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v2.1 Reference

The Public Work of Rhetoric

Citizen-Scholars and Civil Engagement

The Public Work of Rhetoric offers a timely and dynamic endorsement of rhetoric as a potent communications tool for civic engagement and social change, efforts necessarily inclusive of people inside and outside the academy. In this provocative call to action, editors John M. Ackerman and David J. Coogan, along with seventeen other accomplished contributors, offer case studies and criticism on the rhetorical practices of citizen-scholars pursuing democratic ideals in diverse civic communities—with partnerships across a range of media, institutions, exigencies, and discourses.

Challenging conventional research methodologies and the traditional insularity of higher education, these essays argue that civic engagement as a rhetorical act requires critical attention to our notoriously veiled identity in public life, to our uneasy affiliation with democracy as a public virtue, and to the transcendent powers of discourse and ideology. This can be accomplished, the contributors argue, by building on the compatible traditions of materialist rhetoric and community literacy. The case studies highlight efforts in inner-urban and postindustrial communities where poverty is the overriding concern, in afterschool and extracurricular alternatives that offer new routes to literate achievement, in new media and digital representations of ethnic cultures designed to promote chosen identities, in neighborhoods and scientific laboratories where race is the dominant value, and in the policy borderlands between universities and the communities they serve. Through these accounts, contributors champion the notion that the public work of rhetoric is the tough labor of gaining access and trust, learning the codes and histories of communities, locating the situations in which rhetorical expertise is most effective, and in many cases jointly defining the terms for gauging social change.


This collection of essays raises fundamental questions about the mission and methods of rhetorical studies. The essays should be read and discussed widely by all concerned with the social role of our field. - Rhetoric Review
"The essays in this collection report lively, inventive, intelligent, and engaged responses to the Republic's need for capacitated citizens. They offer impressive studies of how we enter into public problems in our communities, how rhetoric has constituted counterpublics among the underclass, how rhetoric's performative power can serve liberatory ends, how the community can be a resource that is an invaluable resource for the civic education of our students. It is the place where democracy comes alive in the rhetorical practices of the students and those outside the university whom they engage. The

work reported in this volume is noble and important not only for rhetoric studies, not only for rhetoric and composition pedagogy, but as a vision of what higher education might aspire to that goes beyond preparing students to earn a living. They are models of how we might prepare them to make a difference."—Gerard A. Hauser, professor of communication and College Professor of Distinction,

University of Colorado at Boulder, from the foreword

9781611173031 : the-public-work-of-rhetoric-ackerman-coogan-hauser
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Other Titles by Gerard A. Hauser

Prisoners of Conscience

Gerard A. Hauser
Dec 2013 - University of South Carolina Press
$49.95 USD - Hardback
$34.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Vernacular Voices

Gerard A. Hauser
Jul 2008 - University of South Carolina Press
$32.50 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles from Studies in Rhetoric/Communication

Queering Romantic Engagement in the Postal Age

Pamela VanHaitsma
Sep 2019 - University of South Carolina Press
$24.99 USD - Hardback

Market Affect and the Rhetoric of Political Economic Debates

Catherine Chaput
Aug 2019 - University of South Carolina Press
$44.99 USD - Hardback

Diagnosing Madness

Christina Hanganu-Bresch
Jul 2019 - University of South Carolina Press
$49.99 USD - Hardback

Other Titles in LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Rhetoric

The Rhetoric of Faith

Scott D. Moringiello
Sep 2019 - The Catholic University of America Press
$75.00 USD - Hardback

Rereading Appalachia

edited by Sara Webb-Sunderhaus, Kim Donehower, with contributions by Ryan Angus, Krista Bryson, Gregory Griffey, Emma Howes, Josh Iddings, Peter Mortensen, Nathan Shepley, Todd Snyder, Kathryn Trauth Taylor
Oct 2017 - University Press of Kentucky
$80.00 USD - Hardback
$28.00 USD - Electronic book text
$28.00 USD - Paperback / softback

The People's Voice

Barnet Baskerville
Jul 2014 - University Press of Kentucky
$45.00 USD - Paperback / softback