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Globalization and Rhetoric

Leaders: Andreea Ritivoi, Carnegie Mellon University; David Frank, University of Oregon

  Globalization and Rhetoric

Andreea Ritivoi (Carnegie Mellon University)
David Frank (University of Oregon)

The purpose of this workshop is to gather scholars in rhetoric and communication who are interested in the discourse of globalization and want to establish together a coherent research agenda for its study. Globalization is a complex social, cultural, economic, and political phenomena that have prompted scholars who want to explain it to find adequate approaches. Disciplines across the humanistic and social scientific spectrum have proposed various concepts and methodological frameworks, focusing in turn on studying different dimensions of globalization. Of all the multiple facets of this phenomenon, the discursive one remains still the least studied and understood. The discourse of globalization is also a concern primarily for rhetoric and communication scholars. Of particular concern is the discourse attending ethno-territorial conflict and the deployment of symbols to demonize enemies. As a topic of theoretical reflection and an object of analysis, it offers our discipline the opportunity to join an interdisciplinary forum with high stakes, and thus to make an important and highly visible contribution.

Issues to be explored:

1. Immigration in the global village: an argumentation analysis of the
immigration debate in the United States; the rhetoric of immigration policy
in the post-911 era; refugees and the human rights discourse.  

2. The new nation-state: transnationalism and its impact on presidential
rhetoric; the European expansion and its impact on US foreign relations
rhetoric; the war on terror and the new rhetoric of patriotism.

3. Cross-cultural encounters in the global marketplace: intercultural
rhetoric in the age of global conflicts; trade agreements as rhetorical
negotiations; multiculturalism and the rhetoric of national solidarity.

4. The rhetoric of the "other" in global discourse: the discursive
practices in the "clash of civilizations," the symbolic construction of the
"terrorist," and the communicative practices necessary for rapprochement.

Theoretical concerns:

1. Which are the main conceptual and methodological resources for a
rhetorical and communicative study of globalization?

2. What kind of corpora are available, or need to be created for studying
the discourse of globalization?

3. What is rhetoric's unique contribution to an interdisciplinary research
agenda for the study of globalization?

4.  Can or should a universal audience judge the human rights practices of
nation states in a global community.

Participants will be asked to submit an extended abstract for a research
project (existing or still in the planning stages) that would deal with one of the issues and concerns mentioned above. The workshop will consist of
discussions focused on the participants' research projects, and intended to
identify common foci of inquiry, questions, and arguments.

For inquiries, contact Andreea Ritivoi:

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