Linda B. Hobgood
Recent release Yesternight from Covenant Books author Linda Hobgood is a fascinating story designed to celebrate the potential of imagination, to treasure childhood dreams and remember them for a lifetime.
With this compelling book, the author seeks to persuade readers of all ages that even morning cannot quell our dreams so long as we keep recalling with joy each “yesternight.”
Along with Confederate flags, the men and women who recently gathered before the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts carried signs proclaiming “Heritage Not Hate.” Theirs, they said, was an “open and visible protest against those who attacked us, ours flags, our ancestors, or our Heritage.” How, Nicole Maurantonio wondered, did “not hate” square with a “heritage” grounded in slavery? How do so-called neo-Confederates distance themselves from the actions and beliefs of white supremacists while clinging to the very symbols and narratives that tether the Confederacy to the history of racism and oppression in America? The answer, Maurantonio discovers, is bound up in the myth of Confederate exceptionalism—a myth whose components, proponents, and meaning this timely and provocative book explores.
The narrative of Confederate exceptionalism, in this analysis, updates two uniquely American mythologies—the Lost Cause and American exceptionalism—blending their elements with discourses of racial neoliberalism to create a seeming separation between the Confederacy and racist systems. Incorporating several methods and drawing from a range of sources—including ethnographic observations, interviews, and archival documents—Maurantonio examines the various people, objects, and rituals that contribute to this cultural balancing act. Her investigation takes in “official” modes of remembering the Confederacy, such as the monuments and building names that drive the discussion today, but it also pays attention to the more mundane and often subtle ways in which the Confederacy is recalled. Linking the different modes of commemoration, her work bridges the distance that believers in Confederate exceptionalism maintain; while situated in history from the Civil War through the civil rights era, the book brings much-needed clarity to the constitution, persistence, and significance of this divisive myth in the context of our time.
Nicole Maurantonio and David W. Parks
Communicating Memory & History takes as its mission the job of giving communication history its full due in the study of memory. Taking three keywords—communication, history, and memory—representing related, albeit at times hostile, fields of inquiry as its point of departure, this book asks how the interdisciplinary field of memory studies can be productively expanded through the work of communication historians. Across the chapters of this book, contributors employ methods ranging from textual analysis to reception studies to prompt larger questions about how the past can be alternately understood, contested, and circulated.
[Introduction to] Mapping the Cold War: Cartography and the Framing of America's International Power
In this fascinating history of Cold War cartography, Timothy Barney considers maps as central to the articulation of ideological tensions between American national interests and international aspirations. Barney argues that the borders, scales, projections, and other conventions of maps prescribed and constrained the means by which foreign policy elites, popular audiences, and social activists navigated conflicts between North and South, East and West. Maps also influenced how identities were formed in a world both shrunk by advancing technologies and marked by expanding and shifting geopolitical alliances and fissures. Pointing to the necessity of how politics and values were “spatialized” in recent U.S. history, Barney argues that Cold War–era maps themselves had rhetorical lives that began with their conception and production and played out in their circulation within foreign policy circles and popular media. Reflecting on the ramifications of spatial power during the period, Mapping the Cold War ultimately demonstrates that even in the twenty-first century, American visions of the world--and the maps that account for them--are inescapably rooted in the anxieties of that earlier era.
Mari Lee Mifsud
Rhetoric and the Gift, taking as its starting point the Homeric idea of the gift and Aristotle’s related rhetorical theory, explores rhetoric not only at the level of the artful response but at the level of the call and response. Mari Lee Mifsud takes up a number of questions crucial to thinking about contemporary communication: What does it mean that communication is a system of exchange with others? How are we to deal with questions of ethics in an economic system of power and authority? Can exchange ever be truly generous, and can communication, then, ever be free? Is there a more ethical way of relating and communicating, and might there be a different self-other relationship more conducive to a free people?
As a historian of ancient Greek rhetorical theory, Mifsud examines these questions of contemporary significance by turning first to Aristotle’s many citations of and references to Homer in order to discern the emergence of a system of exchange thought to be appropriate for a democratic polis. As she elucidates, the Homeric system of exchange — gift-giving — was used by Aristotle as a metaphor for rhetoric’s function, as he distinguished the gift as a system of exchange within the functioning of the polis, operating between individuals and society to bind people to people and cultures to cultures. These ancient ideas are shown to relate directly to our modern arguments concerning exception and exceptionalism as they play out in politics, law, and culture.
Such questions of exchange, thus, are shown to reverberate and continue to circulate through conversations in philosophy and communication, ranging across a great deal of recent study. Mifsud’s discussion of a variety of contemporary thinkers, together with her historical and theoretical approach, offers rich possibilities for new trajectories of relating the self and other, providing the critical, hermeneutical, and theoretical resources for thinking otherwise about rhetorical conceptions of relational ethics in communication, on both a personal and political level.
Jane S. Sutton and Mari Lee Mifsud
A Revolution in Tropes is a groundbreaking study of rhetoric and tropes. Theorizing new ways of seeing rhetoric and its relationship with democratic deliberation, Jane Sutton and Mari Lee Mifsud explore and display alloiōsis as a trope of difference, exception, and radical otherness. Their argument centers on Aristotle’s theory of rhetoric through particular tropes of similarity that sustained a vision of civic discourse but at the same time underutilized tropes of difference. When this vision is revolutionized, democratic deliberation can perform and advance its ends of equality, justice, and freedom. Marie-Odile, N. Hobeika, and Michele Kennerly join Sutton and Mifsud in pushing the limits of rhetoric by engaging rhetoric alloiostrophically. Their collective efforts work to display the possibilities of what rhetoric can be. A Revolution in Tropes will appeal to scholars of rhetoric, philosophy, and communication.
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