New Approaches to Rhetoric

New Approaches to Rhetoric



New Approaches to Rhetoric provides fresh perspectives on the study of rhetoric and its ability to affect change in today's society. Although traditional approaches (e.g., neo-Aristotelian) to the study of rhetoric have utility for the twenty-first century, communication in a complex, mass-mediated postmodern age calls for new critical approaches. The contributors of this volume, including James Darsey, Kathryn M. Olson and G. Thomas Goodnight, George Cheney, Dana Cloud, and Barry Brummett, explore possibilities for bridging rhetorical studies of the past with rhetorical studies of the future. The original essays invite students to join rhetorical theorists and critics in an ongoing dialogue concerning what it means to study communication in a postmodern world.

Divided into three Parts, New Approaches to Rhetoric challenges and expands the definitions, approaches, and assumptions governing rhetorical scholarship. Part I, Rhetorics, Ethics, and Values, addresses, in different ways, a central question for the study of rhetoric today: How, and under what conditions, will moral arguments be articulated in the 21st century? Part II, Rhetoric, Institutions, and Contexts, features real-life case studies, showing students the function of rhetoric in today’s world. Part III, Rhetorics, Cultures, and Ideologies, encourages students to examine ideological approaches to criticism and issues associated with class, race, and gender.

Features of this volume:

  • Original, never-before-published pieces by leading rhetorical theorists and critics including James Darsey, Kathryn Olson and G. Thomas Goodnight, George Cheney, Dana Cloud and Marouf Hasian, and John M. Murphy and Thomas R. Burkholder, among others
  • Each part opens with a brief introduction to frame discussion for students.
  • Topics and case studies will appeal to students and scholars (e.g., film, Disney, political keynote addresses, autobiography, labor union discourse).
  • Barry Brummett’s Conclusion speculates on what the collection suggests about rhetoric in the 21st century and offers ideas to guide students as they contemplate the future of rhetorical studies.

New Approaches to Rhetoric is ideal for upper-level undergraduate and graduate courses in Rhetoric and in Political Communication in departments of Communication, English, and Political Science. This book is suitable for use as either a primary or supplemental course text and will be invaluable as a general reference for scholars of rhetoric, social movements, and public sphere studies.



Publication Date



SAGE Publications


Thousand Oaks




Table of Contents

Dedication, ii.

Acknowledgments, vii.

Preface, ix.

Part I: Rhetorics, Ethics, and Values, 1.

1. James Baldwin's Topoi by James Darsey, 5.

2. Ingenium-Speaking in Community: The Case of the Prince William County Zoning Hearings on Disney's America by Kathryn M. Olson and G. Thomas Goodnight, 31.

3. Arguing About the Place of Values and Ethics in Market-Oriented Discourses of Today by George Cheney, 61.

4. Cultural Contracts Theory: Toward a Critical-Rhetorical Identity Negotiation Paradigm by Ronald L. Jackson II, 89.

Part II: Rhetorics, Institutions, and Contexts, 109.

5. Remembrances of Things Past: A Postcolonial Critique of the Human Genome Diversity Project III by Marouf Hasian, Jr., and Emily Plec, 111.

6. The Life of the Party: The Contemporary Keynote Address by John M. Murphy and Thomas R. Burkholder, 129.

7. Memory as Social Action: Cultural Projection and Generic Form in Civil Rights Memorials by Victoria J. Gallagher, 149.

8. John Wayne, The Green Berets, and the Containment Doctrine by George N. Dionisopoulos, 173.

Part III: Rhetorics, Cultures, and Ideologies, 199.

9. Fighting Words: Labor and the Limits of Symbolic' Intervention at Staley, 1993-1996 by Dana L. Cloud, 203.

10. Demonizing Democracy: The Strange Career of Lani Guinier by Kathryn Canas and Mark Lawrence McPhail, 223.

11. Racial Apologies by Dexter B. Gordon and Carrie Crenshaw, 245.

12. Autobiography, Rhetoric, and Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes and 'Tis: A Memoir by Patricia A. Sullivan and Steven R. Goldzwig, 267.

13. Communities, Identities, 'and Politics: What Rhetoric Is Becoming in the Twenty-First Century by Barry Brummett, 293.

References, 309.

Index, 335.

About the Editors, 349.

About the Authors, 351.

New Approaches to Rhetoric