African Journal of Rhetoric - latest Issue
Volume 2016, Issue 8, 2016
Source: African Journal of Rhetoric 2016 (2016)More Less
The African Association for Rhetoric (AAR) and the Howard University Division of Humanities Common Text Project owe a debt of gratitude to a number of people for the successful organization of the Spring 2015 colloquium on the theme, Rhetoric, Transformational Leadership and W. E. B. Du Bois. We must recognize the contributions of Howard University administrators who were instrumental in providing the space and opportunity for this important event to hold at the historic institution, Howard University. We thank Professors Segun Gbadegesin and Clarence Lee for the quality of leadership that they provided as two consecutive Deans of the College of Arts and Sciences, Howard University. They provided meaningful support, encouragement and leadership. Professor Gbadegesin also presented the most elevating and thought provoking Keynote address at the colloquium. We also thank Dr. Garry Harris, Deputy Provost, Graduate School, for his unrelenting support, even beyond the colloquium. We are profoundly grateful to Dr Gregory Carr who also vigorously supported the project.
Source: African Journal of Rhetoric 2016, pp viii –xxiv (2016)More Less
Rhetoric, Transfomational Leadership and W.E.B. Du Bois -The 2015 project that culminated in this special edition was a collaboration between a number of Divisions, Units and Departments at Howard University, Washington DC, and the African Association for Rhetoric (AAR). The point of convergence was the classic book published by W. E. B. Du Bois, entitled: The Education of Black People (Aptheker, H. [ed.] 1973). The College of Arts and Sciences, Humanities Division Freshman Seminar Series had chosen the book as the core text for the 2014/2015 freshman class, and the same book was proposed and approved for the year's HU Humanities Division, Common Text Project, out of a number of proposed texts, as a way of engaging with Du Bois' thought, rhetoric and the notion of transformational leadership.
Author Omedi OchiengSource: African Journal of Rhetoric 2016, pp 27 –44 (2016)More Less
In this paper, I argue that a robust understanding of the definition, role, and value of the public intellectual ought to begin by contextualizing the history and meaning of the word 'public.' A genealogy of the term, I posit, reveals that the idea of the 'public' has been conceptualized in at least three major ways: as an 'economy of attention,' as a denominator of the 'common;' and as a signifier of the 'political.' The upshot of such an understanding of the public is the manner in which it allows both for the plurality and diversity of public intellectualism, while at the same time offering resources for a rigorous critique of specific public intellectuals. Toward this end, I examine the work and practice of W. E. B. Du Bois as a public intellectual. I argue that Du Bois offers a particularly striking and exemplary illustration of the dialectic between publics and intellectuals.
W.E.B. Du Bois and Cheikh Anta Diop on the origins and race of the Ancient Egyptians : some comparative notesAuthor Mario H. BeattySource: African Journal of Rhetoric 2016, pp 45 –67 (2016)More Less
In 1966 at the First World Festival of Black Arts held in Dakar, Senegal, W. E. B. Du Bois and Cheikh Anta Diop were both awarded with the prize for the most influential African intellectuals of the 20th century because their works represented an African intellectual revolution against the colonial/White supremacist order of knowledge and opened up the space for a new epistemology of African studies. Although Du Bois and Diop never directly engaged the ideas of each other in writing, they share an intellectual kinship in their broad theoretical framework that manifests in many significant similarities in their explorations and conceptions of African history and politics that has not been examined closely enough by existing scholarship. This study seeks to fill these lacunae through outlining a brief comparative study of the views of Diop and Du Bois in their respective examinations of the origins and race of the Ancient Egyptians and the importance that each attached to it in conversation with charting the future of African people in the modern world.
The Rhetoric of Transformation and sustainable development in African cities in the era of change : the case of Durban, South AfricaAuthor Ambrose A. AdebayoSource: African Journal of Rhetoric 2016, pp 68 –96 (2016)More Less
Spatial policies and interventions that focus on promoting sustainable city development from the end of the 20th century in South Africa have been informed by two main underlying imperatives. There has been an urgent need to positively transform the apartheid legacy of socio-economic spatial disequilibrium along racial lines in cities. The intensification of economic global linkages and integration in the era of globalization has also meant that the spatial structure of cities has to be responsive to new rules of competitiveness in the era of economic change regardless of the localized need for political transformation. These spatial imperatives for South African cities in the era of social, political and economic transformation are articulated in various government policy documents which agitate for the integration and transformation of city spaces to promote sustainable development. This paper empirically evaluates the socio-economic spatial imprint of this policy discourse in South Africa, using the case study of Durban. Based on various strategic architectural and urban design projects, the paper argues that the policy discourse of sustainable city transformation is nothing but mere rhetoric, as it is not being successfully articulated in architectural, urban design and housing spatial interventions. Transformation for sustainable development in strategic urban design and architectural spatial intervention projects is still at cross-roads, as socio-economic integration is being relegated to the background by market forces of free enterprise and class relations. The paper recommends a way forward to address the policy claims in respect of sustainable development.
Author Valethia WatkinsSource: African Journal of Rhetoric 2016, pp 97 –124 (2016)More Less
W. E. B. Du Bois was a leading advocate for granting women the right to vote. This aspect of his political activism, although highly significant, does not receive nearly as much attention as it deserves. Consequently, it is not as widely known as other aspects of his political views. This essay examines Du Bois' views and writings on woman suffrage within the pages of the NAACP's Crisis magazine. This analysis highlights W. E. B. Du Bois' constructive engagement of the suffrage issue along with his biting critique of the racial politics of the suffrage movement. Moreover, it interrogates the ways in which Du Bois' highly visible advocacy of the woman suffrage cause helps to challenge the myth that Black men did not support enfranchising women (including Black women).
Author Winnie ObikeSource: African Journal of Rhetoric 2016, pp 125 –151 (2016)More Less
In this essay I illustrate how Mandela's appeal for human rights is grounded in arguments about inherent human dignity and I combine aspects of Immanuel Kant's moral philosophy and Christian moral philosophy with Ubuntu, an African philosophy of ethics. In this analysis, I argue that Mandela transformed his appeal for human dignity into demands for economic rights through the rhetoric of economic moralism. I assert that due to his advocacy, principles of economic equality based on human dignity have taken a stronger hold in international law and national constitutions and have been used to expand economic rights for citizens of the world.
Rhetoric of power resistance in Nigeria's ruling vs. opposition party conflict : a critical discourse analysis of Governor Rauf Aregbesola's 2010 inaugural speechSource: African Journal of Rhetoric 2016, pp 152 –173 (2016)More Less
This paper examines the rhetoric of power resistance of the opposition party in Southwestern Nigeria against the ruling party at the federal level, drawing upon the 26th November 2010 inaugural speech of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State. Applying the tools of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) expounded in Fairclough's (1992) social theory of discourse, the paper examines how the rhetor configures the nullity of the suppressive 'instruments of federal power' on the political will, culture and structure of the Southwest (the then acclaimed political enclave of the opposition in Nigeria's party politics). The paper further examines the rhetor's configuration of the ruling party as being 'reactionary' in contrast to the 'progressive' orientation of the opposition party. In doing so, the resistance discourse celebrates the philosophy of 'Awoism' - the social and political teachings of Obafemi Awolowo about good governance - on which the acclaimed progressive principles of the opposition are anchored. The study reveals that contest for the acquisition and retention of power by the ruling party and the opposition still largely dominates the trajectory of rhetoric in contemporary Nigerian politics as opposed to the increase of rhetoric of social and political commitment whereby enduring ideological formations and sound policy issues define the development of coveted democratic ideals in Africa's political landscape.
Source: African Journal of Rhetoric 2016, pp 174 –207 (2016)More Less
This paper underscores the need for a different and transformative mode of politics in Nigeria's Niger-Delta. This entails a change from the present conception and practice of politics which excludes, alienates and oppresses the majority of the population (women) to one that is inclusive, participatory and treats them as the collaborative partners in the development process. It uses the lived experiences of rural women in Odi, Uzere and Igbokoda in the Niger-Delta to explore the plausibility of this human-factor approach to politics as a means to alleviate the crisis of under-development, environmental degradation and perennial armed conflict which continues to bedevil the Niger-Delta.
Author Caroline StarkSource: African Journal of Rhetoric 2016, pp 216 –233 (2016)More Less
In his 1908 speech to Fisk University, W. E. B. Du Bois uses the power of rhetoric to argue for a system of education that he believed would imbue the student with intellectual dignity and moral ethos and would uplift and sustain the black race for generations: training in the liberal arts. This essay analyzes the ways in which Du Bois draws upon classical and humanist rhetoric in his early critiques of education to celebrate the power of the mind and to affirm the importance of moral courage in the face of opposition and oppression. For Du Bois, Galileo Galilei's life and trial becomes emblematic of humankind's greatest achievement and failure, respectively. Whereas Galileo's scientific discoveries represent the power and potential of human knowledge to advance our understanding of the universe for the betterment of all humankind, his lack of moral courage at his trial in the face of death to stand for the truth of those discoveries, undermined his achievements and set back scientific progress for generations. By casting the leaders of Fisk as another Galileo faced with an analogous situation regarding the future of the university, Du Bois urges Fisk to choose over the temporary economic expediency of industrial education to foster intellectual and moral achievement in pursuit of the highest aspirations of human endeavor.
Author Z. NgubaneSource: African Journal of Rhetoric 2016, pp 234 –257 (2016)More Less
Arguably, apartheid policies such as the 'reservation of jobs for whites' and 'bantu education' further entrenched the disenfranchisement of the majority of the South African populace. Unfortunately, very little seems to be improving for the poor even today, notwithstanding government efforts to provide basic services to people whom the apartheid regime gave little consideration. We will argue and attempt to demonstrate in this article that if South Africa is to have any hope of taking significant strides in achieving economic emancipation, firstly; the government needs to lead decisively in the actual provision of quality education at all levels and not simply pay lip service to this ideal. Secondly; ensure that access to higher education, in particular, is guaranteed as a right to all who qualify on merit regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds. We also will argue that it is in fact unconstitutional and retrogressive for any South African to be turned away from an Institution of higher learning based solely on their inability to pay for their studies. While Government efforts to fund students through the NSFAS system are acknowledged, we propose that this is insufficient and that twenty-one years into democracy necessitates the exploration of different strategies in order to ensure that education becomes a right that is accessible to all who seek and desire it and not only a matter of rhetoric.
Transformative political rhetoric : argumentation and evaluative meanings in Zimbabwean parliamentary debatesSource: African Journal of Rhetoric 2016, pp 258 –283 (2016)More Less
Delving into the semantics of a notion in order to resolve an impasse between parties with differing standpoints worsen the problem. An argument that could have started with a minor difference of opinion can degenerate into a controversy. Thus, this paper opines that efforts to define the notion 'hero' or 'heroism' in order to determine who is supposed to be buried at the Zimbabwean National Heroes Acre makes the problem 'irresolvable' between the political parties in government. Debates on conferment of hero status in the Zimbabwean parliament are examined. These debates are selected on the basis of their controversiality and representativeness of the major political parties in government. We provide a critical analysis of the rhetorical, pragmatic and evaluative forms realised in the discourse of parliamentarians advancing standpoints in an effort to resolve the problem. The analysis of these debates is couched within the Extended Pragma Dialectic Theory, Controversy Analysis and Appraisal Theory. This multi- theoretic approach to controversial debates unearths essential discourse- linguistic insights on parliamentary discourse and transformative rhetoric.
Instrumentalising religious appeals in political discourse : an analysis of Goodluck Jonathan's 2015 campaign speechAuthor Yunana AhmedSource: African Journal of Rhetoric 2016, pp 284 –304 (2016)More Less
The paper sets out to investigate the extent to which the former President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan used religious allusions to legitimize himself as a credible candidate for the 2015 campaign election. The use of religious rhetoric in politics is not new, but Jonathan's explicit and implicit conflation of political language and religious beliefs deserves attention. The paper employs the etic/emic approach to rhetorical criticism provided by linguist Kenneth Pike in 1967 and adopted by Mao (2003). The etic approach is the initial approach to a rhetorical transaction from outside the culture, which interprets the rhetorical traditions of that culture in terms of a readily available terminology or a pre-existing theory. In using the etic approach, I will employ classical model of analysis - specifically, I will focus on the concepts deliberative rhetoric: stasis and ethical appeal (ethos) broadly. The emic approach, on the other hand, considers rhetorical transactions from within a particular culture without conscious expectations drawn from sources other than the tradition itself. In considering the emic approach, I will focus on how Nigerian cultural contexts influence the use of religion in its national politics. Based on the analysis, it is possible to pick out features of Jonathan's speech which evoke religious notions directly and indirectly through lexical selection, such as 'God,' and syntactic selection, such as 'humanly possible.' The analysis shows that Jonathan's explicit and implicit invocation of the deity of God is used not so much as what Burke (1970) would describe as the use of religion to unify, but it is used largely as a form of legitimizing Jonathan's credibility and goodwill.
Author Joshua MyersSource: African Journal of Rhetoric 2016, pp 305 –321 (2016)More Less
W. E. B. Du Bois is a thinker that has been linked to many different intellectual projects. The best way to understand what he believed his work meant, however, is to return him to his own words. What it means to be African in the modern world, to think as an African intellectual to solve the problems of the modern world the answers to these questions ground his own thinking about his work. This essay is a brief reflection on those meanings. It seeks to (re)introduce, though not resolve, the question: How do we think of Du Bois as an African intellectual?