Communication and Culture | Rhetorical Critiques of War: Critiquing the War on Terror
C616 | 26298 | Robert Ivie


Topic:  Critiquing the War on Terror
Class Number: 26298
Meeting time TBA

Meets with CULS-C 701 & AMST-G751

Professor: Robert Ivie
E-mail: rivie@indiana.edu
Office: Mottier Hall 203
Phone: 5-5467

The general purpose of the course is to employ rhetoric as a
heuristic for critically engaging discourses of war and for
transforming the legitimization of war into a cultural problematic,
especially within U.S. political culture.

The course is focused this semester specifically on critiquing the
strategic design and negative cultural and political consequences of
the prevailing discourse of war against terrorism as it has
developed in the United States, especially since September 11, 2001
in response to the dramatic attacks on the World Trade Center and
the Pentagon.

Readings for the course include works on discourse theory as they
apply to the construction of national insecurity and to enriching
the democratic imaginary, rhetorical critiques of the Bush
administration’s war on terror, the voices of terrorism, a vision of
a world communication order, and the possibility of a democratic
rhetoric of dissent for articulating more productive responses to
the problem of terrorism and counter-terror.

My recent book, Democracy and America’s War on Terror (Tuscaloosa:
University of Alabama Press, 2005), will serve as a baseline reading
for the course as will a recent special issue of Third World
Quarterly, devoted to the theme of “The Politics of Naming:  Rebels,
Terrorists, Criminals, Bandits and Subversives.”  Other books have
not yet been selected, but they would include works such as:  David
Campbell, Writing Security:  United States Foreign Policy and the
Politics of Identity, rev. ed. (Minneapolis:  University of
Minnesota Press, 1998); Corey Robin, Fear:  The History of a
Political Idea (Oxford University Press, 2004); The 9/11 Commission
Report (2004); George Lakoff, Moral Politics:  How Liberals and
Conservatives Think, 2nd ed. (University of Chicago Press, 2002);
Walter Laqueur, ed. Voices of Terror:  Manifestos, Writings and
Manuals of Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Other Terrorists from Around the
World and Throughout the Ages (Reed Press, 2004); The MacBride
Commission, Many Voices, One World:  Towards a New, More Just, and
More Efficient World Information and Communication Order (1980);
Judith Butler, Precarious Life:  The Powers of Mourning and Violence
(Verso, 2004); Susan Buck-Morss, Thinking Past Terror:  Islamism and
Critical Theory on the Left (Verso, 2003).  About six books total
will be assigned for the class in general.

Students will design and complete a major research paper for the
course.