1st Edition

Affect, Emotion, and Rhetorical Persuasion in Mass Communication

Edited By Lei Zhang, Carlton Clark Copyright 2019
    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    254 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume examines the interplay between affect theory and rhetorical persuasion in mass communication. The essays collected here draw connections between affect theory, rhetorical studies, mass communication theory, cultural studies, political science, sociology, and a host of other disciplines. Contributions from a wide range of scholars feature theoretical overviews and critical perspectives on the movement commonly referred to as "the affective turn" as well as case studies. Critical investigations of the rhetorical strategies behind the 2016 United States presidential election, public health and antiterrorism mass media campaigns, television commercials, and the digital spread of fake news, among other issues, will prove to be both timely and of enduring value. This book will be of use to advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and active researchers in communication, rhetoric, political science, social psychology, sociology, and cultural studies.


    Introduction: Heartfelt Reasoning, or why facts and good reasons are not enough

    Part I: Theorizing Affect and/or Emotion

    1. Three Paradigms of Affect: The Historical Landscape of Emotional Inquiry

    Kevin Marinelli

    2. Bridging the Affect/Emotion Divide: A Critical Overview of the Affective Turn

    Paul Stenner

    3. We Have Never Been Rational: A Genealogy of the Affective Turn

    David Stubblefield

    Part II: Affect in Rhetorical and Cultural Theory

    4. Affective Rhetoric: What it Is and Why it Matters

    Samuel Mateus

    5. White Nationalism and the Rhetoric of Nostalgia

    Michael Mayne

    6. They Believe Their Belief: Rhetorically Engaging Culture through Affect and Ideology

    Phil Bratta

    7. Governing Bodies: The Affects and Rhetorics of North Carolina’s House Bill 2

    Julie D. Nelson

    8. How Affect Overrides Fact: Anti-Muslim Politicized Rhetoric in the Post-Truth Era

    Lara Lengel and Adam Smidi

    Part III: Affect in the Mass Media

    9. "Lee’s Filling—Tastes Grant!": The Affect of Civil War Archetypes in Beer Commercials

    Lewis Knight and Chad Chisholm

    10. Disgusting Rhetorics: "What’s the Warts That Could Happen?"

    Jaimee Bodtke and George F. (Guy) McHendry, Jr.

    11. Aestheticizing the Affective Politics of "If You See Something, Say Something"

    Charlotte Kent

    12. Gratifications from watching movies that make us cry: Facilitation of grief, parasocial empathy, and the grief-comfort amalgam

    Charles F. Aust

    Part IV: Affect in 2016 U.S. Presidential Election

    13. The Circulation of Rage: Memes and Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign

    Jeffrey St. Onge

    14. Feelings Trump Facts: Affect and the Rhetoric of Donald Trump

    Lucy Miller

    15. Affect, Aesthetics and Attention: The Digital Spread of Fake News across the Political Spectrum

    Kayla Keener

    16. Meta-Sexist Discourses and Affective Polarization in the 2016 US Presidential Campaign

    Jamie Capuzza



    Carlton Clark is a Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin—La Crosse, where he teaches writing and American Literature. He earned his PhD in Rhetoric from Texas Woman’s University. He has published articles in Erfurt Electronic Studies in English, Kairos: A Journal for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments, Teaching English in the Two-Year College, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Kybernetes: The International Journal of Cybernetics, Systems and Management Sciences.

    Lei Zhang is an assistant professor of English and Journalism at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, where she teaches rhetoric, journalism, and new media studies. She also serves as the faculty advisor for the student newspaper, The Racquet. She received her master’s in Journalism from the University of North Texas and Ph.D. in Rhetoric from Texas Woman’s University.