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Rhetoric scholar to speak at KU Wednesday

Monday, August 26, 2013

LAWRENCE – Scholar Anis Bawarshi will examine the connection between rhetorical genre studies and public discourse on the Israel-Palestine conflict in a Wednesday night lecture at the University of Kansas.

The lecture, “In Between Genres: Uptake, Memory and Rhetorics of Israel-Palestine,” will be 7-8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Centennial Room of Kansas Union, 1301 Jayhawk Boulevard.

Scholars have described “genres” as knowledge foundations, which can influence communities’ actions or ways of navigating social activity.

Bawarshi, an English professor at the University of Washington, said research has not fully accounted for “genre uptake” — the ways genres interact with and respond to one another.

“By focusing on genre uptake, we shift our attention to the in-betweens of genres, where rhetorical actions are informed not only by genre knowledge but also by one’s sense of self, one’s memory of prior uptakes, as well as by other affective, embodied, and material factors that make uptakes, while to some extent habitual, also momentary and subject to relations of power,” Bawarshi said.

The lecture will examine the complex, dominant “uptakes” at work, and the rhetorical challenges of  these uptakes, in ways that Bawarshi said could enable more productive deliberations between Israel and Palestine.

In addition to his role as assistant professor of English, Bawarshi also serves as director of the Expository Writing Program at the University of Washington. He is the author of “Genre and Invention of the Writer: Reconsidering the Place of Invention in Composition” and the co-author of “Genre: An Introduction to History, Theory, Research, and Pedagogy.”

The lecture is sponsored by the KU Department of English, the First and Second Year English Program and the Communication Colloquium.