Today, Dr. Rob Goodman, author of Words on Fire: Eloquence and Its Conditions, drops in to discuss rhetoric. From Cicero to Facebook, we delve into the evolution of this integral speaking and writing tool, as well as explore the extreme rhetoric entrenched in modern politics and how this art of persuasion aids the news in problematic ways.
Shortened Bio: Rob Goodman is Assistant Professor of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University. He received his Ph.D. with distinction from Columbia University in 2018 and was previously a postdoctoral researcher at McGill University. His most recent book, Words on Fire: Eloquence and Its Conditions (Cambridge University Press, 2022), investigates the development of models of skilled speech in classical antiquity, as well as their translation into modern institutional settings. It proposes that these models remain a valuable resource for critiquing the current state of political speech. Rob is also the co-editor of Populism, Demagoguery, and Rhetoric in Historical Perspective (Oxford University Press, under contract). His current research project, Black Cicero: Race and American Oratory, is funded by a SSHRC Insight Development Grant.Before beginning his doctoral studies, Rob worked as speechwriter for U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Senator Chris Dodd. At Columbia, Rob worked as a Core Curriculum instructor and was a Heyman Center for the Humanities Fellow. His paper "Edmund Burke and the Deliberative Sublime" was the co-winner of the Review of Politics Award for best paper in normative political theory at the 2016 Midwest Political Science Association Conference.