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Constitutive Visions

Author: Christa J. Olson
Publisher: Penn State Press
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In Constitutive Visions, Christa Olson presents the rhetorical history of republican Ecuador as punctuated by repeated arguments over national identity. Those arguments—as they advanced theories of citizenship, popular sovereignty, and republican modernity—struggled to reconcile the presence of Ecuador’s large indigenous population with the dominance of a white-mestizo minority. Even as indigenous people were excluded from civic life, images of them proliferated in speeches, periodicals, and artworks during Ecuador’s long process of nation formation. Tracing how that contradiction illuminates the textures of national-identity formation, Constitutive Visions places petitions from indigenous laborers alongside oil paintings, overlays woodblock illustrations with legislative debates, and analyzes Ecuador’s nineteen constitutions in light of landscape painting. Taken together, these juxtapositions make sense of the contradictions that sustained and unsettled the postcolonial nation-state.


Memories of Lincoln and the Splintering of American Political Thought

Author: Shawn J. Parry-Giles
Publisher: Penn State Press
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In the aftermath of the Civil War, Republicans and Democrats who advocated conflicting visions of American citizenship could agree on one thing: the rhetorical power of Abraham Lincoln’s life. This volume examines the debates over his legacy and their impact on America’s future. In the thirty-five years following Lincoln’s assassination, acquaintances of Lincoln published their memories of him in newspapers, biographies, and edited collections in order to gain fame, promote partisan aims, champion his hardscrabble past and exalted rise, and define his legacy. Shawn Parry-Giles and David Kaufer explore how style, class, and character affected these reminiscences. They also analyze the ways people used these writings to reinforce their beliefs about citizenship and presidential leadership in the United States, with specific attention to the fissure between republicanism and democracy that still exists today. Their study employs rhetorical and corpus research methods to assess more than five hundred reminiscences. A novel look at how memories of Lincoln became an important form of political rhetoric, this book sheds light on how divergent schools of U.S. political thought came to recruit Lincoln as their standard-bearer.


Homeless Advocacy and the Rhetorical Construction of the Civic Home

Author: Melanie Loehwing
Publisher: Penn State Press
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Homeless assistance has frequently adhered to the “three hots and a cot” model, which prioritizes immediate material needs but may fail to address the political and social exclusion of people experiencing homelessness. In this study, Loehwing reconsiders typical characterizations of homelessness, citizenship, and democratic community through unconventional approaches to homeless advocacy and assistance. While conventional homeless advocacy rhetoric establishes the urgency of homeless suffering, it also implicitly invites housed publics to understand homelessness as a state of abnormality that destines the individuals suffering it to life outside the civic body. In contrast, Loehwing focuses on atypical models of homeless advocacy: the meal-sharing initiatives of Food Not Bombs, the international competition of the Homeless World Cup, and the annual Homeless Persons’ Memorial Day campaign. She argues that these modes of unconventional homeless advocacy provide rhetorical exemplars of a type of inclusive and empowering civic discourse that is missing from conventional homeless advocacy and may be indispensable for overcoming homeless marginalization and exclusion in contemporary democratic culture. Loehwing’s interrogation of homeless advocacy rhetorics demonstrates how discursive practices shape democratic culture and how they may provide a potential civic remedy to the harms of disenfranchisement, discrimination, and displacement. This book will be welcomed by scholars whose work focuses on the intersections of democratic theory and rhetorical and civic studies, as well as by homelessness advocacy groups.


Thinking Together

Author: Angela G. Ray
Publisher: Penn State Press
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Changes to the landscape of higher education in the United States over the past decades have urged scholars grappling with issues of privilege, inequality, and social immobility to think differently about how we learn and deliberate. Thinking Together is a multidisciplinary conversation about how people approached similar questions of learning and difference in the nineteenth century. In the open air, in homes, in public halls, and even in prisons, people pondered recurring issues: justice, equality, careers, entertainment, war and peace, life and death, heaven and hell, the role of education, and the nature of humanity itself. Paying special attention to the dynamics of race and gender in intellectual settings, the contributors to this volume consider how myriad groups and individuals—many of whom lived on the margins of society and had limited access to formal education—developed and deployed knowledge useful for public participation and public advocacy around these concerns. Essays examine examples such as the women and men who engaged lecture culture during the Civil War; Irish immigrants who gathered to assess their relationship to the politics and society of the New World; African American women and men who used music and theater to challenge the white gaze; and settler-colonists in Liberia who created forums for envisioning a new existence in Africa and their relationship to a U.S. homeland. Taken together, this interdisciplinary exploration shows how learning functioned not only as an instrument for public action but also as a way to forge meaningful ties with others and to affirm the value of an intellectual life. By highlighting people, places, and purposes that diversified public discourse, Thinking Together offers scholars across the humanities new insights and perspectives on how difference enhances the human project of thinking together.


Speech and Debate as Civic Education

Author: J. Michael Hogan
Publisher: Penn State Press
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In an era increasingly marked by polarized and unproductive political debates, this volume makes the case for a renewed emphasis on teaching speech and debate, both in and outside of the classroom. Speech and debate education leads students to better understand their First Amendment rights and the power of speaking. It teaches them to work together collaboratively to solve problems, and it encourages critical thinking, reasoned and fact-based argumentation, and respect for differing viewpoints in our increasingly diverse and global society. Highlighting the need for more emphasis on the ethics and skills of democratic deliberation, the contributors to this volume—leading scholars, teachers, and coaches in speech and debate programs around the country—offer new ideas for reinvigorating curricular and co-curricular speech and debate by recovering and reinventing their historical mission as civic education. Combining historical case studies, theoretical reflections, and reports on programs that utilize rhetorical pedagogies to educate for citizenship, Speech and Debate as Civic Education is a first-of-its-kind collection of the best ideas for reinventing and revitalizing the civic mission of speech and debate for a new generation of students. In addition to the editors, the contributors to this volume include Jenn Anderson, Michael D. Bartanen, Ann Crigler, Sara A. Mehltretter Drury, David A. Frank, G. Thomas Goodnight, Ronald Walter Greene, Taylor W. Hahn, Darrin Hicks, Edward A. Hinck, Jin Huang, Una Kimokeo-Goes, Rebecca A. Kuehl, Lorand Laskai, Tim Lewis, Robert S. Littlefield, Allan D. Louden, Paul E. Mabrey III, Jamie McKown, Gordon R. Mitchell, Catherine H. Palczewski, Angela G. Ray, Robert C. Rowland, Minhee Son, Sarah Stone Watt, Melissa Maxcy Wade, David Weeks, Carly S. Woods, and David Zarefsky.