submitted by Jim Aune on February 4, 2010 - 10:08am

In his classic work, Asylums, sociologist Erving Goffman describes what he calls "degradation rituals" in "total institutions" such as mental hospitals and prisons.


Blogging Wittgenstein

Submitted by Jim Aune on February 1, 2010 - 12:22pm

The Manchester Guardian continues its introduction to great philosophical works with a discussion of the later Wittgenstein, practice, and religion. (I cannot imagine any US newspaper running a series like this, alas.) Imprisoned in the "text" as we are, we haven't quite fulfilled the promise of the later Wittgenstein for rhetorical theory.


Michael Mann on Roman Rhetoric

Submitted by Jim Aune on January 25, 2010 - 11:50pm

I want to put in a plug here for Michael Mann's landmark (thus far) 2 volume work in historical sociology, The Sources of Social Power. A very provocative statement about rhetoric in the Roman Empire (fits in well with Mark Longaker and Ryan Stark's discussion on the Blogora a few weeks ago): He notes the Romans' obsession with their "language, its grammar, and its style, and with the connections of these to literacy and to historical texts dealing with the growth of Roman power.


Comprehensive Exam Question: History of Rhetoric

Submitted by Jim Aune on January 16, 2010 - 9:52pm

Who wrote the first "bourgeois" rhetoric?


Feeling Uneducated

Submitted by Jim Aune on January 12, 2010 - 8:04pm

Is anyone else reading Nancy Struever's new book, Rhetoric, Modality, Modernity? What's eluding me (the rest is pretty clear) is her emphasis on a "modal rhetoric" as a counterpart to "modal logic." For example, "Modal logics may define structures of validity, inferential sequences; modal rhetorics deal in patterns of use. My interest is in mode as color valence, regarded as of the utmost important to issues of political capacity and action" (1). I don't get it (despite some random reading).