The American Society for the History of Rhetoric will hold its 2012 Symposium at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel immediately prior to the RSA Convention. Free to attend, the Symposium will run from 8am, Thursday May 24 until noon on Friday, May 25. It is slotted for the Commonwealth A room.
Titled "Rhetoric and Its Masses," the Symposium addresses the fact that, in virtually every epoch of its history, rhetoric has understood the masses as a topos of central concern. Indeed, the "masses" has a history as fluid as "rhetoric" itself: in every age it has captured different ideas, been entangled with different politics, signaled different segments of the population, and intersected with rhetoric in historically specific ways.The 2012 Symposium will focus on these intersections, seek to recapture the historically specific ways in which rhetoric and the masses have been articulated, and pay special attention to the political motives attending these articulations.
A preliminary draft of the program can be accessed on ASHR's website (http://www.ashr.org/Symposia.html). The Symposium features three plenary talks, 3 panels of competitive papers, and a special panel dedicated to the consideration thinkers who are often placed outside the canon but whose work promises to help us rethink rhetoric and its masses. It also features a reception on the evening of the 24th. Details online.
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Hope to see you there!