When Dr. Kathleen Turner took the podium to give her official response to the presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Karlyn Campbell, she joked that she was intimidated to be taking on “The Queen of Rhetoric.” Dr. Campbell, a professor of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota, is the author or editor of eight books, including Deeds Done in Words: Presidential Rhetoric and the Genres of Governance. She is a winner of the Distinguished Scholar Award by the National Communication Association.
Dr. Campbell’s talk, held on Thursday, September 27, headlined the second event of the Fall 2012 season for MOCH, as well as our first event on campus. It was a great success. The audience numbered nearly 300 people, with attendees including students from the university, concerned citizens in the community, and numerous Communication and scholars from all across the U.S. participating in the 13th Biennial Public Address Conference.
In a lively and stimulating talk, Dr. Campbell explained how political discourse affects everyday life and that “civic learning is key.” Ingeniously unveiling the rhetorical power and malleability of the Monroe Doctrine, she touched on the United States government’s involvement with outside powers, such as Chile, Nicaragua, and Cuba, paying particular attention to American leaders’ rhetorical strategies. She professed, “Our hemisphere of freedom and commitment for democratic self-government uses rhetoric as a powerful force in foreign affairs.”
Following her lecture, Dr. Turner and Dr. James Jasinski of the University of Puget Sound offered respectful analyses of Dr. Campbell’s talk. The night concluded with a quick and congenial question and answer session. Thanks to all those who came!