News from Montgomery College

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Date: October 6, 2003 (03-77)
Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970;
Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College Presents “The Civic Conversation Since 9/11”
Visiting Scholar Series at Takoma Park Campus This Fall

The Montgomery College Community Conversations learning community is hosting a visiting scholar series, titled “The Civic Conversation Since 9/11,” at the Takoma Park Campus this October and November.  Free and open to the public, the series will examine political language and its effect in shaping the perceptions of citizens. 

Each presentation will look at specific motifs in current political rhetoric that drive our thinking about war and peace, convince us of the rightness or necessity of actions, permit or forestall contestation, or gain our consent.  The series will also look at historical use of the words and images that move us today.

The list of speakers and subjects are:

  1. GENDERED LANGUAGE: The gendered expression of commitment to war
    Monday, October 13, 2003, 3:30 – 5:30pm
    Commons Building, Room 201 – Student Lounge, Takoma Park Campus

    This forum will look at the call to war in political speeches and how it has evolved in a gendered way.  The presenter is feminist scholar Shawn J. Parry-Giles, Associate Professor of Communication, Affiliate Associate Professor of Women's Studies, and Director, Center for Political Communication and Civic Leadership, University of Maryland, College Park.

  2. LANGUAGE THAT UNIFIES: From E Pluribus Unum to “United We Stand”
    Monday, October 20, 2003, 2:30 – 4:30pm
    Commons Building, Room 207 – Bliss Room, Takoma Park Campus

    This forum will analyze the call for national or global unity in political rhetoric and its power to heal as well as to suppress differences.  Co-author of the essay “Unity” in Collateral Language,   Eve Walsh Stoddard, will lead the forum.  She is chair of the Global Studies Department at St. Lawrence University.

  3. LANGUAGE THAT DIVIDES: The rhetoric of binary opposition
    Monday, November 10, 2003, 2:30 – 4:30pm
    Provost Conference Room (Commons 102), Takoma Park
    This forum will examine political rhetoric that polarizes. The historian Richard E. Rubenstein, author of “Language and Terrorism,” will lead the session.  Rubenstein is a professor at the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University.


  4. FILTERED LANGUAGE:  The role of the media
    Monday, November 24, 2003, 2:30 – 4:30pm
    Provost Conference Room (Commons 102), Takoma Park
    This forum will study the role of media in filtering and framing information and events since 9-11. Beverly Sauer, author of “The Rhetoric of Risk,” will present.  Sauer is a professor in the department of business communication at Johns Hopkins University

  5. MORALIZING LANGUAGE: Good and evil in political rhetoric
    Monday, December 1, 2003, 2:30 – 4:30pm
    Provost Conference Room (Commons 102), Takoma Park
    This forum will look at the moralizing and evangelical language in political rhetoric.  The presenter is Lisa Schirch, Associate Professor of Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation Program, Eastern Mennonite University.

Each of five sessions will focus on a particular powerful use of language found in recent political rhetoric.  There are readings for each session.  For a complete list of the readings, copies, and information, contact Marcia Bronstein, English Professor, at 240-567-1369 or

Community Conversations is a Montgomery College Critical Literacy Project. This project was made possible with funds from the Maryland Humanities Council, through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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