This episode features an interview with Dr. Ersula J. Ore, recorded at the 2020 Modern Language Association Convention in Seattle, Washington.
Dr. Ore is the Lincoln Professor of Ethics in the School of Social Transformation and associate professor of African and African American Studies at Arizona State University. Her research explores the suasive strategies of Black Americans as they operate within a post-emancipation historical context, giving particular attention to the ways physical and discursive violence influences performances of citizenship. Dr. Ore received the 2018-2019 Outstanding Mentor award from Arizona State’s Center for Global Health, and her book Lynching: Violence, Rhetoric, and American Identity received the 2020 Book Award from the Rhetoric Society of America. Her current research investigates the ways civility discourse masks misogynoir and how such masking reinscribes civility as the racist articulation of a past that expresses the desire for a particular kind of quote-unquote “ordered” present and future. You can check out some of this thinking in her 2019 Organization for Research on Women and Communication keynote entitled “Citizenship, Civility, and the 'Black Looks' of Sandra Bland” as well as “Lynching in Times of Suffocation: Toward a Spatio-Temporal Politics of Breathing,” a co-authored piece with Matthew Houdek that is forthcoming this fall in Women’s Studies in Communication.
In this episode, we discuss Lynching, focusing on the circulation of lynching photographs as a form of epideictic rhetoric, the relation between racism and intention, and experiences that informed Ore's book and her perspective on rhetoric.
A heads-up to listeners that this episode includes extensive discussion of anti-Black violence.
This episode includes a clip from Daniel Birch's "History Repeats Itself."