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The Theory and Practice of Rhetoric in ...

a session at the 42nd International Congress on Medieval Studies (May

10-13, 2007), sponsored by The Commonwealth Center for the Humanities

and Society

The purpose of this session is to explore the range of ways that

medieval authors engaged with the Classical rhetorical tradition.

During the European middle ages, Classical rhetoric provided the

paradigm by which writers and thinkers organized society, narrated

history, and experienced the natural world. More than just a set of

strategies for public speaking, rhetoric offered a means of ordering the

world into comprehensible structures and hierarchies. In this session,

we will explore the interaction between the rhetorical text and the

worlds-social, cultural, historical, intellectual-it organized. We are

interested both in traditional rhetorical manuals as well as the ways in

which the language and techniques of rhetoric infiltrate other aspects

of medieval culture. In exploring these topics, we hope to bring

together scholars from different fields and disciplines, thereby

reflecting the broad influence exercised by Classical rhetoric on the

medieval world. Some topics and texts that might be discussed include:

Bede's de schematibus et tropis, rhetoric and the trivium, Cicero in the

medieval world, rhetoric in/and medieval law, the rhetoric of penance,

Alcuin's Dialogue of Charlemagne and Alcuin, rhetoric and the ars

poetriae, preaching and sermons, Isidore's Etymologiae, rhetoric and

vernacular poetry.

Please submit one-page abstracts to the address below (please include

complete contact information as required by the Congress). Papers are to

be no more than 20 minutes, and the deadline for submissions is

September 15, 2006. Submissions and inquiries may be sent to Andrew

Rabin (Department of English, University of Louisville) at:

Andrew Rabin

Assistant Professor

Department of English

The University of Louisville

Louisville, KY 40292

Bingham Humanities 336B


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