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PSA Annual Conference 2016


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We hope you’ll all be attending the PSA Annual conference in Brighton in March this year. The web page advertising the conference can be found here.

The Rhetoric and Politics Specialist Group has one panel this year. Here are the details:

Panel: Ethics, Politics and Rhetoric
Room: The Library
Time Slot: Monday 21st March 09:30 – 11:00
Panel Chair: Dr Nick Turnbull (University of Manchester)

Panel Members: 
  • Dr Giuseppe Ballacci (CEHUM – University of Minho)
  • Dr Judi Atkins (Coventry University)
  • Dr David Moon (University of Bath)
  • Professor James Martin (Goldsmiths, University of London)
  • Dr Sophia Hatzisavvidou (Goldsmiths, University of London)

As both an art and a philosophical theme, it is impossible to separate rhetoric from questions of ethics. In Classical times public speech was expected to support the integrative function of sustaining the Good of the community. As part of the practice of citizenship, rhetorical skills may have served the ends of legal and political contest, but their overriding function was to promote the life of the collective over the narrowly individual. And yet, rhetoric was also viewed as the most divisive and potentially threatening of practices, a fundamental danger to moral order. This ambivalent status has changed little today: speech both claims to unify and yet is despised for doing the reverse. This panel asks how we might understand the ethical possibilities and limits of rhetoric today. In what ways are ethical concerns relayed via a rhetorical politics? How might an ethically affirmative politics temper its own potential for rhetorical excess? In a postfoundational age, what kind of resource can rhetoric offer for a reasoned and inclusive style of public speech?

Do come along. We look forward to seeing you there.


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