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Week Four


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Week Four

  1. 1. COMM 401Interpreting Strategic DiscourseWeek Four<br />Memory<br />
  2. 2. Ancient Understandings of Memory<br />Memory in Rhetorica ad Herennium, Book III<br />Devoted to Arrangement, Delivery, Memory.<br />Memory is both natural and artificial (mnemonic devices).<br />
  3. 3. Memory—The Lost Canon<br />Memory is the lost canon of ancient rhetoric<br />Was critical to earlier understanding of rhetoric<br />Homeric bards<br />All ancient theories developed elaborate codes of memory<br />Why is it lost?<br />
  4. 4. Different Senses of Memory<br />Because Memory differs widely in what it can mean as an aspect of rhetoric, rhetorical criticism in terms of Memory has equally broad possibilities:<br />the degree to which a speaker successfully remembers a memorized oration <br />the facility with which a speaker calls upon his memory of apt quotations and thoughts that effectively meet the rhetorical intention <br />an analysis of the methods a speaker uses in order for the message to be retained in the memory of those hearing (mnemonics) <br />assessment of direct appeals to memory or the mention of it or related terms <br />
  5. 5. Collective Memory<br />Collective vs. individual memory<br />Memory vs. history<br />Public memory: how we collectively understand our past; strategies, discourses, symbols that we use to define and communicate the past.<br />Related to myth, narrative; discusses the stories we tell about the past.<br />
  6. 6. Remembering vs. Forgetting<br />What maintains its place in our public/collective memory?<br />What is remembered? What is forgotten?<br />Is there a value in forgetting? What about American history should be forgotten? What has been forgotten but should be remembered?<br />How do we remember? How do we forget?<br />Valence of memory and forgetting<br />Amnesia vs. nostalgia<br />
  7. 7. Strategies of Memorializing<br />A very public way of communicating memory is through public memorializing. <br />Such memorials are complicated, complex, public rhetorical acts. <br />
  8. 8. Presentism<br />The present tends to cloud our visions/rhetorics of the past. <br />Presentism is the dimension of collective memory where such rhetoric is dependent upon the present conditions, or defined by present circumstances.<br />
  9. 9. Harding at Lincoln Memorial<br />“No great character in all history has been more eulogized, no towering figure more monumented, no likeness more portrayed. Painters and sculptors portray as they see, and no two see precisely alike. So, too. is there varied emphasis in the portraiture of words; but all are agreed about the rugged greatness, the surpassing tenderness, the unfailing wisdom of this master martyr. History is concerned with the things accomplished. Biography deals with the methods and the individual attributes which led to accomplishment.”<br />
  10. 10. Harding at Lincoln Memorial<br />“The supreme chapter in history is not emancipation, though that achievement would have exalted Lincoln throughout all the ages. The simple truth is that Lincoln, recognizing an established order, would have compromised with the slavery that existed, if he could have halted its extension. Hating human slavery as he did, he doubtless believed in its ultimate abolition through the developing conscience of the American people, but he would have been the last man in the Republic to resort to arms to effect its abolition. Emancipation was a means to the great end—maintained union and nationality.”<br />
  11. 11. Harding at Lincoln Memorial<br />“Here was the great purpose, here the towering hope, here the supreme faith. He treasured the inheritance handed down by the founding fathers, the ark of the covenant wrought through their heroic sacrifices, and builded in their inspired genius. The union must be preserved. It was the central thought, the unalterable purpose, the unyielding intent, the foundation of faith. It was worth every sacrifice, justified every cost, steeled the heart to sanction every crimsoned tide of blood.”<br />
  12. 12. Image/Visual Rhetoric<br />Visual texts involve the cultural practices of seeking and looking, as well as the artifacts produced in diverse communicative forms and media.<br />Visual rhetoric = those symbolic actions enacted primarily through visual means, made meaningful through culturally derived ways of looking and seeing and endeavoring to influence diverse publics.<br />Visual rhetoric texts may include photography, film, posters, cartoons, bodies, drawings, demonstrations, memorials, emblems, ads, illustrations, televisions, computer screens…<br />
  13. 13. Images and Their Power<br />Images are feared by many:<br />Plato<br />Allegory of the Cave<br />The Bible<br />Ten Commandments:<br />You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.<br />5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me.<br />Islam<br />Some passages in the Koran and the Hadith are said to prohibit images of the prophet.<br />
  14. 14. Images and Their Power<br />Images were embraced by Thomas Aquinas (13th century), who argued for the “institution of images in the Church.”<br />Images were accessible, concise, powerful, emotional.<br />
  15. 15. “Too Real” Photography<br />In U.S., early daguerrotypes by Matthew Brady communicated the reality/brutality of the Civil War to millions. <br />Reality seemed different; death was more vivid and “real”<br />
  16. 16. Photographic Reality<br />The great irony of photography: The realer images become, the less real reality seems.<br />Jean Baudrillard’s “murderous capacity of images.”<br />Photographs remove character, romance, nuance, identity, and emotion.<br />
  17. 17. Image Rhetoric<br />Performing & Seeing:<br />Public performances often can affirm and transmit culture by forging bonds or divisions.<br />How do public performances express or convey meaning? When do some become iconic/representative?<br />Who can perform publicly? Who is excluded? What are the roles, norms, expectations for public visual performances?<br />Seeing involves:<br />Gazing vs. surveillance<br />Scopophilia vs. voyeurism<br />
  18. 18. Circulation & the Iconic Image<br />One dimension to the role of image and visuality in contemporary discourse is the circulation and recirculation of public images.<br />When an image is recirculated, that may be one marker of its iconic status.<br />
  19. 19. Recirculation<br />
  20. 20. Recirculation<br />
  21. 21.
  22. 22. Image Rhetoric<br />Remembering & Memorializing<br />What events are deemed worth remembering? What people?<br />How is that memorializing done in narrative? With myth? Visually?<br />What is lost to amnesia? What is not pictured, not seen?<br />
  23. 23. Image Rhetoric<br />Confronting & Resisting<br />Those rhetors who oppose established institutions and resist the established order often employ visual rhetoric.<br />Demonstrations, marches, flag burnings, photos and videos—all can function as modes of resistance and confrontation.<br />Some become iconic.<br />
  24. 24. Image Rhetoric<br />Commodifying & Consuming<br />Commodification involves the symbolic processes by which the motives of commercial exchange are integrated into social, political, and cultural relations.<br />Always involves some degree of consumption.<br />Convergence theory of media and image.<br />
  25. 25. What is a Spectacle?<br />Spectacles are highly staged and constructed.<br />Spectacles are mediated.<br />Spectacles involve many people and considerable wealth/capital.<br />Spectacles are often ritualized expressions of communal values and ideals.<br />
  26. 26. Understanding Spectacles<br />Spectacles are staged and constructed.<br />Spectacles require months of planning and preparation.<br />Spectacles involve many people and lots of money.<br />Choices are made in the staging of spectacles that may be important to a critic.<br />
  27. 27. Understanding Spectacles<br />Spectacles are highly mediated.<br />Mediation can obscure meaning and power.<br />Mediation adds another layer to a spectacle’s message?<br />Mediation makes finding the spectacle’s source difficult.<br />
  28. 28. The Critic and the Spectacle<br />Criticism of spectacle asks:<br />How is the spectacle staged and constructed? <br />What are the symbols/markers of the spectacle’s meaning?<br />What are the metaphors employed in the spectacle’s performance?<br />What are the mediation strategies at work in the communication of the spectacle?<br />Who are the sources of the message in the spectacle?<br />What does the mediation of spectacle mean for understanding of audience reception?<br />What values are expressed by the spectacle?<br />What is the hierarchy of values contained with the spectacle?<br />How is the spectacle ritualized?<br />
  29. 29. Midterm Exam<br />Average: 69<br />Curve: +7 points<br />After curve distribution<br />A = 2<br />B = 1<br />C = 3<br />D = 1<br />F = 2<br />