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The Rhetoric of Genocide

Death as a Text

Ben Voth

Hardback
eBook
Genocide represents one of the deadliest scourges of the human experience. Communication practices provide the key missing ingredient toward preventing and ending this intensely symbolic activity. The Rhetoric of Genocide: Death as a Text reveals how strategic communication silences make this tragedy probable, and how a greater social ethic for communication openness repels and ends this great evil. Careful analysis of practical historical figures, such as the great debater James Farmer Jr., along with empirical policy successes in places such as Liberia provide a communication-based template for ridding the world of genocide in the twenty-first century. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 172Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-0-7391-8205-5 • Hardback • June 2014 • $80.00 • (£49.95)
978-0-7391-8206-2 • eBook • June 2014 • $79.99 • (£49.95)
Ben Voth is associate professor of communication and director of speech and debate at Southern Methodist University.
Introduction
1. The Role of Rhetoric and Communication in Genocide
2. State Killings as Public Argument
3. Discursive Complexity as a Communication Based Moral and Ethical Framework
4. The Cell Phone versus the AK-47
5. The Genocidaire: The Perpetrator
6. Christianity as a Critical Methodology for Moral Action
7. Islam and the Rhetorical Construct of Islamophobia
8. Global Anti-Semitism: The Persistent Genocidal Trope
9. James Farmer: A Model for Human Freedom
10. Gendercide: Sex Selection Abortion
11. Giving War a Chance: Critical Theory and Genocide
12. Winning Wars against Genocide
13. Conclusion: A World without Genocide
Appendix: Student Essay: Shia Islam
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the horrors of genocide, both past and current. Dr. Voth makes it wonderfully clear that we need not have these tragedies in our midst, and that there is great power in individual initiative to eradicate genocide from this world.
Rick Halperin, Southern Methodist University


Ben Voth provides a well-written analysis of genocide and the role that communication has played in its emergence and perpetuation. Moreover, this important volume imagines a world without genocide and demonstrates how, through communication, this dream can become a reality. It is required reading for anyone who is interested in communication, genocide, or social justice.
John M. Jones, Pepperdine University


The Rhetoric of Genocide exhibits the fullness of communication studies: scholarship that is grounded in the rhetorical tradition, informed by participation in the deliberative arts, compelled by a deep sense of civic responsibility, and guided by the perspicacity that within the interplay of those forces resides a panacea for our times. Dr. Voth’s effort to introduce a communication framework to the growing body of interdisciplinary work on genocide studies will have broad appeal.
Timothy M. O'Donnell, University of Mary Washington


Watch Ben Voth's talk on Ending Genocide in the 21st Century here.

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