The Rhetoric of Official Apologies: Critical Essays focuses on the many challenges associated with performing a speech act on behalf of a collective and the concomitant issues of rhetorically tackling the multiple political, social, and philosophical issues at stake when a collective issues an official apology to a group of victims. Contributors address questions of whether collective remorse is possible or credible, how official apologies can be evaluated, who can issue apologies on behalf of whom, and whether there are certain kinds of wrongdoing that simply can’t be addressed in the form of an official apology. Collectively, the book speaks to the relevance of conceptualizing official apologies more broadly as serving multiple rhetorical purposes that span ceremonial and political genres and represent a potentially powerful form of collective self-reflection necessary for political and social advancement.
Lisa S. Villadsen is professor of rhetoric and head of the Section of Rhetoric in the Department of Communication at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Jason A. Edwards is professor and chair of communication studies at Bridgewater State University.
Lisa S. Villadsen and Jason A. Edwards
”Theorizing Collective Metanoia: Apology, the Penitent Self, and the Penitent State”
”’It May Seem Strange’: When Presidents Apologize for Genocide”
Bradley A. Serber
”Audiences and the Normative Dimensions of Official Apologies”
”Between Sovereignty and Vulnerability: Reconciliation, Reparation, and Vexed Agency in Resolutions Apologizing for Slavery”
John B. Hatch
”Apology Infinitum: Colonialism And The Need For Repeated Apologies For Canadian Aboriginal Boarding Schools”
M. Shivaun Corry
”Corporate Apologies for Slavery: Opportunities for the Rhetoric of History and Renewal”
Jeffrey D. Brand
”The Heavy Heart of a Soldier: Apology as Resistance”
Claudia Janssen Danyi and Marita Gronvoll
“Exceptional Histories and Obscure Gestures: The United States Government’s Official Apology to Native Peoples”
Jeremy Cox and Tiara Good
”Re-imagining Rhetorical Reconciliation in Australian Public Address”
Kundai Chirindo and Jasper Edwards
Jason A. Edwards and Lisa S. Villadsen
About the Contributors