Public Forgetting: The Rhetoric And Politics Of Beginning Again

Paperback | June 7, 2010

byBradford Vivian

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Forgetting is usually juxtaposed with memory as its opposite in a negative way: it is seen as the loss of the ability to remember, or, ironically, as the inevitable process of distortion or dissolution that accompanies attempts to commemorate the past. The civic emphasis on the crucial importance of preserving lessons from the past to prevent us from repeating mistakes that led to violence and injustice, invoked most poignantly in the call of “Never again” from Holocaust survivors, tends to promote a view of forgetting as verging on sin or irresponsibility. In this book, Bradford Vivian hopes to put a much more positive spin on forgetting by elucidating its constitutive role in the formation and transformation of public memory. Using examples ranging from classical rhetoric to contemporary crises like 9/11, Public Forgetting demonstrates how, contrary to conventional wisdom, communities may adopt idioms of forgetting in order to create new and beneficial standards of public judgment concerning the lessons and responsibilities of their shared past.

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From the Publisher

Forgetting is usually juxtaposed with memory as its opposite in a negative way: it is seen as the loss of the ability to remember, or, ironically, as the inevitable process of distortion or dissolution that accompanies attempts to commemorate the past. The civic emphasis on the crucial importance of preserving lessons from the past to ...

Bradford Vivian is Associate Professor of Communication and Rhetorical Studies in the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University.

other books by Bradford Vivian

Framing Public Memory
Framing Public Memory

Kobo ebook|Sep 15 2009

$30.29 online$39.30list price(save 22%)
Format:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.51 inPublished:June 7, 2010Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271036664

ISBN - 13:9780271036663

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Part 1. Forgetting in Public Life: An Idiomatic History of the Present

1. The Two Rivers, Past and Present

2. Forgetting Without Oblivion

Part 2. Public Forgetting: Alternate Histories, New Heuristics

3. Hallowed Ground, Hollow Memory: Rhetorical Form and Commemorative Politics on September 11, 2002

4. Historical Forgetting: John W. Draper and the Rhetorical Dimensions of History

5. Cultural Forgetting: The “Timeless Now” of Nomadic Memories

6. Moral and Political Forgetting: Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural

Conclusion

Notes

References

Index

Editorial Reviews

“Bradford Vivian’s Public Forgetting: The Rhetoric and Politics of Beginning Again is a critical and provocative contribution to rhetorical inquiry, communication studies, and memory studies. Considering the ever-expanding inquiry into the nature of memory across various disciplines and areas of study, Vivian presents a challenge to memory studies by centering forgetting as a co-constitutive factor in the act of remembering a communal and public past. . . . Offering an engaging and complex discussion about the relationship between memory and forgetting, as well as a convincing presentation of historical and contemporary examples of forgetting the past, Public Forgetting will be valuable to scholars studying memory, rhetoric, and history—especially scholars interested in exploring rhetorics of difference.”—Hector Carbajal, JAC: A Journal of Rhetoric, Culture, and Politics