Karen Schiler

A movable ethos: How ethics and rhetoric can imagine and invite new publics

Karen Schiler

  • School: Purdue University (0183)
  • Degree: Ph.D.
  • Date: 2010 pp: 159
  • Advisor: Sullivan, Patricia A.
  • Source: DAI-A 72/05(E)
  • Subjects: Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Ethics; Imaginary; Invitation; Nonviolence; Public intellectual; Rhetoric; Peace Studies;
  • ProQuest Document Number: 859003654
  • ISBN: 9781124529059
  • UMI Number: AAT 3444775

Abstract:

This project examines the relationship between rhetorical ethos, ethos as habitus, and the constitutive power of public rhetoric. In this dissertation, I use Gandhi’s “Quit India Speech” as a case study for demonstrating how we can address a multicultural audience and invoke a more democratic public—born of nonviolence—that, for many of its constituents, could only be imagined with great effort. This understanding shows us not only how powerful a virtuous character and message can be when shared with the right rhetorical strategies, but also how powerful any audience member can be when invited to participate in social action formed through transcultural ethical identification. The dissertation discusses the following, in order: contemporary interest in composition’s ethical practices and public rhetoric studies; varied definitions of ethos and how they tend to be used in rhetoric; methodologies for examining public rhetoric, including a schematic of a movable ethos; application of that schematic to the “Quit India Speech” delivered in India in 1942; analysis of schematic findings in light of cultural, mythical, and material contexts contemporary to the speech; how a movable ethos can inform the teaching of writing and what it means to be a public intellectual.