Current Rhetorical Theory: Money and Politics
English 564: Current Rhetorical Theory: Money and Politics
While rhetoric is classically understood as the available means of persuasion, contemporary iterations have expanded the concept far beyond its traditional moorings in public address to include such diverse subjects as materiality, sound studies, animal studies, fantasy, and political economy. Accounting for the heterogeneous state of contemporary rhetorical theory is, accordingly, an increasingly difficult task that requires a detailed, interdisciplinary approach attuned to the ways in which theorists have revised, troubled, and expanded upon the concept of rhetoric.
In this course, we will chart rhetoric’s diverse methodologies and expanding boundaries through a specific line of inquiry, examining rhetoric’s engagement with economics and politics. Through exploring this topic, we will investigate the plurality of disciplinary approaches brought to bear on such topics as neoliberalism, political division, authoritarianism, and racism. Through this investigation, we will seek to map rhetoric’s extensive approaches to contemporary economics and politics and, more expansively, to understand the complexity and diversity of the field.
This course will provide an orientation to recent developments in rhetorical theory with specific attention to theorists’ study of political crises, old and new, and the ascendency of what Mark Fisher terms “capitalist realism.” Readings will include recent work by Karma R. Chavez, Ralph Cintron, Dana Cloud, Ersula Ore, Arabella Lyon, Catherine Chaput, and others.