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Summer 2002, pages 61-75

Keeping the Conversation Going: Jane Addams' Rhetorical Strategies in "A Modern Lear"

Abstract: The first noticeable thing about almost any situation of conflict is how soon conversation breaks down and the proverbial 'other means' take the fore. This study explores how Jane Addams, a prominent Chicago mediator, crafted new rhetorical openings for conflict resolution. The bloody Pullman Strike of 1894 was a landmark event in Addams' rhetorical career, since it was during this strike that she learned to negotiate the rhetorical space between labor and management, as well as learning how to enlist the public in the work of reconstructing severed human relationships. Using the lenses of invitational rhetoric and fantasy theme analysis, I show how Addams attempted to create a more conciliatory mode of speech for seemingly intractable situations.

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