Rhetoric scholars have articulated diverse approaches to both civil and human rights as political, ethical, and academic discourses. “Traditions of Testifying and Witnessing” initiates important interdisciplinary conversations within human rights rhetoric concerning the construction of rights knowledge, the role of advocacy, and politics of representations during acts of witnessing. Developing a conceptual framework for rhetorical inquiry into rights discourse, the collection of essays by established scholars demonstrates a range of approaches and subject matter. From textual analysis of AIDS politics and activism to theoretical discussions of the nature of rights rhetoric and confession, the book challenges many current assumptions about rights history and practices and still provides an introduction to the recent themes for classroom use. To encourage critical reflection on the assumptions, contentions, and implications of political representations and human rights, the editors have concluded the collection with a series of suggestive visual
works without comment to prompt viewers’ own engagement with them.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Rhetoric Society Quarterly
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Human Rights Rhetoric: Traditions of Testifying and Witnessing Arabella Lyon & Lester C. Olson Chapter 2. Human Rights and Civil Rights: The Advocacy and Activism of African-American Women Writers Jacqueline Jones Royster & Molly Cochran Chapter 3. ‘‘From the Eye to the Soul’’: Industrial Labor’s Mary Harris ‘‘Mother’’ Jones and the Rhetorics of Display Mari Boor Tonn Chapter 4. Rights Language and HIV Treatment: Universal Care or Population Control? Cindy Patton Chapter 5. A Question of Confession’s Discovery Erik Doxtader Chapter 6. Human Rights Rhetoric of Recognition Wendy S. Hesford Chapter 7. Human Rights Rhetoric: A Visual Sequence Lester C. Olson & Arabella Lyon
Arabella Lyon has published recent essays on comparative rhetoric, human rights, and Chinese communication. Her book Intentions: Negotiated, Contested, and Ignored won the Ross Winterowd Award for the Outstanding Book in Rhetoric and Composition. Currently she is completing a manuscript entitled Deliberative Acts: Democracy, Rights, and Rhetoric.
Lester C. Olson’s books include Emblems of American Community in the Revolutionary Era (1991), Benjamin Franklin’s Vision of American Community (2004), and, with co-editors Cara A. Finnegan and Diane S. Hope, Visual Rhetoric (2007). His essays concerning Audre Lorde’s advocacy appear in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Philosophy & Rhetoric, American Voices, Queering Public Address, and The Responsibilities of Rhetoric.