Persuasion: Seminar on Rhetoric and Politics in Contemporary Discourse
A seminar organized by the Goldsmiths’ Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy and the Centre for the study of Culture and Politics, University of Swansea
May 5, 2009, 2-5 pm
Small Hall Theater, Richard Hoggart Building
Goldsmiths, University of London
Persuasion is one of the most fundamental of democratic political activities. But it is also one of the most ambiguous. Does democratic development and expansion require the slow substitution of persuasion or rational conviction or, on the contrary, the proliferation of opportunities for rhetorical contestation? Where is the line between persuasion and force? Are there standards of truth or consent that guarantee the democratic character of a persuasive activity? What forms of rhetoric distinguish a democratic polity from tyranny? What happens to political persuasion in an economy and culture dominated by commercial persuasion? How can we best understand and analyse the forms, modes and locations of contemporary political rhetoric as manifested in visual and media cultures?
This interdisciplinary seminar explores the modes of democratic persuasion, the methods for its explication and interpretation and the prospects for rhetoric both in the academy and in the contemporary multifaceted polis.
Speakers: Aleatta Norval (University of Essex), Michael Carrithers (Durham University), Rochana Bajpai (SOAS), Alan Finlayson (Swansea University), James Martin (Goldsmiths).
The event is free and open to all, but please contact James Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like to attend. Seminar to be followed by a wine reception in the SCR.