Rhetoric, between the Theory and Practice of Politics

International Conference

CEHUM, University of Minho
Braga, Portugal 

June 21-22, 2013

Invited speakers (provisional list)
Barbara Cassin (CNRS, Paris)
Benedetto Fontana (CUNY)
Bryan Garsten (Yale University)
Eugene Garver (St. John’s University)
Marco Geuna (University of Milan)
Kari Palonen (University of Jyväskylä)
Javier Roiz (Complutense University)

Call for papers

As one of the consequences of the lingering process of corrosion of the rationalist assumptions of the Enlightenment project, in the last decades we have witnessed an attempt in different areas of the humanities to revive the central role rhetoric used to have in antiquity. Despite its political origins, however, the contribution of political theory to this important endeavour has only come of late, as more and more theorists have started to expose the rhetorical nature of politics in multiple manners: showing how it can be used to offer more sophisticated accounts of public deliberation, more attentive toward emotive aspects and contexts; or revealing it as an important manifestation of practical reason; or studying its presence in canonical thinkers and critical moments in the history of political thought; or finally, taking it as an inspiring source for a post-foundationalist emancipatory political theory.

This variety of approaches testifies to the pervasiveness of the rhetorical dimensions in the whole realm of politics, from action to theory. The aim of this conference is to bring together scholars coming from disciplines such as political theory, philosophy, history, literature, or communication, to debate the multifaceted significance of rhetoric in politics and to explore new ways to incorporate a ‘rhetorical perspective’ in the study of political thought. Our hope is that this event could offer an important moment to assess and foster the still incipient revival of rhetoric in this area.

The conference will be organized in plenary and parallel sessions. Proposals for the latter are invited on, but not limited to, topics such as: rhetoric and the limits of rational deliberation, rhetoric as a manifestation of practical reason, rhetoric and civic education, rhetoric and the public intellectual, rhetoric and post-foundationalist political theory, rhetoric and political change, rhetoric and the symbolic space of politics, rhetoric in canonical political thinkers and in the history of political thought.

In order to propose a paper, an abstract of no more than 500 words should be sent to rhetoricandpolitics2013@gmail.com

(with “Rhetoric and Politics 2013 Submission” in the subject line of the message)


The deadline for the abstract is 1 February 2013

In addition to the abstract, please include in your proposal your academic title, name, affiliation, and the title of your contribution

Conference fees

€60 for students (BA, MA and PhD levels)

€90 for non-students

More details on the payment will follow


ILCH, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal


the event is organized by the Political Theory Group of CEHUM, University of Minho




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