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2020 ISHR Seminar before RSA Conference - Call for Participants

Call for Participants:

2020 ISHR Seminar before RSA Conference

 “Rhetorical Deception and Persuasion Ancient and Modern”

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Seminar Organizer: Michele Kennerly, Penn State University
Seminar Leader: Christos Kremmydas, Royal Holloway University, London 

This seminar will explore the tense relationship between the art of persuasion and its rogue relative, rhetorical deception. This relationship will be examined briefly from a theoretical perspective before proceeding to analyse strategies of rhetorical deception in ancient and modern contexts. To what extent can rhetorical deception be identified in societies that purport to value truth-telling yet seem to be fighting a losing battle against experts of the “dark art” of rhetorical deception? And if deceptive strategies can be identified, might individuals also learn to resist rhetorical deception? The first session will discuss selected passages from Classical Greek and modern texts that talk about rhetorical deception. The second session will focus on strategies of rhetorical deception as they are identified in classical sources. Participants will be asked to contribute passages identifying such strategies in various literary genres across time and to discuss their respective functions. The third session will consider modern political discourse and the extent to which an awareness of strategies of rhetorical deception might improve the capacity of individuals to be active and critical citizens in our modern democracies.      

Please CLICK HERE to submit an application.

Questions: please contact: Christos Kremmydas (

Deadline for submission of ISHR Seminar applications: January 15, 2020. Notifications of acceptance will be sent before the early-bird RSA registration deadline.

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