Oratory in the Age of Obama

A course in rhetoric for the Honors College of Rutgers Camden

Readings and Activities for Thursday, February 4

Posted by William FitzGerald on February 2, 2010


Killingsworth, Ch. 3

Keith and Lundberg, Ch. 3

Obama, “Keynote Address,” 2004 Democratic Convention

This keynote address marks the first occasion on which most Americans ever heard (or heard of) Barack Obama, who, at 43, would soon become the junior Senator from Illinois and a major figure on the national stage. Well before Obama became President in 2009, scholars and others critiqued this speech in the recognition that it marked a turning point in American political rhetoric. Here are several articles responding to the speech:

Waldman, “The Obama Zeitgeist,” TomPaine.com

Lowry, Editorial in National Review (7/28/04)

Selected reactions, PBS Frontline

Additional Readings:

A must-read piece on the state of oratory today: Cohen, Andrew, “In Search of a Missing Art Form,” (Ottawa Citizen, 2/2/2010)


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