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Virtual Events

Virtual Events

Our virtual events bring thought-provoking conversations about democracy to the Penn State community and beyond. All events are free and open to anyone.

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Center for Democratic Deliberation Kenneth Burke Lecture: Ersula J. Ore

Civility, Rhetorical Impatience, and the Reclamation of Time: The Case of Sandra Bland

Wednesday, April 14, 12:00 p.m. ET


Dr. Ersula J. Ore is the Lincoln Professor of Ethics in the School of Social Transformation and associate professor of African and African American Studies at Arizona State University. She is a critical race rhetorician whose research and teaching interests include rhetorics of race and culture, critical race and gender studies, rhetorical theory, and Black women’s intellectual history. Her book, Lynching: Violence, Rhetoric, & American Identity (University Press of Mississippi, 2019), which examines lynching as a rhetorical strategy and material practice interwoven with the formation of America’s national identity, received the 2020 Book Award from the Rhetoric Society America. 

In this lecture, Ore will place scholarship on civility in conversation with scholarship on temporality and gendered antiblack policing to consider the ways civility discourse manifests temporally as capture (Spillers, 1987) in the lives of Black women. Part of a larger project on civility and gendered antiblack violence, this lecture examines the ways (1) racism masquerading as civility tethers Black women to a past that restricts the potential for a future and a “being” beyond the black stereotyped past, and (2) how the “oppositional gaze” (hooks, 1991), among other forms of  “pushback” (Ore, 2017), offers a radical means of reclaiming time and resisting this temporalization. The July 10, 2015 stop of Sandra Bland offers an instance in which we might observe the countertemporal orientation of “black looks” (hooks, 1991) and the ways oppositional gazing enacts the Black feminist declaration to reclaim time (Waters, 2017).