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The Trap of the Hyperreal

“Donald, I know you live in your own reality…” It was a line that debate geeks loved, but it may not have been that far from the truth.

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Structuralism and Myth: A quick introduction

The opening unit of my Language and Ideology course examines how language—and we can extend the meaning of “language” to include hyper linguistic semiological systems, such as myth—constructs our perception of the world, or better, “reality.” These linguistic systems become structures that shape human consciousness, structures that we remain largely ignorant of. Below is a … Continue reading »

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Lloyd Bitzer defines rhetoric as “a mode of altering reality…by the creation of discourse which changes reality through the mediation of thought and action” (4). To achieve this, the rhetor—or the person composing rhetoric—must be able to connect to her or his intended audience through a shared understanding of symbols: utterances, words, graphics. This connection … Continue reading »

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Obama Drama (A pentadic criticism of his sequester statement)

Drama. We love it. Movies, television, fiction, political theatre, sports and spectacle. Life is drama, or at least that is how we make sense of life. The 20th century rhetorician Kenneth Burke saw drama everywhere, saw it as a way that people constructed their realities. While the material world is perceived by our five senses, we … Continue reading »

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