News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: October 31, 2003 (03-87)
Contacts: Steve Simon, 240-567-7952; Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970

Community Conversations Scholar Series Examines Political Rhetoric
“The Civic Conversation Since 9/11” Continues This November and December 

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

Each presentation will look at current political rhetoric that drives our thinking about war and peace and shapes our beliefs about the rightness or necessity of actions.  The series will also look at the historical use of the words and images that move us today.

The speakers for November and December are:

  1. 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.


  2. 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

  3. 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 the 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 series was made possible with funds from the Maryland Humanities Council, through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

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