Aware that categorical thinking imposes restrictions on the ways we communicate, Stephen R. Yarbrough proposes discourse studies as an alternative to rhetoric and philosophy, both of which are structuralistic systems of inquiry.
Discourse studies, Yarbrough argues, does not support the idea that languages, cultures, or conceptual schemes in general adequately describe linguistic competence. He asserts that a belief in languages and cultures "feeds a false dichotomy: either we share the same codes and conventions, achieving community but risking exclusivism, or we proliferate differences, achieving choice and freedom but risking fragmentation and incoherence." Discourse studies, he demonstrates, works around this dichotomy.
Drawing on philosopher Donald Davidson, Yarbrough establishes the idea that community can be a consequence of communication but is not a prerequisite for it. By disassociating our thinking from conceptual schemes, we can avoid the problems that come with believing in an abstract structure that predates any utterance.
Yarbrough also draws on Mikhail Bakhtin's dialogism to define how utterances operate in life and to show how utterances are involved with power and how power relates to understanding. His discussion of Michel Meyer's problematology treats the questions implied by a statement as the meaning of the statement.
Yarbrough introduces readers to a credible theoretical framework for focusing on discourse rather than on conceptual schemes that surround it and to the potential advantages of our using this approach in daily life.
In this wide-ranging analysis, Marie-Christine Leps traces the production and circulation of knowledge about the criminal in nineteenth-century discourse, and shows how the delineation of deviance served to construct cultural norms. She demonstrates how the apprehension of crime and criminals was an important factor in the establishment of such key institutions as national systems of education, a cheap daily press, and various welfare measures designed to fight the spread of criminality. Leps focuses on three discursive practices: the emergence of criminology, the development of a mass-produced press, and the proliferation of crime fiction, in both England and France. Beginning where Foucault's work Discipline and Punish ends, Leps analyzes intertextual modes of knowledge production and shows how the elaboration of hegemonic truths about the criminal is related to the exercise of power. The scope of her investigation includes scientific treatises such as Criminal Man by Cesare Lombroso and The English Convict by Charles Goring, reports on the Jack the Ripper murders in The Times and Le Petit Parisien, the Sherlock Holmes stories, Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and novels by Zola and Bourget.
Arabic is an exciting—yet challenging—language for scholars because many of its linguistic properties have not been fully described. Arabic Computational Linguistics documents the recent work of researchers in both academia and industry who have taken up the challenge of solving the real-life problems posed by an understudied language.
This comprehensive volume explores new Arabic machine translation systems, innovations in speech recognition and mention detection, tree banks, and linguistic corpora. Arabic Computational Linguistics will be an indispensable reference for language researchers and practitioners alike.
Arabic Language and Linguistics
Reem Bassiouney and E. Graham Katz, Editors Georgetown University Press, 2012 Library of Congress PJ6074.A76 2012 | Dewey Decimal 492.70141
Arabic, one of the official languages of the United Nations, is spoken by more than half a billion people around the world and is of increasing importance in today’s political and economic spheres. The study of the Arabic language has a long and rich history: earliest grammatical accounts date from the 8th century and include full syntactic, morphological, and phonological analyses of the vernaculars and of Classical Arabic. In recent years the academic study of Arabic has become increasingly sophisticated and broad.
This state-of-the-art volume presents the most recent research in Arabic linguistics from a theoretical point of view, including computational linguistics, syntax, semantics, and historical linguistics. It also covers sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, and discourse analysis by looking at issues such as gender, urbanization, and language ideology. Underlying themes include the changing and evolving attitudes of speakers of Arabic and theoretical approaches to linguistic variation in the Middle East.
"This is not only a new philology but a new American linguistic philology. . . . Becker's harvest over a lifetime will be widely welcomed and respected." -Paul Friedrich, University of Chicago
". . . a book of extraordinary quality and importance." -James Boyd White, University of Michigan
How does Ralph Waldo Emerson sound in Kawi?
In this collection of essays A. L. Becker develops a new approach to translation he calls modern philology, an approach that insists, beyond translation, on the sorting out of ambiguities and contexts of meaning. Becker describes how texts in Burmese, Javanese, and Malay differ profoundly from English in all the ways they have meaning: in the games they play, the worlds they constitute, the memories they evoke, and the silences they maintain. In each of these dimensions there are excesses and inadequacies of meaning that make a difference across languages.
Drawn from over three decades of studying, teaching, translating and writing about Southeast Asian languages and literatures, the essays collected here for the first time are particular accounts of Becker's experiences in attempting to translate into or out of Burmese, Javanese, and Malay a variety of texts. They describe such things as the building of a Javanese shadowplay, how a Sanskrit story about the language of animals has been used in Indonesia, and some of the profound semantic silences a translator faces in taking an anecdote by Gregory Bateson from English into Malay.
In linguistics, the essays emphasize important kinds of nonuniversality in all aspects of language and look toward a new theory of language grounded in American pragmatism. In anthropology, the essays demonstrate that much of culture can be described in terms of text-building strategies. And for the comparativist, whether in literature, history, rhetoric, music, or psychology, the essays provide a new array of tools of comparison across distant languages and cultures.
A. L. Becker is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Anthropology, University of Michigan.
Even within anthropology, a discipline that strives to overcome misrepresentations of peoples and cultures, colonialist depictions of the so-called Dark Continent run deep. The grand narratives, tribal tropes, distorted images, and “natural” histories that forged the foundations of discourse about Africa remain firmly entrenched. In Beyond Words, Andrew Apter explores how anthropology can come to terms with the “colonial library” and begin to develop an ethnographic practice that transcends the politics of Africa’s imperial past.
The way out of the colonial library, Apter argues, is by listening to critical discourses in Africa that reframe the social and political contexts in which they are embedded. Apter develops a model of critical agency, focusing on a variety of language genres in Africa situated in rituals that transform sociopolitical relations by self-consciously deploying the power of language itself. To break the cycle of Western illusions in discursive constructions of Africa, he shows, we must listen to African voices in ways that are culturally and locally informed. In doing so, Apter brings forth what promises to be a powerful and influential theory in contemporary anthropology.
. . . awash under a brown tide . . . the relentless flow of immigrants . . . like waves on a beach, these human flows are remaking the face of America . . . Since 1993, metaphorical language such as this has permeated mainstream media reporting on the United States’ growing Latino population. In this groundbreaking book, Otto Santa Ana argues that far from being mere figures of speech, such metaphors produce and sustain negative public perceptions of the Latino community and its place in American society, precluding the view that Latinos are vested with the same rights and privileges as other citizens. Applying the insights of cognitive metaphor theory to an extensive natural language data set drawn from hundreds of articles in the Los Angeles Times and other media, Santa Ana reveals how metaphorical language portrays Latinos as invaders, outsiders, burdens, parasites, diseases, animals, and weeds. He convincingly demonstrates that three anti-Latino referenda passed in California because of such imagery, particularly the infamous anti-immigrant measure, Proposition 187. Santa Ana illustrates how Proposition 209 organizers broadcast compelling new metaphors about racism to persuade an electorate that had previously supported affirmative action to ban it. He also shows how Proposition 227 supporters used antiquated metaphors for learning, school, and language to blame Latino children’s speech—rather than gross structural inequity—for their schools’ failure to educate them. Santa Ana concludes by calling for the creation of insurgent metaphors to contest oppressive U.S. public discourse about minority communities.
Dalia Magaña’s Building Confianza demonstrates that effective doctor-patient communication in Spanish requires that practitioners not only have knowledge of Spanish but also have transcultural knowledge of Latino/a values and language use. Using linguistic analysis to study real-time doctor-patient interactions, Magaña probes the role of interpersonal language and transcultural competency in improving patient-centered health care with Spanish-speaking Latino/as, highlighting successful examples of how Latino/a cultural constructs of confianza (trust), familismo (family-orientation), personalismo (friendliness), respeto (respect), and simpatía (kindness) can be deployed in medical interactions. She proposes that transcultural interactions entail knowing patients’ cultural values and being mindful about creating an interpersonal connection with patients through small talk, humor, self-disclosure, politeness, and informal language, including language switching and culturally appropriate use of colloquialisms. By explicitly articulating discourse strategies doctors can use in communicating with Spanish-speaking patients, Building Confianza will aid both students and providers in connecting to communities of Spanish speakers in health care contexts and advancing transcultural competence.
Drawing on the theoretical work of Jacques Lacan, Marshall W. Alcorn Jr. formulates a systematic explanation of the function and value of desire in writing instruction.
Alcorn argues that in changing the subject matter of writing instruction in order to change student opinions, composition instructors have come to adopt an insufficiently complex understanding of subjectivity. This oversimplification hinders attempts to foster cultural change. Alcorn proposes an alternative mode of instruction that makes effective use of students’ knowledge and desire. The resulting freedom in expression—personal as well as political—engenders the recognition, circulation, and elaboration of desire necessary for both human communication and effective politics.
Responding to James Berlin’s reconception of praxis in the classroom, Theresa Ebert’s espousal of disciplined instructions, and Lester Faigley’s introduction of a postmodern theory of subjectivity, Alcorn follows both Lacan and Slavoj Žižek in insisting desire be given free voice and serious recognition. In composition as in politics, desire is the ground of agency. Competing expressions of desire should generate a dialectic in social-epistemic discourse that encourages enlightenment over cynicism and social development over authoritarian demands.
With clarity and personal voice, Alcorn explains how discourse is rooted in primitive psychological functions of desire and responds to complex cultural needs. In its theoretical scope this book describes a new pedagogy that links thought to emotion and the personal to the social.
A natural language discourse is more than an arbitrary sequence of utterances; a discourse exhibits coherence. Despite its centrality to discourse interpretation, coherence rarely plays a role in theories of linguistic phenomena that apply across utterances.
In this book, Andrew Kehler provides an analysis of coherence relationships between utterances that is rooted in three types of 'connection among ideas' first articulated by the philosopher David Hume—Resemblance, Cause or Effect, and Contiguity. Kehler then shows how these relationships affect the distribution of a variety of linguistic phenomena, including verb phrase ellipsis, gapping, extraction from coordinate structures, tense, and pronominal reference. In each of these areas, Kehler demonstrates how the constraints imposed by linguistic form interact with those imposed by the process of establishing coherence to explain data that has eluded previous analyses. his book will be of interest to researchers from the broad spectrum of disciplines from which discourse is studied, as well as those working in syntax, semantics, computational linguistics, psycholinguistics, and philosophy of language.
Concepts are socially and linguistically constructed and used for multiple purposes, such as justifying war in the name of democracy; or, using the idea of democracy to resist Western intervention and influence. In this fascinating and novel edited collection, Piki Ish-Shalom and his team of authors interrogate the “conceptions of concepts” in international relations. Using theoretical frameworks from Gramsci and Bourdieu, among others, the authors show that not interrogating the meaning of the language we use to talk about international relations obscures the way we understand (or portray) IR. The authors examine self-determination, winning in war, avoidance of war, military design and reform agenda, vagueness in political discourse, “blue economy,” friendship, and finally, the very idea of the “international community” itself. As the author asserts, Bourdieu’s sociology of field and Gramsci’s political theory combined “offer us a sociopolitical theory of relations of power and domination concealed by doxic knowledge and taken-for-granted rules, in which essential contested concepts and political-serving conceptions can and do play an important role.”
This collection of papers is the outcome of the first Conceptual Structure, Discourse and Language conference (CSDL) held at the University of Califronia, San Diego in October 1995. CSDL was organized with the intention of bringing together researchers from both "cognitive" and "functional" approaches to linguistics. The papers in this volume span a variety of topics, but there is a common thread running through them: the claim that semantics and discourse properties are fundamental to our understanding of language.
Meg Logan has not been farther than two miles from home in six years. She has agoraphobia, a debilitating anxiety disorder that entraps its sufferers in the fear of leaving safe havens such as home. Paradoxically, while at this safe haven, agoraphobics spend much of their time ruminating over past panic experiences and imagining similar hypothetical situations. In doing so, they create a narrative that both describes their experience and locks them into it.
Constructing Panic offers an unprecedented analysis of one patient's experience of agoraphobia. In this novel interdisciplinary collaboration between a clinical psychologist and a linguist, the authors probe Meg's stories for constructions of emotions, actions, and events. They illustrate how Meg uses grammar and narrative structure to create and recreate emotional experiences that maintain her agoraphobic identity.
In this work Capps and Ochs propose a startling new view of agoraphobia as a communicative disorder. Constructing Panic opens up the largely overlooked potential for linguistic and narrative analysis by revealing the roots of panic and by offering a unique framework for therapeutic intervention. Readers will find in these pages hope for managing panic through careful attention to how we tell the story of our lives.
The essays included in this collection seek to take the pulse of recent developments in narratological research in the French-speaking countries. Theorists in these countries heavily participated in and shaped narratology, an outgrowth of the structuralist movement during the 1960s and 1970s. While US, German, and Scandinavian theorists took the forefront in the 1990s, narratology in France faded into the background. It was not until the turn of the century that a new interest in narratological issues among French researchers emerged. Activity in the field has since intensified, spurred on, in part, by the realization that narratology cannot be summed up by its formalist and structuralist origins.
Martin Burke traces the surprisingly complicated history of the idea of class in America from the forming of a new nation to the heart of the Gilded Age.
Surveying American political, social, and intellectual life from the late 17th to the end of the 19th century, Burke examines in detail the contested discourse about equality—the way Americans thought and wrote about class, class relations, and their meaning in society.
Burke explores a remarkable range of thought to establish the boundaries of class and the language used to describe it in the works of leading political figures, social reformers, and moral philosophers. He traces a shift from class as a legal category of ranks and orders to socio-economic divisions based on occupations and income. Throughout the century, he finds no permanent consensus about the meaning of class in America and instead describes a culture of conflicting ideas and opinions.
Much of the scholarly exchange regarding the history of women in rhetoric has emphasized women’s rhetorical practices. In Conversational Rhetoric: The Rise and Fall of a Women’s Tradition, 1600–1900, Jane Donawerth traces the historical development of rhetorical theory by women for women, studying the moments when women produced theory about the arts of communication in alternative genres—humanist treatises and dialogues, defenses of women’s preaching, conduct books, and elocution handbooks. She examines the relationship between communication and gender and between theory and pedagogy and argues that women constructed a theory of rhetoric based on conversation, not public speaking, as a model for all discourse.
Donawerth traces the development of women’s rhetorical theory through the voices of English and American women (and one much-translated French woman) over three centuries. She demonstrates how they cultivated theories of rhetoric centered on conversation that faded once women began writing composition textbooks for mixed-gender audiences in the latter part of the nineteenth century. She recovers and elucidates the importance of the theories in dialogues and defenses of women’s education by Bathsua Makin, Mary Astell, and Madeleine de Scudéry; in conduct books by Hannah More, Lydia Sigourney, and Eliza Farrar; in defenses of women’s preaching by Ellen Stewart, Lucretia Mott, Catherine Booth, and Frances Willard; and in elocution handbooks by Anna Morgan, Hallie Quinn Brown, Genevieve Stebbins, and Emily Bishop. In each genre, Donawerth explores facets of women’s rhetorical theory, such as the recognition of the gendered nature of communication in conduct books, the incorporation of the language of women’s rights in the defenses of women’s preaching, and the adaptation of sentimental culture to the cultivation of women’s bodies as tools of communication in elocution books.
Rather than a linear history, Conversational Rhetoric follows the starts, stops, and starting over in women’s rhetorical theory. It covers a broad range of women’s rhetorical theory in the Anglo-American world and places them in their social, rhetorical, and gendered historical contexts. This study adds women’s rhetorical theory to the rhetorical tradition, advances our understanding of women’s theories and their use of rhetoric, and offers a paradigm for analyzing the differences between men’s and women’s rhetoric from 1600 to 1900.
The incarcerated in America's cultural imagination.
The Cultural Prison brings a new dimension to the study of prisoners and punishment by focusing on how the punishment of American offenders is represented and shaped in the mass media through public arguments. The study is based on an analysis of 642 articles collected by the author from American popular journals and magazines, as well as newspaper accounts, films, and public speeches, spanning the years 1950 to 1992. By piecing together and studying these popular narratives, he divides the history of prisoners and punishment into four eras, each marked by a shift in value system. He argues that the discourse, or rhetoric, surrounding prisoners and punishment on the public level works as a historical force that shapes contemporary culture.
The author is concerned that the public seems to have an inability or unwillingness to question or resist cultural definitions of normalcy and legal behavior. He explains that ideally moral behavior should be a matter of public debate rather than of unquestioned perpetuation, and he urges increased understanding of institutional and cultural discipline and our questioning the ways in which the constitution of punishment and prisoners influences us culturally.
The"cultural prison" refers to the way in which this study acts as an investigation of "the discipline of discipline"; it is an examination of the way in which discipline is shaped and formed in public discourse. The volume concludes with a fascinating account of the move to electronic means of surveillance; coupled with the representations of the prisoner along the lines of race and gender, it explains what these new techniques mean to contemporary culture.
"Critical theory is no substitute for historical materialism; language is not life." With this statement, Bryan Palmer enters the debate that is now transforming and disrupting a number of academic disciplines, including political science, women’s studies, and history. Focusing on the ways in which literary or critical theory is being promoted within the field of social history, he argues forcefully that the current reliance on poststructuralism—with its reification of discourse and avoidance of the structures of oppression and struggles of resistance—obscures the origins, meanings, and consequences of historical events and processes.
Palmer is concerned with the emergence of "language" as a central focus of intellectual work in the twentieth century. He locates the implosion of theory that moved structuralism in the direction of poststructuralism and deconstruction in what he calls the descent into discourse. Few historians who champion poststructuralist thought, according to Palmer, appreciate historical materialism’s capacity to address discourse meaningfully. Nor do many of the advocates of language within the field of social history have an adequate grounding in the theoretical making of the project they champion so ardently. Palmer roots his polemical challenge in an effort to "introduce historians more fully to the theoretical writing that many are alluding to and drawing from rather cavalierly."
Acknowledging that critical theory can contribute to an understanding of some aspects of the past, Palmer nevertheless argues for the centrality of materialism to the project of history. In specific discussions of how critical theory is constructing histories of politics, class, and gender, he traces the development of the descent into discourse within social history, mapping the limitations of recent revisionist texts. Much of this writing, he contends, is undertheorized and represents a problematic retreat from prior histories that attempted to address such material forces as economic structures, political power, and class struggle.
Descent into Discourse counters current intellectual fashion with an eloquent argument for the necessity to analyze and appreciate lived experience and the structures of subordination and power in any quest for historical meaning.
Why do engineers "report" while philosophers "argue" and biologists "describe"? In the Michigan Classics Edition of Disciplinary Discourses: Social Interactions in AcademicWriting, Ken Hyland examines the relationships between the cultures of academic communities and their unique discourses. Drawing on discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, and the voices of professional insiders, Ken Hyland explores how academics use language to organize their professional lives, carry out intellectual tasks, and reach agreement on what will count as knowledge. In addition, Disciplinary Discourses presents a useful framework for understanding the interactions between writers and their readers in published academic writing. From this framework, Hyland provides practical teaching suggestions and points out opportunities for further research within the subject area.
As issues of linguistic and rhetorical expression of disciplinary conventions are becoming more central to teachers, students, and researchers, the careful analysis and straightforward style of Disciplinary Discourses make it a remarkable asset.
The Michigan Classics Edition features a new preface by the author and a new foreword by John M. Swales.
This book investigates the occurrence of discontinuous noun phrases, arguing that many of the factors that previous literature has tried to explain in terms of syntactic restrictions on movements are in fact derivable from discourse factors. De Kuthy’s HPSG and information-structure analyses provide an exemplary argument for rethinking the division of labor between syntax and a theory of discourse.
Our everyday lives are increasingly being lived through electronic media, which are changing our interactions and our communications in ways that we are only beginning to understand. In Discourse 2.0: Language and New Media, editors Deborah Tannen and Anna Marie Trester team up with top scholars in the field to shed light on the ways language is being used in, and shaped by, these new media contexts.
Topics explored include: how Web 2.0 can be conceptualized and theorized; the role of English on the worldwide web; how use of social media such as Facebook and texting shape communication with family and friends; electronic discourse and assessment in educational and other settings; multimodality and the "participatory spectacle" in Web 2.0; asynchronicity and turn-taking; ways that we engage with technology including reading on-screen and on paper; and how all of these processes interplay with meaning-making.
Students, professionals, and individuals will discover that Discourse 2.0 offers a rich source of insight into these new forms of discourse that are pervasive in our lives.
Linguistics has traditionally concentrated on studying single sentences or isolated speech acts. In this book Michael Stubbs explores one of the most promising new directions in contemporary linguistics—the study of many sentences and how they fit together to form discourse. Using many examples drawn from recorded conversations, fieldwork observations, experimental data, and written texts, he discusses such questions as how far discourse structure is comparable to sentence structure; whether it is possible to talk of "well formed" discourse as one does of "grammatical" sentences; and whether the relation between question and answer in conversation is syntactic, semantic, or pragmatic.
Wallace Chafe demonstrates how the study of language and consciousness together can provide an unexpectedly broad understanding of the way the mind works. Relying on close analyses of conversational speech as well as written fiction and nonfiction, he investigates both the flow of ideas through consciousness and the displacement of consciousness by way of memory and imagination.
Chafe draws on several decades of research to demonstrate that understanding the nature of consciousness is essential to understanding many linguistic phenomena, such as pronouns, tense, clause structure, and intonation, as well as stylistic usages, such as the historical present and the free indirect style. While the book focuses on English, there are also discussions of the North American Indian language Seneca and the music of Mozart and of the Seneca people.
This work offers a comprehensive picture of the dynamic natures of language and consciousness that will interest linguists, psychologists, literary scholars, computer scientists, anthropologists, and philosophers.
Urban sprawl is omnipresent in America and has left many citizens questioning their ability to stop it. In Distant Publics, Jenny Rice examines patterns of public discourse that have evolved in response to development in urban and suburban environments. Centering her study on Austin, Texas, Rice finds a city that has simultaneously celebrated and despised development.
Rice outlines three distinct ways that the rhetoric of publics counteracts development: through injury claims, memory claims, and equivalence claims. In injury claims, rhetors frame themselves as victims in a dispute. Memory claims allow rhetors to anchor themselves to an older, deliberative space, rather than to a newly evolving one. Equivalence claims see the benefits on both sides of an issue, and here rhetors effectively become nonactors.
Rice provides case studies of development disputes that place the reader in the middle of real-life controversies and evidence her theories of claims-based public rhetorics. She finds that these methods comprise the most common (though not exclusive) vernacular surrounding development and shows how each is often counterproductive to its own goals. Rice further demonstrates that these claims create a particular role or public subjectivity grounded in one’s own feelings, which serves to distance publics from each other and the issues at hand.
Rice argues that rhetoricians have a duty to transform current patterns of public development discourse so that all individuals may engage in matters of crisis. She articulates its sustainability as both a goal and future disciplinary challenge of rhetorical studies and offers tools and methodologies toward that end.
Explores questions of identity and belonging through the lens of Canadian cultural production.
What does it mean to be at home? In a critical engagement with notions of territory, identity, racial difference, separatism, multiculturalism, and homelessness, this book delves into the question of what it means to belong-in particular, what it means to be at home in Canada. Ephemeral Territories weaves together many narratives and representations of Canadian identity-from political philosophy and cultural theory to art and films such as Srinivas Krishna's Lulu, Clement Virgo's Rude, and Charles Biname's Eldorado-to develop and complicate familiar views of identity and selfhood.
Canadian identity has historically been linked to a dual notion of culture traceable to the French and English strains of Canada's colonial past. Erin Manning subverts this binary through readings that shift our attention from nationalist constructions of identity and territory to a more radical and pluralizing understanding of the political. As she brings together issues specific to Canada (such as Quebec separatism and Canadian landscape painting) and concerns that are more transnational (such as globalization and immigration), Manning emphasizes the truly cross-cultural nature of the problems of racism, gender discrimination, and homelessness. Thus this impassioned reading of Canadian texts also makes an important contribution to philosophical, cultural, and political discourses across the globe.
"Eloquent and very well written, Ephemeral Territories is on the cutting edge of engagement with political theory." --Simon Dalby
Erin Manning teaches in the Department of Communications and Art History at McGill University.
Errands into the Metropolis offers a dramatic new interpretation of the texts and contexts of early New England literature. Jonathan Beecher Field inverts the familiar paradigm of colonization as an errand into the wilderness to demonstrate, instead, that New England was shaped and re-shaped by a series of return trips to a metropolitan London convulsed with political turmoil. In London, dissidents and their more orthodox antagonists contended for colonial power through competing narratives of their experiences in the New World. Dissidents showed a greater willingness to construct their narratives in terms that were legible to a metropolitan reader than did Massachusetts Bay’s apologists. As a result, representatives of a variety of marginal religious groups were able to secure a remarkable level of political autonomy, visible in the survival of Rhode Island as an independent colony. Through chapters focusing on John Cotton, Roger Williams, Samuel Gorton, John Clarke, and the Quaker martyrs, Field traces an evolving discourse on the past, present, and future of colonial New England that revises the canon of colonial New England literature and the contours of New England history. In the broader field of early American studies, Field’s work demonstrates the benefits of an Atlantic perspective on the material cultures of print. In the context of religious freedom, Errands into the Metropolis shows Rhode Island’s famous culture of toleration emerging as a pragmatic response to the conditions of colonial life, rather than as an idealistic principle. Errands into the Metropolis offers new understanding of familiar texts and events from colonial New England, and reveals the significance of less familiar texts and events.
Fatwas and Court Judgments: A Genre Analysis of Arabic Legal Opinion uses a genre analysis approach to investigate how Arabic legal opinion is linguistically and rhetorically constructed in two culturally significant types of texts: secular court judgments and fatwas, the Islamic edicts based on sharii’a law. Ahmed Fakhri’s analysis shows that the court judgments exhibit several Western-inspired features, particularly the complexity of syntax and the rhetorical moves utilized to construct arguments. But the fatwas maintain conventional Arabic patterns of persuasion, such as citing religious texts, relying on affective appeal, and offering moral advice. Showing how these two radically different rhetorical traditions coexist, Fatwas and Court Judgments totally re-conceptualizes Arabic legal argumentation by highlighting its diverse sources and hybridity.
The differences between the two genres stem from elements of their socio-cultural context, such as the role relations of the participants and the characteristics of the institutions to which the genres belong. Moving beyond these contexts, Fatwas and Court Judgments reveals generic practices that have broad implications for understanding various aspects of wider Arab culture, including the tension between modern secular ideologies and traditional religious beliefs, the male-dominated access to discourse, and the prevalence of utilitarian attitudes exhibited in “fatwa shopping.”
This rich textbook provides a comprehensive introduction to the principal concepts and thematic areas of Spanish pragmatics. It is aimed at advanced students of Spanish—upper-level undergraduates and beginning graduate students—who need to hone their language skills for contextually sensitive use of the language.
Written entirely in Spanish, with Spanish examples, this volume introduces basic pragmatics, methods of analysis, and new thematic areas such as language and the press and globalization. Theoretical explanations combine with practical exercises in each chapter to help students master the subtleties of language use.
This book brings together the great majority of Barthes’s interviews that originally appeared in French in Le Figaro Littéraire, Cahiers du Cinéma, France-Observateur, L'Express, and elsewhere. Barthes replied to questions—on the cinema, on his own works, on fashion, writing, and criticism—in his unique voice; here we have Barthes in conversation, speaking directly, with all his individuality. These interviews provide an insight into the rich, probing intelligence of one of the great and influential minds of our time.
Standing as the world’s two largest economies, marshaling the most imposing armies on earth, holding enormous stockpiles of nuclear weapons, consuming a majority share of the planet’s natural resources, and serving as the media generators and health care providers for billions of consumers around the globe, the United States and China are positioned to influence notions of democracy, nationalism, citizenship, human rights, environmental priorities, and public health for the foreseeable future. These broad issues are addressed as questions about communication—about how our two nations envision each other and how our interlinked imaginaries create both opportunities and obstacles for greater understanding and strengthened relations. Accordingly, this book provides in-depth communication-based analyses of how U.S. and Chinese officials, scholars, and activists configure each other, portray the relations between the two nations, and depict their shared and competing interests. As a first step toward building a new understanding between one another, Imagining China tackles the complicated question of how Americans, Chinese, and their respective allies imagine themselves enmeshed in nations, old rivalries, and emerging partnerships, while simultaneously meditating on the powers and limits of nationalism in our age of globalization.
Antisemitism never disappeared in Europe. In fact, there is substantial evidence that it is again on the rise, manifest in violent acts against Jews in some quarters, but more commonly noticeable in everyday discourse in mainstream European society. This innovative empirical study examines written examples of antisemitism in contemporary Germany. It demonstrates that hostility against Jews is not just a right-wing phenomenon or a phenomenon among the uneducated, but is manifest among all social classes, including intellectuals. Drawing on 14,000 letters and e-mails sent between 2002 and 2012 to the Central Council of Jews in Germany and to the Israeli embassy in Berlin, as well as communications sent between 2010 and 2011 to Israeli embassies in Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, England, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Spain, this volume shows how language plays a crucial role in activating and re-activating antisemitism. In addition, the authors investigate the role of emotions in antisemitic argumentation patterns and analyze “anti-Israelism” as the dominant form of contemporary hatred of Jews.
Bringing together methods and scholars from rhetoric and related disciplines, essays in Inventing Place: Writing Lone Star Rhetorics blend personal and scholarly accounts of Texas sites, examining place as an embodied poiesis, an understanding and composition formed through the collaboration of a body with a particular space.
Divided into five sections corresponding to Texas regions, essays consider aesthetics, buildings, environment, food and alcohol, private and public memory, and race and class. Among the topics covered by contributors are the Imagine Austin urban planning initiative; the terroir of Texas barbecue; the racist past of Grand Saline, Texas; Denton, Texas, and authenticity as rhetorical; negative views of Texas and how the state (or any place) is subject to reinvention; social, historical, and economic networks of place and their relationship to the food we eat; and Texas gun culture and working-class character.
Applying interactionist discourse theory to show how we create novel beliefs
Inventive Intercourse: From Rhetorical Conflict to the Ethical Creation of Novel Truth offers a theory of discursive interaction, illustrating how we can understand human communication without resorting to the notion of language. Using the perspective of interactionist discourse theory, author Stephen Yarbrough investigates how we create novel beliefs, beliefs we could not have inferred from our established beliefs.
The volume considers a central dilemma of post-modern thought: If language is a system of conventions and rules that limit what we can say and think, how can we deliberately produce anything truly novel? While postmodernism concludes that linguistic and conceptual change within our incommensurable worlds is driven by contingency and blind mechanical forces, Yarbrough argues that this view is wrong because the notion that language mediates our perception is wrong.
Beginning with philosopher Donald Davidson’s assertion that "there is no such thing as language" in the sense of a system of conventions and rules, Yarbrough develops an interactionist theory of discourse and uses it to revise the major elements of Aristotelian rhetoric to explain how we deliberately invent novel concepts that we come to believe.
Yarbrough suggests that all conceptual change is initiated by a shift in our ethical apperception of elements of a situation and that an ethical change will have emotional consequences. Changes in our emotional responses to things will change the ways we interact with them, he says, and changes in our interaction with things will create new technical relations which we can communicate to others only by altering our habitual shared way of using signs, metaphors, and other tropes.
The Wakuenai of the upper Rio Negro region in southern Venezuela employ a form of singing called malikai for ceremonies of childbirth, initiation, and healing. This ritual chanting is a rich amalgam of myth and music, and serves as a means of integrating individuals into a vertical hierarchy of power relations between mythic ancestors and human descendants. Jonathan Hill here shows how the musical and semantic transformations of everyday discourse in malikai integrate the everyday world into a poetic process of empowerment.
Language in Use creatively brings together, for the first time, perspectives from cognitive linguistics, language acquisition, discourse analysis, and linguistic anthropology. The physical distance between nations and continents, and the boundaries between different theories and subfields within linguistics have made it difficult to recognize the possibilities of how research from each of these fields can challenge, inform, and enrich the others. This book aims to make those boundaries more transparent and encourages more collaborative research.
The unifying theme is studying how language is used in context and explores how language is shaped by the nature of human cognition and social-cultural activity. Language in Use examines language processing and first language learning and illuminates the insights that discourse and usage-based models provide in issues of second language learning. Using a diverse array of methodologies, it examines how speakers employ various discourse-level resources to structure interaction and create meaning. Finally, it addresses issues of language use and creation of social identity.
Unique in approach and wide-ranging in application, the contributions in this volume place emphasis on the analysis of actual discourse and the insights that analyses of such data bring to language learning as well as how language shapes and reflects social identity—making it an invaluable addition to the library of anyone interested in cutting-edge linguistics.
In Literacy as Involvement, Deborah Brandt examines the cultural and social roots of the acts of reading and writing. The book asks, for example, whether literacy is a natural growth of or a radical shift from orality. It questions the contrary views that literacy is either the learning of the conventions of language or is better understood as heightened social ability. Finally, it raises the possibility that knowing how to read and write is actually understanding how we respond during the acts of reading and writing.
This examination of literacy as process is also offered as a critique of prevailing theories of literacy advanced by such scholars as Walter J. Ong, S.J., David Olson, and E. D. Hirsch. They depict literacy as a textual experience that is socially and linguistically detached. Brandt critically examines the underlying assumptions from research on writing processes and argues that they call for a major reformation of prevailing conceptions of literacy. Specifically, she analyzes several expository texts from a process perspective to establish the interaction of reader and writer in even the most seemingly formal and detached writing. In her conclusion, Brandt brings together the major findings of her study to address pressing literacy issues, including the problem of illiteracy in our schools.
Agreement features correlate closely with semantics as well as with noun morphology. This book presents a precise formal theory of those correlations, illustrated with Serbo-Croatian and other languages. In explaining regular agreement as a network of constraints, the theory also predicts a restricted set of exceptional situations where normal agreement can give way to agreement mismatches.
With this framework in place, the authors explore a number of factors that affect agreement processes. The theory even explains the striking cross-linguistic generalizations expressed in Corbett's Agreement Hierarchy. Agreement is shown to be a distributed phenomenon, manifesting its many faces among the various components of grammar.
Mastering Discourse gathers and elaborates more than a decade of thought on the problems of the intellectual in contemporary society, by one of the most distinguished critics writing on these issues today. From Derrida and Foucault to Kristeva and Irigaray, Paul A. Bové looks at the practices of literary and cultural theory, and discusses the way theorists have produced their institutional positions and politics. Examining some of the major theories developed out of and in relation to the problems of discourse, Bové analyzes the limited successes and failures of these efforts. Mastering Discourses offers an account of why "theory" fails to deal adequately with the politics of discursive cultures and warns that unless critics take much more seriously their own disciplinary inscriptions they will always reproduce structures of power and knowledge that they claim to oppose. Moreover, Bové argues, they will not fulfill the main role of the post-enlightenment intellectual, namely: to respond effectively to the present, through new theoretical and historical formulations that address the changing world of transnational capitalism and its neoliberal ideologies.
This volume features two dimensions of Michael Osborn’s work with rhetorical metaphor. The first focuses on his early efforts to develop a conception of metaphor to advance the understanding of rhetoric, while the second concerns more recent efforts to apply this enriched conception in the analysis and criticism of significant rhetorical practice. The older emphasis features four of Osborn’s more prominent published essays, revealing the personal context in which they were generated, their strengths and shortcomings, and how they may have inspired the work of others. His more recent unpublished work analyzes patterns of metaphor in the major speeches of Demosthenes, the evolution of metaphors of illness and cure in speeches across several millennia, the exploitation of the birth-death-rebirth metaphor in Riefenstahl’s masterpiece of Nazi propaganda Triumph of the Will, and the contrasting forms of spatial imagery in the speeches of Edmund Burke and Barack Obama and what these contrasts may portend.
Natural Histories of Discourse
Edited by Michael Silverstein and Greg Urban University of Chicago Press, 1996 Library of Congress P35.N38 1996 | Dewey Decimal 401.41
Is culture simply a more or less set text we can learn to read? Since the early 1970s, the notion of culture-as-text has animated anthropologists and other analysts of culture. Michael Silverstein and Greg Urban present this stunning collection of cutting-edge ethnographies arguing that the divide between fleeting discursive practice and formed text is a constructed one, and that the constructional process reveals "culture" to those who can interpret it.
Eleven original essays of "natural history" range in focus from nuptial poetry of insult among Wolof griots to case-based teaching methods in first-year law-school classrooms. Stage by stage, they give an idea of the cultural processes of "entextualization" and "contextualization" of discourse that they so richly illustrate. The contributors' varied backgrounds include anthropology, psychiatry, education, literary criticism, and law, making this collection invaluable not only to anthropologists and linguists, but to all analysts of culture.
This book examines the scrambling phenomena in German and Korean from the perspective that different ordering possibilities are motivated and constrained by interactions among syntactic, semantic, and discourse principles. Using Optimality Theory, Optimizing Structure in Context demonstrates how these principles from different modules of grammar interact and thus resolve conflicts among themselves to yield the most optimal output, that is, a sentence with a particular word order, in a given semantic and discoursal context. This way, it explains various meaning-related effects associated with scrambling such as definiteness effect and focus effect. While developing constraints in the discourse domain, it also proposes a new model of information structure based on basic discourse features. By expanding the core idea of constraint interaction in Optimality Theory to interactions 'between' modules of grammar as well as 'between', this book provides a model of interface theory.
In Political Literacy in Composition and Rhetoric, Donald Lazere calls for revival of NCTE resolutions in the 1970s for teaching the “critical reading, listening, viewing, and thinking skills necessary to enable students to cope with the persuasive techniques in political statements, advertising, entertainment, and news,” and explores the reasons these goals have been eclipsed in composition studies over recent decades. Obstacles to those goals have included the emphasis in the profession on basic and first year writing at the expense of more advanced study in argumentative rhetoric, and on the privileging of students’ personal writing over critical study of both academic and political discourse. Lazere further argues that theorists who legitimately champion students’ pluralistic local communities sometimes fail to recognize that liberal education can enable students to grow beyond their home cultures to critical awareness of national and international politics. Finally, he argues that the fixation in recent composition studies on liberally-inclined students and communities “on the margins” has eclipsed attention to the conservative conformity long prevalent in mainstream American society and education. His proposals for curriculum and pedagogy seek to introduce students to a more highly-informed, cogent, and open-ended level of debate between the political left and right.
The turbulent history of the United States has provided a fertile ground for conspiracies, both real and imagined. From the American Revolution to the present day, conspiracy discourse—linguistic and symbolic practices and artifacts revolving around themes, claims, or accusations of conspiracy—has been a staple of political rhetoric. Some conspiracy theories never catch on with the public, while others achieve widespread popularity. Whether successful or not, the means by which particular conspiracy theories spread is a rhetorical process, a process in which persuasive language, symbolism, and arguments act upon individual minds within concrete historical and political settings.
Conspiracy rhetoric was a driving force in the evolution of antebellum political culture, contributing to the rise and fall of the great parties in the nineteenth century. One conspiracy theory in particular—the "slave power" conspiracy—was instrumental in facilitating the growth of the young Republican Party's membership and ideology. The Political Style of Conspiracy analyzes the concept and reality of the "slave power" in the rhetorical discourse of the mid-nineteenth-century, in particular the speeches and writing of politicians Salmon P. Chase, Charles Sumner, and Abraham Lincoln. By examining their mainstream texts, Pfau reveals that, in addition to the "paranoid style" of conspiracy rhetoric that inhabits the margins of political life, Lincoln, Chase, and Sumner also engaged in a distinctive form of conspiracy rhetoric that is often found at the center of mainstream American society and politics.
Thomas Wasow CSLI, 2002 Library of Congress PE1385.W37 2002 | Dewey Decimal 425
Compared to many languages, English has relatively fixed word order, but the ordering among phrases following the verb exhibits a good deal of variation. This monograph explores factors that influence the choice among possible orders of postverbal elements, testing hypotheses using a combination of corpus studies and psycholinguistic experiments. Wasow's final chapters explore how studies of language use bear on issues in linguistic theory, with attention to the roles of quantitative data and Chomsky's arguments against the use of statistics and probability in linguistics.
In this book, two related phenomena are studied: presupposition and anaphora. Dynamic semantics is by now widely accepted as a first-rate foundation for such an exercise and it forms the backbone of most of the work in this book. A recurring additional theme of the present book is the usefulness of techniques from partial logic in the treatment of both phenomena. Rather than adding completely new semantic theories to the present gamut of theories, the author discusses a number of existing approaches which aim at accounting for the behavior of presuppositions and/or anaphors, makes improvements where necessary, and compares the results. Presupposition and Anaphora starts with an introduction to a number of dynamic semantic theories and their correlations, paying special attention to the treatment of disjunctions and negations. Subsequently, presuppositions are studied in the context of partial logics, Montague Grammar and dynamic semantics.
Besides familiar and now-commonplace tasks that computers do all the time, what else are they capable of? Stephen Ramsay's intriguing study of computational text analysis examines how computers can be used as "reading machines" to open up entirely new possibilities for literary critics. Computer-based text analysis has been employed for the past several decades as a way of searching, collating, and indexing texts. Despite this, the digital revolution has not penetrated the core activity of literary studies: interpretive analysis of written texts.
Computers can handle vast amounts of data, allowing for the comparison of texts in ways that were previously too overwhelming for individuals, but they may also assist in enhancing the entirely necessary role of subjectivity in critical interpretation. Reading Machines discusses the importance of this new form of text analysis conducted with the assistance of computers. Ramsay suggests that the rigidity of computation can be enlisted in the project of intuition, subjectivity, and play.
Reconstructing Argumentative Discourse analyzes argumentation in ordinary disputes. The analysis begins with an ideal model: a theoretical structure of discourse that might be used to resolve a dispute about the merits of two opposing cases. The ideal model does not describe actual argumentative practice. Argumentative discourse does not always seek genuine resolution and, when it does, the participants may not perform as ideal arguers.
A central challenge for argumentation theory is to give an account of argumentation occurring under less-than-ideal conditions and conducted by less-than-ideal participants. The authors offer detailed analysis of argument in such contexts as ordinary conversation, third party dispute mediation, and religious confrontation. An adequate analytic approach to such forms of discourse, the authors argue, must offer critical insight into actual practice; must begin with a defensible normative standard against which practice can be compared; and must also offer an applicable analytic machinery for making the comparison, so its methods can be tailored to empirical circumstances.
The authors position their study of argumentation within a general “normative pragmatics” characterized by a dual commitment to usefulness and adequacy in description. A distinctive set of practical applications and a distinctive view of practicality follow from this approach, characterized not by the search for generalizable means-end relationships but by the development and testing of plans for making real argumentation look as much as possible like ideal argumentation.
This book integrates for the first time the normative interest of dialectical theories of argumentation with the descriptive interests of the empirical study of everyday language use. This ambitious project is achieved by adopting a distinctively social and pragmatic view of argumentation—by seeing argumentation as a language activity structured for the function of resolving disagreements. The authors examine argumentation in a wide variety of contexts—including everyday conversation, campus evangelism, political speeches, newspaper letters to the editor, and the formal mediation of disputes. In doing so, they illustrate how to analyze the details of actual argumentation and tackle a variety of theoretical and methodological puzzles encountered in the effort to apply normative models to real life argumentation.
The concept of relation holds a privileged place in how anthropologists think and write about the social and cultural lives they study. In Relations, eminent anthropologist Marilyn Strathern provides a critical account of this key concept and its usage and significance in the English-speaking world. Exploring relation's changing articulations and meanings over the past three centuries, Strathern shows how the historical idiosyncrasy of using an epistemological term for kinspersons (“relatives”) was bound up with evolving ideas about knowledge-making and kin-making. She draws on philosophical debates about relation—such as Leibniz's reaction to Locke—and what became its definitive place in anthropological exposition, elucidating the underlying assumptions and conventions of its use. She also calls for scholars in anthropology and beyond to take up the limitations of Western relational thinking, especially against the background of present ecological crises and interest in multispecies relations. In weaving together analyses of kin-making and knowledge-making, Strathern opens up new ways of thinking about the contours of epistemic and relational possibilities while questioning the limits and potential of ethnographic methods.
This book offers new insight into one of the most disturbing social problems of modern societies: rape. Using tape recordings of actual trials, Gregory M. Matoesian looks at the social construction of rape trials and at how a woman's experience of violation can be transformed in the courtroom into an act of routine, consensual sex.
Matoesian examines the language of the courtroom, focusing on how defense lawyers interpret and classify rape in a way that makes the victim's experience appear as a normal sexual encounter. He analyzes the language that defense attorneys use in cross-examination to argue that courtroom talk can shape the victim's testimony to fit male standards of legitimate sexual practice. On this view, cross-examination is an adversarial war of words through which lawyers manipulate reality and perpetuate the patriarchal domination of women.
Reproducing Rape will interest students and professionals in law, criminology, sociology, feminist theory, linguistics, and anthropology.
Interviews hold a prominent place among the various research methods in the social and behavioral sciences. This book presents a powerful critique of current views and techniques, and proposes a new approach to interviewing. At the heart of Elliot Mishler’s argument is the notion that an interview is a type of discourse, a speech event: it is a joint product, shaped and organized by asking and answering questions.
This view may seem self-evident, yet it does not guide most interview research. In the mainstream tradition, the discourse is suppressed. Questions and answers are regarded as analogues to stimuli and responses rather than as forms of speech; questions and the interviewer’s behavior are standardized so that all respondents will receive the same “stimulus”; respondents’ social and personal contexts of meaning are ignored. While many researchers now recognize that context must be taken into account, the question of how to do so effectively has not been resolved. This important book illustrates how to implement practical alternatives to standard interviewing methods.
Drawing on current work in sociolinguistics as well as on his own extensive experience conducting interviews, Mishler shows how interviews can be analyzed and interpreted as narrative accounts. He places interviewing in a sociocultural context and examines the effects on respondents of different types of interviewing practice. The respondents themselves, he believes, should be granted a more extensive role as participants and collaborators in the research process.
The book is an elegant work of synthesis—clearly and persuasively written, and supported by concrete examples of both standard interviewing and alternative methods. It will be of interest to both scholars and clinicians in all the various fields for which the interview is an essential tool.
"It is with no desire or hope to promote a correct or superior form of textuality, with no desire to correct a so-called interpretive or editorial textual abuse, nor any attempt to prevent anyone from doing anything imaginable with texts or books that I have undertaken this book. . . ." So writes Peter Shillingsburg in his introduction to this series of meditations on the possibilities of deriving "meaning" from the texts we read.
Shillingsburg argues that as humans we are and always will be interested in the past, in what was meant, in what was revealed inadvertently by a text--and that is all to the good. But we learn more and can compare notes better when we understand the principles that govern the ways we read. Resisting Texts approaches crucial questions about the practice of textual editing and literary criticism by posing questions in the form "If we take such and such to be the goal of our reading, then what will follow from that assumption?"
With humor and a lively imagination, Shillingsburg takes the reader on a fresh theoretical investigation of communication, understanding and misunderstanding, and textual satisfactions, drawing examples from Thackeray, Wordsworth, Melville, and others.
Resisting Texts will appeal to all who enjoy the varieties of critical approaches to the written word.
Peter L. Shillingsburg is Professor of English, University of North Texas.
A Responsive Rhetorical Art explores the risk-ridden realm of wise if always also fallible rhetorical action—the productive knowledge building required to compose and to leverage texts, broadly construed, for the purposes of public life marked by shrinking public resources, cultural conflict, and deferred hope. Here, composition and literacy learning hold an important and distinctive cultural promise: the capacity to invent with other people new ways forward in light of their own interests and values and in the face of obstacles that could not have otherwise been predicted. Distributed across publicly situated strangers, including citizen-educators, this work engages a persistent challenge of early rhetorical uptake in public life: that what might become public and shared is often tacit and contested. The book’s approach combines attention to local cases (with a transnational student organization, the Nipmuck Chaubunagungamaug, and the South Sudanese diaspora in Phoenix) with a revisable guide for taking up wise action and methods for uncovering elusive institutional logics.
Concerned with both the nature and the practice of discourse, the eighteen essays collected here treat rhetoric as a dynamic enterprise of inquiry, exploration, and application, and in doing so reflect James L. Kinneavy’s firm belief in the vital relationship between theory and practice, his commitment to a spirit of accommodation and assimilation that promotes the development of ever more powerful theories and ever more useful practices.
A thorough introduction provides the reader with clear summaries of the essays by leading-edge theorists, researchers, and teachers of writing and rhetoric. A "field context" for the ideas presented in this book is provided through the division of the various chapters into four major sections that focus on classical rhetoric and rhetorical theory in historical contexts; on dimensions of discourse theory, aspects of discourse communities, and the sorts of knowledge people access and use in producing written texts; on writing in school-related contexts; and on several dimensions of nonacademic writing. A fifth section contains a bibliographic survey and an appreciation of James Kinneavy’s work. The exceptional range of these essays makes A Rhetoric of Doing an ecumenical examination of the current state of mind in rhetoric and written communication, a survey and description of what discourse and those in the field of discourse are, in fact, doing.
The white man's burden, darkest Africa, the seduction of the primitive: such phrases were widespread in the language Western empires used to talk about their colonial enterprises. How this language itself served imperial purposes--and how it survives today in writing about the Third World--are the subject of David Spurr's book, a revealing account of the rhetorical strategies that have defined Western thinking about the non-Western world. Despite historical differences among British, French, and American versions of colonialism, their rhetoric had much in common. The Rhetoric of Empire identifies these shared features—images, figures of speech, and characteristic lines of argument—and explores them in a wide variety of sources. A former correspondent for the United Press International, the author is equally at home with journalism or critical theory, travel writing or official documents, and his discussion is remarkably comprehensive. Ranging from T. E. Lawrence and Isak Dineson to Hemingway and Naipaul, from Time and the New Yorker to the National Geographic and Le Monde, from journalists such as Didion and Sontag to colonial administrators such as Frederick Lugard and Albert Sarraut, this analysis suggests the degree to which certain rhetorical tactics penetrate the popular as well as official colonial and postcolonial discourse. Finally, Spurr considers the question: Can the language itself—and with it, Western forms of interpretation--be freed of the exercise of colonial power? This ambitious book is an answer of sorts. By exposing the rhetoric of empire, Spurr begins to loosen its hold over discourse about—and between—different cultures.
Science as Power was first published in 1988. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Science has established itself as not merely the dominant but the only legitimate form of human knowledge. By tying its truth claims to methodology, science has claimed independence from the influence of social and historical conditions. Here, Aronowitz asserts that the norms of science are by no means self-evident and that science is best seen as a socially constructed discourse that legitimates its power by presenting itself as truth.
Stanley Aronowitz is professor of sociology in the graduate school of City University of New York. His books include Working Class Hero: A New Strategy for Labor and, with Henry Giroux, Education Under Siege.
Distinguishing between discourse referents and thematic arguments, the analysis of incorporation proposed by Donka Farkas and Henriettë de Swart accounts for the relationship between morphological and semantic number, the contrasts between incorporated singulars and incorporated plurals, and various "shades" of discourse transparency. The framework of Discourse Representation Theory used is a theory well-suited for connecting sentence-level and discourse-level semantics.
The analysis presented in this book has important consequences for a cross-linguistic theory of anaphora. Linguists and logicians interested in discourse structure, cross-linguistic semantics, and the relationship between morpho-syntax and meaning will find this an engaging and innovative work.
Prompted by the abundant historical allusions in Athenian political and diplomatic discourse, Bernd Steinbock analyzes the uses and meanings of the past in fourth-century Athens, using Thebes’ role in Athenian memory as a case study. This examination is based upon the premise that Athenian social memory, that is, the shared and often idealized and distorted image of the past, should not be viewed as an unreliable counterpart of history but as an invaluable key to the Athenians’ mentality. Against the tendency to view the orators’ references to the past as empty rhetorical phrases or propagandistic cover-ups for Realpolitik, it argues that the past constituted important political capital in its own right. Drawing upon theories of social memory, it contextualizes the orators’ historical allusions within the complex net of remembrances and beliefs held by the audience and thus tries to gauge their ideological and emotive power.
Integrating literary, epigraphic, and archaeological evidence with recent scholarship on memory, identity, rhetoric, and international relations, Social Memory in Athenian Public Discourse: Uses and Meanings of the Past enhances our understanding of both the function of memory in Athenian public discourse and the history of Athenian-Theban relations. It should be of interest not only to students of Greek history and oratory but to everybody interested in memory studies, Athenian democracy, and political decision making.
Brown makes elegant use of sociological theory and of insights from language philosophy, literary criticism, and rhetoric to articulate a new theory of the human sciences, using the powerful metaphor of society as text.
In Spatial and Discursive Violence in the US Southwest Rosaura Sánchez and Beatrice Pita examine literary representations of settler colonial land enclosure and dispossession in the history of New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma. Sánchez and Pita analyze a range of Chicano/a and Native American novels, films, short stories, and other cultural artifacts from the eighteenth century to the present, showing how Chicano/a works often celebrate an idealized colonial Spanish past as a way to counter stereotypes of Mexican and Indigenous racial and ethnic inferiority. As they demonstrate, these texts often erase the participation of Spanish and Mexican settlers in the dispossession of Indigenous lands. Foregrounding the relationship between literature and settler colonialism, they consider how literary representations of land are manipulated and redefined in ways that point to the changing practices of dispossession. In so doing, Sánchez and Pita prompt critics to reconsider the role of settler colonialism in the deep history of the United States and how spatial and discursive violence are always correlated.
In Sweet Reason, Susan Wells presents a rhetorical model for understanding the diverse discourses of modernity. Wells describes modernity as a system of texts which we are only now learning to read. In order to comprehend how these texts organize our world, she argues, we must grasp how reason and desire interact to create meaning. To this end, Wells offers a rhetoric based on an understanding of meaning as intersubjectivity created through the work of language. Wells elaborates this "rhetoric of intersubjectivity" by drawing on both Jürgen Habermas's concept of communicative rationality and on Jacques Lacan's theory of desire, affirming the significance of reason and desire for rhetorical studies. From scientific articles to classroom altercations, contemporary government hearings to Mantaigne's Essays, Wells organizes several using rhetoric as an art, and she shows how rhetoric operates in practice.
Susan Wells is associate professor of English at Temple University.
In counterterrorism circles, the standard response to questions about the possibility of future attacks is the terse one-liner: “Not if, but when.” This mantra supposedly conveys a realistic approach to the problem, but, as Joseba Zulaika argues in Terrorism, it functions as a self-fulfilling prophecy. By distorting reality to fit their own worldview, the architects of the War on Terror prompt the behavior they seek to prevent—a twisted logic that has already played out horrifically in Iraq. In short, Zulaika contends, counterterrorism has become pivotal in promoting terrorism.
Exploring the blind spots of counterterrorist doctrine, Zulaika takes readers on a remarkable intellectual journey. He contrasts the psychological insight of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood with The 9/11 Commission Report, plumbs the mindset of terrorists in works by Orianna Fallaci and Jean Genet, maps the continuities between the cold war and the fight against terrorism, and analyzes the case of a Basque terrorist who tried to return to civilian life. Zulaika’s argument is powerful, inventive, and rich with insights and ideas that provide a new and sophisticated perspective on the War on Terror.
Text and Culture was first published in 1989. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
In Text & Culture, Daniel Cottom examines the political aspects of contemporary disciplines of interpretation. He pleads against limiting the act of reading by disqualifying some readings as "wrong" or unscholarly, and he argues for the necessity of multiple readings, claiming that a closed-off text glosses over differences that are political in nature. He proceeds, then, from the notion of text to culture. Just as the reading of the text is conditioned by irreducible political differences, so is the reading of culture. Finally, to illustrate and further develop his arguments, Cottom presents an extensive analysis of Great Expectations.
Cottom's materials range from academic jokes to King Lear, and the writers he discusses range from Kant to Derrida, from Freud to Basil Bernstein, from Ludwig Wittgenstein and Bronislaw Malinowski to Erving Goffman, Clifford Geertz, and Stanley Fish. This study is especially concerned with the way "culture" and related terms, such as "context" and "norm," are part of a larger discourse in the contemporary humanities and social sciences - a discourse in which their effect is to repress recognition of important historical differences, conflicts, and possibilities. At the same time that he shows how difficult it is to get "beyond culture," he tries to indicate how interpretation may be turned into a more socially responsible practice.
Daniel Cottom is associate professor of English at the University of Florida. He is the author of Social Figures: George Eliot, Social History, and Literary Representation (Minnesota, 1987) and The Civilized Imagination: A Study of Ann Radcliffe, Jane Austen, and Sir Walter Scott.
Textual Dynamics of the Professions is a collection of fifteen essays examining the real effects of text on professional practices—in academic, scientific, and business settings. Charles Bazerman and James Paradis describe textual dynamics as an interaction in which professional texts and discourses are constructed by, and in turn construct, social practices. In the burgeoning field of discourse theory, this anthology stands apart in its treatment of a wide range of professional texts, including case studies, student papers, medieval letters, and product instructions, and in the inclusion of authors from a variety of disciplines.
Invaluable to the new pedagogical field of “writing across the curriculum,” Textual Dynamics of the Professions is also a significant intervention into the studies of rhetoric, writing theory, and the sociology of knowledge.
Theory and Practice of Sociocriticism was first published in 1988. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
Edmond Cros is a leading French Hispanicist whose work is unique in Continental theory because it brings Spanish and Mexican texts into current literary debates, which have so far centered mainly on the French and German traditions. Equally distinctive is the nature of his work, which Cros terms sociocriticism. Unlike most sociological approaches to literature, which leave the structure of texts untouched, sociocriticism aims to prove that the encounter with "ideological traces," and with antagonistic tensions between social classes, is central to any reading of texts. Cros's method distinguishes between the "semiotic and "ideological" elements within a text, and involves the patient, exacting reconstruction of the concrete text from these elements, a process that enables the sociocritic to interpret its fault lines, its internal contradictions - in the end , its irreducibly social nature.
As its title suggests, Theory and Practice of Sociocriticism is structured in two parts. Its opening chapters analyze sociological theories of discourse, including those of Foucault, Bakhtin, and Goldman; in the second part, Cros applies theory to practice in readings of specific works: the film Scarface, contemporary Mexican poetry and prose (Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes), and the picaresque novel of the Spanish Golden Age. In their foreword, Jurgen Link and Ursula Link-Heer differentiate sociocriticism from other social approaches to literature and show how Cros's method works in specific textual readings. They emphasize his resistance to the reductive modes and "misreadings" that dominate much of contemporary theory.
Edmond Cros is a professor of literary theory and Hispanic studies at the Universite Paul Valery in Montpellier, France, and Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Hispanic Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. Jurgen Link teaches at the Ruhr-Universitat Bochum and Ursula Link-Heer at the Universitat Siegen, both in West Germany.
Kevin C. Dunn and Iver B. Neumann offer a concise, accessible introduction to discourse analysis in the social sciences. A vital resource for students and scholars alike, Undertaking Discourse Analysis for Social Research combines a theoretical and conceptual review with a “how-to” guide for using the method. In the first part of the book, the authors discuss the development of discourse analysis as a research method and identify the main theoretical elements and epistemological assumptions that have led to its emergence as one of the primary qualitative methods of analysis in contemporary scholarship.
Then, drawing from a wide-range of examples of social science scholarship, Dunn and Neumann provide an indispensable guide to the variety of ways discourse analysis has been used. They delve into what is gained by using this approach and demonstrate how one actually applies it. They cover such important issues as research prerequisites, how one conceives of a research question, what “counts” as evidence, how one “reads” the data, and some common obstacles and pitfalls. The result is a clear and accessible manual for successfully implementing discourse analysis in social research.
What has gone wrong with discourse and deliberation in the United States? It remains monologic, argues Patricia Roberts-Miller in Voices in the Wilderness, which traces America’s dominant form of argumentation back to its roots in the rhetorical tradition of 17th-century American Puritans. A work of composition theory, rhetorical theory, and cultural criticism, this volume ultimately provides not only new approaches to argumentation and the teaching of rhetoric, composition, and communication but also an original perspective on the current debate over public discourse
Both Jürgen Habermas and Wayne Booth—two of the most influential theorists in the domain of public discourse and good citizenry—argue for an inclusive public deliberation that involves people who are willing to listen to one another, to identify points of agreement and disagreement, and to make good faith attempts to validate any disputed claims. The Puritan voice crying in the wilderness, Roberts-Miller shows, does none of these things. To this individual of conscience engaged in a ceaseless battle of right and wrong against greedy philistines, all inclusion, mediation, and reciprocity are seen as evil, corrupting, and unnecessary. Hence, the voice in the wilderness does not in any real sense participate in public deliberation, only in public pronouncement.
Arguing that our culture’s continuing affection for the ethos of the voice crying in the wilderness is one of our more troubling inheritances from the early American ambivalence to public discourse—including the Puritan denigration of rhetoric—Roberts-Miller contends that the monologic discourse of the Puritans in fact contains within it arguments for dialogism. Thus, the history of rhetoric can provide much richer fields for reimagining discourse than heretofore credited. Roberts-Miller concludes by extending her findings into their practical applications for argumentation in the public sphere and in the composition classroom.
For the past decade, political scientist Sanford Schram has led the academic effort to understand how Americans and their political officials talk about poverty and welfare and what impact that discourse has on policy and on the global society.
In Welfare Discipline, Schram argues that it is time to take stock of the new forms of welfare and to develop even better methods to understand them. He argues for a more contextualized approach to examining welfare policy, from the use of the idea of globalization to justify cutbacks, to the increasing employment of U.S. policy discourse overseas, to the development of asset-based approaches to helping the poor.
Stressing the importance of understanding the ways we talk about welfare, how we study it, and, critically, what we do not discuss and why, Schram offers recommendations for making welfare policy both just and effective.
Makes the case for human relationship as the proper foundation of administrative ethics
This study of the critical role of ethics and moral responsibility in the field of public administration, Michael M. Harmon and O. C. McSwite posit that administrative ethics, as presently conceived and practiced, is largely a failure, incapable of delivering on its original promise of effectively regulating official conduct in order to promote the public interest. They argue that administrative ethics is compromised at its very foundations by two core assumptions: that human beings act rationally and that language is capable of conveying clear, stable, and unambiguous principles of ethical conduct.
The result is the illusion that values, principles, and rules of ethical conduct can be specified in workably clear ways, in particular, through their formalization in official codes of ethics; that people are capable of comprehending and responding to them as they are intended; and that the rewards and punishments attached to them will be effective in structuring daily behavior.
In a series of essays that draw on both fiction and film, as well as the disciplines of pragmatism, organizational theory, psychoanalysis, structural linguistics, and economics, Harmon and McSwite make their case for human relationship as the proper foundation of administrative ethics. “Exercising responsible ethical practice requires attaining a special kind of relationship with other people. Relationship is how the pure freedom that resides in the human psyche—for ethical choice, creativity, or original action of any type—can be brought into the structured world of human social relations without damaging or destroying it.” Furthermore, they make the case for dropping the term “ethics” in favor of the term “responsibility,” as “responsibility accentuates the social [relational] nature of moral action.”
In Who Says?, scholars of rhetoric, composition, and communications seek to revise the elitist “rhetorical tradition” by analyzing diverse topics such as settlement house movements and hip-hop culture to uncover how communities use discourse to construct working-class identity. The contributors examine the language of workers at a concrete pour, depictions of long-haul truckers, a comic book series published by the CIO, the transgressive “fat” bodies of Roseanne and Anna Nicole Smith, and even reality television to provide rich insights into working-class rhetorics. The chapters identify working-class tropes and discursive strategies, and connect working-class identity to issues of race, gender, and sexuality. Using a variety of approaches including ethnography, research in historic archives, and analysis of case studies, Who Says? assembles an original and comprehensive collection that is accessible to both students and scholars of class studies and rhetoric.