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Tag Archives: Radical Political Rhetoric




Radical Political Rhetoric 

Coordinators: James Martin & Alan Finlayson

‘Political activity’, claims Jacques Rancière, ‘makes understood as discourse what was once only heard as noise’. Central to radical politics, then, are inventive rhetorical practices: mobilising critique, disrupting dominant forms of discourse and generating new forms of argumentation to win new audiences. But what are the contemporary sources for a radical political rhetoric? Who performs radical critique and how?  In what respects does the current crisis demand inventive rhetoric and to whom should these arguments be directed? Should radical politics be conceived as an argumentative practice at all? Can occupations and demonstrations effectively persuade and mobilise opinion? When does protest stop being just ‘noise’?

We invite papers to explore the rhetorical styles and substance of radical politics. Proposed papers may cover (but are not limited to) the following topics:

·      The philosophical sources, grounds and premises of radical rhetoric; their limitations and advantages

·      The stylistic forms of argumentation and communication

·      The audiences of radical political argument

·      Practical examples of inventive forms of critique and persuasion

·      Reflection on the rhetorical contexts and modalities of political critique

·      The place of emotions and affect in political communication

·      Democracy and rhetorical subjectivity


Professor James Martin





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