Rhetoric in Society 7

Convegno internazionale di Retorica

  • Data:

    13 SETTEMBRE 2019
     dalle 9:00 alle 18:00
  • Luogo: Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences Henri Dunantlaan 2 – 9000 Gent


The 7th edition of Rhetoric in Society - the biannual conference of the Rhetoric Society of Europe - organized by the Department of Educational Studies of Ghent University. 

The theme of this year’s conference is “rhetoric as equipment for living”.

As a rhetorician and literary critic interested in how we use symbols, Kenneth Burke famously described the human being as the symbol-making, symbol-using and symbol-misusing animal. He argued that our interpretations, perceptions, judgements and attitudes are all influenced and ‘deflected’ by the symbols that we make, use and misuse, and that we are at the same time used by these symbols. This implies that we can approach the world either symbol-wise or symbol-foolish.

The conference aims to explore how rhetorical concepts, theories and methods from a broad range of rhetorical traditions can be used as tools – equipment – to make students, teachers, scholars, activists and citizens symbol-wise: to understand the way linguistic, cultural, narrative, affective… symbols work, and to develop critical engagement with, as well as on behalf of, those symbols. At the same time the conference aims to critically unpack what it implies to become symbol-wise within different institutional contexts. It furthermore wants to explore if and how rhetoric can still be relevant in an increasingly media-saturated knowledge society that is continuously in transition and that is becoming ever more complex and paradoxical by political, economic and cultural differences on a global scale.

Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences