Category: Volume 9

“The People are the Plague”: Rhetorics of Blame During COVID-19

From May through July 2020, we collected several hundred images shared on Facebook depicting blame for U.S. Covid-spread. Across these posts, we identified recurring patterns of blame accomplished through two rhetorical devices: attenuation and augmentation. We found two themes in these patterns of blame: individualizing social unsafety and identifying Americans as outsiders. In this article,

Fear and Loathing—of Disability on the Campaign Trail

My argument is that the ableist rhetorical framing of disability in the 2020 campaign trail has predominantly been used to delegitimize candidates for alleged disabilities—and in doing so, has contributed to an ableist project further stigmatizing disabled people and situating them as outside of the possibility of democratic agency. Furthermore, I argue that this ablenationalist

Rubles and Rhetoric: Corporate Kairos and Social Media’s Crisis of Common Sense

In this article, we investigate the platform politics and technological dynamics at play on Facebook that allowed Russian politically motivated advertisements to be purchased with Rubles during the 2016 election season. These ads were purchased using a currency that clearly indicated an attempt by a foreign power to influence a US election, something prohibited by

Intervening in #Access2Care: Towards a Rhetorical Framework for Relational Advocacy

This article examines tensions within infertility advocacy campaigns, like #Access2Care, which seek to improve access to healthcare, yet, at times operate within an advocacy framework that fails to listen to the very subjects they seek to empower. Ultimately, such actions lead to a misrepresentation of what empowerment means for the advocacy subject, and in doing

An Annotated Bibliography of Global and Non-Western Rhetorics: Sources for Comparative Rhetorical Studies

While we do not consider the 14 categories and 207 entries that constitute this bibliography to be absolutely comprehensive of all work in the field of global rhetorical studies, we hope readers will recognize the following goals in our selections: to increase rhetorical knowledge globally; to create new kinds of collaborations; and to promote the

Book Review: Cloud’s Reality Bites: Rhetoric and the Circulation of Truth Claims in U.S. Political Culture

Cloud, Dana. Reality Bites: Rhetoric and the Circulation of Truth Claims in U.S. Political Culture. Ohio State UP, 2018. As a nation, the US is obsessed with facts. Punch the terms “Trump” and “fact check” into any search engine, and you will discover a litany of websites and articles annotating the misinformation circulated by the

Book Review: Hlavacik’s Assigning Blame: The Rhetoric of Education Reform

Hlavacik, Mark. Assigning Blame: The Rhetoric of Education Reform. Harvard Education Press, 2016. Mark Hlavacik’s Assigning Blame: The Rhetoric of Education Reform is an in-depth analysis of conversations of and about the public school system in America, done through recounting advocacy acts and reforms that have impacted the system. By revealing major historical management issues

Book Review: Hawhee’s Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw: Animals, Language, Sensation

Hawhee, Debra. Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw: Animals, Language, Sensation. University of Chicago Press, 2016. Debra Hawhee’s extraordinarily complex, theoretically layered work Rhetoric in Tooth and Claw: Animals, Language, Sensation explores the ancient and ongoing contributions of nonhuman animals in rhetorical production, joining other rhetoric and writing scholars who have taken up the convergences between

Volume 9.1: Introspection

"Showcasing the many intersections of public rhetoric, current controversies, and effective pedagogy, the authors in this issue of Present Tense bring to light some remarkable instances of persuasive techniques and offer nuanced critiques of those moments in less than 2,500 words."