Research in Rhetoric

Project Details


This new interdisciplinary cluster will bring together colleagues from the UoB Faculty of Arts and the wider region to study rhetoric in all its diverse forms. Rhetoric, the theory and practice of persuasive communication, has a long and rich tradition, but its recent resurgence in an increasingly populist political sphere has given new impetus to scholars to work together to address its power, practices, and uses. Traditionally, the study of rhetoric has been compartmentalized into two broad fields, with little dialogue between those who study literary rhetoric and those interested in the rhetoric of argumentation. This cluster will cut across such artificial divisions by enabling colleagues from a wide range of backgrounds, in both the humanities and the social sciences, to address a number of pressing issues, including the role of the digital media in shaping discourse in the public sphere, the importance of figurative language in political rhetoric, the sleights of hand of so-called ‘plain speech’, and the role that rhetoric has been seen to play, and could play, in pedagogy and civic education.
A reading group will focus on the very latest research in rhetorical theory amongst staff and research students from the University of Bristol Arts Faculty and beyond. At the workshop, seven researchers will present their ideas in response to three willfully broad themes (rhetoric and literature, including translation; rhetoric and politics; and rhetoric and the digital media), the aim being to forge ideas that cross disciplinary affiliations and to compare and contrast methodological approaches to rhetoric.
Long-term aims of the cluster include:
• Identifying opportunities for public engagement in the region;
• Exploring potential for future collaborative networking and research bids (Institute of Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition, GW4, AHRC/ESRC, etc.);
• Facilitating planning of a larger two-day international conference, to be held in Bristol, on the theme of ‘Rhetoric and Lying’
Effective start/end date1/10/1831/07/20


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