Participants: Michael, Svilen

*Find the thesis. What is the author's main claim? What are the supporting claims (on what assumptions is the claim predicated? what are the implications?) How long is the thesis? How many claims comprise the author's general purpose for writing?

Communications scholars should study critically the rhetoric of outlaw discourse, and by doing so, they should use outlaw judgments to disrupt the dominant logics of judgment and ultimately produce materialist conceptions of judgment (page 54).

*What tactic(s), phenomenon(s), community(ies) is the author studying? What theoretical lens(es) is s/he using to unpack his/her case study?


The authors are studying how society judges the rhetoric of out-law discourse. They present the current phenomenon of postmodern nihilism applied to judgments, where nothing can be judged as wrong because of the relative perceptions of truth. Their response to this inability to judge is to take a more Aristotelian approach. They suggest the use of phronesis in making judgments in the practice of everyday life (page 60). So their approach is Aristotelian, but at the same time informed and improved by the notions from McGee's materialist conception of rhetoric.

*How does the author negotiate rhetoric as embodied praxis? How does s/he make the case for a body rhetoric? In what sort of relationship does the author place this sort of rhetoric with language? (and/both, in place of, before/after)?

*NOTE: This article doesn't really deal with cases of embodied rhetoric. *
Decisions have to be made at some point for society to maintain itself and ultimately advance.

*How is the article organized? What "sections" can you (or has the author already) broken the article into? Describe the "content" of each section. (Lit. review of XXX. Example that shows YYY)

The article starts with an example of outlaw rhetoric, and then presents the current problem of inability to judge such practices, cause by both inadequate understanding and lack of desire to judge them. Sloop and Ono then move on to propose an alternative to the postmodern judgment system. Their approach is guided by materialist phronesis. The article then presents Mouffe's call for litigation. Following are overviews of outlaw discourses as either material or vernacular and a claim that they are not necessarily progressive.


*Examine the introduction and the conclusion. What happens in each, both in terms of content and form.


Sloop and Ono begin with a historical example to introduce their concept. They describe the Atlanta Race Riot of 1906 as a means to materialize the concept of outlaw discourse, including key terms and key ideas. The introduction concludes with a description of the “work” of the paper (i.e., “In this essay…”). The conclusion, as is the case with lots of academic articles, is a section labeled “Conclusion.” The conclusion is a review of what the article “suggested” and did not suggest, point by point. Typically, the conclusion ends with an exhortation from specific (examining our discomfort with the out-law’s judgment) to global (enact different ways of thinking and living).

*What concepts/key terms does the author overtly define? How does s/he do it? Does s/he insert another theorist's definition and let it stand on its own? Does s/he use, but then qualify/adjust an excepted definition? Does s/he offer an original definition?
Terms defined by the authors: outlaw discourse
A whole bunch of terms in the middle section of the article, in which the authors review literature, are augmented by other theorists: repressive hypothesis, authority, respublica, etc.


*Clip a good example of the author's rhetorical analysis of his/her chosen site, tactic, phenomenon. Detail how the author describes the site, tactic, phenomenon. Does this happen in a prior section in detail and then in brief alongside the analysis? The opposite? Does the author introduce us to the site, tactic, phenomenon as s/he analyzes it? What does s/he draw on to make her/his analysis? What does "rhetorical analysis" look like?