Tag Archives: globalization

Wallerstein, Immanuel European Universalism: The Rhetoric of Power


In this tiny but powerful collection of essays adapted from various conference presentations, Wallerstein traces contemporary rhetorics of modernity back to the Sepulveda/Las Casas debate in the 1500s over who has the right to intervene, when, and how in the treatment of Amerindians who were forced to labor in the Spanish system of ecomienda in South America.  As Wallerstein explains, today appeals to European universalism are alive in well the rhetorics of modernity that establishes a right to intervention (including war) in defense of human rights and democracy, its authority as superior civilization based on universal values and truths, and the lack of viable alternative to neoliberal economics. Wallerstein demonstrates that the universal values of civilization, economic growth and development, and/or progress, are passed as natural law today as justifications for impeding on “noncivilized” nations.  These values, however, are not universal; in fact, they bleed of the longstanding justifications to colonize so-called “barbarians.”  For instance, the four justifications of ‘civilized” communities to intervene in “un-civilized” zones are:  barbarity of others, ending practices that violate universal values, defense of innocent among cruelity of others, and the possibility of spreading universal values.  Wallerstein cleverly demonstrates how these justifications were at work in the Sepulveda/Las Casas debate as well as the recent interventions in Iraq, Kosovo, Bosnia, etc.  Wallerstein wants his readers to realize that these universal values are nothing more than Eurocentric ethics and values imposed on the world and used to maintain structural power and dominance.  Even the postmodern viewpoint that we should be intellectually and politically tolerant of mulitiple views is an Eurocentric ideal. 


Wallerstein says the ultimate challenge for us is how we can create an alternative framework that allows us not to be orientalist.  “To be non-Orientalist means to accept the continuing tension between the need to universalize our perceptions, analyses, and statements of values and the need to defend their partiucularlist roots against the incursion of the particularist perceptions, analyses, and statements of values coming from others who are claiming they are forwarding universals” (49).    We need to dialogue about our need to universalize the particulars and our need to particularize the universals (49). 


He also exlains that capitalistic modernity is contingent on three elements of what he calls cultural-intellectual scaffolding:  combination of universalistic norms and racist-sexist practices; a centrist neoliberal geoculture; and epistemic knowledge that divides the world into the civilized and non-civilized-54.  Scientific universalism is, in Wallerstein’s eyes, the last and most powerful European universalism alive and well in the Western university system today.  Yet even scientific universalism is in crises today. 


So in sum:  three great European universalisms:  right of those to intervene based on ownership of universal values (moral justification to dominate); Orientalism (intellectual justification to dominate) ; scientific universalism (ideological justification to dominate).


Wallerstein says our biggest challenge is how to move beyond Eurpean universalism—to a “’universal universalism,’ which refuses essentialist characterizations of social reality, historicizes both the universal and the particular, reunifies the so-called scientific and humanistic into a single epistemology, and persmits us to look with a highly clinical and quite skeptical eyes at all justificantions for ‘intervention’ by the powerful against the weak” (79).  As intellectuals, we must operate at analyst in search of truth, moral person in search of good and beauty, and political persona seeking to unify good and beautiful (80).  The key question we must ask ourselves is how we can use our knowledge and expertise in the transitional phases we find ourselves (82).  We need to hystoricize by placing object of study in larger context/historical construct as he did with the contemporary rhetorics of power (82).  

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Inderpal Grewel and Caren Kaplan — Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices


Introduction:  Transnational Feminist Practices and Questions of Postmodernity


thoughts on rhetoric:


the way terms get co-opted constitutes a form of practice, just as the way that they contain possibilities for critical use is also an oppositional practice.  Specific terms lose their political usefulness when they are disciplined by academia or liberal/conservative agendas.


One of main questions their compilation hopes to address is:

How do we understand the production and reception of diverse feminisms within a framework of transnational social/cultural/economic movements? (3)


they claim very often, feminist poststructuralist or psychoanalytic theorists do not utilize a transnational frame or consider colonial discourse or discourses of race.  –3


also claim, some feminst practices continue to use coloinial discourse critiques in order to equate the “colonized” with “woman,” creating essentialist and monolithic categories that suppress issues of diversity, conflict, and multiplicity within categories—3


G and K believe postmodernity is an immensely powerful and useful conception that gives us an opportunity to analyze the way that a culture of modernity is produced in diverse locations and how these cultural productions are circulated, distributed, received, and even commodified (5). 



Interested in rearticulating histories of how people in different locations and circumstances are linked by the spread of and resistance to modern capitalist social formations even as theair experiences of these phenomena are not at all the same or equal.  3









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Appadurai, Arjun “Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization,”

In “Modernity at Large:  Cultural Dimensions of Globalization,” Arjun Appadurai argues that intellectuals in the academy need to begin thinking postnationally about contemporary national crises–a claim that ultimately stimulates questions about the future of patriotism.  Appadurai’s thesis rests on the claim that study of discourse in the Western academy is divorced from other institutional forms while the study of literary discourses is divorced from the discourse of other social organizations such as armies, corporations, bureaucracies, etc. (159).  Appadurai calls for a journey to the space of postcolony, which in America is “marked by whiteness but marked too by its uneasy engagement with diasporic people, mobile technologies, and queer nationalities” (159).


Appurudai suggest that we need to study the organizations, movements, ideologies, and networks which comprise postnational social formations.  We need to begin studying the permanent frameworks such as refugee camps that emerge in the postnational order of the world. We need to study the local but with the awareness that the local is the global.  We can’t view local as static, homogeneous; it is always changing, interacting, creating new global realities.  Nation is unstable entity.  where it was once formed by identity, ethnicity, race; today, nation is an interaction of flows of values, cultures, movements, facilitated by different medias and technologies.  Nation is hence unstable.


Cultures and nations today is always an interaction of local and global; a collective of cross-cultural relations.  Comparative rhetoric is impossible because there is no static entities to compare.   


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Dirlik, Arif. Global Modernity: Modernity in the Age of Capitalism

In the introduction, Dirlik positions globalization as an ongoing discourse and process that produces a state of global modernity, which in essence is nothing short of modernity gone global and modern day colonialism that reeks of the colonial, economically, politically, socially, and culturally.  Dirlik claims our main challenge is to “achieve a globality beyond the colonial” and thus devotes his book to identifying the visible contradictions in contemporary global modernity” so that we may reinvision a new future (7 and 8).  For a while decolonization of the material and culture world was thought to have ended colonialism, but in effect, nation states of free states, centralize their power and minorities, women, indigenous within nations begin to feel excluded from nation state.  Nationstates were becoming weaker is some minds because  of globalization and multinational companies became in power but also nationstates became oppressive to own people.


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Mignolo, Walter “Globalization, Civilization Processes, and the Relocation of Languages and Cultures”

In this article, Mignolo explores the complicities of languages, literatures, and the culture of scholarship in the civilizing process, modernity, and globalization, all of which have contributed to the expansion of the “Western world-system” in part by denying the denial of coevalness.  Mignolo reminds us that dominant languages and scholarship came from the same countries that produced and perpetuated the civilizing mission of “third world” countries and thus English is the colonial language in which the “domain of knowledge, intellectual production, and cultures of scholarship” arose.  In the current stage of globalization, however, “the ‘natural’ link between languages and nations, languages and national memories, languages and national literature…is creating the condition for and enacting the relocation of languages and the fracture of cultures” (43).  In addition, cultures of scholarship are being relocated and a “border gnoseology is emerging at the intersection of Western epistemology and non-Western knowledge, characterized as ‘wisdom’ by the former” (43).  In Latin American, for instance, the politics of language and education is being heavily influenced by a growing indigenous culture of scholarship made possible in part by both technological globalization and transnational alliances but mostly by a growing body of organic intellectuals who sparked a rise of Amerindian social movements by appropriating “theoretical practices and elaborated projects, engulfing and superseding the discourse of the civilizing mission and its theoretical foundations (44-5).   What has emerged in these borderlands, Mignolo points out, is a new consciousness, a” border gnosis,” that denies the denial of barbarism and coevalness. As he explains:

the forces of ’barbarian’ theorizing and rationality” integrat[es] and supersed[es] the restrictive logic behind the idea of ‘civilization’ by giving rise to what the civilizing mission suppressed:  the self-appropriation of all the good qualities that were denied the barbarians.  ‘Border gnoseology’ (rather than epistemology) in all its complexity (geocultural, sexual, racial, national, diasporic, exilic, etc.) is a new way of thinking that emerges from the sensibilities and conditions of everyday life created by colonial legacies and economic globalization” (46). 

In this sense, “barbarian theorizing” as it “redress[es] and implement[s] long-lasting forces, sensibilities, and rationalities repressed by the one-sided ideology of the civilizing mission/process” does not so much “oppose ’civilian’ (in the double meaning of civilization and citizenship) ‘theorizing’” but displace it and depart from it (49).


At the end of his article, Mignolo points out that theorizing from the border is made possible by being both trained in “civilizing theorizing” and living and experiencing in subaltern communities.  In addition, he emphasizes that “barbarian theorizing” ‘from/of the “third world” is for and benefits the whole world, not just the “third world” (51).

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Dussel — “Beyond Eurocentricism”

Dussel begins “Beyond Eurocentricism” by distinguishing between two constructed paradigms of modernity.  Eurocentricism is the belief that modernity is exclusively a European phenomenon that originated from within Europe, began with the Renaissance, and spread over chronological time to the periphery of the modern world.  World is divided between ancient, medival, and modern (beg. with Renaissance).  No one more than Hegel perpetuated this myth—“for Hegel, the Spirit of Europe is the absolute Truth that determines or realizes itself through itself without owing anything to anyone” (3).  In this paradigm, Europe is independent system.   What Europe does has universal significance—psuedo-scientific narrative of evolutionary history (barbarism to rational civilization).  European enlightenment represents universality.  It is a knowledge system that is intrinsic to Europe. 


The Planetary paradigm conceives of modernity as the “culture of the center of the ‘world system,’ of the first world-system, through the incorporation of Amerindia, and as a result of the management of this ‘centrality.’” (4).  Modernity, in other words, is the center of the world system; Europe, beginning with Spain, as center, but not exclusive and automonous—a notion of superiority that is the effect of “discovery, conquest, colonization, and integration (subsumption) of Amerindia” (5).  Capitalism, invention, technological progress are also effects of displacement of other countries, cultures, etc. Center is dependent on periphery….


After explaining what these paradigms are, Dussel examines the premises of these arguments.  Dussel begins by explaining how world before 15th century was divided into interregional systems with their own systems.  Dussel identifys the Ottoman-Muslim empire as the third stage of interregional system, which had Baghdad as its center (5).  The switch in world-system  centers from Middle East to Europe occurred in 1492 with the conquest of Amerindia.  Spain, Portugal, or China had the technology and power to become the new center, but Spain succeeded.  China and Poland did not succeed not because they were inferior to Europe but China looked to India in west as center and Poland looked toward India in the east as center.  So did Spain, but as they tried to establish navigational routes for trade to India, they bumped into Amerindia, which instigated global hegemony.  According to Dussel, Columbus had no idea where he was.  Amerigo Vespucci, in 1503, had the brains to incorporate Amerindia into the Asian-Afro-Medieterranean world system (10).  Power dynamics changed and colonization begins. The impetus for modernity (new world system) was the cultural, scientific, religious, technological, political, ecological, and economic horizon, which created space for a world-system of mercantile, industrial, and transnational capitalism and competition to be world superpower (10).  In essence, according to Dussel, the “fundamental structure of the first modernity” is Amerindia because it, especially with the use of free labor derived from forced labor and coerced cash-crop labor, gave Europe the definitive comparative advantage over Muslim, Indian, and Chinese Worlds (12). And as a result, was “the birth of the world-system, the ‘peripheral social formations’” (12).  Modernity is effect of contact with other parts of world rather than being superior because of inherent qualities and the ability to manage the world system. 


            Dussel’s thesis is this:  “modernity was the fruit of the ‘management’ of the centrality of the first world-system” (13).  What are the implications?  Well, Dussel says that two kinds of modernity erupted.  One form, derived from ancient interregional system of Mediterranean, Muslim, and Christian, is a Hispanic, humanist, Renaissance where Spain ‘manages’ centrality as domination through hegemony of culture, language, religion,military occupation, economic and political administrative power, ecological transformation, etc.  A second modernity, occurring in Holland, occurred on a mental, spiritual, abstract level—humanity over nature, new understanding of self and of community, and new economic attitude–capitalism.  Eurocentric consciousness was born !!!  Culture was born!  Thus, while modernity began in 1492, the first paradigm of modernity—Eurocentricism—originated in first half of 17th century.  At the heart of Eurocentricism is simplification  of complexity of life through rationalism (15).  As an effect came the rise of Capitalism, liberalism, and dualism, which totalized itself and allowed Europe to become independent!  This procedure of simplification through rationalizations has no self-regulatory system!  Critics, such as Marx, Nietzsched, Freud, Foucault, Levinas, etc.  started and critiquing system from within.  But there is no escape.  “No debate between rationalists and postmoderns overcomes the Eurocentric horizon.” 


Dussel says modernity began at end of 15th century and went into crisis at end of 20th!  He writes, “if we situate ourselves…within the planetary horizon, [from the notion of Europe as center] we can distinguish at least two positions in the face of the formulated problematic” (18).  1st—are those defenders of reason (Habermas and Apel) who see Europe as center and orignin of modernity.  Also are postmodernists (Nietzsche and Heidegger) who don’t see that their thought systems and admiration of art, media, etc, derives in rationalization and make no effort to contribute valid alternatives from peripheal nations (18).  2nd*** recognizes the rational management of the world-system and is determined to liberated negated periphery.  Ethics of liberation is “transmodern” (19).


Chomsky identifies three limits of world-system that has been in place for over 500 years:  ecological destruction, destruction of humanity, “impossibility of the subsumption of the populations, economies, nations, and cultures that it has been attacking since its origin and has excluded from its horizon and cornered into poverty” (21).   Dussel ends with this quote:  “the globalizing world-system reaches a limit with the exteriority of the alterity of the Other, a locus of “resistance” from whose affirmation the process of the negation of negation of liberation begins” (21). 


Let’s think about our own rhetorical narrative.  Rhetoric = democracy, enlightenment, rationality.


Renaissance = compass, gunpowder, printing press=changed world system


With printing press, we rediscovered ancient rhetorical texts and then we based whole study of rhetorical theory on Greco-Roman knowledges.  How do we think of rhetoric that is not Greco-Roman?????????  If so, what is it?  If not, how do we talk about the persuasive practices of cultural traditions? 



If we think of rhetoric as modernity, what can we do?  We can acknowledge our positionality, admit our complicity in the problem, going back and doing rhetorical analysis of already written texts that our foundation for thought. 


Mitchell  Dunnier—Sidewalk—diagnostic ethnography—we come back with our observations, collect notes, and then forget about initial questions, and try to look at texts on their own terms, and formulate new questions based on their own terms.  Go back to the field with new questions.  We need to uneducate and reeducate. 


Look to other cultures…consult other ways of knowing…broaden definition of rhetoric….


What are other ways of describing and making knowledge that don’t exclude, dominate, master, victimize?


How can we make meaning in ways that aren’t aligned with systems of power? 


What are the limits of rhetoric??  Ecological destruction, destruction of humanity, subsumption of other.


How can we decenter Greco-Roman tradition?


Deconstruction of center, which is not subject to rules of entire structure and is superior to rest of structure.  Derrida says center isn’t really center because it is not within structure; if it is superior, it is not center.


How can we transfer analogy to rhetoric and composition???


Strategic Essentialism—Spivak—use essentialist ideas of reality and identity to disrupt homogenizing power. 


Autobiographical argument is one way to disrupt dominant ways of knowing and articulating in the academy…


Midterm project!  Rhetoric as culture….

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“Codex Scripts of Resistance: From Columbus to the Border Patrol” Damian Baca


In “Codex Scripts of Resistance: From Columbus to Border Control,” Damian Baca (Yeah CCR!) rocks the C & R Ranch with a compelling rhetorical analysis of Mestiz@ rhetorics of resistance and challenges us to reconceptualize our ethnocentric, alphacentric, hegemonic views and pedagogies of rhetoric and writing. Baca, more specifically, analyzes the pictographic rhetorics of the 2000 Codex Espangliensis: From Columbus to the Border Patrol and demonstrates an emerging rhetoric at work in the form of dialectical oppositions and reversals. These distinct rhetorical strategies, which fuse and embellish traditional methods of Mesoamerican pictography into Anglo-European inscription practices, “revise and displace the dominant historical narrative of cultural assimilation through continuous symbolic play with pairs, doubles, corresponding expressions and twins” (105). In addition, the Codex Espangliensis critiques Spanish colonization of the Americas, North American economic and cultural imperialism, the Northern Free Trade Agreement, in particular, and globalization’s impact on immigration, language, and popular culture (106).

Baca begins with a broad description of the Codex Espangliensis, and then quickly delves into the history of the Mesoamerican codex, which Baca describes as “semasiographic, a configuration of permanently recorded marks that signify thought, ideas, and imagery rather than visible speech” (111). Baca explains that Mesoamerican codices were denigrated and demonized during Spanish colonization. Replacing the Mesoamerican codices were colonial codices, which intended to colonize Mexican minds and reconstruct and reorganize Mesoamerican memory (118). These codices, even if crafted by Aztecs themselves, presented a historical narrative from the dominant Spanish perspective through illustrations set beside “the Spanish-Iberian alphabet and an alphabetized Nahuatl, the new prevailing tools of literacy and civilization in the borderlands” (119). Mesoamerican pictographic traditions did not disappear altogether, however; Baca explains that Mesoamerican rhetorics persisted in non-codex genres such as scrolls, lienzos, and techialoyan, otherwise known as “landbooks” (119) (See images below).

As a new era of economic and cultural imperialism and globalization arose in the 20th century, Chicano murals became a popular form of rhetorical resistance to contemporary injustices. Artists such as Diego Rivera and Alfaro Siqueiros employed ancient Aztec writing practices with new Marxist ideals, yet much art produced at this time was interpreted as separate from “true” Anglo-European concepts of writing (120). Baca makes clear, however, that Mesoamerican pictography has maintained a pronounced presence until the present day even if Anglo-European biases toward Mexican writing still persist, Aztec pictographic rhetoric is absent from contemporary conceptions of rhetoric, and Mesoamerican pictographic texts have been reduced to “quaint artifacts of an apparently extinct culture” (122).

Fortunately, Baca explains, anthropologists, archeologists, and art historians are working to revise conceptions of Mesoamerican codex writing. Two of the most important scholars engaged in this work are Elizabeth Boon Hill and Miguel Leon-Portilla. While Hill argues that Mesoamerican pictographs need to be interpreted as independent writing systems, Leon-Portilla “presents evidence for an Aztec pictographic rhetorical tradition and compares several alphabetic and pictographic versions of indigenous texts to show how ‘an authentic thread of the Mesoamerican cultural weaving’ can be reached” (124). In addition, Leon-Portilla working with Ines Hernandez-Avila demonstrates that Mesoamerican rhetorical manifestations of dual expressions and symbolic oppositions exist in contemporary writing practices, which they identify as “Yancuic Tlahtolli” (125). In this chapter, Baca analyzes these dual expressions and symbolic oppositions and interprets them as rhetorical strategies of resistance, which work against “a backdrop of colonial subjugation and resistances in the Americas…[and] revise the dominant narrative of assimilation” (125).

Baca begins the focus of his analysis on the exhibit The Chicano Codex: Encountering Art of the Americas, which Baca claims “illustrates syncretic rhetorical processes that express and enact commentary about these conventions and the hierarchical tensions between notation/illustration, writing/art, and temporal distinctions between sixteenth century Christianization and twentieth century global capitalism” (126). Baca draws on the artist Cherrie Moraga to describe the exhibit as a “anti-colonial map,” moving backward and forward in time between Mesoamerica and contemporary Mestiz@ codices to “advance a rhetorical process of reactivation and variation” (127). Baca uses the remapping as a framework to analyze the Codex Espangliensis, which he claims is “perhaps the most revisionist codex ever assembled and one that directly addresses colonial narratives of assimilation” (127).

The Codex Espangliensis is the product of a collaborative effort between lithographer Enrique Chagoya, performance artist and cultural critic Guillermo Gómez Peña and Felicia Rice, a book artist. Rather than summarize Baca’s rich rhetorical analysis of the Codex Espangliensis, I excerpt a number of compelling analytical insights that Baca presents throughout this section. (See the images from Codex Espangliensis in blog entry below.)

The manuscript conveys a tale of civilizing missions, colonial conquests, and rhetorical heterogeneity using Spanglish, Mesoamerican pictography, twentieth century Mexican iconography, and transnational corporate imagery to weave yet another mythic retelling of history (128-9).

The reversal of Europe and Mesoamerica in the Codex Espangliensis’ remapping of world history works to dislodge the integrity of Christianization and the dogma of European assimilation as they have operated in the past and continue today. Moreover, this retelling constructs a new perspective of global history that emerges from the lived experiences of the México/United States border (129).

Between the borders of Latin America and Anglo America, between a so-called developing nation and monopolizing capitalism, between the Aztec and the European, the Codex Espangliensis critiques across both real and imagined boundaries of a brutal, globalized world (129).

Because narrative and logical order are ultimately not fixed in the text, each folio or screen simultaneously functions as a potential beginning, middle, or end. Multiple reading orders represent an anti-colonial collage, a set of variations around themes of colonialism and civilizing missions. Fundamental Aristotelian laws of aesthetic invention and organization that demand a linear beginning, middle and end are therefore called into question. The material practice of reading the Codex requires a complex visual dance, forward and back, sometimes circular, other times broken (130).

Metiz@ rhetorics: “the available means of identification that are mediated at the intersection of knowledge constructed by the dominance of Western colonialism on the one hand, and on the other hand, knowledge emerging from anti-colonial perspectives in the borderlands” (131).

Rhetorical Strategies Identified in the Codex Rhetorics –

Intermediation: “satirical fusion of two language systems that, when intertwined, supports no intelligible meaning in either tongue” Ex.) Espangliensis

Difrasismo — Combining of different terms to convey new ideas and abstractions; ex.) Yancuic Tlahtolli

Syncretic play with pairs, doubles, corresponding expressions, and twins — repetitive invocation of dualism which is a “metaphorical communicative device central to Mesoamerican cosmology” (135). Baca explains that syncretic movement in the Codex, which relies greatly on juxtaposition of text and image, past and present, necessitates new ways of reading and knowing that “’invent between’” syncretic visions and revisions of geographical colonialism and economic imperialism” (130).

Symbolic oppositions and reversals – “Gómez-Peña’s symbolic reversals and expressions across borders subvert the hierarchies of power between opposites. By inventing between cultural paradigms, codex rhetorics enact possibilities beyond them” (140).

Through these rhetorical strategies, “The Codex warns of…a shift in diction from geographical colonialism to cultural imperialism, from Cortéz to Free Trade, from Columbus to the Border Patrol, a shift that maintains power structures through a thinly veiled rhetoric of popular culture and advertising. Critically reading such colonial power also provokes a global border consciousness, a strategic departure from the site-specific concept of the México/United States borderlands” (140).

Baca concludes his chapter by discussing how Mesoamerican pictography and Mexican iconography are valuable methods of inscription that disrupt the hegemonic view that Western literacy and alphabetic and syllabic systems are the apex of written communication. Drawing on semiotics, Baca challenges readers to expand their conceptions of “graphic interactions,” conceive of Mesoamerican pictographs as parallel and equally valuable systems of writing, and begin focusing on the significant role illustration and image play within language. One of Baca’s most important points is that “If, rather than theorizing rhetoric and writing based on the pedagogically vanguard “Composing-East-to-West” trajectory, specialists instead accept Mestiz@ codices as starting points, we are then left with expressions better suited to emerging non-Western rhetorics as well as current material realities in America and beyond” (143). Ultimately, this realization will help us confront the problematic tendency to link literacy with alphabetic writing–a deeply embedded notion that limits our understanding of “co-evolutionary or parallel histories of writing and rhetoric in the Americas” (144).


I really appreciate the work Baca has done here and the space he carves out for scholars like me who want to conduct similar scholarship. My interest in non-discursive and material rhetorics stems from the same desire he has to expand our conceptions of rhetoric and broaden our understanding of how ancient and contemporary “non-western” cultures use symbols to communicate persuasively. As Baca points out, at the moment, we have such a narrow conception of how inscription behaves rhetorically outside traditional Greco-Roman conceptions of rhetoric. His work is among many contemporary scholars attempting to broaden our perceptions; I hope his book is well received in the field.

I am very interested in the rhetorical strategies Baca identifies at work in the Codex, specifically how image-text works in the Codex to challenge the binary of word/image in our culture and in our field. Baca’s use of the word “inscription” is a clever means to encompass the full range of symbols used in the codices for rhetorical means. I was particularly fascinated with the juxtapositions between Mesomerican pictography, twentieth century Mexican iconography, and transnational corporate imagery and appreciate the humor in the codex’s satirical nature. (Lord of Cross-Cultural Misunderstanding especially cracks me up but strikes a disturbing chord as well.)

I am very curious about the similar rhetorical strategies I see at work between Latina/o rhetorics and Native American rhetorics. The use of difrasmismo, for instance, which Baca discusses, is a rhetorical strategy Powell employs in her discussion of survivance (survival plus resistance) and that Cobb uses in her discussion of communitist texts (community plus activism or activist). I notice that Baca describes the rhetorical strategies at work in the Codex as “tactics,” a concept Powell also employs. I wonder too if the Codex and the exhibit act as forms of communitism for the artists—a wondering that assumes that all art is cathartic in some way.

I admire the way the artists that Baca represents (Montoya, Moraga, Chagoya, Gomez Pena and Rice) enact a rhetorics of sovereignty and appreciate Baca’s challenge for us to honor those rhetorics in our pedagogies and our worldviews of rhetoric. I hear Baca asking for us to listen in similar ways as Powell, Lyons, and Bruegemann.

I want to know where and when this project began, how it evolved, and what Baca’s research process was? What were his major exams in (don’t laugh cohort!)? What figures, texts, theories, etc. do I need to draw on to understand the connections between globalization and rhetoric in global contexts?

I am interested in the fact that Baca doesn’t attempt to demonstrate how Mestiz@ rhetorics share features of traditional Greco-Roman rhetoric nor attempt to explain these rhetorical practices with reference to Western rhetorical theorists. I am curious to know if he makes connections across cultures and draws on Western rhetorical theorists at some point in his book. I imagine his answer will be no since he is determined for readers to see these ancient and contemporary rhetorical practices in their own right and not to conflate this form of writing with Western forms. Yet I wonder if he deems it valuable to make cross connections both in terms of practices and theories.

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