Activism and Rhetoric: Theories and Contexts for Political Engagement, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Activism and Rhetoric

Theories and Contexts for Political Engagement, 2nd Edition

Edited by JongHwa Lee, Seth Kahn


280 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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The second edition of this formative collection offers analysis of the work rhetoric plays in the principles and practices of today’s culture of democratic activism.

Editors JongHwa Lee and Seth Kahn – and their diverse contributors working in communication and composition studies both within and outside academia – provide explicit articulation of how activist rhetoric differs from the kinds of deliberative models that rhetoric has exalted for centuries, contextualised through and by contributors’ everyday lives, work, and interests. New to this edition are attention to Black Lives Matter, the transgender community, social media environments, globalization, and environmental activism.

Simultaneously challenging and accessible, Activism and Rhetoric: Theories and Contexts for Political Engagement is a must-read for students and scholars who are interested in or actively engaged in rhetoric, composition, political communication, and social justice.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the Second Edition

JongHwa Lee and Seth Kahn 

Part 1: Activism Where We Work: Academic/Pedagogical 

1 Borders of Engagement: Rethinking Scholarship, Activism, and the Academy

Bryan J. McCann 

2 Rhetorical Activism: Responsibility in the Ivory Tower  

Rebecca Jones

3 Reclaiming (Teaching) the "A" Word (Activism)

Amy Pason

4 A Time to Remember: Rhetorical Pedagogy, Commemoration, and Activism

Christina Moss

Part 2: Voices from the Margin(alized) 

5 Alt-Country Rhetorics: Relearning (Trans) Activism in Rural Indiana

G Patterson

6 Recognizing and Saving Black Lives, Recognizing and Saving Palestinian Lives: The Power of Transnational Rhetorics in Locating the Commonality of Liberation Struggles

Matthew Abraham

7 Gadugi: Where the Fire Burns (Still)

Ellen Cushman

8 Memory War: Activist Rhetoric for Historical Justice

JongHwa Lee

Part 3: Modalities and Audiences 

9 Raging Media: Investing in an Infrastructure for Resistance

Kevin Mahoney

10 A Conservative Professorial Pundit in Liberal Surroundings: an Uneven Odyssey Projected through 2020

Richard Vatz

11 On Strike! A Rhetorician’s Guide to Solidarity-Building

Seth Kahn

12 Affect and Activism in the Rhetorical Context of the Post-Truth Era

Catherine Chaput

Part 4: Re-Theorizing Activist Rhetoric 

13 Speaking the Power of Truth: Rhetoric and Action for Our Times

Lee Artz

14 Tradition and Transformation in Jane Addams’s New Federalism: Creating Community Sphere by Empowering Municipalities

Rodrick Schubert and Omar Swartz

15 The Work of a Middle Class Activist: Stuck in History 

Charles Bazerman

16 Social Justice Activists, Environmental Fatigue, and the Restorative Practices of Doing "The Work that Reconnects"

Madrone Kalil Schutten 

17 [Still] The Only Conceivable Thing to Do 

Dana Cloud


Michelle Rodino-Colocino

About the Editors

JongHwa Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Mass Media at Angelo State University, USA.

Seth Kahn is a Professor of English at West Chester University, USA.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies