Re-Inventing Rhetoric: Celebrating the Past, Building the Future is this year’s theme at the Rhetoric Society of America conference in Minneapolis (occurring May 31 – June 3). We celebrate this theme by sharing the never-before-published work of Kenneth Burke.
Introducing The War of Words
Burke’s contribution to rhetorical theory and criticism is unprecedented. When he conceived his “Motivorum” project, he envisioned it in three parts: A Symbolic of Motives (never finished); A Grammar of Motives (1945); and lastly A Rhetoric of Motives (1950), originally intended as a two-part book. Here, at last, it is: The War of Words. Burke brilliantly exposes the rhetorical devices that sponsor war in the name of peace.
Praise for The War of Words
- “The book recovers a set of ‘lost’ texts from Kenneth Burke, the most important rhetorical theorist of the twentieth century. It is important as history, but it is also full of valuable contributions to rhetorical theory and criticism.” —Edward Schiappa, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- “An absolutely indispensable addition to the Burkean corpus, with an admirable contextualization by the editors.… The material they [have] prepared is exquisite.” —Barry Brummett, University of Texas at Austin
Burke’s work continues to be relevant even now. In line with this year’s #RSA50 theme, Burke reminds us of our responsibilities as rhetoric scholars and human beings due to the pressing needs of our society today.