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Lecture

NonWestern Ancient Rhetoric

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Department
Communication
Course
COMM 1010
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Fall

Description
Non­Western Ancient Rhetoric 1. Why study non­Greek, non­Western Rhetoric? 2. Methodological difficulties with studying non­Greek, non­Western Rhetoric a. Access i. Because no one was accessing them we have lost our ability to get  them easily b. Training i. Likely written in dead and dying languages ii. Even if we have them we, as rhetorical scholars, don’t have the  skills to study them accurately iii. End up trying to understand the language and not the issues within  the text c. Sense­making i. We learn by adding on skill sets – we make sense of rhetoric that  came before with rhetoric that came after ii. We are using the wrong methods iii. Putting things into Western culture standards d. Expertise i. Who is qualified to judge if we did a good job or not? ii. No one to determine if the work is superior 3. How do we define it? a. Some say comparative rhetoric but it is inaccurate b. Cultural rhetoric i. Mailloux (1998) said: “A study of cultural rhetoric attempts to read the tropes, arguments,  and narratives of its object texts (whether literary or nonliterary)  within the their sociopolitical contexts of cultural product and  reception” (p. 186).   ii. Studying rhetoric within its cultural, political, historical, and social  standing instead of looking at it through the lenses of other cultures 4. Ways to study cultural rhetoric a. Text i. Most people didn’t read ii. Not as important b. Body i. The way people used the body to represent information and convey  meaning c. Space i. The places the rhetoric was performed ii. The places rhetors were allowed to speak d. Symbol systems i. The different types of symbols (ex. clothing, art) and the way they  were being passed down 5. Philosophical issues with studying cultural rhetoric a. Issue of focus i. Must spend time learning the language and culture before you even  get to the study of rhetoric b. Goal of rhetoric i. To create a just and healthy democratic society, engaged by the  people ii. Are we really focusing on the goal? iii. Just because it doesn’t look like pure enactment of democratic  principles doesn’t mean it isn’t helping us learn, learning more is  never a bad thing when trying to figure out how to persuade better. 6. Cultural Rhetors a. Pan Chao st nd i. 1  and 2  century China ii. Teacher and Librarian iii. Wrote on the traditional roles of Chinese women iv. She was asked to fill her brother’s role for the emperor after he  died v. Educated in beautiful speech aimed at the appropriate behaviors  for women vi. Women were submissive vii. No argument, simply stating how it should be viii. Discourses of power have not changed much ix. Cannot judge her by today’s standards 1. Must study things within their poltical, historical concept 2. Must look at rhetoric the way it was written that day b. Sei Shonagon i. 10  century Japan ii. Wrote in Chinese 1. Had to be trained in it 2. Japan did not develop a written systematic way of writing  or a couple hundred years iii. Lady­in­waiting to Empress Sadako iv. Wrote essays on court life v. Inner thoughts as opposed to standards vi. Has more rights  7. Readings a. Watts, J. (2004). Story­List­Sanction: A Cross­Cultural Strategy of
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