CfP Power, Rhetoric, and Political Culture: The Texture of Political Action

Wer sich mit der Verbindung zwischen Macht, Rhetorik und politischer Kultur wissenschaftlich auseinandersetzt und eine Publikationsmöglichkeit sucht, der sollte sich die nachfolgenden Informationen genauer ansehen. Denn die Herausgeber Ralph Cintron und Robert Hariman bitten um Einsendungen von Kapiteln zu dem Band „Power, Rhetoric, and Political Culture: The Texture of Political Action“ für die von Berghahn Books veröffentlichte Reihe „Rhetoric Cultures“. Ausgewählte Beiträge sollen vor der Veröffentlichung zudem auf einer Tagung an der Northwestern University im Januar 2012 präsentiert werden. Alles Weitere findet Ihr hier.
Call for papers

Power, Rhetoric, and Political Culture: The Texture of Political Action

Ralph Cintron and Robert Hariman, editors

Chapter proposals are invited for this volume in the Rhetoric Culture series
published by Berghahn Books

Proposals should be sent to and Drafts will be presented at a conference to be held at
Northwestern University in January, 2012.

This volume addresses a critical problem in understanding the contemporary
historical moment: identifying how large-scale and potentially catastrophic
economic, social, and political processes are articulated in the practice of
everyday life. On the one hand, there is comprehensive evidence that the
global extension of capitalism, media technologies, and neoliberal state
practices has produced massive rates of change across the globe. On the
other hand, theoretical and methodological advances in the qualitative
sciences have produced remarkably fine-grained accounts of social experience
that cannot be easily coordinated with the structural determination of
collective association. The picture that emerges is paradoxical: one sees
both highly nuanced examples of human agency and powerful constraints on any
attempt to act in ways that would interfere with system dominance.

Thus, there is need for work that can advance understanding of how systemic
change is experienced, negotiated, and perhaps resisted in specific settings
that define a society¹s capacity for political action. To that end, this
volume provides a series of essays grounded in three principles of analysis:
they rethink the concept of political culture, by emphasizing the texture of
political action, in respect to understanding the 21st century as it is
being inaugurated by large-scale historical phenomena such as ³creative
destruction,² population displacement and hyper-urbanization, cultural
hybridization and global system integration, militarization and war, and
ecological, economic, and political catastrophes.

The focus on political culture involves emphasizing the importance of shared
habits of communication, interaction, and display in the constitution of
political communities and collective action. ³Culture² is itself a
contested term, of course, and not taken here as a fixed source of meaning
or motivation. Rather, the intention is to consider how political
intelligibility, legitimacy, and capacity are constructed and complicated by
being articulated through distinctively coherent repertoires of social
practice. By seeing how political subjectivity flows across the surface of
the city, becomes embedded in public arts, or is relayed through digital
technologies, one can identify how politics depends on aesthetically
inflected concentrations of social energy that in turn suggest varied
theory-practice relationships.

The specific focus within this context is on the ³texture² of political
practices. Politics is understood to be more richly articulated than
abstract relations of power, more widely practiced than through the
institutions of governance, and determined not only by necessity and
self-interest but also by modes of performance. So it is that political
judgment and action are the outcomes of finely woven habits of speech,
interaction, and artistic display. Because this is so, the relative autonomy
of the political sphere proves to be a significant point for analysis:
political consciousness is being modulated across a broad spectrum of social
and cultural activities, while the ability to control the definition of
political action can be crucial.

The commitment to theoretical argument regarding the continuing development
of modernity is obviously ambitious and perhaps Quixotic, but we believe it
also is an intellectual obligation. The volume will not outline a grand
theory but rather suggest how the interaction of social structure and
individual agency can be identified in the nuanced articulations of situated
speech. Equally important, the volume addresses particularly troubling
features of the contemporary moment, each of which has acquired a different
valance since the end of the Cold War. These include, among others:
globalization, which has shifted from economic reality to social fact;
hegemony, which may be entering a paradoxical phase; war, which has evolved
to become a predatory force exceeding Great Power politics; and catastrophe,
which has displaced revolution as a master trope for dramatic change.

Although ³agency² and ³structure² are well-worn concepts within modern
scholarship, the problem continues to challenge both theorists and the
public as they attempt to comprehend the everyday experience of historical
change. By bringing together scholars in anthropology, rhetoric, and other
disciplines, this volume will provide close readings of specific events,
practices, and cultures to identify some of the characteristic constraints
and possibilities defining communicative action in the 21st century. The
volume will not provide a unified system of explanation, but we hope to get
closer to the current ³pulse² of the lifeworld: a sense that order and
disorder have become barely separable, and that the globe itself has become
an electronic body of information flows, blockages, and surges, while our
real bodies fear the cataclysm.

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