Rhetorical Economies and Ecologies of Humanitarian Aid Rhetorics: “Doing Rhetoric” in and about Luvungi

Modern rhetoriciansBitzer, Vatz, Biesecker and Edbauer develop overlapping and, at times, refuting perspectives of how meaning is made. Roughly summarized, Bitzer perceives rhetoric as an act within a particular stable scene or situation which motivates meaning; Vatz, in contrast, focuses on the predominance of the rhetor within a situation, translating and interpreting the meaning for the audience; Beisecker, however, borrows Derrida’s deconstructionist viewpoint, “the thematic of différance,” to demonstrate how audience is not fixed, and it is instead produced through a process of discourse; and finally, Edbauer undoes the constraints of the rhetorical situation altogether in order to show how rhetoric is much more organic and wider than one context, audience, text or rhetor. Understanding the “big picture” shifts of modern rhetorical theory ultimately leads the rhetorical scholar to more social and humanistic considerations about how meaning is constructed. This paper briefly explo…

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