Keynote

The keynote address will be delivered by G. Thomas Goodnight, Professor in the School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

Before joining Annenberg, Goodnight taught doctoral courses in Northwestern University’s Rhetoric Program in Contemporary Rhetorical Theory, Criticism, Argumentation, and the Public Sphere.

Having directed 28 dissertations, he has been accorded career awards in Rhetoric and Communication Theory by the NCA and been named among the five top scholars in argumentation of the last 50 years by the AFA. Additionally, Professor Goodnight has taught Organizational Communication at the Master’s level, and his undergraduate courses include seminars in the Rhetoric of War, Science Advocacy, Risk Communication, and an introduction to the field. A regular contributor to the Quarterly Journal of Speech, former editor of Argumentation and Advocacy, director of the 12th Alta Conference on Argumentation, Goodnight is a co-founder of the NU-University of Amsterdam graduate exchange.

His current research interests include deliberation and postwar society, science communication, argument and aesthetics, public discourse studies, and communicative reason in controversy.

Goodnight’s keynote address is entitled:  Networking Authority and Possibility: Kaleidescapes of Contemporary Public Address

Abstract:   The war on women, attacks on voting rights, denigration of labor, ugly xenophobia, bigoted posturing, moral hazard and income inequality regrettably grace blogposts and headlines these days. It is as if the excesses of the 19th century industrial age have splashed messages remixed onto the 21st century information economy. Public discourses now wind down a war, crawl through a recession, and manufacture endless faux debates. Auto-poetic communications matrices simulate populist rancor cross-hatched against smart progressive reprise. Meanwhile, big data, brain science, and media software yoke publics to ever more mobile platforms of interaction, surveillance and control. Just as the advents of print, movable type, and mass media changed the mix of public address and political economy, so too our own communications revolution alters the diverse assemblies, balances and circulation of contemporary address. This essay pushes the possibilities of rhetorical history to examine the authorizing trajectories of network imaginaries that light up circuits of public discourse. How are such eventful kaleidescapes to be interpreted, understood and appreciated or defused, dismantled, and interred?

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