October 1, 2011
Denise Bostdorff's study of former President George W. Bush's use of ceremonial rhetoric as a way to counter opponents of the Iraq war will be published in the October issue of Communication Currents.
WOOSTER, Ohio — A study by Denise Bostdorff, professor of communication at The College of Wooster, will be featured in the October issue of Communication Currents. Her research examines former President George W. Bush's use of ceremonial rhetoric as a way to counter opponents of the Iraq war.
“Although ceremonial speaking can ennoble war, justify continued violence, and discourage dissent, this form of rhetoric is not inherently bad,” concludes Bostdorff, who specializes in the study of political rhetoric. “Presidents have employed ceremonial speaking to help Americans make sense of tragedy — as in the case of the Arizona shootings — and to bring citizens together to mark important events, such as the peaceful transition to a new administration. Nonetheless, the case of Bush and Iraq underscores the need to pay close attention to this type of speaking, especially when it advocates for war.”
Communication Currents is a publication of the National Communication Association, which selects current scholarly research from its journals for “translation” into short articles aimed at the general public. Bostdorff’s scholarly essay appeared in the September issue of Communication Monographs, one of the field’s top journals. Because Communication Monographs rarely publishes qualitative research, Bostdorff “was
particularly happy that this piece found a home there.”
Bostdorff is the author of The Presidency and the Rhetoric of Foreign
Crisis, Proclaiming the Truman Doctrine: The Cold War Call to Arms, and
more than 20 scholarly articles and book chapters. She is a member of the
National Communication Association, the Center for the Study of the Presidency,
the Rhetoric Society of America, and the Central States Communication
Association. Her honors include the B. Aubrey Fisher Outstanding Article Award
from the Western States Communication Association, and the National Speakers
Association's Outstanding Communication Professor Award. She also chaired a
national task force on the presidency in times of crisis in 2003-2004. A graduate of Bowling
Green State University, Bostdorff earned her M.A. at The University of Illinois
and her Ph.D. at Purdue University. Her article on Bush’s use of ceremonial rhetoric can be accessed online.
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