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Culture, Rhetoric and the Vicissitudes of Life
Volume 2

Studies in Rhetoric and Culture

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Culture, Rhetoric and the Vicissitudes of Life

Edited by Michael Carrithers

196 pages, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-429-6 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (June 2009)

ISBN  978-0-85745-800-1 $27.95/£22.95 Pb Published (July 2012)

eISBN 978-1-84545-924-6 eBook

Hb Pb   Buy the eBook! $27.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“…a fine collection of essays illuminating situation uses of narratives, images and tropes that are not contemplated as ‘explanations’ but as cultural resources mobilized to impart meaning and order when facing concrete circumstances…a great variety of excellent analyses going beyond the disciplinary boundaries of anthropology…this book is a welcome contribution and the project I belongs to offers one of the most important shifts in European anthropology in the coming decade.” • Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale


Inspired by the Rhetoric Culture Project, this volume focuses on the use of imagery, narrative, and cultural schemes to deal with predicaments that arise during the course of life. The contributors explore how people muster their resources to understand and deal with emergencies such as illness, displacement, or genocide. In dealing with such circumstances, people can develop new rhetorical forms and, in the process, establish new cultural resources for succeeding generations. Several of the contributions show how rhetorical cultural forms can themselves create emergencies. The contributors bring expertise from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology and communications studies, underlining the volume’s wider relevance as a reflection on the human condition.

Michael Carrithers is Professor of Anthropology at Durham University. He is author of a biography of the Buddha and of Why Humans Have Cultures (Oxford University Press, 1992). He has also written about Buddhist forest monks and of Jainism in India. At present he is researching rhetoric and public culture in East Germany.

Subject: Theory and Methodology Cultural Studies (General)




Chapter 1. Inventions of hyperbolic culture
Ralph Cintron

Chapter 2. Medical rhetoric in the US and Africa: the oncologist as Charon
Megan Biesele

Chapter 3. The diffuse in testimonies
Stevan Weine

Chapter 4. Internal rhetorics: Constituting selves in diaries and beyond
Jein Nienkamp

Chapter 5. Ordeals of language
Ellen Basso

Chapter 6. ‘As if Goya was on hand as a marksman’: Foot and mouth disease as a rhetorical and cultural phenomenon
Brigitte Nerlich

Chapter 7. Story seeds and the Inchoate
Michael Carrithers

Chapter 8. The palaestral aspect of rhetoric
F.G. Bailey

Chapter 9. Rhetoric in the moral order: a critique of tropological approaches to culture
James Fernandez

Notes on contributors

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