Rhetoric in a Rancorous Republic: Toward an American Controversia


1:00 – Introductions
The Obama and McCain speeches

3:00 – Break (wine, coffee, and hors d’oeuvres)

3:30 – Furman Protest [(W)e Object]
Reflections on Notions of Cultural ‘Civility’ and

6:00 - Dinner in downtown Greenville.

Primary Discussion Readings (click on title to be directed to online text):

Student speech and John McCain’s New School speech.

Barack Obama’s Michigan speech and Karl Rove reply.

Petition and George W. Bush Furman speech.

Barack Obama Notre Dame speech.

Sean O’Rourke, “Two Commencement Speeches” (2010)

Thomas O. Sloane, "Reinventing Inventio," College English 51, no. 5 (Sept. 1989): 461-473.

Melanie White, “An Ambivalent Civility,”
The Canadian Journal of Sociology 31, no. 4 (Fall 2006): 445-460.

(Please contact
brandon.inabinet@gmail.com if you have trouble accessing articles through your institution’s database.)

Optional Reading List:

Danielle S. Allen, Talking to Strangers: Anxieties of Citizenship since Brown v. Board of Education (University of Chicago Press, 2004).

Benjamin Barber, “Civility and Civilizing Discourse,” in
A Place for Us: How to Make Society Civil and Democracy Strong (New York: Hill and Wang, 1998), 114-123

Benjamin Barber, “The Discourse of Civility” in
Citizen Competence and Democratic Institutions, edited by Stephen L. Elkin and Karol Edward Soltan (University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1999), 39-48.

Arjo Klamer and Donald McCloskey, “The Rhetoric of Disagreement,”
Rethinking Marxism: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society 2, no. 3 (1989):141-161.

Robert L. Scott and Donald K. Smith, “The Rhetoric of Confrontation,”
The Quarterly Journal of Speech 55, no. 1 (Feb. 1969): 1-8.

Thomas O. Sloane, On the Contrary: The Protocol of Traditional Rhetoric (Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1997).

Robert Terrill, “Protest, Prophecy, and Prudence in the Rhetoric of Malcolm X,”
Rhetoric & Public Affairs 4, no. 1 (Spring 2001): 25-53.

Sara C. VanderHaagen, “Renewing Tradition in Community: George W. Bush, Calvin College, and the Controversy over Identity,”
Rhetoric & Public Affairs 11, no. 4 (2008): 535-568.