Atlantic World Rhetorics
A STAR (Scotland's Transatlantic Relations)/Atlantic World Research Network Joint Colloquium
IASH, Hope Park Square
Monday, 19 March from 9am to 6pm
Arising from the stimulating public lecture and one-day seminar the 'Rhetorics of Moderation' in March 2011, IASH will host an interdisciplinary symposium in collaboration with colleagues from University of North Carolina Greensboro. This event will develop issues raised in the successful IASH / STAR meeting on 'Voices of Moderation in the Atlantic World,' held in 2011. Historians, rhetoricians and English scholars will discuss public and private idioms of engagement in the Anglophone Atlantic World between 1750 and the present. Together, we shall consider a range of rhetorics – and disciplinary practices for their assessment – across domains from Literature to Philosophy, Politics and Religion. We shall address historical and contemporary languages of moderation, to ask what kinds of vocabulary, verbal structure and stance are deployed to promote the virtues of moderate thought? The symposium is part of our larger inquiry into how analysis of the rhetorics of moderatism help us better understand literary, cultural and political developments historically and in our own time.
For additional information, please see: Atlantics World Rhetorics Programme
Voices of Moderatism in the Atlantic World, 1600 - 2010
Moderates often claim to speak with 'reason' and 'common sense' that invoke Enlightenment traditions of self-evidence in the humanities and social sciences. As a result, moderates perhaps constitute a unique analytical challenge for contemporary scholars of political and social change: subtle performers of the 'obvious,' they are often only visible by contrast with 'fundamentalists' or 'extremists' against whom they appear to achieve momentary definition. Their tactics and their effectiveness depend on verbal (self-) presentation and techniques of persuasion: Rhetoric. This seminar will consider a range of rhetorics - and disciplinary practices for their assessment - across domains from literature to philosophy, politics and religion.
In March 2011 a penary public lecture was given by Professor Robert McCluer Calhoon (University of North Carolina at Greensboro) and one-day seminar the 'Rhetorics of Moderation’ held at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh. This built on a previous IASH workshop on 27 June 2008, ‘Everything in Moderation: Individuals, Institutions and Intellectuals in Flux’. The purpose of this seminar series is to draw together a diverse range of academic researchers, media and policy practitioners to explore the rhetorics, politics and pragmatics of moderation in order to explore the question ‘what might a reasoned project of moderation look like – intellectually, politically and in practice’? Three full-day seminars have been held, one each at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH) at the University of Edinburgh, the Centre for British Politics at the University of Nottingham and the Department of Sociology at the University of Birmingham.
This project addresses the historical and contemporary languages of moderation to ask what kinds of vocabulary, verbal structure and stance are deployed to promote the virtues of moderate thought? What are its philosophical antecedents? Does a rhetoric of moderation avoid, or depend on, potentially troublesome grand narratives of Enlightenment progress? What constitutes a 'moderate' intellectual? To what extent has the romantic idea(l) of the transgressive, unfettered thinker impeded the ways in which moderate, pragmatic thought is regarded? Such questions will contribute to the larger inquiry into how analysis of the rhetorics of moderatism help us better understand social, cultural and political developments historically and in our own time.
For further details or to express an interest in this project, please contact email@example.com.