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Rhetoric in Africa

Sanya Osha

Subject Linguistics
Communication Studies » Rhetorical Studies

Place Africa

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


This description of rhetoric in Africa will focus on two primary tendencies, namely, the valorization of the virtues of classical antiquity on the one hand, and the highlighting of an ethos of cosmopolitanism and the politics of the private on the other. These two disparate discursive operations are often complementary and give a deeper meaning to the political and cultural formations of the contemporary age. The academic study of rhetoric studies in Africa is relatively new and South Africa maintains a pivotal position in spreading and entrenching the discipline. In this regard, the efforts and accomplishments of a South African-based French professor of philosophy, Philippe-Joseph Salazar, who founded the Centre for Rhetoric Studies, University of Cape Town, have been seminal. Salazar has not only worked to establish the academic parameters and credentials of the discipline but has also contributed to the creation of the institutions to legitimize the field of study. In particular, he was instrumental in establishing an association for the study of rhetoric and communication in Southern Africa whose reach extends to other parts of Africa and the globe, and which espouses a multidisciplinary ethic (see for instance Salazar et al. 2002 ). In addition, one of the ways in which Salazar lays the foundations for the academic viability of the field is by various interrogations of categories ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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