RET, Forskningsaktuelt temastudium:


Dissent in democracy: The rhetoric of protest and resistance


The Climate March, pro-Tibet demonstrations during an official visit from China, #Metoo, letters to the editor, frames for one’s Facebook profile picture to signal solidarity with a particular cause. There are numerous ways for people to voice their dissent with current policies and cultural practices.


Along two tracks, a theoretical and a critical one, this course explores the issue of dissent in contemporary democracy. From articulate political deliberation to online and aesthetics-based protest, we study a range of modalities for public discourse with particular focus on citizens’ manifestations of disagreement with dominant policies or positions. And we consider the reactions from “the establishment” to citizen protest. 


The course examines key rhetorical questions such as: What key assumptions about civic engagement hold and which need to be challenged? What are the conditions for parrhesia, the ancient Greek term for free and straight-forward talk in contemporary society? How is disagreement handled in cultures that explicitly acknowledge its legitimate role? What distinctions can be made between various forms of oppositional discourse? How do we conceptualize speaking positions in public and counter-public spheres? How does citizens’ rhetoric of disagreement impact democratic conversation? What are the rhetorical strategies used by dissenters and protesters? What are the rhetorical implications of taking dissent online or to the streets (or not)? What are the constraints of online protest?


Participants will gain insight into theories on public and counter-public spheres, deliberative democracy, rhetorical citizenship, dissent, social movement rhetoric, online activism, vernacular rhetorics, rhetorical modalities, etc. and practice rhetorical criticism of concrete cases.


The course is taught in Danish and English.


Engelsk titel

Special Topic in Current Rhetoric Studies


Kandidatuddannelse i Retorik


Kriterier for bedømmelse
  • Kategori
  • Timer
  • Holdundervisning
  • 56
  • Undervisningsforberedelse
  • 353,5
  • Total
  • 409,5