It seemed about time to refresh the web site and add a few more things to its content. I hope you like the design; it’s supposed to make it easier to navigate and read (let me know if it needs tweaking). I’ve also added a ‘research’ page to the menu to draw attention to any new publications, projects, or research-worthy news in the field of rhetoric and politics. Please send me content to fill it out a bit. JM
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.
Our esteemed colleague, Alan Finlayson, has won the Bernard Crick Prize for the best piece in the journal, Political Quarterly, in 2014. His article, ‘Proving, Pleasing and Persuading: Rhetoric in Contemporary British Politics’ was described as ‘extraordinary’ by the judges. And we don’t disagree. Hearty congratulations to Alan.
You can find the story and a link to the article (for free) by following this link.
Please click below for a pdf leaflet advertising the ‘Rhetoric, Politics and Society’ book series run by Palgrave and edited by some of us in the specialist group. Do get in touch if you have an idea for a book. We have three published already and others in the pipeline! Do pass on the link, too.
Here’s a link to a very interesting conference on ‘Rhetoric in the Knowledge Society’ organized by the Rhetoric Society of Europe.
I’m thinking about setting up a Rhetoric and Politics Masters programme at Goldsmiths. Here’s a very short survey aimed at gathering opinion on the topic. Do think about completing it and please pass it on to those who might be interested:
Few could doubt that Greece in 2015 has entered an important phase in its domestic situation and in the wider scene of European politics. This is, by consequence, an important time to keep an eye on the rhetorical shifts and manoeuvres that typically accompany such moments. For those interested in the rhetoric and the politics of Greece just now, the following links might be of interest:
- Alex Papadopoulos on Alexis Tsipras’ first speech to the Greek Parliament on the Society and Space forum
- The PSA’s Greek Politics Specialist Group, with useful documents on the emerging situation
- Marina Prentoulis and Lasse Thomassen on Greek populism in OpenDemocracy
If anyone has links to translations or analyses of speeches by Tsipras and other members of the Greek governing coalition, do please let us know.